This was my 5th Baviaans event and my team mates were two guys, Carl and Peter, both from Cape Town. The other team from the gym was Rodney as the captain, with Amanda, Marle and Mario as team members. My ride went well with Carl and Peter but I do think it is better to train with your team so you know their strong and weak points. This is a marathon event starting at 10:00 on the Saturday morning and ends at 12:00 the next day. Be prepared for your teammates to go through euphoria stages as well as down in the dumps stages. Euphoria when you reach the top of yet another mountain and can appreciate the view and scenery and down in the dumps stages when the legs are getting very tired and there is still 60km to go and it is two in the morning.
Both teams decided to make use of the boxes provided instead of the 4x4 support. So on Friday night every team had to pack their boxes with the stuff they think they might need at that stage of the race. Careful planning is needed here, as there is only one box per checkpoint for the first 3 checkpoints and nothing after that and also only one box per team was allowed. These boxes had to be dropped off on the morning of the race so the truck could drop them off at the different checkpoints.
Saturday morning dawned beautiful and warm, in fact the warmest of all the times I have done this race. More than enough food was available at the different checkpoints. The riders had to make sure to fill their water bottles as this was the driest ever I’ve seen the Baviaans. Normally there would be enough water in the rivers we had to cross. This year the riverbeds were dry.
Reaching Bergplaas we changed our clothes into something warmer for the colder part of the night. There was also a mechanical tent where you could have your bike checked over and the chain oiled etc. That was wonderful to just hand your bike over to the specialists and have something warm to eat in the meantime. Now it was time for the very steep descent. Take care and rather ride conservatively than having a fall and ruining your bike and the chances of finishing the ride. Once at the bottom of the mountain it is plain sailing to the next checkpoint, Komdomo.