Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Day 1: Pmb to Allendale
109km/10h30min. A tougher day than expected! Initially the weather was perfect and we rode as a group but the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. We split up on the first climb and I only saw the other guys again at Allendale when they arrived at 7pm. Marius was not with them because he decided to pull out at Minerva - he had been battling with illness before the start so it was probably a wise move. Two big climbs today, the first up to the soup stop at Minerva Reserve was rideable with one gear but the long haul up Hella Hella was a lot steeper and I had to walk. The bike was brilliant though - I could ride all the technical stuff with confidence and even the treacherous drop down the cement track into the Umkomaas Valley was no problem. I only got into Allendale support station after 4pm which meant the choice to stay or go was made easier - with only an hour of good light left and lots of tricky navigation through the forests around Donnybrook, I opted to stay - blame it on the crackling fire and good food. Depending on tomorrow's weather, I'll leave a bit earlier and try to catch up a bit of time but now it's time for bed.