A warmer and later start time today, and we were all prepared to hammer hard to get into a good group ready for the S-track at 15km. However, when it rains, sometimes it pours. As I’m getting better, Josh had no GO. (As it turns out he has IT, and in curled up in a ball in the tent tonight). So this becomes a real test of team, for one as occasionally selfish as I. So I stuck with my friend, yoyoed a bit, pushed him a bit, talked about random stuff and watched him suffer a brutal slow pedal day to the finish.
Our one exception was the singletrack, with incredible forested smooth to rough red dirt, the overwhelming sensation was TRACTION! Almost any speed with a top of the bike was rewarded with an ‘Empire Strikes Back’ tree dodge as the tires bit into the dirt like a pit bull with a new bone.
(Did I mention SA’s can’t descend?). We figure they all train on dirt roads around Johannesburg and never really see S-track, so one should really empathize. However, after lots of polite ‘whenever you’re ready, could I pass’ we have resorted to just going. A slight touch of the back tire seems to do the trick to make them pull left. We did fly 22hours.
The country today was a mix of tree and dairy farms, but still with grand vistas mountain to valley. I am struck by the mass industry of agriculture in this province.
We climbed our last few km’s back to camp, and arrived at a slow pace that puts us to the back of the start tomorrow. Having said that I am so proud of what Josh pulled off today, he kept pedaling when many would quit.
Tomorrow is a mix of epic singletrack and hot midday climbing . Should be interesting