Now spending a lot of time riding on your own training for that ridiculous 8 day stage race you do encounter some strange things on and alongside the road. For instance one gets to witness a lot of the wildlife that inhabits the Cape area, but not always the ones we see on a day to day basis, like riding in Constantia and you see this shape lying in the road and you start to s….. yourself, only to be relieved (excuse the pun) to see that whatever snake that was it no longer is alive to slither up your bike. Then riding this morning up Black Hill you spot a furry eight legged shape (I go slowly up hills as gravity works against me and thus have time to look around, if you were wondering about that) of a formerly alive Bobbejaan Spinnekop (Any idea what this is in English anyone – Baboon Spider?).
Or witnessing a couple in passionate embrace whilst riding up Constantia Nek, very passionate, fortunately this is a family blog and I did not stop to take photos or video, I just kept on peddling. On the side of the road at 5:20am, really?
Ever been so close to a Hadida that you could bite the tip of its tail feathers with your mouth and its feathers tickle your nose. Well I nearly was, fortunately wearing lycra (still hate it) saves you some grace as last week when riding through Simon’s Town the Hadida appeared from nowhere over my left shoulder, hovering in front of my whilst screaming out their familiar voice. I nearly sch… myself and fortunately the Shimano XT brakes really works well.
But that’s not all having to dodge cars, and experience and witness reckless and stupid drivers on the road one is bound to have a close encounter at some stage. (touch wood it never happens and since Johan, my brother-in-law got hit I started riding with my medical aid card and is extra cautious on the road, but just one mistake by a driver…) Well this morning after exploring a new climb in Dal Park, only to be chased by a dog again (It was downhill and these legs were peddling super-fast) and barked at by some loose mongrels I eventually returned to a road more traveled in Hippy Valley (You know, where the Ferreira’s live – Sun Valley) only to nearly swerve over the pavement when suddenly a dog barked loudly in my right ear. F#@$#! My heart nearly stopped. It was a dog on the back of a bakkie that clearly does not like cyclist. Or is this bad dog experiences due to the fact that I was wearing my Lance for Live bib short again, mmmmm.
What I’ve come to realise on my training rides is that one sees so much of what the world is about and that squirrels and Guinea Fowl are stupid animals. I love the squirrels and am really sad when I see one ran over in the road, but they should start to think on their feet! If something bigger is approaching you at speed, GET OUT OF THE WAY! The same for Guinea Fowls, but they seem to scatter a bit quicker than the squirrels.
If a do the coastal route through Kalk Bay, I love the smell of fresh baked bread when I cycle past Olympic bakery (having dodged about 3 to 4 Golden Arrow busses by now) knowing that as part of my training diet the bread would be a no, no. The price one has to pay.
I think I saw more wild life on my rides than I saw hiking by Silvermine Dam. Just kidding, ever have the opportunity to go to the dam, please do. What an amazing spot.
I suppose back to training in the am following Coach Swen’s plan and I’m sure to encounter many different things on my journey, especially those funny dressed joggers. Like the man from oriental origin this morning that looked like he was wearing a sports bra – still confused about this one. (Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone).
Here’s to the rest of the journey and Vik see you on the next hike. (‘Punishing’ the kids by taking them up Lions’ Head) Just kidding, looked like fun.