Blog Entry Sixteen – D Day minus only 18.
We’re riding to Cape Town to raise not just money for the pensioners but also awareness as to their plight. As part of the awareness campaign, I started talking to schools this week. The first school I went to was my granddaughter Jocelyn’s. Standing in front of a room of under twelve’s, I thought I’d break the ice with a bit of humour and told the kids that Jocelyn thought I was 108 years old. I got zero reaction. Bar the one kid whose face asked the question “And so?” Feeling a tad rattled, I told them that we were riding our bikes all the way to Cape Town. More zero reaction. Feeling a lot rattled, I asked if any of the kids had ever been to Cape Town. A few hands went up. Had any of the kids done the trip by car? One hand stayed up. How long did it take you I asked the boy in the back row? Two hours and twenty minutes he told me. Mostly his dad likes to drive at 248 miles per hour he said. Wow said his schoolmates. I told him that he’d maybe got his wires a bit muddled up. I could tell from their scathing looks, the other kids thought I was trying to rain on his parade, jealous just because I’d couldn’t ride that fast on my bike. So I retreated to the safety of my prepared script and told them that throughout their lives it was important that they look after their bodies by spending less time on tablets and phones and more time on bicycles and outdoors, that they be charitable and they look after those less fortunate and thirdly, that they do epic, wherever possible. If faced with a choice between a short hill and a tall hill for a view, I told them always go for the tallest view possible. Apart from the bit about less time on their phones and tablets, I think the talk went down well and I hope to give it to other schools both before and after the Tour.
The debate on the state of my bottom raged throughout the week. I have been inundated with sound suggestions, ranging from firm saddles to no saddles, from nappy cream to training in a green mankini. I’m going to take them all on board, bar possibly the green mankini. I don’t look good in green and apparently a lilac mankini won’t work. Alas. This week I went with Lauren Richmond’s many layers suggestion. It’s a tactic that has saved my bottom before, back when I was an Allan Wilson smoker. Here’s how it works. First up a generous lathering of Sudocrem a.k.a. nappy cream followed by a pair of stout underpants followed by a pair of padded lycra riding shorts followed by a pair of padded baggy riding shorts, all on top of a generous gel saddle. I am now taller when I sit than when I stand, my feet struggle to reach the pedals and it took half an hour for some flatulence to exit on a ride yesterday. I don’t know if that sort of blow back down there is medically healthy, ditto the global warming that was going on in my nether regions but what the hell, my bottom remained unfeeling throughout the one hundred eighty kilometres I rode over the weekend. Viva the many layers and bollocks to the pursuit of street cred.
Our fundraising efforts continue to gather momentum. I would like to give a big shout out around the world to Shaun Matthews, Stuart Douglas, Pete Brodie, Nick Thomas, Rod Dawson, Derrick Johnston, Jason Bekker, Marcel Moerman, Helen Wolfardt, Tim and Irene Brehem and Susan Swain, all of whom used the www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oldlegs2018tour link this week to great effect. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! And the Old Legs Brotherhood continues to grow. Hendrik Roux who we have never met has offered all of us accommodation not just in Uppington in Northern Cape where he lives, but also in Olifantshoek and Brandvlei. The logistics of our venture continue to daunt. In her role of cook and nutritionist, Jenny has just been reliably informed by Google that the riders can expect to burn up 600 calories per hour x 8 hours of riding a day equalling to a massive 4800 calories per day. Which works out at 16 cheeseburgers. Thankfully I like cheeseburgers.
In closing I’d like to tell you a story about my dear friend Ant who just completed the Argus. His grandson interrogated him post the event. “Bumper, did you come 1st, Kieron asked.” “No Kieron, I didn’t come 1st.” “That’s OK Bumper, 2nd is also good.” “Thanks K.” Ant left out the bit about coming 25372nd. Viva the back of the peloton. That’s where all the good stuff happens. Crossing the line and enjoying is what really matters.
Until next weekend, pedal hard and enjoy
Eric Upright and Tall in the Saddle.