Saturday, June 19, 2010
Day 5: Tinana Mission to Rhodes
22h03 pm: 85km/11 hours. I left Tinana just before first light and got to see the sunrise from the mountain tops above Mjikelweni Village. The route down was on great singletrack, perfect way to start the day! Took a tumble over the bars when my front wheel went into an unseen hole, no harm done and gave the local kids something to chuckle at. Going into the tricky Vuvu valley a bit later, I found a very tired looking Blackie Swart who had spent a very cold night out, getting lost in the valley. Offered to show him the route and we went on together towards Vuvu. He opted to stay in Vuvu to recover. I had some tea and a snack before heading off to tackle Lehana's Pass. An icy headwind made the approach and exit a bit testy but things went well and I passed by the Tenahead Lodge in just under 3 hours from the start. From there the road down into Rhodes first drops, then climbs (a 25min walk for me) before dropping down Naudesnek Pass. The surface still had some ice and snow on, so I went very carefully and the windchill left me with frozen fingers but I got down to Rhodes in one piece, arriving just before dark. Found some familiar faces here amongst some of the Ride2Rhodes finshers as well as Marius and Audrey who started with me on Tuesday but have both since withdrawn. I also found new chains from Tandem Mike - thanks Mike - so hopefully the chain issues are over. Felt good today but need to watch my left knee, it started complaining a bit, later in the day, probably be fine after a good rest. An early start tomorrow and heading for Slaapkranz. PS - answers to some questions on the blog: my pack weighs 6kg fully loaded with another 1kg in the front chest pouch. Travelling light, yes and getting a bit cold in the early mornings before sunrise but mostly hands that suffer, should have taken warmer gloves. Bike weighs 11.5kg loaded up and yes it was a pleasure to carry up Lehana's although the big 29er wheels were like sails in the wind.