Day Three: So fair and foul a day…

Distance: 114km
Ride time: 3 decades

Hi. It’s me again. Kieran – the chirpy one.

This being the inaugural escapade, there were bound to be things that we wouldn’t anticipate. Remember the rain Ashley spoke about yesterday? Well, I can assure you, wet shoes are a [insert explitive of choice] delight to ride in! That being said, wet shoes were not destined to be the major talking points of Day Three…

So off we set, through the morning mists surrounding the little town of Reitz. You know, one severely underestimates mist – that stuff can be quite cold (especially when the toes are icey from the wet shoe situation). Soon, however, the sun burnt away our vision obscuring friend and we were once again setting a blistering pace for the bustling town of Bethlehem (yes, I sang ‘Oh little town of Bethlehem about a gabillion times on the way there to keep myself entertained). About 5km out, we were met by one Philip Sterley, who elected, rather kindly, to take us weary riders for breakfast at the Park Hotel in town (more on our ridiculous eating habits later). While paused at a stop street, John decided to lean on Philip’s bakkie and turn around to check where we were – forgetting, momentarily, that robots tend to change colour. As the robot turned green and Philip pulled away, John fell – a moment of indecision between peddling and trying to take his cleats out and John had a dislocated shoulder. Speculation abounds as to whether or not this was a strategic move: the time he spent in hospital meant that he was allowed to forfeit the extra 50km ridden that day. Jokes aside, the man deserves some sort of award. I’m pretty sure he could survive in the wild for weeks using nothing but sheer grit for sustenance – you dislocate your shoulder and tell me how keen you are to cycle 400km.

Back to the action. I say ‘action’. It would seem that this cycle tour has taken a turn for the culinary: we eat about 5 massive meals a day. This is mostly at the request of one Leon ‘Bollemakiesie’ Jacobs. The most poignant example of this presents when we see Mr Jacobs strolling through the streets of Clarens (the town that was the final destination for him and John while my dad, Ashley and I cycled an additional 27km through the foothills of the Maluti to the awesome little cottage we were kindly offered by Marianne). While on this casual outing – the main objective of which was to book a table for dinner – he was distracted by a pancake shop and decided that he deserved a pancake or several. Normally, this would be fine. His subsequent decision to declare that the ride would be a waste unless we attempt to taste the culinary delights (read: burgers/pancakes) of every town on our journey is definitely something spectacular and has earned him this well deserved nickname.

Guys, girls, whatever else is reading this: visit Clarens. It is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s jewels.

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