Monday, 15 June 2015
It's time to go play with my friends
Today as I drive down to Pietermaritzburg to register for the Race To Rhodes starting tomorrow I have no illusions about the state of my physical preparedness - or unpreparedness as it stands. I have had five easy rides since finishing the Race To Cradock three months ago. Two of those in the last week. So little riding in fact that I think I saw the last vestige of a cycling tan disappear down the drain when I showered this morning. This pink body is going to put through its paces over the next few days. I cling to the hope that the body will follow where the head and heart lead.
When on the trail the solitude and feeling of companionship combine in a complex mélange of emotions. You are never alone on the trail. Physically perhaps, but there is a community of followers and fellow riders who follow along and live vicariously through your exploits.
I remember as a child going out to play with my friends under strict instructions from Mom to be home before it got dark. As eventide approached there was always a heightened sense of enjoyment born of the knowledge that you were pushing boundaries. The fun interspersed with regular glances toward home in the full knowledge that you were out beyond curfew. It all came to an end when you were unceremoniously dragged off home and admonished for not listening. The defence of "but I didn't know it was dark because the street lights were on" falling on deaf ears.
I really do feel like a kid going out to play with my friends. The trail is our playground and we finally get to stretch the fun out way beyond sunset. Sorry Mom, I am going to be home well after dark.
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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.