Goosebumps still cover my whole body when I think about the surreal feeling that surrounded camp on sunday morning.
Bewildered campers packing bags for the last stage the stage that everyone looks forward to but doesn’t want to end, people walking around with a giddy smile on their face because they had made it.
WELL not yet, the giddy smiles all came to an abrupt halt as we hit the first hill of the day, temperatures that were mindblowingly scorching with treacherously steep gradients that had many of us walking up the majority of the climb and many wounded soldiers wishing that they were still in the cool comforts of the race village with that feeling of euphoria having the last stage at their feet.
I have never sweated that much on my bike in my life, the sweat was pouring out of every pore in my body while the wind had all of a sudden disappeared and we found ourselves actually passing people, not one or two but many, many teams from start batches as far up as C batch. Warren was going very well but I was flying absolutely flying, there was no pain anywhere in my body and when I slotted into a harder gear my legs lungs and body were up for it.
One time warren even asked me for a tow. He also told me to back off in case I popped again like earlier in the epic, except I knew that this time was different there wasn’t any slowing me down my legs and lungs were in their element actually cruising waiting for it to become even more difficult.
AND then it did, the wind came up there was some loose sand and then we entered the back end of meerendal wine estate straight into the quarry that we came down in last years prologue which is so steep going down that you have to check your positioning so you don’t get thrown off over your bars. This time however we were cruising uphill, with it being so steep people in front of us were walking so this gave us the opportunity to rest our legs for the ever present descent into the finish. As we crested the hill I looked over my right shoulder and there it was, the finish of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic BUT we still had the stairway to heaven to navigate downhill, what an absolute treat it was fast, flowing and every bit as fun as promised except that we had a few nervous riders in front of us, we unfortunately couldn’t go full gas into the finish like I had hoped but we both had our moments of absolute joy whooping and jumping the jumps and railing the berms side by side like two kids on their BMX bikes.
We rounded the bend into the finish straight and that feeling of euphoria came swirling back, smiling like a kid in a candy store with a few hundred bucks in my pocket. We had done it, I had done it. I had finished epic on no more than 8 hours of track specific training a week for the last year and very little mountain biking.
Our stats for the week are as follows:
Kilometers Ridden: 749
Metres Climbed: over 16000
Mechanical failures: 3
Kilometres walked: too many
Tires worn out from excessive braking behind slower riders: 1
Tears: very few of pain, countless in joy!
This brings an end to an amazing week of so many amazing moments and a few very special individuals made it possible for me to ride epic for the second time.
Firstly our sponsor: Esor Construction Thank you for the support to make Our dreams a reality
Secondly my race partner: Warren you fought hard this week despite adversity and there were times where we both thought to hang up our wheels but we didn’t and we finished super strong Congrats buddy! next up AMABUBEZI!!!
Thirdly: Ciara, 7 weeks ago you gave me the reminder that i needed to actually start training, and me being my usual self I didn’t listen I promise that this is the last time I do not train for epic!
Fourthly: Charlotte, WOW your constant support is valued immensely and thank you for everything!
and lastly to the individuals I met on the way, old and new friends in no particular order if i forgot someone please forgive me: Gugz, Letshego and a half, David, Tshepo, Lawrence, Diteboho, Thabo, Trev, Alex, Greg, Slugger, John Smit, Butch, Shane, Alistair, Debra, Randall, Jeff and Melissa you guys definitely made sure to keep me on my toes and keep me smiling the days were rough but I knew that we would all have some amazing stories to tell after this for years to come!
To finish this off I have to leave you with a Quote from a motivation presentation I gave the day before I left for Epic it rings true in every aspect of life for me and I think it will definitely support you in your everyday life.
You can fail doing what you don’t Love so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love, Jim Carrey