The Cape Town Cycle Tour, an event whose recent history has been dogged by controversy, natural phenomena and plain bad luck. This year was no different as there had been a severe drought in the weeks and months leading up to the event in Cape Town which at one point made the organisers seriously consider cancelling the event. In the past four years we have been attending this event we have had everything from protests and demonstrations to fires and 100kph winds. In this period, we have only ridden the full 109km course ONCE!
Its a good thing Cape Town is a shockingly beautiful place with lots of things to do and enjoy. I’ve said it before but it is worth saying again: “if God lived on earth, he would definitely have an apartment in Cape Town”. The incredible views from the ‘Buddies’ villa balcony rammed the point home. This was my fourth straight year of coming to Cape Town and I am still taking aback by the beauty of the place.
I was the first of the “London Cycling Buddies” to arrive in Cape Town. There were 7 of us from this group who were taking part in this fabulous event. There were also many of our extended cycling family from Nigeria, the US and many other places making the annual pilgrimage to Cape Town for the event. These days were spent settling in to my usual functional but excellent Waterfront hotel, assembling the bike and going on bike check and acclimatising rides as Cape Town was a good 25 degrees hotter than it was in the UK. Myself and 4 other buddies rode up table mountain on the Friday. Fortunately, the event WAS going ahead as the organisers had gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the event did not make the water shortage worse. Some of these measures included trucking in millions of gallons of water from parts of South Africa that were not affected by the drought. Kudos to them.
I spent the rest of Thursday in bed as I had picked up a bug that was going round in the city. Sigh. Luckily I found a very good local pharmacist who gave me a cocktail of drugs and advised me to rest. My participation in the race on Sunday looked in doubt, let alone my stated aim of covering the 109km course in under 3hrs 30 minutes.
I managed to drag myself out of bed on Friday morning to visit the Expo at the nearby cape Town stadium where registration for the Cycle Tour took place I then had lunch at one of the best seafood restaurants in Cape Town, Willoughby’s, in the V & A Waterfront. I headed back to the hotel to pick up my bike from the excellent Giant store nearby. At short notice, they managed to repair the rear wheel which had a spoke come loose.
I then retired to bed.
I felt a bit better on Saturday morning as I prepared to ride to Camps Bay with our CS (Chief Shepherd) for a breakfast meet with the rest of the extended cycling fraternity. I knew I would be taking part in the ride but in what condition? I headed back to the hotel for breakfast and to begin to prepare my bike, pinning race numbers and stickers to jersey and helmet and organise my on-bike nutrition. On a long and fast ride like this, proper on-the-bike feeding can be the difference between a great ride and an ordinary one.
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