The afterlife Day 2
Two weeks ago Felix Baumgardtner jumped out of a capsule attached to a helium filled balloon and became the first man to break the speed of sound in free fall. His view of the world was a little different to what most of us see. He was 39,000m or 128,000ft when he jumped. Redbull Stratos
Sixty five years prior to this Chuck Yeager had become the first man to break the speed of sound in a fixed wing aircraft.
Here is a jet exhibiting the phenomenon called the Prandtl-Glauert singularity. When a jet goes supersonic (speed exceeds Mach 1 or the speed of sound) the air doesn’t move fast enough to flow out of the way and builds into a wall around the Jet. If the temperature and humidity is right, water in the air condenses into a cloud to form a white halo.
Day two of the Race Across South Africa was the second day of leaving before sunrise and arriving after dark. Fourteen hours in the Saddle was tough. The climbing was tougher. 2500m of climbing. We stayed with Justin (previous Freedom Challenge / RASA finisher) and Ansa (both were doing the Ride to Rhodes) for the first half of the day. Through the forests of Donnybrooke and onto the mission at Centacow. There we had a welcome soup lunch to get the legs back online. Our bodies were starting to gear up to the required metabolic rate necessary to keep the legs turning. From Centacow we went up a few hills and over the Ngwangwane River. Then up alongside the Gungununu River before another steep climb into the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve.
The rest of the day was a blur. Between hills and a fatigued body. Everyone had advised we aim to get into Ntsikeni Reserve before dark. Stories abounded of cyclists going around in circles in Ntsikeni due to the lack of land marks and visual guides after dark. We didn’t make it before dark.
Crossing the streams and rivers at first was a slow process. It entailed stopping, changing shoes, crossing the river, drying wet feet and climbing into dry socks and cycling shoes. Before long the routine was abandoned and we learnt to live with wet feet and shoes.
Friday afternoon entertainment in typical boy / testosterone driven style. Each would take turns in hitting his opponent until his stick would break, after which it was the opponents turn for payback. The cardboard shield was obviously a prized possession.
As with any challenge, ones perspective is broadened and your mind stretched never to return to its pre-race state. One can see further and conceptualise more. I often find myself enjoying how much my perspective has evolved.
Now the video clip that I was watching when I decided to compile another blog update of the afterlife was this:
Felix Baumgartner: Supersonic Freefall from 128k’
The words of the song are worth listening to.
(Free The Stratos Redbull Remix by Twin Altlantic).
That’s it for now folks.