Estimated at 76km

The Traffic Dept, collected the team from the Lord Fraser Guest House at 09h00 today. We were fresh for a 76km easy ride, after doing +100km per day for the last 5 days.

The traffic officers, Provincial inspector Makoti & Singabi accompanied the team for 25km before our 1st stop, shared our coffee and biscuits and drove another 5km to hand us over to the FPI Eddie to take us into Zastron. Lovely hospitality from the Free State Public servants indeed, driving their Sephethephethe (Isiphithi-phiti) vehicles.

The road was a welcome condition from what we have become used to on the trip with less potholes for smoother riding. Cue music (Laurence’s playlist today), the “Racing snakes” as usual probably got it all this morning and took advantage of this by bolting forward. Our bikes had been thoroughly washed in Wepener. It was time for them to pay us back. It was also feeling like we were one with our bikes.

As lovely as the road was, the views were dry, brown and uneventful. One had to find the team’s storytellers for company.

1. This is when I rode next to Nico for a while and learnt about his family and how he grew up in these lands. I learned about his mechanic farther, his mother, his sister and the friends he got up to mischief with. His Boytjies!
2. Tony Frost had yet another story of getting lost before dark on the roads of Free State. Maps and GPS must have been a great find for him. Or not. He seems to like knocking on Strangers’ doors at dark.

Along the way we finally found a small for our 2nd stop and had coffee and treats with FPI Eddie. He was getting bored with us and advised us to speed up so he can write a few speeding tickets.

We also agreed as a team to leave the place better than we found it so we cleaned it up. We have a responsibility for the country as caring citizens.

After fun riding, we arrived at Mountain view lodge just before lunch to do our stretches. With appreciation for a shorter ride and getting to perform as a team, there were laughs and chirps by all as we unwound. Monna also advised Leon to release his stomach after he got concerned that something might happen, after drinking borehole water. A released stomach would also let him stretch better.

The evening was great after some went up the mountain and others took deep, snoring naps. The food was on point as always. Yyeeerrr we eat nice.

Monaheng won rider of the day today, presented by Leon. It turns out a few treffers got the man moist on the ride!

As we get to this stage of the tour, we are also noting that the humans are delivering a beating to the machines and any other built aids. The machines are starting to pack up or get disoriented.

1. Some bike monitors are gone (stopped recording speed and distance) – but we have our memories.
2. A number of pants have been torn from riding (Monna and Laurence) –  but we’re covered by great worldwide support and sponsorships
3. Smart watches are telling others to “rest bafethu” – but we have a mission

It is mind over matter now. The sign of a great ride.