Day One: Heidelberg to Frankfort
6:43 hrs cycling time
The 2015 edition of the 1965Ride is here.
After a 6:15am start from Heidelberg Kloof Lodge, we made our way to LIFE Healthcare Suikerbosrand Hospital for a health breakfast and the first of many group photos. We were escorted out of Heidelberg by John Koller and two mates from the Harley Owners Group to ensure we made it safely out of town. The first stop came quite quickly, after some fairly fast cycling over undulating hills, and we got stuck into the tea, coffee and rusks. Sadly, no one had thought to slice up Jen Ralph’s fruit cake before we left Jozi, so that will have to wait until tomorrow morning when we prevail upon our guesthouse host for a knife. Sorry Jen!
Fortunately the day was without mishap but there was a near miss with two cyclists in front of us, and Rob dropped his cell phone onto the road, causing Adele to brake so hard that she now needs a new tyre.
Rodger, of the same vintage as Tony (ie matriculated in 1965), was heard to often say “Oh God!” whenever he was told what distance to Frankfort remained. But he made an excellent drafting companion on the last stretch to Frankfort – thanks Rodg!
By the time we made it to Oranjeville (75km), Lwandile had scored a personal best by cycling further than he had ever cycled before. Hat’s off to Dinie, who does not cycle. He did, however, run the Two Oceans marathon last weekend, and he borrowed a bike from a friend for this tour. Apparently he has not been on a bike since he was a child – but the way he rode today that’s a difficult story to believe. Vata was also incredible, and cycled a lot of the way with a look of surprise on his face – yes, you made it all the way to Frankfort, and it’s all downhill from here!
Special mention must be made of George, Andrew, Rob, Danie and Marc who all stepped up and pushed extremely weary cyclists up the hills when legs were just too tired to pedal on their own. Talking of George, he drove out to Heidelberg this morning to ride the first day with us. Speaking to him after he left, he said it was a special day. We hope you can be with us for the entire tour next year, George.
Our accommodation so far has been awesome! Oh, and the food has been pretty good too – not too much lasagne this time around, although it is early days. Thank you to Jen for organising such fabulous places to stay.
On the puncture scoreboard: Danie scored the first one, followed closely by Lwandile. Let’s see if they can beat Ryan’s record of seven punctures in 2014.
Let’s just hope that the vicious headwind that greeted us 10km from Frankfort is a thing of the past tomorrow morning. At least it’s only 67km to the next stop, Reitz.
Adele, Danie and Ashley