We awoke today to overcast, cold and windy weather. But we were not to be deterred. After a hearty cyclists’ breakfast of fruit, muffins, bacon, sausages, toast, juice, and coffee we set off at about 8.15. A quick stop to fill up the vehicles and then we were on the road to Bethlehem.
We have decided to name the road from Frankfort to Bethlehem “Nemesis Highway”. In 2011 on the first tour, John Ralph fell as we came into Bethlehem and dislocated his shoulder. Last year, Brendan Raasch had a heart scare and had to be rushed to hospital in Bethlehem. Today we had trouble with one of the support vehicles which had to turn back to Frankfort to be fixed. Fortunately it was a minor, easy-to-fix problem and then we were on the road properly!
Lunch was had on the concrete island at the turn-off to Reitz. Ham and cheese sarmies never tasted so good.
Then, just outside Bethlehem we were stopped by the traffic police who said that we needed permission to cycle on the Free State roads and therefore we were not allowed to continue. It’s a very long story that started over two weeks ago when we learned through staunch 1965Ride supporter Philip Sterley, who owns the GM dealership here, that we need to apply to the municipal traffic authorities for permission to cycle into Bethlehem. The municipal people said we also needed provincial authority. Anyway, the short version is that Tony ended up at the traffic authorities’ office at about 3.30pm while we finished our cycle into Bethlehem. And although we don’t yet have the official permission to continue to Ficksburg tomorrow, we are confident we will get it in the morning.
After a quick photo, a muffin and a drink at Philip’s dealership, and a chat with Coleen of the Vrystaat newspaper, we proceeded to The Loft, our accommodation for the night. Then on to Spur for dinner, who are sponsoring some of our meals again this year.
Congratulations are due to Rodger our 66 year old team mate who has had two knee ops, a back op and a triple bypass, got back onto his bike today after not feeling so hot yesterday at lunchtime and deciding to take a break. Rodger was also named “Cyclist of the day” for his fabulous effort yesterday.
Both Michael and Greg would not stop complaining about their sore bums today which the rest of us can’t understand.
Tomorrow it’s on to Ficksburg, some 94km away. A breeze after two days of well over 100km each.