Day 1 – Making the Journey
After months of preparation and planning the time had dawned upon us to make the 14 hour journey to the Cape for the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour, the plan was to meet at 6pm sharp On Wednesday evening, a total of 13 representing Cyloam in the race, we secured 9 to make the Journey by road , whilst 4 (more affluent members), opted the flying route , nevertheless, we had the key ingredients (plenty capable drivers , awesome travel buddies and high powered diesel vehicles) to set about on our way.
Singing along the lines of Celine Dion, “ We drove all night” it was actually a breeze, all in high spirit and excitement. Thanks to Sbu airlines we were treated to some in-road entertainment with box office hits, spicy biltong and Monster energy drinks. Highlights on the journey was experiencing a spectacular sunrise across the Karoo, a hearty breakfast in Laingsburg and then finally reaching our destination – Simons town by midday , we checked into our home for the next 4 days and set out unpacking and getting comfortable. Once that was out the way, it didn’t too take long for the team to prep up for their first afternoon ride along the coast of Simons Town and Fishhoek, we were then treated to a well-deserved braai while watching the late sun set over the ocean sending out a salute to Day1.
Day 2 – Club Fun Ride
Bright and early we all geared up and set out to what supposed to be our talked about club fun ride, coupling sightseeing and leg loosening became high level training and completing 85% of the Argus route, but I for one can say, if I could go back , I’d do it all over again. We rode out right of Simons Town which led up to Smitswinkel. I’d probably would never be able to explain how beautiful the views and the scenery is while climbing this road , so I’d better not even try, what I will do though is ensure I strap a GoPro to my helmet on next years trip.
We were blessed with lovely sunshine and zero to little wind which made cycling an absolute pleasure , a ride up chappies and a stop at Hout Bay for the infamous snoek and chips, these were tick offs from our list of must do’s, happy yet slightly exhausted we made our way on full tank back to Headquarters calling it a day to day 2
Day 3 – Race Pack Collection and SA Largest Cycling Expo
Some woke up with tender quads, others with worn out soles but one thing for sure we all were just too happy to awake to the smells of fresh coffee, eggs , baked beans and a fiery tomato and chilli chutney compliments of Papa Reggie. For the guys that are not familiar with Papa Reg’s cooking, lets just say that Colonel Saunders got the line “Finger Lickn Good “ from Reg, who has now earned club chef on tour. We arrived at the Green Point stadium in absolute amazement by the sheer size of the expo. It’s unbelievable how big this sport has become in SA, there were literally thousands of people and hundreds of stands. The boys all went their separate ways, wallets in one hand and race pack in the other, that grin on their faces just said it all – its shopping time! Eventually we managed to re-group the gang an hour before match time, with a fair amount of LFC supporters and a handful, yet hardcore MUFC supporters. We had to ensure we found a neutral venue that could cater for the shouting and cursing, so off we went to the Glencairn Hotel pub, turned out the owner is an ex Kempton boykie and welcomed us with open arms, good food, cold drinks and great company. We found no better way to say “ Siya – Nara to day 3
Day 4 – Race Day
After spending most of the evening preparing our bikes, attaching our race numbers to our jerseys. It was rise and shine at 3am for group 1 and 4:30am for group 2, with group 1 planning to set off early at the start line, we all had to say our best of luck wishes and fist bumps before leaving HQ only to see each other again after the finish line. I was part of group 1 that made our way to Grand Parade early enough to listen to Raymond Ackerman and Helen Zille give their Godspeed speech and watch the elite riders get sent off by the firing of the old fort canon, and a exquisite fireworks display.
As the sun rose and the silhouette of table mountain became visible, you could see the nervousness setting in amongst the riders waiting in their respective chutes, it was almost time for me to set off. Listening out for the signature “whoopa” from the MC ,and the firing of starting gun , We set out at a moderate pace , allowing the legs to warm over the first 10km, just then, it was time to gear down and overcome Edinburgh climb, rolling from the M3 to Muizenberg, passing Fish Hoek and Simons town we approached Smitswinkel, judging from the bottleneck, it was evident this short climb coming after the 44km wasn’t a walk in the park. On the top we could pick up the pace all the way through Scarborough and Kommetjie, the water points along the way kept the spirits high with cold refreshments and the Midas touch from the physio’s tent, it was time for Chappies, small chappies wrecked havoc amongst some but for the others that knew what lay ahead, it was time to pop a gel, bite a fast bar and give it some juice as you make your way up big chappies. Eventually you see that last bend to the right and its all down hill to Hout bay, for some its time to breath and take in the scenery and for other its “suikerbossie” time, crowds are all cheering as you climb the monster, in your mind you know its your last push, once you reach the top, its done, smooth sailing down Camps Bays and into the city centre before crossing the finish line at Green Point Stadium, we made it, 40th Cape Town Cycle Challenge 2018.
Day 5 – Its so Hard to say Goodbye
its that’s time, time to say farewell Cape Town. As the team packs up and loads the vehicles mixed emotions flies around, we going to miss the awesome company, the loud chuckles from Lukasz, the funny remarks from Wesleigh and the dry jokes from Marcus, but one thing for sure there’s no better club than Cyloam. Here’s to the beginning of so much more. Well Done Team!