Thursday, February 24, 2011

TdA Stage 32. Luck and Toughness.

130km. Bush Camp toQuarry Camp.

There was 'big news' this morning from the men's race. Apparently, Horst (who is currently in second place) has dropped out of the race. He and Paul Wolfe have been going very hard from the start, racing every inch together, apart from the final sprints on the time bonus days (which Paul has won), and the Blue Nile Gorge time trial (which Horst took by a whopping five minutes). Whatever the reason for his decision, it's a shame. The race will not be the same without him. Nice guy. Fantastic cyclist. I hope that he enjoys the rest of the journey as a recreational rider.

For the first time in a long while, I rode all day with friends (young-adam, jorg, and luke). It feels good to enjoy these roads with good company. Rolling hills and a nice tail wind for much of the day made the 1700m or so of climbing manageable. And having friends around allowed me to spend more time focusing on the scenery than on the kids throwing various dangerous objects at us as we rolled by.

We arrived at camp to find that we will be staying in a dust bowl/quarry for the night. So, a crew of us escaped into a nearby town (Hossana) to find some trouble and some (hopefully clean) food.

Back at camp there was some disappointing news. Hendry will be leaving for a week or two in order to recover from a bad infection. He hurt his elbow in a collision with a pedestrian about a week or two ago. He hasn't been able to recover, even after a visit to the hospital in Addis. It is really difficult to see such a tough guy suffer so much.

I've been pretty lucky on this trip so far. We have faced a lot of challenges, and it would be easy to look at how I feel and think that I've come this far on my own mental and physical toughness. Today, Horst and Hendry remind me that even the tough will fall and that I'm really very lucky to still be rolling along.


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