Old Legs 2018 Tour
Blog Entry 41 - Day 24
We were in a coffee shop in Clanwilliam enjoying breakfast and Wifi when Dave told me I hadn’t moved in 3 days and 2 hours. It was a bold statement. According to the Chicken Legs tracking device on my bike supplied by Ezytrack, I was still somewhere between Brandvlei and Calvinia. Now no movement on my bike in 3 days is very slow, even by my standards so I told him his technology had malfunctioned. He told me to check the batteries in the unit. I told him the unit had a battery life of forever. He told me to check the unit. Alas. I couldn’t. The unit was no longer on my bike. Together with my first best bike saddle bag and trusty puncture repair kit, apparently it is in a laybye somewhere between Brandvlei and Calvinia. If someone picks it up, please contact me on Facebook. Apologies to Grant Weare at Ezytrack.
I might well have photographic evidence of exactly where I left my saddle bag and tracking unit. My son Gary gave me a Go Pro camera to capture the Tour with. Ryan told me tonight that so far I have taken 61000 photos and videos. Would you believe my Go Pro has a photo burst function that has allowed me to take 3 photos a minute, through most of Botswana and the Northern Cape, including hopefully the bit between Brandvlei and Calvinia. And oh what fun I’ll have editing out any bad photos I’ve taken of my thumb, the inside of my shirt pockets were I store the Go Pro
Our target night stop tonight was supposed to be Porterville, 130 km from last night’s home from home, the Traveller’s Rest in the Cederberg Wilderness area. We never got to Porterville. We only managed 100 kms today, mostly because someone put too many mountain passes in the way. In total, we climbed 1750 meters today.
Our first climb of the morning was the Pakhuis Pass, a 12.4 km shocker that took us over the Cederberg Mountains with a 20 % gradient in places and with an overall average gradient of 4.6 %. Dave said it would be classed as Category One climb in the Tour de France. Half way up, all I wanted to do was turn around and go back down to Brandvlei to look for my missing saddle bag and tracking unit.
Yesterday I waffled on about how good rides should have a bit of hurt in them. I would now like to formally retract that statement. It is a load of bollocks.
We slogged along all day on the busy N7 highway, Ryan included on his shiny new Momsen, fighting with hills and headwinds. According to my GPS, it was level pegging in terms of altitude but my GPS is a liar. The hills I rode up today were steeper on the upside than they were on the downside and by my reckoning, we should be back up at about 1400 meters a.s.l.
And then for fun, we finished off the day with the Pienckenier’s Kloof Pass, a 5.9 km climb with a 5.3 % gradient that was harder to ride than it was to spell.
Half way up the last bloody mountain, I lost faith in bicycles as a mode of transport, especially for steep bits and have started canvassing for alternative applications. Andrew Chadwick reliably informs me that his Niner makes for an excellent laundry rack.
Our thanks today for their unwavering support goes out to Kieth Bell, Ian Armstrong, Shevaun, Timmy and staff at Cropserve. And we’d also like to thank Leith, Debbie and Jessica Bray at the Tin Roof Bucket Bar and Bistro for their generous sponsorship. The Old Legs Team looks forward to buying all our sponsors, friends and sponsors a beer at the Tin Roof when we get home, in the interest of fluid replacement.
Tomorrow we ride to the Painted Wolf Wines in Paarl for our penultimate night on the Old Legs Tour before riding in to the Vista Marina at the Waterfront on Thursday late morning/ lunchtime Jeremy Borg from Painted Wolf Wines will ride out to join us on the road tomorrow to make sure we don’t get lost. And hopefully to help us find the down hill bits as promised by Bruce.
Until tomorrow, enjoy and pedal if you can
Eric Chicken Legs de Jong