1965 Ride Blog Saturday, 10 April 2021
Present: 11 April 2021, Breakfast, at 07h00am.
Place: Ladybrand, Free State
Day 4 of 9: 400km Completed of 850km
On the morning of the 10 April 2021, we woke up at Shumba Valley Guest Farm, this was after a great evening of Braai dinner, which was very filling and satisfactory. We woke up, packed our bags as per the norm and headed to breakfast which was set for 06h30. On completion of our breakfast, we proceeded to take our morning pictures and load Bikes onto the trailer of Bob’s car for our 4km drive to the tarred road, intention was to escape the gravel road which we experienced on our arrival, which was very unpleasant to LD, after our horrific experience from Villiers to Reitz the day before.
We said our goodbyes to Bob and started our ride towards Ladybrand. The scenery on the route is breath-taking and makes us forget the potholes that we are dodging as we make our way to Komani, anything to keep us focused and safe. Along the way, we passed a spot where MTB races are held it seems on a regular basis and enjoyed the brief downhills, followed by the long inclines, which we attacked, our appetite for the road growing. We seem to be getting into our grove now.
1st Stop 22km
We made our stop at one of the farms which had Cosmos planted on either side of the road, our stops are normally at 25km intervals, however, we had to make an exception, even the reality of starting the ride again on an incline was rationalised by the beautiful flowers before our eyes, con-incidentally we happened to be wearing Pink gear today, sponsored by Houston & Associates, we blended in and took magnificent pictures, Mark was also working overtime as he had to take pictures of all our different poses, over and above his Medical Duties (Yesterday he was also the braai master). After the picture moment, we had our coffee and biscuits served by our ever reliable Caterer and lead car driver (Rodger). Leon was also in great spirits today, i was playing Afrikaans music on the speaker which happens to be sung by Referentse Morale and his voice is beautiful and provided much needed motivation.
2nd Stop 50km
We made our way to the next stop where we enjoyed our biscuits and coffee again and open our energy bars. At this point, John who had been struggling with Hamstring, decided to take a break till our next stop to allow him some recovery time, caution is better because it would be great for us to ride into town in Komani as 8 riders and not 7, his act also shows wisdom which all future riders need to be advised of. We then proceeded in an orderly manner, speed increasing as we enjoyed the road. 60kms into our ride, I started playing Reggae Music by Lucky Dube.
3rd Stop Lunch
We reached Constantia farm stall which was also our lunch spot for the day. We parked our bikes took off our shoes, took some nice pictures from the board which has four holes and allows peoples to peak through with their heads only. We then went into the premises to enjoy our brunch. Tony suggested that we try the Cherry juice and it proved to be excellent choice. We all ordered different food which we thoroughly enjoyed, except for some who ended up ordering something else as the first choice was not what they thought it would be. On completion of our lunch , Tony gave our appreciation certificate to the owner and then we were well on our way.
4th Stop 85km
At our first stop, we refueled and snapped a few photos and some answered the call of nature. At this point, John rejoined the ride for the last 20km, which was a bit of relief for us, he came here to ride and not become Rodgers passenger after all. We enjoyed our ride to Ladybrand, missing one or two potholes here and there and luckily we had no punctures today, which would have dampened our riding mood. We were brilliant today and everyone enjoyed the ride.
5th Stop 104km
On arrival in Ladybrand, we took a picture at the sign with the town’s name which we missed in other towns on day 1 & 2 unfortunately, after snapping a couple of pics, we proceeded to our lodging destination for the day, for some much needed rest and recovery. The place is great as well but not the same to the homely environments we have had in the past 3 days. The Team had massages organised for them and they all had similar experiences, of sleeping when the back massage was being done and then gronings when the quads were being worked on once they were looking upwards. We had a nice dinner, in which Chanelle presented an award to Tony & Jen for being visionaries for creating an awesome tour that impacts the lives of our future leaders. We also got an update that donations to date have reached R300k, which amounts to 30 bursaries.
And now we look forward to Day 5 and hopefully it will follow the same fate as the 1st 4 days.
Enjoy the ride team