Saturday, 4 July 2009

Day 17 - Prince Albert to Die Hell.

Took us 10 hours to cover about 65km today. That did include 1 hour of parking off in the sun drinking tea and later stopping to make a snowman. Our bike is wounded. The hub is not working. We don't have the 7 low gears so have to walk every uphill. To make matters worse the hub is now leaking oil which is getting on the rear brakes rendering them completely useless. The downhill sections today were hectic so we stopped a few times to clean up the rear disk. To do this we scoured them with fine mud whick we then rinsed off. Worked well.
We wanted to push on to the next support station after this one today but when the gears packed up we had to change our plans. Unfortunately there is no cell reception where we are so could not communicate our intentions. Thank goodness Francois rode on ahead and got it sorted. He arrived just before the info office closed. They had made no arrangements for us to stop for the night even though this is supposed to be an official support station. Another race office short coming. This is not a place you want to arrive at to find it in darkness without a clue of what to do next. This place is wierd. Once you enter the gate you ride for nearly 15km down a jeep track through thick vegetation to the info office that keeps normal working hours. They only had lunch packs for us and no breakfast or drinks. Fortunately I have tea, coffee, condensed milk and half a dozen packets of instant oats so we are well set.
We are hoping to get our spare rear wheel tomorrow which should have been shipped from JHB today. The last thing I did was give Johann Rissik the details of what needed doing to make it possible. When he drove off that was our last contact with the world as we left Vodaland. We are hoping to get an early start to get out of this hole via Die Leer so that we can get the bike sorted. After wallking every uphill today we are desperate to get moving and get done with this race as soon as possible. As soon as we have cell phone reception we can see what happens next to fix the bike. I am hopeful that all relevant parties will pull a rabbit out of the bag and we can get on our merry way sooner rather than later.

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