So we woke up nice and early. With just over an hour to get ready... We had a peaceful bath, enjoyed a hearty breakfast and were ready to leave – a little late but it was not that bad... well so we thought until we climbed into the car and the GPS told me I was 45minutes late for registration. So I drove fast...
Anyway I was only 24 minutes late for registration – which left me 35mins to register, fix my bike as the brakes were not working, lube all four bikes, check tires for everyone. Ohhh and Yolande left my cycling shoes at home so I had to do the whole race in takkies while I had mentally prepared to use my cleets...
So I got to the start with about 5 minutes to spare, right at the back – about where I felt I should be. Off we went into the orange orchards, and I looked back to see nobody behind me. Yes I was stone last not really as planned. So I pedalled a little faster and flew down the hill, overtaking a person or two on the way. But I was struggling, tired, sort, really didn’t feel like doing 75km on my bike for the day. So I struggled up the next hill, chatted to the girl next to me, and carried on. I looked at my cycling computer and saw that I was averaging about 10km per hour.
There was one really fun downhill at about the 20km mark – very rocky but fast. I was doing about 30km per hour down the path, overtaking a few of the 45km riders who had earlier come past me.
At the 75/45 km split I went peddling up the long flat grassy path to get to the start of the monster. At about this time I was peddling in granny’s big brother (Granny, her big sister then her big brother are the three lowest gears...) I stopped and rested in the road, I told everyone it was to stop them hitting a rock in the middle of the road. And then pushed up the hill – I do push a bike quite well and overtook about 10 people on the way up.
At the top of the hill there was a girl in bright yellow MTN colours, with navy tights, who interestingly enough had a bright yellow butterfly on her bum – which I told her instead of saying good morning.
I missed the half way cut off by 5mins...
So I rushed off down the other side of Breedt’s nek – which had really terrible erosion. At some spots I nearly had to push. One guy just in front of me came off and seriously winded himself. I helped him up and carried on while his friend tried to revive him.
After Breedt’s Nek the route was a little uninteresting but I was picking up a little speed, and started feeling better, or so I thought until Butterfly Bum girl came flying past me as if I was standing still (ok I was but I was having 4th breakfast). I quickly packed up and tried to catch up but she was actually going faster than me, until her derailer broke and I helped convert the bike to a single speed – which by the way I could not get right until someone who had better tools than me arrived 5 minutes later. So with butterfly bum lady sorted out I went sailing into the sunset again.
It is amazing how much stronger I get toward the end of a race. Toward the end of the race I was starting to ride the uphills again, riding in a proper gear.
I finished in 7:40 – 40mins after final cutoff, so I was an unofficial finisher but I did actually finish. I never saw butterfly bum lady finish, but I hope she did.
Yolande, Loreley and Kaylen all rode the 20km race. Loreley was officially the last finished of the 20km race, but she did win her age group section and got lots of prizes.