300km of hammering around Cape Town
At precisely 6:27am a contingent of seven Pure Savage team members left Blouberg on a cool and calm morning destined for Franschhoek lured there with the promise of a cooked breakfast. Setting out was quite daunting and on several occasions the envisaged trip was compared to an Everesting challenge – what we had planned was no small feat. This was also set to mark a special occasion – the last team ride with Delano for some time since he was jetting off to America the
Not long after setting out another team member, Nardus, joined us and then proceeded to guide us through Durbanville after which the group split up a little into those who wanted to maximise mileage and those who are a little saner. Those maximising the mileage went the long way round Paarl mountain through Windmeul, Wellington, and Paarl before taking a trip down memory lane: The R301 passed La Parie, the race village where the five day Tour of Good Hope was centered around. If you ever find yourself with a need to try out riding over cobbles don’t bother practising on cobbles – this road is more gruelling than any cobbles you can find in the European tours, possibly.
Eventually with Franschhoek (and more importantly breakfast) fast approaching the group were on a high until disaster: a mistimed gear change by Klyde twisted one of the chain links on his bike by almost a full 90 degrees. Our resident boy scout Brendon whipped out the multi tools and with great finesse hacked at the chain until it looked more like a chain again. This lasted around 2km before Klyde decided to go easy on the bike leaving the five of us to do what Savage does best –
leave the man behind.
The two groups joined up again for a delicious breakfast: Cappuccinos and the aptly named Franschhoek breakfast all round with Klyde pullingin just soon enough to get his order in. Klyde called family to come pick up the now rather now twisted bicycle and himself while the rest of us set out back towards Durbanville. And what a treat it was – a strong tail wind all the way through to Pniel made for some easy going pace lining. An easy climb over and down Hellshoogte and we were on our way to Durbanville. It was here that the group once again split – Nardus to get some work down and Renate and Laurie off home leaving just four – Kevin, Delano, Brendon, and Calvin.
The ride into town to start the last third was straight into a headwind and there were some murmurs about whether today would be the day we would achieve this long sort after goal. But bravery, stupidity or a combination of the two willed us on even with Calvin getting a puncture right after a pitstop. Brendon, always eager to lend a hand in these scenarios, got out his stop watch to time Calvin’s tube change. Five minutes later we were back on the road heading towards town. In the cross winds through Milnerton, the “big units” thought it would be funny to throw down the hammer and make the mountain goats chase back on in the cross winds.
After having made our way through Greenpoint, Clifton and Camps Bay the climb up to Llandudno started – a noticeably slower pace – the day’s distance having a very obvious effect. The same was true for Chapman’s Peak but after it’s decent a welcome respite from the constant head wind we had had since Durbanville. Now it was Brendon’s turn to fix a puncture and Calvin, equally willing to lend a hand, got out his stop watch to time Brendon.
Five minutes later we were going through Noordhoek and a left turn out of Fishhoek brought us on to the main coastal road where we encountered some unforeseen roadworks with a stop/go. Only a few minutes wasted though and soon we were cruising at an easy 40km/h along with the tail wind we had hated so much coming into town the other way.
Constantia Village was to be our last, and as it turns out, most delicious stop courtesy of a few choc-cross-buns which disappeared within seconds between the four of us. A quick bottle fill and we were on our way through Woodstock, Milnerton, and Blouberg in record time.
A few Big Bay Loops and a trip around Delano and Kevin’s neighborhood brought up our target distance: 300km! Delano, a little bit delusional at this point in the ride started giving us a tour guides version of all his KOM’s in the area, with a blow by blow recollection of how they were achieved. He also went on to explain which segments in the area required which prevailing wind in order to snatch the KOM. Within the last kilometre of the ride, mid speech about a KOM he has held for 3 years, Delano managed to get a double puncture, we bombed both tyres. Unfortunately for Delano it did not work and as we were so close to home, everyone just cycled off in Pure Savage fashion. Delano completed the last 150m on foot, and hence why I keep flagging his “ride” on strava.
We had ridden slightly more than 10.5 hours over a period of almost 13 hours at an average speed of just more than 28km/h. What an epic adventure. Bon voyage to Delano.