Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Great Journey, The in Laws, The Epic, The Black Man, and Uncharted Lands for the BUZZ

Christelle winning yet another Triathlon!!
Buzz's blog about Christelle's Cape Epic and other adventures in South Africa
The day started with a long haul flight from Sydney to uncharted territory in Johannesburg in South Africa. I was off to meet the OUTLAWS......... Me being the jammy bugger that I am just happened to roll to the front of the queue and end up in one of water feature clients line. She promptly smiled and ushered my very over weight bag through to baggage and locked out the entire row of seats next to me on the plane and then handed me an express ticket for customs. Bang I was away, happy days and good signs for what lay ahead. After a great feed in the airport at Dank St Depot where I had what must've been the best bacon ever tasted with some poached eggs and a great cap to boot I was off into the express line. For about 15mins I knew what it felt like to be Foz with the red carpet and rolled out and no punters to push through in big lines.

Flight went to plan and we actually hit the tarmac a tad early. With no hassles on the other end it was straight through to what was supposed to be a welcoming party of `Safa's. Instead, I found myself abandoned for the next half hour. No drama's really as I was taking lots in at the airport. Christelle arrived with her Ma in tow, happy greetings and we were off to the homestead. After 14 hrs on the plane, 5 movies and 45mins sleep it was about 4 in the afternoon and we made it to the outside security gates at C's parents place. They are in a gated community, for obvious safety reasons in the volatile lands of South Africa and especially dangerous area of Joburg. The place is a great homestead right on top of the hill with 360 degree views, little Jack Russel's running around everywhere and a couple of water features trickling away in the background. The favourite dish of Ox tail stew was on the menu and my first hit of the meat frenzied diet I was about to endure for the next 3 weeks. Great meal I must say and the Oldies very accommodating and friendly. By now, I was busted and needed sleep knowing I had a massive 14hrs on the road from Joburg to Capetown the next morning.

Joburg to Capetown was a massive undertaking with 2 Jack Russell's in the car and 6 bikes (3 being the Bro's kids bikes) and the car was chocker's. Off we went at 5am sharp. The sights heading out of Joburg were interesting to say the least, with regular utes passing by with 5-10 Black's in the back on their way to work, certainly a sight that you don't see in Oz. Cars travelling around 160km an hour on the freeways was not unusual either. Out of the city, it was similar to the Sydney to Melbourne trip. Scenery wise for a large part it was ongoing hay plains thrown in until you hit 2 hrs from Capetown where the mountains just spring right up at you and the scenery becomes magic. We had left in the dark and arrived in the dark. With 2 x 14 hrs travel hits I was in the box and needed sleep, two pieces of toast with something similar to vegemite but way off the mark for taste and I was in zzzzz land.

Now let me say at this point a bug bear that had presented itself was these black fellas that either walk behind you begging for coin and being pests or then there are guys who think they are parking guides for your car. Everytime you pull up to a parking spot or parking lot they seem to think you need help getting into the spot and then put there hand out for some cash. "Get Stuffed Boy and get out of my way hey" I'm not far out sorted one out with my elbow son Ii must say. They even walk up the middle of the lane at the lights, yes even when the traffic is moving trying to sell you anything from papers to some homemade trash to a bag of dogshit, I'm sure. If your window is not up you'll have black on white in your front window. They may well become a speed hump for an Aussie in 4WD soon........


Magic place with awesome scenery and some of the best road cycling I've seen. Brilliant climbs and coast roads that take your breath away. The morning rides here would be something I must say and the weekend ones crackers. Not sure how safe we would all be on the road though with little care for cyclists over here. You would certainly have to pick your roads. C and her Bro Ben and I took off on a tap along the Cape coast road for a body wake up and to open the senses. It was about an hour tap where I nearly threw up. My heart rate hit the roof on the climb out of town. With jetlag well and truly hitting me hard and not having raised the heart rate for a few days I was hurting. I didn't want the Bro to gap me so I stuck solid to his wheel as I do and C was hurting a little as well trying to find her legs after a 14hr stint in the car the previous day as well. All good in the end and a magical little ride with the KMD kit well on show in the CAPE. It was C's birthday so we took off for the cable car trip up Table Mountain. MAGIC is all that needs to be said here. Cracking views and top weather made it lakker lakker (Safa for awesome). So by now I had met the oldies, the Bros, the Sis, The kids, The dogs, The honkies and that would just about do it for now.

Cape Epic - The Prologue

After all the registration and the build to the race at the Water Front in Capetown it was off to Fish Hook for our accom in a quaint little B&B literally on the water. Brilliant drive down along the coast which certainly rivals the Great Ocean Road back home. Dinner was at a waterside and Ii mean waterside restaurant which was brilliant and a good night sleep for the team 'Big fat Bastards" or as I will refer "TEAM KMD" before the nerves really kick in in the morning before the race Prologue. The time had arrived to race. The Cape Epic is a massive production with 1200 riders over 8 days, 14550m of climbing and 707km to travel. The Prologue was a 27km sprint through baboon infested forest, single track and plenty of fire trails. The teams started every 35seconds and it was nerve central for all. Televised live on TV here. Team KMD got some good exposure on the box. They came home in 13th spot in the mixed category and 15mins off the pace of the elite mixed team. C had a fall with about 10m to go on the grass finish oval with no broken bones and a rude awakening to what lies ahead. It was hot dusty and unforgiving for the riders but team KMD stayed out of trouble and in a good position to move into the top 10 in Stage 1. The race had begun.........


It would see 89 km tick over today with some very tough terrain to manage and worst of all a 500m decent over just 1.5km with boulders the size of watermelons. The race unfolds as I write this so the updates will come later. It's my time to head back out to the roads and start the camera snapping again so till later............


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