Old Legs 2018 Tour – Blog Entry Twelve – D Day minus just 42.
According to previously unknown facts recently made up, Louis the Fourteenth was offered a choice between the guillotine and a stationary bicycle. And having spent a week on a stationary bicycle, I now know why Louise went with the guillotine. What a miserable instrument of torture, the stationary bicycle is. An ex-friend lent me one when my brand new, second-hand Momsen Vipa suffered a rear wheel bearing malfunction. Alas. But the preparations for the Old Legs Tour march on relentlessly. And so I’ve possibly struggled through my allotted 200 kilometres this week, on my bedroom veranda and on my ex-friend’s stationary bike, with only the sight of the same boring bush, and faithful my dog, for company. Mostly the bush though. My faithful dog, who now clearly thinks I’m mental, left me to it after after the first 5 kms. At least I think I rode for 100 kms because the measuring dials on the stationary bike were busted, no doubt by a previous stationary cyclist. I should’ve measured my efforts in sweat. I now know the human body contains way more than seven litres of sweat. Well, mine used to. Not anymore. Although the boring bush next to my bedroom veranda is now clearly struggling.
Elsewhere and with just 42 days to the off, the other guys are getting to grips with their training in earnest. Dave Whitehead continues to annoy, racking up 350 kms in a week effortlessly. Al Watermeyer is off to Cape Town to do the Argus and to recce our Calvinia through to Cape Town Legs. Neal Leach a.k.a. Leachie, the last rider to sign up to the Tour crunched an impressive 247.5 kms in his first proper week back in the saddle, at some cost to his bottom. Which makes me feel that my +/- 140 litres of sweat was not enough. Alas.
Bar our very last leg to Cape Point and/or the Waterfront and/or Bloubergstrand, our route is now cast in stone and captured in our Garmins. We will ride 3,168 kilometres in 27 days, just 185 kilometres less than the 2018 edition of the Tour de France, gaining 11321m elevation in the process. In keeping with the theory that Cape Town is at sea level and Harare up high, we’ll also lose 12704 m, but that is by the by. We will average 132 kilometres a day but have 6 monster days of 160 kilometres plus, including one with 1300 meters of climb. We’ll ride South Africa’s longest dirt road, 272 kilometres from Calvinia to Ceres, through the Karoo with zero cell phone signal, fuel stations or shops. Bar a few unknowns, Hotazel included, Jenny has made firm bookings for most nights. AJ and Debbie Bradnick are hosting us on their Plumtree farm which will be a cool catch up. I last drank beer with AJ 38 years ago. Thanks to corporate sponsors Cresta Hotels, we’re styling in sumptuous comfort in Bulawayo, Francistown, Mahalaype and Gaborone. We’ll be sleeping rough in the bush in the middle of nowhere on just 4 nights, mostly surrounded by hungry lions according to Dave’s exhaustive internet research and runaway imagination.
Alas. We’ve got even further than Cape Town to go to get to our fundraising target of $55,000. Which is a monstrously big target to focus on. So we’ve asked the charities that we are supporting to break it down into more manageable chunks for us.
- $60 raised, pays for a pensioner’s high blood pressure medicines for 6 months
- A $100 donation pays for a pensioner’s cataract operation
- $190 donated sorts out diabetic medicines for 6 months
- $255 covers the costs of 1 balanced nutritious meal a day for1 pensioner for 6 months
- $335 allows ZANE to treat a child born with clubfoot
- $420 pays for a week’s course of antibiotics for 50 pensioners.
Please adopt a granny in need, rope some friends in, and follow the donate prompts on www.oldlegstour.com or on the Old Legs Tour Facebook page and chase it down. Help us get to $55,000 before we get to Cape Town!
In anticipation of another week of missed targets, I need to tell you that my training has been disrupted by an unavoidable business trip. Unfortunately the Dubai hotel I’m staying in has a gym complete with stationary bikes. And in another alas, stationary bikes aren’t the only form of torture I’ve been subjected to. Courtesy of the chap in the mosque next door who has a healthy set of lungs and an even more impressive sound system, I’ve been introduced to the benefits of sleep deprivation. The poor chap works so hard. First time I heard him in the middle of the night, I thought he’d smacked his thumb with a hammer. But then he got me again, seemingly just a few hours later at 05.00 a.m. It’s amazing how much acoustics improve before the sun gets up. To try and recover, I opted for a lunch time snooze. Only for him to get me again. I swear he can see into my room. Alas. It will be a long week. But here’s hoping I’ll catch up next week, Inshallah.
Until next week, pedal hard and enjoy.
Eric the sweaty and stationary de Jong.