Baking mud cakes with no granny

You know when they predict rain and you got something planned to do that you don’t really want to believe that it is going to rain-well, it rained and rained!
Getting up just after 4am has become a routine now and today was nothing different other than having to mobilise my aching muscles to be ready for Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic. Now we received a SMS to tell us in which batch we would go off the previous night, obviously the last batch and the message said 7:30-so we were ready to go by 7:20 in the start chute only to find out we were only starting at 8am. So there I was standing in the rain for 40 minutes with no rain coat and freezing.
Stage 2 started and by the 1st corner we were met by a mud sludge of note, it was messy and people did not know how to negotiate the mud which forced me to show them how it is done and in the process leave my partner in the rears (don’t stress I waited for Greg as soon as the start mayhem was over and so we slided our way towards water point 1. It was just mud, mud and more mud. No reprieve as you have to work on the climbs as your wheels get sucked in and have to slowly descent as it was really dangerous and slippery. No ways to make up time and what made it even worse is that I suffered chain suck in my granny gears which forced me to ride in my middle blade working even harder on the climbs-it was painful.

Water point 1 reached, chain lubed and we were ready to rock and roll toward McGregor. Granny gears were thankfully fully functional so I could climb those hills at my traditional snails pace. We made up good time and reach the festive town of McGregor (home of the Ride2Nowhere in September where you all should join me at) and the trails we rode were fantastic and obviously slightly dryer although mushed up from the 1000 or so riders that passed this way before us.
Greg pushed hard and I had my work cut out to stay up with the pace bit we reached water point 3 in quick time again and off we went to finish Stage 2 in 7h41m way before the 8&1/2h cut off that was extended to 9 hours.

Tomorrow we move to Greyton on a 134km stage which will no doubt offer some new challenges. I hope the body and the legs last.

See everyone in Greyton (too much to tell and 2 finger typing on an iPad is taking too much out of me now.



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