I realise that my last blog post was quite a while ago - this makes me realise, too, that my life is somewhat ridiculous and whilst busy living this crazy, amazing life I am lucky enough to lead, I forget to document what's going on. So, in a slightly exhausted state as I procrastinate studying, I can shed some light over our Cycle Tour experience - granted it's kinda a month late but still ;)
If you remember, in 2012 I began posting about the crazy adventures of 'Team Beastie'...and so the craziness continues.
We decided that it would be a great idea to attempt a second Cycle Tour due to the fact that last year's ride was such a success. It's important for all parties to remember that weather impacts properly on performance. People who rode the race and spectators who had the staying power will understand. But let's go back just a little bit for the sake of context...also, because I can.
Let's start with training shall we?
This year we were ahead of the game because this year we already had our buggy! We had our trusted buggy, Beastie and he was so ready, sitting in the garage he was suffering from a bit of cabin fever, I rate. Grant tells people that he was unfit this year - I have trouble believing this. Maybe that's because our time this year was almost an hour faster than last year...but we can examine this idea just now. Back to training, we had a pretty hardcore weekend training schedule this year and what made it epic was that we were joined by more Buggy Buddy teams (Brett and David AKA 'Team Turbo' in their 'ship', Anita and Etienne and last but certainly not least Tina and Boeta). It was amazing to know and realise that we have started something that can give other disabled people an opportunity to participate in big things.
I can now officially call myself a cyclist - Beastie got his first puncture, and I was totally involved in a near-collision. Nope. It was a legit collision, with our buddy, Bodii. Grant felt it was important to shake Richard's hand...he semi-forgot that I was attached to him and Bodii was on the left side of us. We drifted across the road and I almost lost fingers in his spokes and he ended up in a bush/tree. Official cycling injuries...winning.
One thing to note, is that every ride seemed to be on a windy day. Probably the universe's joke about foresight or something...
If any of you reading this were in Cape Town or anywhere near a TV on Race Day and watched it all go down, you will remember that it was quite the windy day by any standard. When we left the house, it was pretty cold but we continued to lie to ourselves about how bad the wind was right up until we got on the bikes. From that point. Shit got real.
Waiting at the starting line, still ampd, Ipad at the ready, everybody sort of realised that it was going to be a long day. I think when we started the race, the entire goal was to make it under the first bridge (like 60m from the start). Grant pedaled like a boss under that bridge - first goal...conquered! While that was happening I almost got concussed by the Ipad when the first gust of wind decided to hit the buggy. So, that was awesome. *Insert sarcasm here*
The next landmark was Ladies Mile bridge. Many important things happened on our way to that milestone...we bettered our top speed, to around 70km per hour going down Edinburgh Drive. Please recognise how fast that is, and the faith and trust required (by me) and the skill required (by Grant) in not killing us. No thank you, death. Team Beastie 1....
The other perk was that Gary's bike was solid this year and no punctures were had. This also meant that we had a less insane decrease of speed than last year - worked well for our time as well, so that was cool.
We had an extra team member this year - Richard Scott. Richard, it was awesome to have you ride with us, even though you realised that you could help G out a little late in the race (Smitswinkel), your support was so appreciated by all of us. Thank you for being so respectful to the team dynamic and adding your personality to our crazy mix was awesome!
In our team, throughout the race, we had sense of humour failures...more on my side, but still. Let me explain one such instance. Hout Bay has a beach. There was wind. I ended up with the whole beach in my buggy. I was not smiling in that moment. Not smiling.
But then I have to remember that Grant is busting his ass cycling so I need to get it together and get the Conqueror spirit back. The support of people on the side of the road was helpful but I also did some soul-searching in my buggy and realised that so many people don't have the opportunity to do what I do. So, I began again appreciating where we were and just taking it in and sending all my gees to Grant because we were heading towards Suikerbossie and he needed it more than I did.
We finished the race, after the longest 5km stretch I have ever experienced in my life (we're convinced that the signs telling us how far we still had to go were lying to us), in 4h42min! This is when I realise once again that my cycling partner is such a champion, in all ways. The way he helps me with everything I need while we're riding, nevermind all the other times, tends to blow my mind on a regular basis.
I'm excited that we get the opportunity to blow people's minds by what we do. I'm excited that we have other people joining us on this journey of slight insanity and we can blow minds together.