93 km to ride with 730 metres of climbing and 720 down. Last day today!
As was expected, it was very cold overnight. I was awake from 4 am. The cold night was not helped by the tent being soaking wet with condensation. Yay the last time for a while taking down a tent and packing it away.
Wet tents are so hard to pack they just don’t want to go into the bag. I am pleased I also have a dry bag to put it into so it won’t get my gear in my bag wet. Shirley is so sick of her tent that after pulling it down she threw it into the bin. To be fair her tent has had zip problems for a while. I am going to enjoy not having to grope around in the dark with a head lamp on, getting dressed and getting packed up. I also suspect it will be awhile before I eat porridge again.
We are meeting at lunch at 76 km to convoy the last 17 km into Capetown.
We had a cold foggy start to the morning and had to delay leaving camp until the fog had lifted a bit. There were quite a few hills in the morning to get up. Lovely farm land, very different from what we have seen till now – green and lots of cattle, plus an ostrich farm.
I am riding with Fritz, Carl and Tom. We have been told to make sure when we are going through Atlantis at 46 km to ride in groups. Atlantis is an area of high crime and last year a rider was held up at knife point and robbed. Atlantis was certainly pretty bleak, a mixture of apartment blocks and shanty town, it looks very poor and run down.
I found out later that Atlantis was created in response to the Group Areas Act 1950 that removed all black people living in Capetown and relocated them over 50 km from Capetown.
After Atlantis we had a head wind for about 20 km, then thankfully turned to the left and had a tail wind most of the rest of the way to the lunch stop.
We met at a lovely beach for lunch, with a great view of Capetown and Table Mountain, plus TDA have made an amazing lunch. We had about an hour to take photos of the view and each other before we left in the convoy.
Unlike yesterday’s convoy it was fun, we had a police escort in front and back, and traffic lights were blocked off so we could go straight through. It was nice weather and flat and even though it took two hours the time went pretty quickly.
The convoy ended at the Lagoon hotel, on the beach in front of it. It was very nice seeing families waiting for some of the riders, some of them had not seen their partners for 4 months.
We had lots of photos on the beach, of individuals and groups, then we went inside for a glass of bubbles and the medal ceremony.
Everyone who does the ride gets a medal, some people love to get these. Then the 6 riders who had done the entire ride – every f*cking inch – didn’t get a medal recognizing this, they got a certificate! I would have thought if you were going to give medals surely you would have one for EFI riders.
Next job was boxing up the bikes (Brett) and drying tents on hotel balcony (me). I was amused to find when I had packed up my tent that morning a snail had been included. I hope he/she enjoys their new life in the hotel garden.
Then I spent some time writing thank you notes and sorting gratuities for the TDA staff. Got it all just sorted in time for dinner. I sat with Shirley, Dan, Brett, Tom, Richard, Terry, Fritz and Carl.
Dinner was a nice buffet with lots of selections. After the main meal we watched a slide show that Lordan, the comms guy, had put together of the trip.
After the dinner a number of us went to the bar to continue celebrating. I was surprised to find I had managed to stay awake until 11.30pm especially since I had been awake since 4 am.