Last week I posted about a well-known cycle tour that takes place in Cape Town every year. You can read about it here.
As I don’t have television, I didn’t follow the race live and only heard about the harrowing weather conditions when my son and his family arrived home. Apparently the wind-speed was 96 kph/60mph for the duration of the whole race.
My son, whose first race it was, and having completed it in 5 hours 54 minutes, (the champions do it in sub-3/less than 3 hours) only told me it was very difficult. Being a man he didn’t elaborate but his mum-in-law told me that it was the most difficult race she (and every other cyclist, by their own admission) had ever done. She said that she eventually rode with one foot out of the cleats because if a cross wind blew her off her bicycle, she wanted to be able to jump off and so avoid falling on the tar. Soon after this, a cross wind did whip her off her bike; she jumped off yet even with gripping her handlebars with all her strength, her bike lifted into the air above her head. Fortunately she managed to cling to her bike and set it back on its wheels; jumping on, she got back into the race. She and her husband completed the race but with an hour and 35 minutes added to their normal times.
10,000 of the 35,000 cyclists didn't even start the race. My heart goes out to these people who had travelled far distances to take part in the cycle tour and then were thwarted in this unavoidable way.
To all who made an effort in the 2009 Argus , I applaud you!