Deep in the Baviaans - Day 0

Experiences

So it all started in the whipping wind and rain, perched on little stools under a soaking, flapping canvas top. Our tiny tents had just blown away and exhausted mountain bikers and Cherry Tree event organisers were careering around trying to bring them back to mother earth. It was the inaugural PE to Plett and we were tired and cold.

I said that I was now too middle-aged to crawl in and out of a tiny tent, and Kobus “Bring Another” Burger mentioned that he was tired of queueing for his food and his morning constitutional. Abbey “Oom” de Groot commented that he suspected that just one mountain range behind where we were riding there were the best tracks in Africa. Abbey almost never lies.

Two weeks later the preparations began. Johan “I Can Break Anything” Borman and his beautiful, patient wife Sanel “I Can Fix Anything” Borman were volunteered to stage the inaugural Hell Rider Tour de Baviaans. They quickly realised that they would need a superior athlete and path-finder to lead and worry about the intrepid Team From Hell. Richard “Gimli Son of Gloin” Muller from Saasveld was recruited and the recces were under way.

“I promise you Richard, they are not bad guys. They can ride, eat, be merry and all of them are natural leaders. They follow no-one,” intoned the ever optimistic Johan and Abbey. 

Our event was born. We had Abbey, Kobus and me. We just needed the rest of the team.

 

Next on board were Ettienne “Clean Bike” Soekoe, Janneman “Hou Gou Vas” van der Merwe, Doc Johan “Bossie” Malan, Wayne “Bonehead” Rebello, Trevor “Clear Weather Tomorrow” Milton and Johan “I Wasn’t Always This Big” Piekaar. Further drums were beaten and we were soon joined by Ben “Bench Press” Paine, Charles “Bike Whisperer” van den Akker and lastly, with a week’s notice, Malcolm “Don’t Wait for Me” Anderson. Heavy training started – on the bikes, in gyms, in bars and restaurants and bike workshops.

The time arrived and the Hell Riders started to converge on George. They came from Somerset West, from Hermanus, from Knysna, from Grahamstown – and they almost came from Gauteng. The Kulula plane bearing five of the intrepid athletes skimmed into George through the thick low mist and the roadie pilot clean lost his nerve. The engines shuddered and roared and we took off again after brushing the almost invisible fence posts and headed out towards the South Pole.

So it all started in the whipping wind and rain, perched on little stools under a soaking, flapping canvas top. Our tiny tents had just blown away and exhausted mountain bikers and Cherry Tree event organisers were careering around trying to bring them back to mother earth. It was the inaugural PE to Plett and we were tired and cold.

I said that I was now too middle-aged to crawl in and out of a tiny tent, and Kobus “Bring Another” Burger mentioned that he was tired of queueing for his food and his morning constitutional. Abbey “Oom” de Groot commented that he suspected that just one mountain range behind where we were riding there were the best tracks in Africa. Abbey almost never lies.

Two weeks later the preparations began. Johan “I Can Break Anything” Borman and his beautiful, patient wife Sanel “I Can Fix Anything” Borman were volunteered to stage the inaugural Hell Rider Tour de Baviaans. They quickly realised that they would need a superior athlete and path-finder to lead and worry about the intrepid Team From Hell. Richard “Gimli Son of Gloin” Muller from Saasveld was recruited and the recces were under way.

“I promise you Richard, they are not bad guys. They can ride, eat, be merry and all of them are natural leaders. They follow no-one,” intoned the ever optimistic Johan and Abbey. 

Our event was born. We had Abbey, Kobus and me. We just needed the rest of the team.

Next on board were Ettienne “Clean Bike” Soekoe, Janneman “Hou Gou Vas” van der Merwe, Doc Johan “Bossie” Malan, Wayne “Bonehead” Rebello, Trevor “Clear Weather Tomorrow” Milton and Johan “I Wasn’t Always This Big” Piekaar. Further drums were beaten and we were soon joined by Ben “Bench Press” Paine, Charles “Bike Whisperer” van den Akker and lastly, with a week’s notice, Malcolm “Don’t Wait for Me” Anderson. Heavy training started – on the bikes, in gyms, in bars and restaurants and bike workshops.

The time arrived and the Hell Riders started to converge on George. They came from Somerset West, from Hermanus, from Knysna, from Grahamstown – and they almost came from Gauteng. The Kulula plane bearing five of the intrepid athletes skimmed into George through the thick low mist and the roadie pilot clean lost his nerve. The engines shuddered and roared and we took off again after brushing the almost invisible fence posts and headed out towards the South Pole.

Last modified onFriday, 01 January 2016 17:04
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