Saturday, July 07, 2007

Day 17 - Patience

Any race claiming to be a race across South Africa would need at least one day of real Karoo riding. For us, that day was today. The landscape was flat with wide open spaces dotted with ankle high bushes and a few sheep. The roads are straight and corrugated and just to make things interesting, very sandy in places.
This is not the place to bring a single speed bike. Boy, did the guys with gears sort me out today. Andy arrived at our support station more than an hour before me and that's only in the last 3 hours of his riding. It was definitely a lesson in patience. I could do nothing more than turn the pedals as fast as I could and coast along until the bike slowed down enough to pedal again.
After a late night yesterday, we slept in a bit and had a full breakfast at the guest house and only left after 8 - quite decadent considering we were about to tackle the longest stage of the race. We worked our way to the lunch stop at about 2:30pm where some coffee and biscuits woke us up a bit.
Earl and Andy then upped the pace and I was left spinning along for the last 70km. The sunset was awesome over the Karoo where you get the longest shadows because everything is so flat. Just before I got here, I stopped and lay down in the road and stared up at the stars - the milky way is a thick, white band and there a few more stars than we see in Johannesburg. I cruised into the support station and had a nice, home-cooked supper.
We discussed our plans to the end and barring any bad fortune, we should be finished by Monday.
On that note - while I was flat on my back staring at the sky, Maarten finished the race in a new record time. Good for him!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well its nice to know you are still on the road, not having heard or seen anything of since Wednesday,It is fantastic to know that you are going along so well and that the end is in sight,even having enough time study the stars, they are always so beautiful in that dark sky.You have always loved the great outdoors and this seems to be the end of the rainbow. Good luck, my boy, for the rest of the trip, stay strong and know that there are lots of people routing for you.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andre remember that you are one of those stars!!!! Gonna miss this blog once you have finished. Love as always

Liz and Mike

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is indeed great to see and hear from you again after a couple of days in the dark. Man, this is great to see that you are closer to the finish with every stroke of the pedals. Enjoy the last couple of days to the finish, you desreve it.

8:17 PM  

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