12 Feb 2008

The Wind

Port Elizabeth in South Africa,or PE for short, is known as the friendly city. I have to agree and say it was quite amazing to have strangers walking up to you and starting conversations as if they have known you for years. But PE is also known as the windy city!

We went down to do the VW Herald cycling race, a 105km event. Needless to say it was as usual, just fun. We were quite excited to try our new bike bags, so already the week before, the bikes got bubble wrapped and was ready for the flight. Of course we had to rent a car on the other side and was not sure how we would fit the bikes in a small VW Chico. We had a good flight and so had the bikes. The bike bags were marked as "fragile" and we had no problems dropping them off as luggage or collecting them again. And, best of all, both bikes and luggage fitted into the Chico. Amazing, isn't it.

Back to the race........

Friends took us by car to show us the route the day before the race. What can I say, it is really a beautiful route. For those who have done the popular Argus cycling tour, it is not as difficult, I thought, but the howling South Easter at 26km/h made us shiver in our cycling shoes. So the day dawned with a howling wind, a little less than the day before, but still howling. Some locals swear on a web site where they get the best info for races http://www.windfinder.com/. We did go to the site the night before and just the mere thought cycling in that kind of weather, made us dream of ........ palm trees bending over by the wind, ..........

What can I say? ... It was tough, especially the part where my group dropped me already after 5km. And I thought I was fit. We did pass the most scenic sites, the sea, friendly people cheering us on, always accompanied by the wind. We all finished in style, (if you can call wind a style) but what I cherised about this ride was the fact that the organisers tried to keep the interest of the crowd and make them want to stay till the end when the last person came in. And so there we were standing or sitting on the tar road cheering the last person in. That felt good.
A glorious weekend! I would love to do it again, if finances allowed.

My suggestion to you: Plan new routes, new rides, keep your cycling interesting and fresh.
Just do it!
I just did it.

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