Thursday, April 14, 2011

TdA Stage 69. Taking My Time.

182km. Oasis Camp to Road Camp.

In an attempt to rebuild my riding enthusiasm toward this trip, I took today as a relaxed ride. There were a great group of others doing much the same, so we set off together; Bas, Carrie, Funky-Kim, Five-Star-Peter, NoHomo, Liam, and Sectional-Kevin.

We stopped for coffee at the 20km mark. After almost 20 minutes, we got instant coffee powder and some hot water...and some white bread with butter. I'm not sure if that is the Zambian version of biscotti or what. In any case, it was a good way to break into the morning but it wasn't the sort of stop that draws one to linger.

We eventually got back on the road to bang out the last 162km, where we amused ourselves with a scavenger hunt; collecting pictures of various sites. Clouds that looked like animals. Cars with window stickers that included a reference to god. Roadkill. And so on.

The highlight of the day was an icecream stop at the 125km mark. Kim and I split an entire litre of chocolate ice cream, and that was after downing a coke and donut. Cycling after that was a little slow, to say the least, and that turned out to be a blessing as it gave us more time to interact with locals at the side of the road. Or at least to observe them.

We passed two young brothers in front of their house doing the typical Zambian double handed 'how are you?' cheer. As we got closer, the bigger brother whipped down his little brothers pants. Unphased, the little guy bent down and grabbed his pants and pulled his pants back up, while continuing to frantically wave with the other hand. I laughed so hard that I couldn't pedal for a while.

I've enjoyed my approach of riding hard in the morning and then hanging out lazily at camp in the afternoon, but taking a break from that today was well worth it.


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