As a newbie to the dark and dirty ride, I was a little nervous to what lay ahead, but also quit excited about venturing into the dark on my bike. I got to the Moo mall early and waited for the others. I began to wonder if the ride would go ahead, as it was a cold evening out. Eventually Tom arrived, followed by Oupa Gert, Stefan and Brian and we were all good to go.
The five of us set off on the track, and although I had absolutely no idea where I was going, it felt good to be moving swiftly in the dark, with the assurance that the others where there to back me up. We headed to the top of the hill where I was surprised at that the view and how pretty Centurion can be at night. After that we headed down, across Nelmapius Drive and on to the other side of Cornwall Hill, before moving on into the bush. It was then that we got lost. In the middle of the bush with no obvious track or path to follow. Oupa Gert went off looking for a path, but soon returned carrying his bike above his head and covered in blackjacks and tumble weed. We retraced our tracks to a familiar spot and continued with the ride.
Down past Cornwall hill and just before we reached the crossing, I stopped suddenly, but forgot to unhook my foot from the pedal and landed on my side. (Which is why I find myself writing this report.) Brian helped me up and we were good to go. We cycled up the hill, down the road, followed this track, sped along that path and still I had no idea where we were going or where we were. Every now and then, Oupa Gert announced a speed zone, but it just made me realize that my fitness was nowhere it needs to be.
We sped down a hill, through the bat cave and on to a section close to the river. Even though I had 2 pairs of socks on, my toes were freezing. Oupa Gerts Garmin gave an average temperature reading of 1.2 degrees, with a max temperature of 6 degrees and a minimum temperature of -2 degrees. It certainly was a rather fresh ride.
Eventually, 37km later and just after 22:00pm we arrived back at the Moo Mall. I was tired, but strangely energised.
Will I do anther Dark and Dirty Ride? Without a doubt.
I remember asking Brian why he does these crazy rides in the dark. He told me it’s because it makes him feel like a little boy on an adventure. And that is exactly how it made me feel.
See you next week again