Well, this is a perfect definition of a bitter sweet situation I found myself in on the last night ride we did….I unceremoniously dismounted my bike first and hence the report. That was the bitter side of it, but what makes it even worst is that we had not even started riding yet when I fell of, right in the parking lot in front of everyone including my son that joined us for the first time. How embarrassing. But in my defence, I was riding with cleats for the very first time in my life, and being 55 years old now, that is a long time with normal peddles. Worst still I chose my introduction to cleats on a night after a huge rain storm that turned our ride into an absolute mud bath. At a stage we were negotiating a huge mud puddle when I realised I wasn’t going to make it all the way through so I nonchalantly unhooked my pedals and stepped into 6 inches of soft mud. I walked the whole way through. It was hell trying to get my new shoes and pedals to work together as they should for the rest of the night.
But now onto the sweet part of writing this report. It was the 10th anniversary ride and what a special ride it was. I haven’t been riding with the group for a long time, but on that night I saw what a fantastic group of people they all are and how special these rides are.
At the start of the ride we were introduced to a very pleasant guy called Hardy. He as we all now know was the guy who started this whole ride thing 10 years ago. He came through from Joburg to join us for this special occasion, thanks Hardy. After my embarrassing fall the ride proceeded without too many hitches. It seemed like any other ride on a beautiful Thursday evening. Little did we know about an absolute wonderful surprise that awaited us later the evening, even though we had to climb a mother of a "mountain" first.
But before we get there, a little hold up barely 20 minutes into our ride by our friend Chris. Just like last week (see his report) he somehow managed to get another puncture. But unfortunately after attempts by numerous guys it was decided that this time the wheel was irreparable and both Chris and his dad had to call it a night. Sorry Chris, we missed you and your dad. Unfortunately you guys also missed out on our huge surprise later on.
As I mentioned the ride was slow due to all the mud. Hardy and Oupa Gert also took us through a part called wash and go…..we missed the wash part, it was just mud. But what fun.
Then we got to the climb. After negotiating the steep incline, mud and rocks we reached the top, what a view. And then the surprise…..the guys had slogged up that hill carrying, will you believe, cupcakes, muffins, biltong, beers and bottles of Champagne to celebrate 10 years of fun, friends and the most amazing tracks and views across Centurion. Why more people don’t join us is a mystery. We spent about a half an hour chatting, eating, drinking and listening to stories from guys that have been riding for a lot longer than some of the rest.
The rest of the ride back to our cars went without a hitch and when we arrived we all greeted and went our own way but as usual a small group of us met at Whisk for a beer. We chatted for a while before going home. The first thing I did when I got home was wake my wife and tell her about the fantastic night we had just had….thanks to everyone that was involved in making this a very memorable ride.
It’s getting colder at nights now and I don’t know how long I will still be joining during the winter months, but one thing is for sure, come spring I will be at every ride.
Best wishes to all,