Today was the ride that I had been looking forward to. The marvelous thing about having a bike on holiday is being able to do the normal tourist things, but not being one of those people to sit on a tour bus all day. Or in a car for that matter.
We got up at 7.30am, and were out of the door by 8.10am. We headed from Cape Town via Chapman’s Peak, to Simon’s Town and on to the Cape Point National Park. It was Alex’s (my ride partner’s) longest ever ride, at 140km. There was wind, 1700m of elevation and baboons. Yes, you read that right…
What was especially great about this ride, is the fact that Alex only got into riding last year. He bought a bike from me (which he destroyed, but that is a different story) and it got him hooked. He now trains more than I do, and although I fared better than him throughout the ride today, that is only to do with muscle memory, and the fact that I have been doing this for years and years. I also think there is a small element of fear too, when you go farther than you have before. It wasn’t far off twice his previous max distance. Towards the end of the ride the recovery that I have managed to build up throughout the years was apparent, as I was able to pull away on the climbs, recover and tuck in again. What is true though is that his performance was impressive, and by March, when he leaves here, I am sure he will kick my arse on the bike. I don’t think I will be able to train this much throughout the European winter.
The ride, and the scenery and being at the point of two oceans meet was a great experience. Riding through the Cape Point National Park is almost like riding through a lunar landscape, well, okay, there is vegetation, and the sea, but a little imagination is all it takes.
Oh, and then there were baboons. There are also quite a lot of warning signs saying how aggressive they can be and to keep your distance. I think we were safe though. Lycra is scary whatever!