Blog Entry 20 - Day 1
Clearly the phrase ‘The first kilometer is the hardest’ was not coined by a man on a bike riding from Harare to Cape Town. I fed my bottom that line of propaganda as we pedalled out of the Cresta Lodge this morning. My bottom started going off me in a big way from Selous. After kilometer 100, my bottom told me in four letter words that I was a false prophet and nuts to boot and commenced sulking.
A pain in the arse aside, our first leg of 155 kms from Harare to Kadoma went way better than I expected, helped in no small part by the huge send off we got from friends, family and well wishers. Victor, Trevor, Laurie, Rob, Wallace, Rob II and Robin ride out of town with us as far Chivero and the Norton tollgate. I think all were hugely jealous of me, Al, Bruce and Dave when they had to turn around and head back to town.
We had the kindest of tailwinds, apart an extended period of flatulence from Dave at the front of peloton. You’d think that jet propulsion at the expense of the poor buggers riding behind would be up there with sand papering your balls, but apparently it slots in under the aggregation of minimal gain.
Pedaling along on an empty road gives you lots of time to think. Mostly I thought about 3 things. Where the hell are my missing padded bike shorts? Where the hell is Kadoma? And why is it so far out of town?
Ryan and Jenny pulled out all stops on our first cooked breakfast stop, 82 kms into the ride. Best bacon and egg rolls ever.
Replenished we pushed on to Chegutu, fairly whizzing along. Our Old Legs ride jerseys with the Zim flag emblazoned on the back were a big hit in Chegutu. On the outskirts of Chegutu we were met by a bunch of Kadoma riders headed up by Charlie Robinson and Bruce Newman and they escorted us to our home from home, the Kadoma Golf Club.
Team Kadoma won the sprint finish with Shaun Viljoen showing Dave a clean pair of heals. Mostly I think Shaun had heard all about the perils of riding behind Flatulent Dave. We got in almost 2 hours earlier expected. Ant and Ryan went for a bike ride around Kadoma while rest of us showered, etc. And then we were treated to the most wonderful dinner and hospitality, above and beyond. Dave now wants to move to Kadoma.
Today I rode 155 kms, 35 further than my previous best. My legs feel strong for tomorrow, my bottom not so much. Tomorrow is another 155 kms through to Gweru. But they’ll be easy, made so by an elderly gentleman who came down to the Golf Club to thank us for our efforts. He is supported every month by one of the charities that we’re riding for. And so tomorrow’s leg will be easy, ditto the legs that follow.
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong