Jul 5, 2011

Gamkaskloof, a hazy shade of winter

Left the luxury stopover at Dennehof in Prins Albert and started the slow freezing climb up Swartbergpas. When you scrape the ice from your saddle you know its going to be a cold one. Nearing the top of the climb the sun started rising,what a sight, definitely one of the highlights of the trip. From there to the top kept on looking at this amazing sunrise over the mountains and missed the clouds coming over. Suddenly a light shower came down, not rain though but hail. Lying on the ground looking like a slight dusting of salt reflecting the sunrise and breaking into a thousand little rainbows..what a way to start a day. Realised again it is easy to complain,but all the pedalling, suffering and what not, just this one start/moment made it all more than worth it. Since my knee was still not loving walking after the fall decided to ride all the hills, came close just the one before the leer..will have to come back:-). On the way up swartberg pass saw a flash..first thought some crazy tourist out early. Rounded the corner and there was Maartin, a friend who drove out from George just to say hi. Cycled last part up together and had coffee at the turn off to the hell. Maartin tx,really appreciate the effort. People doing this much effort...really makes you think. Started the long fast descent,nice and flowing,lot of fun. Up few climbs and then whizzing down between 40, 60km/h on a disc eating hairraising downhill,almost came short (or very long drop) on section still frozen, someone say adrenaline rush. Good for smiling. The hell is cold. Had icy rain most of day,but was too busy looking around to take notice. Up the leer,nice steep portage. Then some very fun downhills. Big dissapointment, wanted to hit 80down horlosiekrans (fastest speed 78), have been working out how to sit earo with backpack and had a surprise ace up my sleeve. Going to fill backpack with stones. Unfortunately a big headwind
greeted me on the other side. Where i cruised down over 70the whole way last year couldnt even get to 50 this time round. Still i will be back for revenge, even if i need to pay someone to drive me up like a downhiller, i will hit 80down there:-). Got to rouxpos after a fun couple of fast downhills in the dark, almost going straight into a porcupine..quite sure i dont carry enough plugs for that type of emergency

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