Jun 24, 2011

Lehana

So the updates are a bit behind. Stayed over at Ntsikeni since my knee wanted a holiday..seriously considered withdrawing from the race for most of the day. Luckily Marnitz arrived and helped me get out of a bad mental rut and back onto the bike. For the next two weeks riding through a painfull knee injury was the only way to see the surrounding beauty. Soos Marnitz se, rein gedagtes...

Took easy ride into Banchory with Marnitz, great stop over. The next morning was freezing start, but nowhere close to last years -14. Still made for a very cold early morning start. Had a close to perfect day riding with great weather and riding partner. Despite knee not feeling great made good time to Masakala and decided to stay on the bike with Marnitz to Malekholonyane. Arrived there just after dark, great thing seeing my start group again. Had to make the wise/realistic choice and tell Marnitz to push on without me, the knee was seriously not loving long hours on the bike.

Next day started out just aiming for Vuvu before dark, had a interesting poineerig section with Ricky, Di and Deon, reckon our route is faster than the trail out of Malekholonyane. Seemed like another great day of riding coming up, especially with Black fountain on the way. Eventually left the group, just want to keep a steady easy pace with the knee and minimize stopping (much easier on your own). Starting again even after a 5 minute stop feels like a small horse, or a huge rugby player kicking me in the knee for a couple of minutes, seriously not fun.
Got to the top of the ridge and was almost blown off my bike, this wind was something else. Turned off to Black fountain for some amazing singletrack riding and immediately my speed kicked up t about 40km/h. This was without peddaling and going slightly uphill (gives an idea of the windspeed). Actually had to brake quite hard on the downhill to avoid some race threatening crashes, was a lot of fun being blown about half a meter off course for the small jumps that i did take...none of that for the rest of the downhill. Caught up with the ride to rhodes guys at the bottom and we formed a nice group pushing for Vuvu before dark. After some seriously hard headwind riding (people walking faster than what we were riding) made the turn off to the valley. This section of road must compare favourably with the corrugated parts later on for being the worst section of road on the race.

The valley is one those amazing sections of riding that no-one really seems to enjoy while they are there. It is a mixed walk/swim/tight lines of riding with no-one around and an amazing backdrop. Really cool adventurous riding. Made it to Vuvu just before dark after a super cool day of riding some of the best trails around, missed a lot of the scenery because of my knee though. Unfortunately DDR had a epic day out, only arriving at 04:30 the next morning so never saw the rest of my batch again on the trail.

( -->>lehana 1+2)

My knee is keeping a steady 4-6 on the better painscale (for some brilliant humor go check out hyperboleandahalf), but managing quite nicely on between 4 and 8 myprodols each day. Which might be why everything seems so pretty, but i've found this new riding partner or rather that friendly red dragon thats persistently following me. In any case lots of sheep/easy food along the way so i should be fine. Made it to the start of last climb still feeling great,started climbing nice and easy rythm and then it hit me. Or rather my lunch hit the side of the road. Thought might have been the soup so had something to eat and drink and carried on to overnight stop. Got there nice and frosted, nothing better than a warm shower after a 6km -something descend. Met up with Errol and Estelle (two amazing rasa riders, keep it up guys!) Had some coke (i know) to help settle my stomach and had to run for the bathroom. Definitely the pills so time to stop the drug abuse, hate them anyway.

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