Riding from Reitz to Bethlehem on day 3 was a mixture of excitement, close calls, cool scenery and new records. The ride of 114 km with an elevation gain of 1200 meters was a new record distance for the majority of the participating riders. In general, the ride felt easier than yesterday- not sure if it was because we had a good rest and lovely breakfast in Reitz, if we are getting ‘tougherer’ or if it is just an illusion in my head.

The first 50 km to Bethlehem was smooth riding on a fairly new and smooth surface. We were surrounded by beautiful cosmos for most of the way. From just before Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Traffic Department joined us and provided us with a noisy and fast-paced escort into town. For a moment I thought I was a VVIP with my own blue-light brigade. The escort was led by Mr Gerald Mokoena, the Head of the Bethlehem Traffic Department and it would have been very difficult to navigate our way to Bethlehem Isuzu and back out of town without their superb assistance.

We were met at Bethlehem Isuzu by, Philip Sterley former owner and the New Dealer Principal of Bethlehem Isuzu. During the small break we were offered a delicious snack and ice- cold drinks.

And then all fun and games started…… 2 482 potholes and a headwind for most way to Fouriesburg.

For the first time, as in ever, I was glad that Mr Frost had a puncture to provide me with an opportunity to regain some strength.

I believe the build-your-own burger lunch at the “Di Plaasstoep” Restaurant was delicious- I am not sure if it was because my body was like a sponge absorbing anything available to regain strength and telling my brain that the meal was superb or if it actually was, but for the benefit of the doubt I am sure it was delicious.

Leaving Fouriesburg to Shumba Valley Guest Farm with full bellies, with only 10 kms left the group was full of smiles, but the smiles quickly dissipated after half the group was almost taken out by an idiot with a big truck. Luckily all survived. As a last fun exercise and just to prove that we can – the group decided to also do the last 3,5km gravel road up to the Guest Farm, followed by a perfectly serviceable trailer that was supposed to take us and our bikes there.

Bob Armour, the owner of Shumba Valley Guest Farm and Medic Mark Berger took charge of braaiing operations and we were served a delicious meal in the midst of great camaraderie and many laughs.

Leon Dillman

9 April 2021