Sunday, 15 July 2012

Day 9 - The wheels fall off

It was time to make up lost time so we left Stuttgard with the intention of doubling through Grootdam to van der Venterskraal. Allen and Richmond were closing on us and we wanted to make sure we stayed ahead. Walking up Schurfteberg I realised I had cooked my legs and my race could probably be over. I told Trevor and Theo to go on ahead without me and although they were reluctant at first it became apparent that I was going to be a huge hindrance so they pushed on ahead of me. The tough navigation was behind us and my route knowledge was no longer critical to their success.
I rolled in to Grootdam just after midday as they were getting ready to leave. We spent a few minutes going over some navigational issues they would face up ahead and they got on their bikes an headed off. It was a bit of a bleak afternoon for me as I sat on my bed icing my injuries and contemplating what to do next. I realised it was not a good idea to pump myself full of pain killers to just get through each day as I had done the 2 previous days. The "Race office" in the form of David, Meryl and Glenn arrived at dusk and showed no sympathy. They left after Meryl had ravaged the race boxes of the riders who had pulled out of the race. During the deliberations going on inside my head I looked through my phone and found a recent update that one of my sons had made to their BBM status. It read "My Dad is still my hero". Wow! Here I was thinking about throwing in the towel and my son thinks I am a hero. My mind was made up there and then - heroes don't give up and neither would I. It was going to be difficult to keep moving but it could be done. I had experienced difficult days in previous years and a day or two of easy riding can make the world of difference. Besides, I had dropped out last year and the thought of doing it again was unpalatable.
Chris and Dawn arrived an hour after dark and while concerned to find me still there were genuinely happy to have caught up.
We caught up on our race experiences and settled in for a good nights rest. We were half way through the race and I was at least a day and a half slower than I would have like to have been at that stage. Tomorrow I would have to ride well within myself which would be easier without the Theo bullet train and Trevor the crazy chaser.


Glenn Harrison said...

I thought making you 3 cups of tea would qualify as a bit of sympathy...?

Unknown said...

What about the leg rub with Arnica oil?