13 Dec 2009

Kremetart 6 June 2009

Do yourself a favour and set aside a weekend to do the Krematart ride in Louis Trichardt. It is truly the best, friendliest, with over the top goodie bag, organised race you can imagine.

We arrived still in daylight on the Friday at our hotel, which was about 1km from the start. Perfect! Our rooms were brand new, not lived in before, but perfect. Once the bikes were off loaded and we were registered and while marvelling over the goodie bag, we settled in at the pub for a few welcome drinks. With the pasta dinner behind us it was time for bed, so we would be fresh for the long ride the next day, 175km in all.

There is just no better place to train during winter. While Gauteng is stuck in a bitter cold winter the northern parts of the country has very mild weather. Off we went on the first part of the race, which was about 48km. Starting off with a very steep climb of about 11km, but once over the top a race through the tunnels and a fairly flat stretch of road. Nowhere near the traffic like on the Gauteng roads. We reached the first stop for breakfast! Amazing! Everyone has something to eat, from soup, to sandwiches to yoghurt to muffins and coffee.
Everyone lines up for the second part of the race; about 52km. Every time the race was a precision start, with the pros starting first and ending with the Comrades, that’s us. This section is fairly flat and as long as you can stay with the bunch to help you through the windy patches, it is great. Reaching the next stop, we had lunch. Again, everything was so well organised. You could choose between a warm pie, or a roll with cheese and salad all nicely wrapped. Enough drinks to fill your bottles for the next stage. We found a nice shady spot to sit and were just watching the other riders and enjoying our lunch pack.
Lining up for the third stage after lunch and in the heat of the day, another 53km. This stage has always been to me the most difficult of the four stages. My legs were feeling a little lazy after the break and I know a few climbs were lying ahead. Here again, if you can stay with a few riders to help you set a pace, you will be ok. Every 100m of the last 1km were marked out. It was a steep climb and with very tired legs every 100m felt like a 1000. Reaching the top you were welcomed with a packet of sweets! Jelly babies, chocolates and biscuits. Very welcome indeed.
The last stage is only 22km, which would bring you back into town again. Put your head down and go as hard as you can, except you have to go over a climb first. On the other side of the climb is Louis Trichardt. Racing through town was quite something with the streets lined with supporters. We made it! We were over the line and were welcomed with a cold beer.

The prize giving was a fantastic affair with braai fires going and potjie kos and plates heaped with food. More cold beer and a lucky draw win made this one of the most memorable rides of 2009.
Leaving the town the next morning after another hearty breakfast, we were stopped by the traffic police, only to be showered with more gifts and fruit from the organisers. Tell your friends and be there next year. It is fantastic! Get even more information form www.kremetartcycling.co.za

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