#BruisedButtCycleChalleng day 11 cycling day 9

#BruisedButtCycleChallenge day 11 cycling day 9

DRINK!  That is the saying of the day.  It could have changed because it wasn’t relevant the whole day,  but it started early.  Think of how easy it is to drink when you are all hot on a hotter summers day. Now think how much cold liquid you want to drink when it is cold weather,  and you are cold. Now,  when you are exercising and exerting – as we tend to do when cycling,  it is essential to keep replacing lost liquid – even when it is cold and raining!  Hence  – DRINK!

We left ftom the beautiful town of Hermanus at 07:20 before sunrise.  I never knew there was such a large industrial area in what I have always considered to be a holiday village.     We got off to an excellent start making fantastic time,  even though it was raining.

We had a break at the 16km mark and were pleased to see that we had covered the distance in about 45 minutes.  the same distance yesterday took slightly over an hour.  Even though it was raining, it was an absolute pleasure cycling in the rain, because the wind was still asleep.

We stopped for a snack in Betty’s Bay and saw a large number of dolphins at Rooiels. We then made our way towards Gordons Bay, and it was fascinating to see that we were managing to climb the uphills at 18.9 km/h, faster than we managed to come down Akkerdisberg Pass yesterday,  where peddling into the headwind we only managed 16 km/h – going downhill!!!

The scenery is spectacular, and with the sun out and no wind, we took full advantage of the weather,  stopping often to take in the the brilliant sights,  sounds and scent that the area offers.

When we got to Strand we took time for an ice cream – and WOW – what an ice cream it was.  We had a chat to some locals and then headed for Heldeberg, our final destination for the night, arriving at 15:15.

Total distance for the day is 100.6 km, covered at an average speed of 17.6 km/h and we climbed a total of 926 m while we were in the saddle for 5:41:50.

Tomorrow is a rest / administration day so we can get the boxes to take our bicycles home.  We also need to clean and oil our bkes. Friday we head for the Cape Town waterfront – route still to be decided.

#BruisedButtCycleChalleng cycling day 8

#BruisedButtCycleChalleng day 10 cycling day 8

Today’s saying for the day is “Every day is a surprise”.   I had an excellent steak for dinner, Neale had a burger, and when we left the restaurant it was raining.

We had a relatively late night and an early start – having been too tired to clean the bikes last night it had to happen this morning what with all the mud and grime that had attached itself to the chains.   We ran out of food for the road yesterday,  but none of the stores that sell fruit were open,  so we pumped my rear wheel and set off at 07:44.

For those of you who don’t know,  Bredasdorp is in a valley.  we were heading to Hermanus,  a beautiful see side town. Well the ‘down hill’ run began with us climbing 70m in 2.6km. One mighty uphill. We made good time because the wind was still asleep.  :-).

The wind started when we got over the mountain.   We saw two El Paco’s to add to our list of animals – I didn’t mention the Baboons from yesterday – and decided that the frogs – of which we have seen zero – should also be added to the ‘seen animal list’ because like the multitude of cows and sheep,  they often keep us company and entertained as we keep moving forward.  It has come to our attention that we miss a lot when we zoom up and down the roads. I for one have never heard the frogs as I drive.

We stopped at the first town, Napier, for a quick hot drink and some fruit.  The town is so laid back that the Jack Russell that was in the street didn’t even move as we approached.

We had multiple surprises such as climbing a total of 1134 m – to go DOWN to sea level (a little less than yesterday’s 1306m) as well as experiencing all the seasons every two hours. We cycled through five rain showers –  not hard pelting rain like the highveld,  but hard enough, and the sun shone through three of the downpours. Another surprise was that I felt wetter going up a mountain pass than I did cycling in the rain – without my rain kit.

We had a quick lunch in Stamford and then made our way to Hermanus arriving at 16:30. We covered 95.3km, were in the saddle for 7:00:28 and managed an average speed of 13.6 km/h.     Looking at our average speeds it is easy for one to think we simply crawl and what we are doing is easy  – the numbers never lie – but what the numbers cannot reveal is the impact of a headwind – especially one of somewhere between 20 and 36 km/h does to average speeds.   I have been asked again for some information on the ‘granny cog’ and gearing. Please let me know if you would like me to elaborate and give more details.

#BruisedButtCycleChalleng Cycling day 7

#BruisedButtCycleChalleng day 9 cycling day 7   Our toughest day yet!!!   After a cold and miserable break day when we washed the bikes in the 10 degrees heat, and only left the accommodation to get lunch and a lot of firewood.  We were exceptionally grateful for the twin tub washing machine and the tumble dryer.   We got the weather report and prepared for a tough day ahead.   We were up as usual at 05:30 and although it was windy,  we were grateful that the rain had stopped.  the weather report showed we could expect WNW winds of up to 56 km/h with NWN gusts of the same speed.  Until the ride I thought I knew the difference between wind and gusts, but we were pushed every which way – except from behind – to the point we were battling to keep moving forward.   In the past I have not managed to keep moving at less than 4.6km/h. Going up one hill we were doing a mere 4.3!   Once again we spent a lot of time in ‘granny gear’ – the equivalent of first in a car, reserved for difficult uphills.     When we started out at 07:20 it was a bitterly cold 7 degrees,  with a gentle breeze and no rain. We managed to bank 10 km when the wind got to it’s peak for the day,  and it only abqtd at about 17:00.  We moved slowly with our average speed for the day being in the region of 10.7 km/h on the gravel and our final average being 11.1 km/h.   We covered 86.2km on gravel,  with the total trip for the day being 93km.  It was an exceptionally long day with us only getting to our destination in the dark – very glad we light up like Christmas trees – at 18:10, with total saddle time of 8:25:17   Sometimes it is amazing how adversity can change one’s perspective.  We stopped for a refuel and as we were about to depart at 15:48 I noticed I had a little issue in the form of a flat rear tyre.  At that point we still had 25 km to cover and roughly two and a half hours of daylight left – including dusk, and we were pushing to get to our destination before nightfall.  However,  once I got the puncture  – which cost us just under 20 minutes – and we KNEW we would be cycling in the dark,  we were both much calmer.   I came as close as I ever hav to ‘hitting the wall’ a state where one is so exhausted that you simply cannot move.  Neale reminded me I had some booster and basically had to lead the way into the wind from there on.   Once again some spectacular scenery,  evn when the clouds opened up – the rain here is very cold – and we had the added joy of seeing a large (over 0) flock of Blue Cranes,  an Otter,  a Zebra and a mongoose.  We also had a river crossing on a manual pont / ferry.   Saying of the day “You didn’t choose your weather very well”  from a stranger entering the convenience store just after Malgas.   The contnder was “Arnold!  Never say that again! ” in reference to my comment on day one when we were cycling into a little more than a gentle breeze and I aksed if that as all there was! I think I made a mistake and asked for forgiveness many times during the ride