D93…..Shake Violently.

Blog — By on December 24, 2012 8:22 am

We are pulled up by the side of a single road, mid morning, in the Cederberg Mountains. The temperature is climbing. Whilst we partake of tea and coffee Nick and Sam are trying to get to the bottom of Nick’s misfiring engine. He struggled to get up the last hill. He has had this issue a few times in the last couple of days. In the end we dropped the bike on the ground and shook it violently. Such is the impressive level of our mechanical expertise. He has just set off with more gurgle and a little less wheezing.

The single track road this morning has been a joy. Maybe one of the most enjoyable tracks we have entertained. It winds through the Cederbergs. It has its challenges. Which we like. It has sand. We like the weaving sensation. Like skiing in the powder. It has big rocks and holes like Devon. It has climbs and descents like old Alberto’s in France.

The day was a real treat. We finished this single track after a couple of hours. Alessia had settled back into her riding well. Eventually we arrived in a sleepy little oasis of a hamlet, deep in a valley called Wuppental. It had trees, a stream, a few little fields and a village store. This was lunch. A bottle of Stoneys Ginger ale and a bag of some US crisp like thing called NickNaks with 11 E numbers.

We left under a hot sun. Suddenly the road took a turn for the worse ( or better depending on how you look at it!). It became narrow and as vertiginous as it can get. It had a deep vee cut down each side of the track from recent storms and boulders and rocky faces everywhere. It was as difficult as anything we have tackled Sani, Hartmanns, Tenahead included. One of the toughest days of the trip. And it was fabulous. All the bikes made it up the mountain. Biggles was a hero. Gobby played a blinder. The girls shared the Mandarine machine and battled it all the way up the pass. Hats off to all. We would never have managed a full house earlier in the trip.

And we finally made the summit. Three hours of grind. Relief all round, and then trailer broke down. The bolts had sheared off the leaf spring and it was lurching to one side. Just what the tired group needed. But that is Africa100. An hour to make a running fix. Temperature sat at 36 degrees.

But in the end we all made it. Nicks engine wheeze returned with a kilometer to go and the bike gave in. Sam pushed him in from his BMW the two bikes locked together…it all looked very cool.

And here we are, all with our glasses of lime and sodas rattling with generous amounts of ice, knackered but all with a big smile across our faces. A cracking day. Cracking bikes. Tomorrow Cape Town. J

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