Blog Entry Eleven - D Day minus 48
Our cause took on a face this week. Well it took on many faces. One of the charities that we’re riding to Cape Town to raise money and awareness for took Dave, Ryan and I on a tour of Harare to meet some of the pensioners that we’re going to be helping. We met so many pensioners who are dependent upon the charity not just for their board, lodging and medication, but also for hugs and companionship. For me the face that I’m going to remember all the way to Cape Town belongs to tiny little lady who I’ll call Daisy. Daisy took a tumble just before Christmas and broke her right shoulder and her left wrist. Unfortunately her wrist had healed crooked and her doctor had told her that morning that he was going to have to break her arm again to reset it. Daisy was scared stiff at the thought. But despite her fear and her pain, Daisy was brave throughout and quick to laugh. Until I stupidly asked her about her family. All she has left is a brother and a sister, both on the other side of the world. She burst into tears. I wanted to hug her but couldn’t because of her busted shoulder. We also met an old guy who despite a blood pressure of one hundred and eighty over one hundred, all he wanted to do was chat and chat, mostly about palaeontology and ornithology and about what we were doing there. I told him we were riding to Cape Town on mountain bikes to raise money for pensioners like him. He looked me in the eye and asked me if I’d remembered to take my medication that morning.
Dave, Ryan and I were struck by the fact that the charities we are riding for are the only safety net that the pensioners in need have. Please help us to help them by following the donate links on www.oldlegstour.co.zw or on our Old Legs Facebook page.
My training this week has been marred by the ongoing niggle between my bum and my saddle. Which is bad like Mark Spitz falling out with his speedo. Or Donald Trump falling out with Donald Trump. But what to do? My bum says my saddle is going to be a big pain in the arse on a long ride but Jocelyn my granddaughter says my saddle is the coolest thing on my bike. Apart from my brand new rear view mirror that is. Courtesy of Oscar Bekker, I’m able to ride on busy roads, see what make of truck I’m about to be run over by and take suitably evasive action in the ditches and verges. I was pneumatically challenged on two of rides when my puncture proof tubeless tyres got a puncture. Because my tubeless tyres were puncture proof, I didn’t have a pump. But thankfully I was riding with the Herd and I was able to borrow a pump and used it often. Unfortunately no one else in the Herd has heard of the expression many hands make light work and I now know that puncture proof tubeless tyres were invented in the first place because pumping is more tiring than riding. I managed my target of two hundred kilometres this week and was very proud of myself. Until I saw that Dave Whitehead had clocked up a massive three hundred and fifty. The other guys are all pushing hard as well. Al Watermeyer is using the Cape Argus as a warm up, Neal Leach is hitting his stride hard in Bulawayo. We look forward to catching up with Bruce Fivas after a few months pedalling in KZN.
The Old Legs Tour is very proud to welcome on board three new sponsors. The world famous Tin Roof, purveyors of cold beer, good food and good cheer. OZ Import/ Zimflex marketers of the finest cut flowers in the world – including those grown by Running Dog Flowers. And Ezytrack, Zimbabwe’s leading GPS Monitoring Company and inventor of ‘Where is Chicken Legs?’ the world’s least riveting spectator sport and even more boring than watching paint dry. Ezytrack are putting one of their too clever tracking devices on my bicycle so the world can see exactly how slowly I ride.
Alas. For the second time in a month, I have a huge sad on my heart with the passing of Morgan Tsvangirai. Thank you for fighting the good fight. And for teaching us Zimbabweans how to stand up. RIP Morgan.
Until next week, enjoy and pedal hard.
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong