Day Two: just a little bit of rain

Time: about 6 hrs inc a breakfast stop
Distance: depends whose computer you look at. Mine said 98.24km

I was really nervous about today. I mean, getting up and getting BACK ON A BICYCLE AFTER riding 104kms the previous day was going to take a lot of mental and physical energy. But, surprisingly, it was okay. My bum was a bit sore, but my legs were strong and I had energy. Maybe there was something in the cornflakes we ate for breakfast at Niki’s Stonehouse in Villiers.

By the way, this is a stunning little place and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to break the journey from Johannesburg to … anywhere. The staff were amazing, the food delicious, the old stone farmhouse with wrap-around verandah is gorgeous, rooms were comfy.

So, to get back to today’s ride. We left at about 7.30am and had a short section we had to navigate where the road was being rebuilt so we veered between the “new” road (not yet open to traffic) to the old road to some sandy sections that had not yet been repaired. Thank goodness for Gatorskin tyres! Thereafter the road was great – just a few minor potholes, but us Jo’burgers know all about those – and traffic was courteous. It makes a HUGE difference having Trevor driving behind us in the sponsored Ford bakkie / sweep / backup vehicle because he is so visible. Sometimes I think he has the hardest job – driving a car at between 12 and 60km (on the downhills) when he is actually driving a machine meant for much faster travelling. Thank you Trevor!

After 34km we stopped in Frankfort for another breakfast – egg, bacon, omelettes, toasted sarmies, coffee. Divine! Then it was on the road again for the 58km to Reitz. We rode through several kilometres of light rain – it’s not great trying to see through wet sunglasses – but that was okay. And the amazing thing was, I felt strong the whole way!

After all those k’s and the last few hills, Reitz looked like an oasis on the side of the hill. I did not cover myself in glory when, stopped at an intersection, I just fell over onto the pavement, much to the hilarity of the locals at the bus stop! Put it down to fatigue. Then it was the final extremely steep hill to the Reitz High School Seuns Koshuis, our residence for the night. According to our leader (Tony) and Admiral Organiser (Jen), they are NO guesthouses in Reitz and this was our ONLY accommodation option. Of course, riding into town, we saw at least four signs for guest houses and B&Bs. But no problem, all we need is a bed and hot bath or shower.

I type this after a late lunch of a delicious hamburger and marshmallow tart at Laventelhaan Coffee Shop. Yes, food is very important to this particular cyclist. It may just keep me going between here and Queenstown.

Ashley Truscott

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