Old Legs 2018 Tour
Blog Entry 28 - Day 10
Sorry to once again make my bottom the start point of my blog but it has become the centre of my universe. Every time I pedal, it hurts.
I have been inundated with helpful hints on how to fix sore bottom and have tried most, all unsuccessfully. And after 1133 km of this ride, I now know that my problem stems from the fact that my bottom was born a vegetarian i.e. no strictly no meat. The result is bone on bone. And like the princess and the pea, immune to extra padding. Alas. Which is a bummer of a conclusion to arrive at when you’ve done the sums and worked out that you’ve got 2035 kms left to ride
Today’s 152 km ride from Boatlamane village to Gaborone was especially harsh. The peloton worked hard on going fast and there was no room for banter or chit chat, bar my whingeing and whining.
Dave who has a lot of meat beneath told me to suck it up, exclude the pain and focus on other stuff. Like my Garmin. And it worked. Watching the numbers tick down 1 by 1 was therapeutic and sort of bum numbing. Then the batteries on my Garmin conked out. Alas.
So I shifted focus to the landscape. Which in the middle of Botswana with zero hills and just bushes, worked for not very long. Then it was back to stressing about the pain in my arse that my bottom has been reduced to.
So I shifted focus to the donkeys and counted them instead. And almost nodded off. Then I saw, painted on the road in white paint, a marker for km 166. And after a kilometer, km 167. And so on. I was back in business. And then the painter guy obviously ran out of paint because the numbers just stopped. Another alas.
Bruce told me he sorts his sore arse problems out by shifting his weight from one buttock to the other. But that doesn’t work when both buttocks are squabbling for the most sore award.
Ryan picked up on my discomfort at the breakfast stop, not difficult given the volume of my whingeing. And fished out a jar of Arnica Ice. And it worked. Instant, soothing relief. Arnica Ice is blue and it makes your bum cold and the relief lasts for about 30 minutes plus. I’m going to buy a bucket of the stuff in Gaborone.
Ryan is now my best friend on Tour and I’ll never nominate him for another Dick of the Day award. Apart from tonight. Ryan started the Tour with 3 pairs of shoes and is now down to just 1. He left his Reebok CrossFit’s on the roof of the car when he drove out of Boatlamane this morning and was most surprised when they weren’t there when he stopped for breakfast. What a Dick.
Dave and Leachie sandpapered their balls by blatantly drafting a road maintenance tractor. Bruce and I were appalled. On top of being appalled, I was furthermore disappointed when the tractor slowed down to less than my riding speed when I also tried to draft.
Dave was hampered by numerous bush stops to reacquaint himself with the consequences of his lactose intolerance. Silly boy.
Badger and the Broekslangs rocked today, especially after the introduction of Arnica Ice and the first 100 kms into Molepolole took just over 4 hours. I even had time for a power nap after our road side lunch, as did Bruce.
And then it was onto Gaborone and the best welcome ever!! We were met at the 20 km peg by a huge contingent of cyclists headed up by Neil McAdam, Bruce and Sean and the Ultimate Cycle Base's development team resplendent in orange, plus support vehicles bossed up by Jacques and three yellow ambulances complete with sirens bossed up by Morne from Emergency Assist 991 to help us negotiate the hectic traffic through downtown Gaborone.
The next 20 kms was my best ride ever. We started off slow, cyclists hemmed in front and back by the yellow ambulances. Who switched on their sirens when they got to the first set of robots and the traffic parted. Whence upon Dave’s testosterone commenced to slosh.
Like a kid at Christmas, he couldn’t help himself and threw down a sprint challenge to the Ultimate Cycle Base team. And it was game on. From about 6 kms out. It was beyond hectic. Stupidly I hung onto the front bunch for the first 2 kms, then I was blown. Ditto Ryan who joined us for the ride in on his brand new and shiny Momsen. Cleverly Leachie and Bruce avoided the sprint temptation. And so Dave disappeared off into the middle distance with no team mates, surrounded by Ultimate Cycle Base orange jerseys.
Dave’s race report to a jealous Al Watermeyer back in Harare reads as follows
“It was a fair race. I sort of knew where to go as we were guided in by the emergency services blowing sirens at every intersection... What a heap of fun and awesome to be at the front of the train! They were strong, the team of Cycle Base riders attacked me multiple times but I didn't crack and chased all of them down. I lost the race in the sprint for Cresta but was happy with 3rd place for Old Legs... minutes in front of the bunch.” And that after 152 kms.
When I eventually huffed and puffed into Cresta Lodge, there was a bar and snacks on the lawn outside for all the riders, hosted by the Neil, Brenda and the Coastal Hire team. Neville Sparrow from Ultimate Cycle Base offered us free bike repairs and services to make sure we are in good shape for the rest of the tour. Then we were joined by Berenice Muller, originally from Bulawayo, who handed over a generous donation and the offer of free rest day massages for the Old Legs riders. And then we were welcomed to the Cresta Lodge by General Manager B Dass a.k.a. Dass and his team. And what a hotel!! Ryan will put photos on the web tomorrow.
It was all a bit too much for me. I’m just a hack social rider trying to do a bit of good whilst enjoying the best bike holiday of my life with my mates and I get given a red carpet welcome like something out of a movie by people I don’t know. I want to come and live in Gaborone.
As I type it has just turned midnight. We’re a third of the way through our amazing Old Legs Tour and so far we’ve raised over $15000, almost a third of our $55000 Target. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your help and support.
Until next blog from the Kalahari
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong