i live under a rock

Argus cycle tour race day

My four weeks of cycling to work and back paid off. I felt strong and ready for the race. I stopped cycling a couple days before the race so my legs could be fresh for the race. I have the best wife in the world, Elle made mountains of pasta for me and my race buddy Chan, starting three days before the race, and everyday we were treated with more carbs. I felt strong and ready, the night before the race we checked all of our gear, changed our fixie bicycles over to freewheel and added on the rear brake.

We had a good nights rest and I was pumping to go. Just one tip, DO NOT take the MyCiti bus, it was so packed that we had to miss one bus and take the next one, the next one was also packed but we forced our way in and stood like sardines in a tin can.

The race

We got to the starting line just in time for our 9:36am start. We were off. Up Hospital bend and I felt strong, I pushed hard up the gradual hill and passed many cyclists on road and mountain bikes. By this time I had lost my riding buddy Chan, thinking that he carried on, I pushed ahead all the way to Muizenberg, I was wondering why I still didn't see him so I stopped and called his phone. Guess what, he was all the way back at the 2nd check point waiting for me. I told him where I was and told him to hurry, it was a good 15 minute wait for him, but he eventually caught up and we were on our way again. Just after we launched, I was nearly involved in an accident, a girl in front just decided to pull over to the right with no signal or anything whatsoever. The guy in front of me on his MTB hit her rear wheel and went over the bars. I braked hard and only got hit slightly by the guy behind me. I stopped and checked if the two in front of me were okay, the MTber who went over the bars was completely fine but the girl was a bit shaken up and her rear wheel was completely bent.

Rant on, guys and girls, if you're going to take part in any sort of cycling race. Please make sure you know the signals and the proper etiquette before entering. I saw plenty of accidents happen because people did not signal, pulled off too slowly to the sides, stopped in the middle of the road or just did not communicate with their fellow cyclists. Guys please, it is dangerous on the road, so please be careful and don't endanger yourself and others. If you're not comfortable out there, go home, practise and come back next year. Okay, Rant off.

We pedalled and pedalled and found some cyclists to hide behind while the wind was howling full force at us. We pedalled through and made it about half way through to Smitswinkel. We had a nice chilled rest, a couple of massages and carried on.

Oh what a view, we were surrounded by cliffs, ocean and blue skies. We took it a bit easy now and pedalled our way to Scarborough, every single spot was breath taking, we stopped a couple times and snapped some pics and had some chats with guys who thought we were insane for riding single speed, but all I told them was "Those gears slow you down" and kept pedalling past. We pedalled and finally made it to the start of the killer Chapmans peak, where many a cyclist would be walking. I pedalled up and had to stand and made it all the way up to the top, although slow, but sure. I cycled past many cyclists on their granny gears, spinning their legs like mad and saw a lot of people walking. Finally the top was near, and I rejoiced! We blasted down Chappies, which was insanely fun if not a bit scary with the howling winds in our faces, nearly knocking me over. Oh Mother nature, you can be a bitch sometimes.

The end of Chappies and a very short rest gave us Suikerbossie, which was even worse, I had to stop a couple times to catch my breath and even walked a bit. That hill killed me, but I reached the top and I could taste the finish line, we pedalled hard through Camps Bay and finally through Sea Point. Those last few kilometres felt like years, but that finish line tasted oh so sweet. And I have a medal to show for it.

What a day, what an experience, what a great crowd, what a great friend who cycled with me all the way.

Dillon Kin

Dillon Kin is the founder of I Live Under a Rock. He writes about travel, life in Cape Town. Dillon is a foodie, coffee snob and photographer.

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