Blue sky thinking at joBerg2c

David Moseley and wolf... (Twitter)
David Moseley and wolf... (Twitter)
Cape Town - While pressing impressively with her little hands into my inner thigh the physio warned of the temperature drop to come. 'Joh. It was like minus last night hey. We were here and when we woke up this morning my towel was frozen solid, hey. Frozen. Solid. Tomorrow will be cold."

Jonathan and I would have commented on her, as it turned out, accurate weather report, but we were both holding back tears as the physios tore into us. "But I haven't started pushing yet," said Candice.

Day 2 of the Old Mutual joBerg2c takes riders from Frankfort (very hospitable) to Rietz (still in the Free State, but not quite comparable to our first stop, chiefly because they were unable to supply us with tomato sauce for the world's chewiest meatball). In camp, rumours of a gastro bug also abound, without tent neighbour milking it for all it's worth right now, moaning and groaning about his projectile vomiting earlier in the day.

The ride itself, after a sub-zero start along the misty Wilge River (an important tributary of the Vaal), was slightly more interesting than Day One. Mielies still featured prominently, but were outshone by the impressive blue sky that cyclists enjoyed all day. Jonathan and I were almost moved to comment on the scenery, but as our brains were still frozen from the freezing first 10km we just kind of grinned and drooled at each other.

Once thawed we remembered that this was the "No Vista" ride, where we've agreed not to mention the "breathtaking" scenery at all in our dispatches, which for mountain bikers is the equivalent of cricketers and rugby players thanking "the team, the coach, and the Almighty" for the win.

Highlights of the day included a curious tannie insisting that Jonathan take more breakfast. When he refused she said, "We're not used to such skinny men here. Our men are much fatter." Jonathan has been admiring his profile in reflective surfaces ever since.

Later in the day a young school girl at the second waterpoint asked me if "Oom would like some water." It took two hours of counseling to get me back on the road.

The third LOPPer (Legend of Plum Pudding) on tour, Andrew, has absconded to the front of the field, impressing all with his prowess on the bike. He'll be duly reprimanded at the LOPP AGM later this year.

With 10km to go the race passes a wolf sanctuary, which cares for wolves brought into the country as pets, but subsequently abandoned.  

The wolves lounged peacefully in the sun as riders stopped to admire the unique sight.

We eventually finished in Rietz in five hours and 22 minutes (93km), feeling pleased yet nervous for Day Three, which takes us from this tent I'm writing in to Sterkfontein. It's a 125km day on the bike, the longest of the event. Expect tomorrow's update to be 30 words long.

When he's not riding his bike, David Moseley is a columnist for News24...
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