Sani2C: Day 1

2010-03-05 00:00

At 6.15am it was 15 degrees outside. I’ve been up since 4am (which, in case you’re wondering, is a dark, bleak time of the day).

The reason I was up in the freezing cold and pitch back is because Martin – a Witness photographer – and I are following cyclists as they ride from Underberg to Scottsburgh.

Yes – they cycle all that way, and I’m told most of them are sane (although it is difficult to believe).

It’s all part of the SUBARU Sani2c race which has stopped for the day at the Mackenzie Country Club in Hella Hella.

And some of these cyclists are feeling Hella good.

Despite the treacherous terrain these guys – and gals – laughed and joked as they made their way through mud, over railroads and along the mountainside.

“Nice boots!” a cyclist yelled as he peddled past me. He was covered in mud and the best I could reciprocate with was “nice bike!” which he seemed to appreciate.

My nice boots are a saving grace out here. The rain and mist have turned the hilly Natal countryside into a muddy swamp and there is no escaping the damp.

Kind sponsors, SUBARU, have given us one of their Outbacks to navigate the terrain in. And boy, does that thing make the terrain navigable.

Martin says it sounds like an aeroplane – it does! I’m almost waiting for an airhostess to pop out from under the seat and ask “beef or chicken?”

After stopping along the route to get photographs and chat to those involved, we made our way back to the country club where the cyclists will be spending the night.

As they crossed the finish line they are greeted by water wielding learners from Lyntord Primary School who were excited to a part of the cycle-mania – and, of course, to get a day off school.

Until tomorrow, they will relax, recoup and swap war – er, I mean – race stories.

And if you’re thinking “shame, that girl’s working so hard,” don’t feel too sorry for me – Michael Mol just walked past in cycle shorts.

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