Saturday, February 5, 2011

TdA Stage 17. Who Let the Dogs Out?

155km. Desert Camp to Bush Camp.

Started with a fabulous group this morning. Carrie, young-adam, peter-the-plumber, henry, Jorg, Bas, Steve. Peter-the-plumber treated us to a little song on the ride. Who Let the Dogs Out. It's not the type of song that you would normally expect to hear from a man in his mid-60s, but it was awesome (and so is his new moustache!). I will forever think of his 'WHO? WHO? WHO?' when I hear that tune again.

I mysteriously flatted and Jorg helped me out. Checked the tire, but it seemed that the culprit escaped. As soon as we were caught up to the group, the gravel/dirt began and we dropped the rest. Peter rode with us for a bit and then dropped.

Things heated up a lot again in the afternoon. Hydration was really tough when the temperature climbed over 40 degrees. But the winds were fair and it was manageable and we tried to be mindful to take care of ourselves. And the scenery was cool. We went through a few little towns. There were signs of life outside of the towns. It felt like we were seeing more of Africa. And the road conditions were variable, ranging from corrugated dirt to near-perfect tarmac and that was cool, too, because it kept us on our toes.

I ended up with a second flat (other wheel). Again, no culprit to be found. Jorg helped me (again) and we were quickly on our way. We eventually caught Scott and Henry and shared the load for the rest of the stage. While this group normally would have had regular rotation for pulling, that simply wasn't an option today. Everyone was hurting a bit. We would just take what we could and then pass it to the next person. There was no talking. There was no need for talking. At some point, body language, cadence, etc. told us everything that we needed to know. Sure, I like when we can chat. But I also really liked this experience today. We shared the challenge together and we needed each other and it felt good. It was real.

And, for the record, it is really cool to ride with guys who are ok with a girl contributing equally or sometimes less or sometimes more. It seems so obvious that this should be the case, but it is not always that way. I'm really grateful to have such respectful riding partners here.

For the second day in a row, I rode a bit with Dennis (currently 3rd place). Although most people would take that to mean that he's having a bad day, I prefer to think of it as an indication that I'm having a really good day. And I felt like it was a good day. Despite two flats, I really enjoyed today's ride. Not everyone did though. The heat took it's toll and a number of people jumped in the sweep truck. One guy had to take three intravenous rehydration bags. Ouch!

Bush camp is nice. It's like desert camp, but with a few thorny bushes and less sand. It is still in the middle of nowhere. There is an irrigation canal right next to camp, which saved a few of us from near sunstroke. It is the sort of water that I wouldn't dream of going in at home. And it probably would be cleaner at home. I guess this trip is helping me to chill the f'k out. Or maybe I'm going to get some kind of parasite and go home early.

I put on a new seatpost and I'm excited to try it tomorrow. It's a cane creek thudbuster, which provides suspension at the seatpost level. A few people here have them and swear by them. Tomorrow is mostly offroad (corrugated dirt), so I figure it will come in handy!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home