Jul 1, 2011

Ignitor hunter (Aloes Butterflies and Mechanicals)

Woke up at Struishoek (thanks David and Verity for the hospitality), thought i'll just take easy day to Toekomst, 100km. Got to Van de Venters and immediately changed gear, I was only about 40minutes after Marnitz and Tim (+1 day). Seeing that up to now I've been clocking an hour or two faster per section than them, figured I could do their distance and pull one or two really big days in Baviaans and beyond and catch them. Two hours down the line enjoying the Karoo koppies and a smashing day out this fell apart, as did my bike over the next three km. Bit much to post all details, but had a lovely hour on aloe ridge forcing my disc open and trying to remove jammed pads (very close to being bucked off and super nasty fall), fixed, 500m on, makeshift fixing my wheel, low tech meets high tech (go duct tape and cable ties). Eventually got it fixed after working out that walking home would get me there at 8ish.

Phew riding again no walking. Although without tubeless and last tube in wheel, snakebite would mean walking... slow smooth descending. Was amazing sitting there and could count over 100 aloes around me (had the time). 2km on had to strip and rebuild my rear derailleur. Just about everything had gone wrong, but just cruising through this section looking around with hundreds of butterflies all over the place, made it worth while. If yesterday, with the mud, came close to top ten most interesting rides, this was definitely coming in top ten all time best rides. A 'two' hour section took six but I havent felt this good on my bike for a long time, maybe we need the bad to appreciate the good. But this ride, oh man, just about touching perfect.

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