A very early start for everyone, but particularly for those living west of Jozi because nobody wanted to be late for the start and that meant avoiding the early morning traffic.
It was something of an eye-opener for the folks from Queenstown to see big highways full of cars moving towards their work destinations at just after 06:00 in the morning! As one of them remarked:” A traffic jam in Queenstown is 3 cars and five minute wait!, and “By the way, what is a gridlock?” I didn’t bother to answer this question.
When we arrived at the Life Hospital Suikerbosrand, Heidelberg, our new starting point there was sumptuous breakfast and hot coffee and tea already brewing. What a difference to our two previous years where the only coffee available came from thermos flasks and where there were no toilets.
We arrived at 07:00 to find Richard Second and Brendan Grant, the headmasters of Queen’s College Senior and Junior school, along with their chaperone, Eldred Braun, already there. What a privilege to have them both there to see us off!
Queenians belong to a truly amazing close-knit brotherhood!
We were escorted through and out of Heidelberg after a short briefing by the team from Harley Davidson led by John Koller. What a comfort it was to have their growling (and loud sixties music) accompaniment out into the countryside. Toni noticed that one of the tracks being played was AC/DC’s “Highway to hell”.
We rolled along at a very respectable pace and before we knew it we were passing Deneysville and into the approaches to Oranjeville, the lunchtime stop. This was well past the halfway point and everyone seemed filled with good cheer and happy confidence. It was absolutely wonderful having the team from Life HealthCare Hospitals Heidelberg and Bedford Gardens along! They added such a lekker extra dimension to the ride and to the social dynamics that go with it.
Not only did they add a great energy and vibe to the social interaction they certainly set the pace and kept the team spirits up. When one of them started with “Okay girls, breathe in, deep……. hold it and pus” some of us were really confused as to whether we were in the Labour ward or on the road!
The Port of Call Pub and Grill served the hamburgers and chicken burgers pretty smartly and away we went again and before too long the last rolling hills that kind of stand sentry around Frankfort were around us. The last 10 kilometres was very tough for some but everyone finished in fine fettle with a last fast gasp up the steep hill to OppieKoppie guest House our home for the night.
Team photo, showers, braai and bed in pretty quick order. It has been a pretty long day!
It was a great start to the 2013 1965Ride. Tomorrow, O Little town of Bethlehem, 119 kilometres distant.
Today: 140.43 kms
Average speed: 22.1 kms/hour
Temperature: around 27, 5 degrees Celsius most of the day.