Day 66, Stage 50, 95km, Individual Time Trial
Start, Magugu Football Field
Finish, Katesh, Summit Hotel
Today was a race against the clock. I am no good against the clock. I prefer to chase bums. We left Magugu and cycled for about 25km to the start of the 25km time trial. It was a tough route mostly uphill. We started at 1 minute intervals. I started 10th and set off at a comfortable pace. 65 year old Alex soon passed me. He just wants to impress his grandkids. He’s doing well. Unfortunately I didn’t really rise to the challenge. I have often ridden with Alex and usually finish a little ahead. Today he beat me by a good 5 minutes. It took me an hour and five minutes to finish the 25km. That placed me 28th out of 45 or so men. Crap, but probably about right. Couldn’t even beat a grandfather. Needed a bum to chase.
The second day into an eight-day stretch saw most people a little quiet. They were feeling the effort after some time off and were thinking and preparing their heads for another six tough days. The good think about today is that we camped next to a hotel so I was able to get a room, have a good hot shower and sleep in a comfortable bed – not that the tent is uncomfortable. There weren’t that many rooms available so only a few of us got them. As a result my room saw a steady stream of ‘tenters’ taking advantage of the shower. Didn’t have to buy my own beer today.
The rain had been following us as well. Things were either wet or damp. Putting on damp cycling shorts is a little bit like putting on a cold, wet bathing suit. The only difference is that a bathing suit is then meant to get wetter – and you with it – so the dry- wet thing kind of balances out in your favour. Cycling shorts are not mean to get wetter. So starting out damp tends to unbalance things a bit and lead to chafing. Not a lot of fun really.