27 Jun 2007

It Was Tough!

The Winter Challenge

And so, once again, Bulla was out in full force to conquer the mighty Winter Challenge. And what a tough challenge it was.

The alarm went off at 5:45............damn, it was suppose to go off at 4:45. We were suppose to be on the road at 5:45, bikes packed and stacked on the trailer. So after running around like nuts, we left in record time. Because this was to be an unique event of 70km tar and 30km dirt, we had to get our Mountain bikes in the change over area before the start of the race. Decisions, decisions, long gloves, another pair of arm warmers, leg warmers, bare legs.... and we were off!

The course was hilly; rolling hills, long climbing hills, lung breakers and there were two laps of it. We made it, still feeling fairly strong, getting to the change over as quickly as possible. And there the other challenge started. Which way Douglas Green? No, no, walk over the lawn pushing your bike. You're not allowed to ride it yet. OK Mam, you've been ticked off our list, now please follow the others. Which others, where? I did manage to sort of find the start just to find myself later on a very narrow hiking trail going up a steep mountain with a vertical drop of a few hundred metres just to my right. No wonder they planted the first aid guys with stretchers and equipment there. Beautiful view but no time for the view because I forgot to pack my hiking boots and my mountain bike was definitely not made for walking, because it kept on shoving its pedals against my calf muscles. More climbing and dragging my bike, up and up.
The down was almost as bad and I decided to save myself from a good possibility of a fall and to rather walk the steep down as well, except my bike decided he would like to go for a gallop and I had to use every arm muscle to reel him in and keep him from flying downhill without me.
At last there came the time for getting on my bike and start cycling again. Except this time it was against the electric fence. One too many a stone and you might end up in a shocking state. At last we hit the tar road again, but is that where I wanted to be?
Confusion at the gate. Between waving marshals and cars leaving and spectators welcoming in there loved ones, I miraculously did find the start of the second lap. Yes, a second lap. Nobody told us, but here I was again dragging my bike up the mountain.
I did find the end, it was there where the timing mat was, and my medal and my friends waiting for me with cold beers, soft juicy lamb on a bread roll listening to their story of their race.
It was tough. I'm sure the organisers will sort out the mountain bike part. In all we had fun.

Some other news
  • The Bulla shirts have been ordered and hopefully we will have them soon. Will keep you posted.
  • The cheaper price on the 16:30 class is falling away from 1st July. You will still get your classes at a very good price. R220 for 11 classes.
  • There is still time to enter for the Tshwane lap race around the Union Buildings.
  • Remember your next booking is just a sms away.
  • A new poll all about music. What is it that you listen to? Let us know, bring some Cd's and we will try to programme them into a class.
  • Watch this space for news on an organised ride on Sunday 15 July. With sweep vehicle, beer and sandwiches.

No comments: