Day 1 – 120km 7hrs
Day started at 04:30 to drive from JHB to Midrand and on to Heidelberg (picked up Marcelle who was dropping us off and taking the car).
The route was (relatively) flat. First farm we went through had zebra disappearing down the road after we rode in. Two black Wildebeest (one baby) ran along with us for a while.
The water points were situated every 30km (good way to divide up the race into four manageable sections. The first 30km saw us at the back with the trail sweeps – tyre problems which resolved eventually when I decided to use a “bomb” – CO2 canister on it.
Crossed the Vaal river in a Dragon Boat (portage of bike was with a motor boat). All diligent attempts to keep my shoes dry (successful until then) were foiled by the wake washing over the side of the boat.
Frankfort – good welcoming committee (multiple groups of young drum majorettes lining the streets – not that there are that many streets in this town). We are staying in a tent city on the local sports grounds. Underage children take ones bike to be washed and bring the overnight bags to the tents. Haven’t decided if this is slave labour or a get of detention scheme.
Hot showers and Seattle on tap -free as long as one uses the Seattle insulated cup that we received in the goodies packet. No bad.
Now for half an hours sleep before the briefing and supper.
Photos will follow once I am back home. Fortunately I have the use of a small camera which fits in my pocket and is therefore easy to whip out and use on the fly. (thanks Aurélie).
Typed by my thumbs & sent via my BlackBerry. Peter O’Farrell (BVSc MBBCh). Mseleni, KZN, South Africa.