Old Legs 2018 Tour
Blog Entry 30 - Day 13.
Half the Old Legs Tour is behind us. Alas. Two phrases came to mind on today’s 136 km ride from Jwaneng to Khakhea- Mad Dogs and Englishmen out in the mid day sun and Testicular Strangulation.
The countryside we rode through today was vast, flat, utterly featureless and hugely hot. Just like my nether regions beneath my triple padding. I am now seriously worried about loss of circulation and testicular strangulation. Bruce is a vet and gave me a free consult on things to be alarmed about. Things turning blue and then green is not good, and neither is a preponderance of flies. So far, so good. Viva Arnica Ice.
We rode out of Jwaneng at 06.30 and with a gentle side wind from our right to left, made good time to Sekoma, averaging close on 24 kph for the +/- 80 kms.
I kept my eyes peeled for meerkats but saw none. I think Botswana has a meerkat population is limited to the one that Dave saw but never showed me.
I am in awe of the two pairs of Old Legs on Tour, Bruce and Leachie, aged 72 and 70 respectively. Today was not easy but both rode with power, never skipping a beat.
Dave is the sheepdog of the peloton, bossing up the order of the ride, reading the wind direction, riding long stints out front, encouraging the stragglers and the rider out front, etc etc. He is the strongest rider in the group by a country mile, maintaining an incredibly high cadence of I’m guessing between 100 and 120. High cadence takes the tired out of your legs on a long day. I tried to copy but my legs can’t go round that fast.
No one was in a hurry to get back on his bike after a delicious late breakfast served up by Jenny and Ryan. If I wasn’t already married to Jenny, I’d propose to her in a heart beat. If you think this is an attempt to suck up to her in an attempt to avoid further Dick of the Day nominations, you are right. And it failed.
With 56 kms left to ride, we turned south at Sekoma, straight into the most viscous head wind. Our average speed dropped to just 17 kph. The wind has been a big factor in all our afternoon sessions.
Dave and I played car cricket while we rode. We haggled over the rules and settled on the following- a large truck passing scored 6 runs, either a Mercedes or a BMW scored 4 and any other passing car was good for 1 run. A passing bus was out clean bowled.
The road was that quiet it took 15 minutes for the first delivery of the match. Unfortunately it was a bus and I went out for a Golden Duck. Nothing much has changed since Allan Wilson under 15 B’s.
3 hours later when we arrived at Khakhea, Dave was on 56 for 2 with lots of his runs having come in boundaries. He refuses to declare and now wants to turn the ODI into a 5 day test. I am thinking about sandpapering my ball.
Khakhea is our destination for the night, a mere dot on the map, a tiny village. We are sleeping at the Chief’s offices. The villagers in Khakhea are happy, polite people and greeted us warmly as we rode in. Small wonder they’re happy. Tiny as it is, Khakhea boasts street lights, drinking water on tap and a public phone booth. Take a note Zimbabwe.
Tomorrow’s ride of 125 kms in the general direction of the Tshabong border post will take us over the half way mark. Alas.
Last night we went to Jwaneng Golf Club for dinner and had to catch a taxi because we were too tired to ride bikes and can only fit 2 people in the car. I was asked how we are going to fit 4 people plus 6 bikes in for the trip home. ( Bruce is flying home and Ryan is going home to PE) I have no idea. My exit strategy out of Cape Town has as much forethought and planning as a lemming’s on his way over the cliff. My best hope is that we all lose lots of weight and all our kit by the time we get to Cape Town.
Tomorrow we ride 130 km to a piece of bush between Khakhea and Thabong border post.
Until then, enjoy and get on a bike if you can
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong