Old Legs 2018 Tour
Blog Entry 25 - Day 7
Today we rode 145 km from the Cresta Marang in Francistown to a goat paddock on the left just past the middle of nowhere. After 100 km my arse told me it didn’t want to come on this holiday in the first place. And it now hates me. In fact if my arse was a tattoo artist, it would tattoo the words HATE and HATE on both sets of my knuckles. .
Again the weather was kind with a tail wind and overcast conditions. We made the most of the favorable conditions and our peloton whizzed along at an average of 25 kph, with all of us taking turns working the front.
We flew two flags on the ride today, me the Zim flag and Bruce the Botswanan flag. The Botswana flag was especially a hit and we rode all day in a cacophony of goodwill with passing truckers and motorists honking and hooting their support. Please be impressed at my use of the word cacophony.
We love the Botswana feel good. I think it goes hand in hand with having no potholes and no poverty. I want to ride bikes here with President Ed so he can also feel the love. If Botswana next door can do it, so can we.
What with riding so fast and with all the noise from the truckers, it was difficult to hold be a serious conversation in the peloton. But we did. Mostly we debated the name of rock band we would form, had we been born with even a smidgen of musical talent between us. Dave, that bereft of tone , was only allowed in on the very periphery of the conversation. In the end we decided our rock band would be called Badger and the Broekslangs. I hope to play the electric triangle.
The Tour synergy is contagious. In the support vehicle, Ryan and Jenny have found middle ground on Ryan’s smoking. Ryan is allowed to smoke cigarettes but only when they stop for Jenny to have a wee. Ryan is very concerned that he’s fast becoming a forty a day man.
Like the Bushmen of the Kalahari, my strategic fat reserves are stored in my buttocks. Unfortunately I exhausted them in Kadoma and am now losing weight I do not have.
Spending 6 to 7 hours in the saddle day in day out, trying to eat enough is a battle. But it is proving really good for our marriage. I so look forward to seeing Jenny around every corner.
Jenny and Ryan are doing a great job of feeding us but fear it is not enough. So Dave and I stopped at some road side traders to buy some high protein and very nutritious mopani worms. The worm sales ladies were big , fat with a polished sales spiel so had no option but to try one. Scared Dave opted out of his option and so I ate mopani worms alone. The worms looked really crap and tasted worse.
I’d rather eat the very many very dead dogs lying very squashed on the highway that Bruce Fivaz the vet as opposed to Bruce the cyclist has so far shown less than zero inclination to fix them. I told him James Herriot could’ve would’ve fixed them and got their tails wagging again. I told Bruce he should read more James Herriot books and suck up on empathy and fuzzy warm bedside manner. Bruce told me to depart in a sexually explicit manner.
We walked into the goat paddock just past the middle of nowhere that we now call home at about 15.30,. We mostly walked because the last 2 kms were through thick unridable sand. We’re sharing our goat paddock with a herd of goats and the shepherd guy who gave us permission to camp, falsely as it turned out as we learnt from the farmer / owner who pitched up after we’d finished pitching our tents. Luckily the farmer/ owner is also a Zimbabwean and is letting us stay but he’s going to have a word with the casual employee who gave us the nod.
It took us about an hour to pitch camp. Dave’s predator proof tent went up very quickly. Which is not surprising because it is so small. It is a one man tent, provided the one man is short like a dwarf. Bummer for Dave there is only room inside the tent for half his stretcher. When we get to the hungry lions of the Kalahari and because the tent is of sturdy construction, Dave’s top half will be perfectly safe, but his bottom half not so much.
Tomorrow we have less than 100 kms into Mahalaype. We’ll push them hard so we can have a half day to rest up for 2 timed 160 km plus legs into Gaborone. We’ll be riding into Gabs from Moleopole. Neil McAdam has arranged a group of riders to ride in with us.
145 was a struggle for me today so I’m hoping that either my Vitamin B jabs or the Mopane worms kick in.
I googled Sore Arse syndrome and treatment options are limited. Donors permitting, you can go for the very expensive and seldom successful buttock transplant. Or you can numb it with many donations. Our Cimas medical aid won’t cover buttock transplants so please donate, donate,
Transfers to Ecobank Zimbabwe Ltd, Bradfield Branch Bulawayo,
Account Name: Bulawayo Help Network, Account Number 0041087600345101
Or donate using PayNow visit
via Ecocash 0782736879 in the name of Michael Carter.
Ouwtside Zimbabwe donate through
Until tomorrow, pedal if you can and enjoy
Eric who ate a worm and lived but only just.