Jun 28, 2010

Day 9&10

De Doorns to Bucklands: 295km, 26hrs, 6hrs sleep (previous day).
Have no idea how to start describing the day. After Carl spend an hour or so bundu-ing last night he got frustrated and decided he wanted to head off on his own. Which i can understand since we are riding with completely opposite goals, for myself, i want to enjoy the ride, take photos and ride a more constant pace throughout, similar to Marnitz, he's raising funds, quite sure he wanted to jaag Carl, but not go for the win/record necessarily. Carl however wants to chase. From here it should be a safe(ish) bet to say he should win. But in this race you can't plan, you can only do.

Anyway,so we headed off about an hour after Carl,went down Struishoek portage, a farmer painted rocks on way down, helps immensely. Thanks. Last year people went down a 'cliff' there, must have made for some interesting stories. I reckon most of it is rideable,but 8kg backpack, and bike shop, what bike shop...walked the first section with Marnitz. Eventually got bored and rode the rest down. Got the legend at the bottom, Tim James, spend some time chatting there, and had second breakfast mmmm. What a gentleman, really a super man. First really easy riding through Karoo. Impressed by people again, a farmers wife saw us and drove out to make sure we know the way to the hunting cottage, Van de Venterskraal, and opened the gates for us. Must have climbed a hundred fences by now and opened as many gates. Or getting close to that.
;-) On that topic,have learned to climb the normal 1.5m fences,2m,3m and 4m high ones with bike and backpack.

Had some spectacular riding the afternoon to Toekomst,through a nature reserve, really high electric fences,luckily the gate was open else you need to climb under it. Marnitz: "Ek weet nou nie hoe ek en my pikante lyfie daardeur gaan gaan nie". Had so much corrugation felt like my eyes where going to shake out, the night and next day as well. After Toekomst went around Darlington dam,had some funny moments with about 100cows following us. Went into Gwaas valley,really hard,just never really get going. Time 12ish. Everything gave in, Marnitz pushed my bike the last 500m or so. When i walked had sections where things went black,stumble along another few metres, crab a few meters...just keep going. Oh and by now we've done about 19hours, 180km lot of climbing and it has been raining for an hour. Went to sit down at abandoned farmhouse, ate whatever i thought i would be able to keep in.
Thought i truly learned something about limits. Absolutely wrong.
Rode next 14km to farm heavy headwind and horizontal rain, luckily most of it downhill. My light died thank goodness for trees next to road, could almost see the edge of the road, just stay in the middle. Almost got some fresh kudu steak. Told Marnitz i can't go any further. Said our goodbyes. Time 1:30.
Decided, screw this only two more hours to Bucklands, already wet, tired and what not, and went with him. Super nice 6km downhill,turned right and went on for another 5km's. Unfortunately while Marnitz was looking for the turn off to the farm on the left he missed the previous right turn. Turned back, he decided to go to the tar road, off the map and then try and head up back to Bucklands. After about 6km of hilly riding decided to go back since we don't even know where the tar road goes, could make big loop. Got back to farm turn off, really over the limits tired, can't really hold on to handlebars anymore, my hands were too sore. Time 3:30. Still raining.
Headed off to Bucklands,too tired to get batteries out of bag so still just using marnitz light. Climbed forever,or felt like it. Rise just never ends. Still 40km to go. Got to Kleinpoort, got some water, still raining and we picked up a headwind. Started going down, at last. Only 25km to go. Sleeping on bike. Tried turning my head into the rain. Tried slapping myself. Tried throwing water over my face. Tried sleeping. Tried not to sleep when going 60km/h. Woke up from heavier vibrations when bike started leaving the road. Started seeing some really funny/weird things. Eventually made it to Bucklands turnoff,spend 30mins going up and down looking for road, narritives wrong. At least it had stopped raining by now. Long story short, pulled in at Bucklands farmhouse 7:20.
Did 26hours of riding. 295km. Actually didn't feel so bad anymore, thought i could have carried on. Although breakfast happened in slow motion. Decided to sleep over, so rested whole day,ate&slept,really glad didn't go on, wouldn't have enjoyed it. Redefined my understanding of limits. At least it makes for a good story.

1 comment:

  1. Wow August, ek haal my hoed af vir julle!!!
    Ek kan nie eens begin om te dink hoe hard dit moet wees nie. Sterkte vir die res van die adventure!!