Mar 21, 2009

Grinning Like An Idiot

The prologue was a complete blast and has left us with huge smiles on our faces!

The build up was great and whilst waiting for the off we met up with a few other teams that we know. It was great to be distracted and to have a laugh to ease the nerves. We also watched a few guys riding (or walking as was mostly the case) down the last short sharp downhill which was quite fun. It also helped to prepare us for what was coming.

We set off at exactly 09:52:00 (the organisation of this event is very impressive!) and were very quickly passed by the more athletic teams which started in 30 second intervals behind us. I am not a sprinter by any stretch of the imagination so I held Paul back but he was happy. The climbing was technical in places but to be honest it was fairly standard stuff that we ride most days of the week. Some guys have been quite horrified by the technicality of the climbing but they need to deal with it as riding around Grabouw will really test the technical skills!

On the long loose hill (no idea what it was called) we stopped for a minute to talk to James, a friend who came to cheer us on. From there we remounted and continued to the top and were congratulated by some other riders for getting up without pushing. Truth be told the 60 second breather really helped.

The only sad aspect of the whole thing was to see how extensive the damage is to the slopes of Table Mountain from the fire earlier this week. The burnt smell was also very strong.

In brief, the first half was mainly uphill and the second mostly down with one notable exception towards the end and the ride was nicely rounded off with a lovely bit of rocky singletrack which we both relished. This led straight onto the short sharp downhill (as mentioned earlier) which we cruised down very comfortably.

We finished in 1:11:31 which is fine, it's actually a few minutes faster than I was expecting so we're happy with that. Full results of the prologue are here.

My bike was still playing up a little but I managed to isolate the problem to sticking brake pads so we stopped off at Helderberg Cycles on the way home and the problem seems to have been resolved. Time will tell as we get stuck in properly tomorrow. At least it's nothing majorly mechanical so the bike is still ride-able and if it continues to be a problem Petie's mechanics will deal with it at the end of each stage. Really glad of the service package he offered us!

Now I'm off to FINALLY pack.

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