Saturday, 27 June 2009

Day 11 - Stuttgard to Van der Venterskraal

Yesterday was a miserable day with leg problems. Last night I spoke to Doc Rudi who explained that the recommended treatment for acute ITB was rest but that that was obviously not possible. He then said I should do the following: Ice, Stretch, lower my saddle a bit, change my shoe set up to be more heal in and then take some Voltaren. What a difference one night and some good advice can make. After limping along yesterday, today we came out firing and knocked off 150km's of riding. It did take 16 hours but the terrain today was tough. Lots of walking up steep mountains. Unrideable sections and a steep rocky descent that took an hour. The wind today was unbelievably strong and cold, but at least there was no rain or snow.
This is thorn country. Found a HUGE one today that must be nearly 20cm long. They don't come bigger than that.
After pushing through the first support station today we got to the start of the Struishoek portage at last light. Francois was a little anxious and with good reason. Last year he and a few others spent hours lost on the mountain there at night. That has been the case with a few riders in the part few years. Struishoek by night was the perfect remedy for Francois. The whole thing took just over an hour. The only excitement came from Glenn. The only point that we differ on is what is rideable. Glenn believes every thing can and should be ridden. My view is that caution is sometimes more important than bravery. At least I an not the one with a huge gash on my knee from trying to ride down Struishoek at night.
We are now well into the second half of the race and are still well placed, top 5 I think. Don't really know what is happening with the rest of the field but believe there are a few bunches trying to chase us down. All good fun and we intend to keep the fun going as long as possible.
For all the aches and pains Glenn and I laugh a lot. We are starting to enjoy the race a bit more now as the terrain starts to suit us more. The mountains up to now have brutalised us. We have portaged as fast if not faster than most people over the mountains but at huge physical cost. We have also hauled the beast over countless fences and gates without any help, not because we won't get help but because it is not fair to make other people suffer for our choice of mount for this race.

1 comment:

cat-i said...

wow it is SO good to read that your knee is feeling better and that you gouys are enjoying the ride again ... good luck for the day, go fetch Tim and the other dudes that think they're faster than you!