...Contrast cont. (The End of RASA2007)
Andy and Earle
I don't know how Earle finished the race - Myprodol, and a lion heart seemed to get him through everyday, sometimes comfortably, but in other times I could feel his pain. I think it was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other for him, after he tore ankle ligaments on the fifth day of the race. Luckily we had Andy, always smiling, always with something funny to say, and always positive. There was no time for moping in our little group. Andy was our morale, Earle was our inspiration, and I tried to keep us moving forward at a good pace.And finally, personally - obviously this race has a major effect on one's outlook in life. The people you meet, and the generosity shown make you think twice about how you treat others. The race itself was "easier" this time. I was under no pressure to perform, all I had to do was finish. The bike, however silly, was a pleasure to ride - ride when you can, walk when you can't, no worries about trying to ride up steep hills, riding faster etc. All I did was ride what I could - easy.
My body held out exceptionally well - a slight sore throat after the snow in Molteno, sore ribs after a fall in the Baviaanskloof, and a sore ankle from the walk out of Stettynskloof. There were other aches and pains, but nothing to hamper the progress of the race. No sore hands, kidneys, legs, ass or other body parts from riding a rigid bike (Ass was a bit sore form riding fixed, but it soon recovered). The body is a fantastic thing - it soon adapts to what is thrown at it, and gets on with the job.
The only day I struggled was the long flat day from Willomore to Prince Albert, but that was more out of frustration of not being able to go faster, than fatigue. Every other day I would find something new about the trail, about my body, about my riding mates - at no stage was there any sense of boredom, although at the end I was dreaming of nice fresh clean clothes, and just being able to call Corrinne when I felt like it. Not being able to talk to her whenever I wanted was really hard again!
That's a brief summary of my race - so many more stories, opionions, and experiences, but these will come out over time every time I recount the race to someone new.
Next year? Sure - just have to work out how to up the challenge.... Tandem anyone?