Thursday, April 2, 2015

Race2Cradock Ramblings

I like to have some quiet time after an event to absorb what has passed. I wish I had taken the time to stop our group before we reached Cradock and just have that moment when you are still and focused on the enormity of what has just gone down.
Backpack and Bike - nothing else needed

But I didn't, and I didn't manage to find my own moment to reflect. So here I am, hoping that by jotting down thoughts and experiences from the five days, I'll be able to internalise my adventure and the intensity of the experience.

My erstwhile riding partner Rob, instead of falling off his bike onto his head (as he usually does), managed to twist his knee moving boxes. He did such a good job that an operation was required to fix the damage. So, there I was, contemplating riding 600km on my lonesome.

Packed to the roof.
Had this happened last year before Ride2Rhodes, I think I would have bailed. I just wasn't that into doing that route for the 4th time. When I heard about this potential event, I was immediately entranced with the idea. A "new" section and one which had race demons all over it. I had covered most of the section in 2009 and then again in 2011 but had never strung it together properly. Now was my chance.

The loss of my riding partner was a blow but I was still excited about doing the route. At last I had some riding mojo - something I had missed for a couple of years.

The Karoo approaches
My build-up was different and risky. My training strategy was two hard sessions in the week and fun, recovery rides on the weekend. As a result, I was scrounging ride buddies all over who would be happy to ride slowly with me. I was worried about my lack of distance riding with a max of 90km in the three month build up. I had to put my faith in my very part time coach who kept reminding me that by my ripe old age, I had accumulated more than enough base. So I put my faith in his programme and hit the wattbikes hard then played on the weekends.

It was with some trepidation, nerves and excitement that I headed off to Rhodes with Carl Scholtz to prop up Batch B.

Weight off the back but the portages?

The "bokkie" - the only clues outside of maps and narratives

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