Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day 10 - Everyone has a story...

Before the race started, Mike told me that he was worried that he would not have a fantastic experience, as advertised by my blog last year. My reply to him was that it is virtually impossible to get through this race without something worthwhile happening. Needless to say, Mike ended up wlaking for 10 hours earlier in the race when his shock broke. Today was my chance.
We had an early morning portage planned, so we were going to leave at 6:30am. We slowly crawled out of our sleeping holes, to be greeted by hot coffee, and a shrug of the shoulders towards the kitchen window - the whole farmyard was covered in a blanket of thick snow, and it was still coming down. We quickly worked out an alternative route, that was mainly farm roads to our next stop, and the start was pushed out to 8:00am.
After many photos we left the farm, and started up the road. It was quite a novelty riding in the snow - not as difficult as it seems at first. The wheels cut through it quite easily, but boy does the snow clog up the derailleurs and gears. I was just starting to think what a good option the singlespeed was for this type of riding, when I lost all power to the backwheel - my back cog was stripped, and the bike was going nowhere. The rest of the guys were in front of me, so they continued without knowing my problem.
I made my way back to the farmhouse, where repairs were made, which failed, and after a few phonecalls some parts were found in a town about 60km away. David took me out there to pick up the new gear and a chain, which cost about R40 for the lot. i was a bit sceptial, but with no other choice we headed back to the farm, where I re-assembled my bike, and hit the road again.
5km and 4 broken chains later I turned round and made my way back again. I have now welded my old gear into a fix ( I can't stop pedalling - something like a spinning bike), and will attempt to move on again tomorrow, with Kevin who arrived this afternoon. Parts are being couriered to Craddock, so hopefully I will be back to normal again by the weekend.
This race does not take prisoners! Just when you let your guard down, it comes and slaps you on the back of the head. Many of the guys are saying that the race is far tougher than they ever expected - initial plans of racing, and records have become survival plans to just make the finish.
The Freedom Ride will bring out the best and worst in everyone!


Anonymous Stijn said...

Hey Andre! Bad luck with the mechanicals... Really enjoying your blog and despite all the setbacks, I still wish I was out there (with a few more gears than you though ;-) All the best for tomorrow - it looks like the snow has condensed the field somewhat. The leaders are at Van de Venterskraal tonight (Wednesday)and the bunch at Elandsberg. Good luck! Stijn

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Gerrit said...

I must say,it is a bit extreme to break your bike just to stay an extra day at Gunsteling. Not that I blame you, their hospitality is brilliant.I hope your bad luck is now up. Enjoy the ride. Gerrit

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy, am I glad to see that you are OK, we saw your tracker going everywhere except where it was supposed to go, however the greatest of luck for tomorrow, you should perhaps have got some ski's
for the C.B.may have worked better in the snow,you are a BIT behind the group but with your guts, that wont faze you.
Keep warm and get those legs moving tomorrow.
We'll be with you all the way.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi andre!
Keep your chin up ... these are the times that are sent to test your inner strength so go for it and make the best of it. we are all behind you watching every step of your journey!
love tanja

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad luck Andre, but we know that you have the inner strenght to overcome this!!!! We are looking over your shoulder all the way - you are not alone!!!!

Love Liz & Mike

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glad your ok at least. It gives the other guys a gap to get a head start.
Good luck for tomorrow.

The other Riaan

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad luck Andre
and you take it in such good spirits it seems (from the blog anyway).
Good luck with all the repairs and the catching up.
The first Riaan (dT)

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo there Andre, Had a bit of a freight when i saw u're tracker where is the boy going now "lost again"feeling a lot better now that i know its u're little donkey given u a kick in the teeth Gonna have some trouble fitting the new gear after welding every thing together but for now have a good rest get prepaired for a good slog,
theres still plenty time to make up for lost time Best of luck
Regards Dad

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andre
Bad luck with the breakdown but don't let that get you down. You are doing very well and you continue to gain respect from all of us by attempting to do this with your single speed. You go!!!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Andre,

Shame man ! At least you made a "bore-plan" and hopefully things will get better. Hang in there and keep warm.Corlette

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi our big little brother, hope you are on the road again - you gave us quite a scare. We are so proud of you - I know madness is a pre-quisuite to be part of this family, but you taking it to the limit. Keep strong and warm, lots of luf,
Lynn and Theo

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there my friend - if any MTBer can work through this you can - I'm rooting for you to catch the other guys up as soon as you are back in the saddle ! Just go easy on those chains - they were never intended for the type of stress you are putting them thru.
I'm really enjoying your blogs keep up the good work

2:25 PM  
Blogger Angus said...

Hey Andre!I have no doubt in my mind that you will be able to sort your bike out. Disconnect the breaks for the down hills and im sure that you will make some time back up on the field!Keep peddling and may you have the strenght of 20 ellies and the speed of 10 cheetahs.Angus N

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andre,
Talk about having heart failure, have just heard from Corrinne, that you are fine and was travelling with Andy. She tells me you just have to get your stuff from Craddock then you will be OK again (God willing).Reall have to tell you how proud we are of you to travel that distance with a sick bike. Well done.
Carry on with your great determination and strength.
Lots of Love.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, glad to see you are back on the road again. Hopefully the worst is behind you and the best has yet to come. Thinking you all the time and know that you will eventually get to the finish line safely. Keep going and stay warm and dry! Lots of luf, Lynn and Theo

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi andre
when are we getting up an update...we all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see how you are getting on. keep your chin up and your legs going.
love you lots...

11:05 PM  

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