Saturday, 21 March 2015
Arrived at the start
In Rhodes. As I lie here up to my neck in a bath of hot water I can hear the steady rhythm of rain on the roof.
I departed Johannesburg early this morning in the company of Alex, Tim and Robbie. These guys are well organised, meticulously equipped and psyched up for the challenge ahead. Their mounts make mine blush with embarrassment. Kilograms lighter and fitted with Tri-bars theirs look every bit the kit of athletes who know their craft.
180 km's short of Rhodes the skies opened and continued sheeting down on us all the way to Rhodes. The 4x4 setting on the car came in handy as the dirt roads into Rhodes got snottier. The rain was accompanied by insane winds and spectacular lightning that rivalled any Highveld storm.
We are all doing our best to convince each other that it will blow over by morning in spite of all weather apps suggesting this is just the beginning of 3 days of steady rain. Reports from down the trail attest to the extent of the inclement weather. I nearly fell off my bike earlier riding across the parking lot - they make really slippery mud in this part of the world.
The 55 hour race-your-age just got a whole lot trickier. The worst part of the race for mud occurs within first 150 km's. After that it is challenging but less likely to have you sawing at your neck with a Leatherman.
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- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Just an ordinary guy who started riding in 2005 at the age of 45. I started with the ambition of completing the local 94.7 Cycle Challenge (94.7km). This is an annual road cycle race in and around Johanesburg. Some where along the way it become a race and not merely a completion excercise. I clocked a 2h54 in my first attempt only 6 months from my first trundle down the road and back. I was hooked and then discovered the magic of MTB. While my efforts on the road were credible, MTBing humbled me. Having said that, over the last 24 months I have competed in 9 multi-day events. I'm a very middle of the field rider, but I enjoy every minute of it.