Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TdA Stage 91. Emotional Rollercoaster.

162km. Garies to Strandfontein.

Today we had a mix of decent pavement and some rocky dirt road, just to spice things up a bit.

After lunch, we had a nice pace line going on the pavement. It was Scott, then me, then Other-Danish-Kim, then Luke. We were cruising along in search of the next coke stop. The shoulder was tight and traffic picked up as we approached a little town called Lutzville. The growl of passing vehicles drowned out any opportunity for conversation. And, anyhow, our concentration was fully on the road.

And then...BAM! CLACK. The sound of a bike hitting the pavement. Shit! I pull over and look back to see Luke's bike in the middle of the road and Luke standing at the side with his head in his hands. He was shaken, but OK.

Kim had feathered his brakes, causing Luke's wheel to contact his. Luke was on the inside, so the wheel rub pushed him very slightly into the road; just enough for a passing truck to graze his handlebar and front wheel.

It was a small error in judgement with potentially massive consequences; a very close call. The only physical damage was to the bike; a slightly mangled handlebar and a wobbly front wheel. The magnitude of the front wheel damage was impressive considering that it is one of those ultra strong Crossmax wheels with the special spokes. It takes a LOT of force to damage those wheels.

Emotions ran high after that; a mix of shock and relief. And then it turned to excitement as we reached the top of the last hill and had our first view of the Atlantic Coastline. I hadn't appreciated what a big milestone this would be. I just crossed a freakin continent. Holy shit!

I'm going swimming.


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