Sunday, 10 May 2009

... and we all rolled over and the one fell out...

Early Sat 9th May 5 of us gathered at the Sasol garage at the foot of Krugersdorp hill. The plan was to ride up Krugersdorp hill and then through Kings Kloof, AKA Krugerdorp Gorge. The ride through the kloof is stunning as the riding is challenging, the view magnificent and the sense of being far away from the city wonderful. After snaking up a jeep track one is rewarded with an exhilarating downhill. I always enjoy going with first timers down this section as it is tricky and a tad slippery with a lot of loose rock. The look of horror or satisfaction in the face of a kloof rookie is always worth seeing. Chris and I bombed down the hill and scrambled up the steep incline on the other side and then waited for the others to catch up. The lengthy wait was ominous - surely someone has been dismounted!

Eventually we saw the others coming down the other side and then crawl up the hill to where we were waiting. My comment of "A lag like this must have a story attached to it" elicited an apology from Doug, "Sorry for keeping you waiting so long but I fell off." He is such a mellow guy but apologizing for falling off was just too funny. To make matters worse he didn’t even fall off on the tricky bit. The jeep track leading up to the decent is a tad rutted and Doug managed to drop his front wheel into one of these ruts and ended up over the bars. He is well organized and produced a bandage from his pack and we strapped his wrist. He was obviously not having much fun and opted to head back to the car as soon as we exited the kloof. Fiona couldn’t bring herself to abandon him so kindly rode back with him.

That left 3 of us - Sean, Chris and I. We ended up having a pleasant ride to Magaliesburg where we wolfed down platefuls of Wimpy food. On the way out the back end of Magalies we had the 3 SAA planes destined for the Presidential Inauguration in Pretoria fly overhead in tight formation. About 20 kms after leaving Magalies a thunderstorm started building in the distance. By my reckoning the closest safe port was the supermarket near Sterkfontein caves 15 km’s away. We rode like men possessed and only just made it to the supermarket before the heavens opened. A coke, small bag of crisps, a big bag of crisps and a bag of biscuits later the skies had cleared enough for us to venture out. The plan was to ride to a spazza shop 6 kms up the road and then ride a further 7 kms to a coffee shop and so on, one storm safe location at a time. By the time we got to the spazza shop the storm had swung around and made the coffee shop a bad choice so we changed direction and slogged up a hill. Chris decided there was little point in riding all the way around a residential game farm when his farm was on the other side so made a plan to gain access to take the short cut through the game farm. Sean and Chris then proceeded to “cheat” by taking the shortcut while I continued on the “honest" route :)

The competitive side of me kicked in and I decided I would ride hard and try beating them to Chris’s place. Things were going well until I started cutting through the bush to get to the farm. The earlier thunderstorm meant there was a bit of mud about but not enough to be too much nuisance – or so I thought! Rounding a corner on a footpath at speed I discovered a patch as slippery as snot and before I could say “Oh Dear” my front wheel washed out and I was unceremoniously dumped on the ground. It is my experience that crashing seldom hurts, it is the getting up afterwards that hurts. I closed my eyes and just lay there. It was a peaceful few seconds before I reckoned the longer I lay there the more it would hurt when I eventually started moving. The good news was that everything still worked. The bad news was my right shoulder hurt like crazy. I pedaled to Chris’s place struggling to carry my bike over one fence. I did get there before the other 2 so the effort was not wasted. As soon as they arrived I scuttled off to finish the 10 km’s home so that I could get in a nice hot bath. I knew that as soon as the shoulder got cold it would be worse. And worse it is. The only way I can use my right arm now is with the help of my friend Myprodol. A trip to the Doc tomorrow is probably not a bad idea.

5 riders started the day and 2 able bodied completed the distance. Not quiet true as Sean did get a lift home with Chris as he was running late ( ... or tired, depending on which version of the story you choose to believe).

Doug did his wrist, I did my shoulder, Sean was “running late” and Fiona got soft! At least Chris had a good day out!


Anonymous said...

Tired, therefore rode slower and became late

Santacruzrulz said...

Well - our only consolation was that we did the prettiest part of the ride but we'll be back!

Doug said...

The positive side of this story is that there are no broken bones, so we are all still on for the race in 5 weeks time.