What a brilliant day we had today! It was really nice to have only 70 kms to ride and so we finished in just over 3 hours with our fastest average speed so far just a shade off 22kms/hour.
We started and ended with beautiful autumn weather.
After a great stopover at the Woodpecker Lodge, where Eureka especially baked her special vetkoeke for us take for consumption en route, we set sail for Clocolan and Ladybrand. By the way Eureka and her son have said they will be riding with us next year so recruiting for the 1965Ride never stops.
Pete and Mark had a bit of a shock to start the day thinking that we had left them behind, but it was only a temporary headstart, as they came flying past us at great pace! This continued pretty much all day and especially when Pete’s friend Charles Mansfield (a Cape Epic veteran) joined us and Pete found that climbing hills was not quite as difficult as he had thought! Especially with the odd helping hand from his friend!
Mark completely despatched the myth that he is not a hill climber. On the substantial hill up to our first stop he flew to the front of the peloton and stormed away from the field for first real breakaway on the tour. He extended invitations to both the Jen’s with an offer to pull them up hills along the route. Never again will he be able to claim that he doesn’t do hills!
First pitstop saw most of Eureka’s vetkoeke consumed and then 10 kms later we pulled into the traditional Constantia Padstal stop for the best melktert and cherry sauce pancakes in Africa! This is part of the sub-agenda of the tour: Make sure that John Ralph puts on weight! We certainly missed Leon Jacobs and Kieran at the Constantia Padstal this year because the two of them detained us for longer than we had planned because they insisted on trying the burgers as well!
John Surgeon who started the tour with the nickname of Squeaker graduated to Marshall because of his amazing ability to marshall us all into some semblance of order on the road. After today he may get yet another new nickname – Clicker. This, because his bike has developed the strangest of clicking sounds that we could not properly identify along the way notwithstanding our best efforts which included tightening spokes. He may fix it at our overnight at Cranberry Cottage in which his current nickname will probably prevail.
Tomorrow is also not a bone-breaker of a day – about 90 kms to Wepener. We only have to negotiate the Ladybrand hill which is steep but only about 3 kms and then it is back to rolling Freestate landscapes with Malutis and Drakensberg as a backdrop.
It is so nice to have a whole afternoon off! And that by the way included a fabulous massage at the Etadi Wellness Spa.
Life is so tough on the 1965Ride!
Come and ride with us!