After my initial enthusiasm for yesterday's stage, I realised very quickly that today was payback. After all, I had done the equivalent of two weeks of my most recent training regime in one day and I was about to double that again. Stage 2 of the race started innocuously enough but soon started a steep climb which got us all sweating profusely in the humidity and mist. Oof, this dragged on but eventually levelled out to a pleasant contour. The ground was pretty soggy after the rain which sucked the life from already tired legs. And then we hit another bugger of a climb. So what that the surface was smooth. It was horrendous ever higher into the mist. By the time I got to the next contour road I was pretty tired and this section also dragged on with mud sucking on my wheels. At the base of Hartebeesvlakte, there was still a lot of climbing to do. Two hot cross buns and cheese and a 30min break for all of us, helped the recovery somewhat and then I tried to ease my way over the next section. If you do nothing else in your mountain biking life, you have to ride the "vlakte". The space, the rolling verdant hills, the wild game and the magnificent views are unparalleled. Of course, you have also worked like buggery to get there. The sun came out dispelling the last tenacious wraiths of mist and we were treated to the wide vistas. And then the descents are sublime, heart stopping too when you discover your front wheel is loose! The bikes and hearts took a hammering but in under an hour, we were into the final few kms to home. Huge sticky buns and coffee while we cleaned bikes rounded off a longer than expected day. So my comeback hit a bit of a slippery slope but by tomorrow, I should be fit...yeah right. If you are doing this year's Sabie Experience, please train.
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