Cape Town - One of the stranger experiences so far at this event has been the abundance of (what must be) wild mint on the course.
Flora experts can correct me if I'm wrong, but we seem to be cycling over something that releases the mintiest fragrance this side of a freshly opened bottle of Head & Shoulders.
For the past two mornings the fresh smells of the mint have helped to take our minds off the cold and dusty starts. Long may it continue, because the starts (there's no other word for it) are awful.
Today was long. So long I'm struggling to remember what happened.
Jonathan has so far avoided the dreaded stomach bug that's doing the rounds, but he's picked up a severe case of the 'Forgets'.
Every morning, while I'm standing outside the tent with nothing on, tormenting a nice German woman, Jonathan cries out, "Dave, where's my lube? Dave, where's my Garmin? Dave, why have you packed all your clothes in my bag?" (Because I need the extra space, and you weren't looking).
There was more climbing today than any other day, but it was the distance that was more distressing. On the wide open roads, the wind made the 127km incredibly daunting.
The first 20km flew past, but after that it was hard work on the district roads. We lost our unofficial third team-mate early on again (his continued membership to the LOPP is now in question), but managed to pick up some friendly 'Stralians (that's Australians) along the way.
With their tangy accents and whoops of excitement at the strength of the Aussie dollar to the rand, Gavin and Amanda from Queensland kept morale high for the last 50km of the day. It was much needed because 100km into the day was the first real climb of the entire event, a singletrack ascent of Mt Paul. From the top of "Paul" we swooped down a smooth singletrack descent, only to be hit with a challenging 5km finish along the Sterkfontein Dam wall.
We eventually finished in seven hours and three minutes, rocketing 50 places up the leader (not that it's about racing, of course. We're here to have "fun").
Day 4 is a 121km "doddle" from Sterkfontein to Winterton in KZN. There are differing opinions on the day, with some saying it's the most fun, others declaring it the toughest due to a long drop off the escarpment. Time will tell.
When he's not riding his bike, David Moseley is a columnist for News24...