Sunday, 15 July 2012

Day 7 - We get to ride our bikes again

6am start with us dressed for the anticipated rain. An hour in to the ride it seemed like it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day. As it got light we were wading thigh deep through a river. A short while later we were riding over crackling ice. Such are the conditions of this race. Fortunately, by this stage of the race our minds and attitudes were well attuned to the conditions and we went about our business without a second thought. Once out of the wetlands we did stop and put on dry socks.
About 30 km's into the days ride we found Alex stopped next to the road with mechanical problems. The bolt that holds the saddle to the seat post had sheared off for the second time in the race. Unable to assist we rode on to Brosterlea where tea and hot soup were waiting. When we left 30-40 minutes later Alex had not yet arrived. We left Brosterlea with Theo and Hugh. Theo is an incredibly strong rider and we were able to move along at a brisk pace. The pace became too hot for Hugh and he dropped off. I was happy for the pace as the section through to Romansfontein is one of the longest days of the race. We made good time toward Stormberg and dropped down the mountain to the Stormberg station mid afternoon. We continued to ride purposefully through the Stormberg battle site in Vegkoppies and pushed toward Groot Seekoegat which I wanted to get through before dark. Just before dark we got safely though the last "interesting" bit of navigation and merely needed to make our way through to the next support station. The next hour was another mud fest followed by an easy ride on a district road. We had completed a "normal" stage in 13 hours but the extra pace was causing the leg injuries make themselves known.
Arriving at a civilised hour gave us the opportunity to get laundry done and do routine maintenance on the bikes. In my case it was a scheduled chain replacement.

No comments: