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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The most obsurd Argus Cycle Race EVER!

When in the Western Cape ... one must do the Cape Town Argus Cycle Race!! I decided with Helena (my cycling buddy!) that we'd do the Argus ... slowly ... and stop for a picnic and a swim. It all sounded quite chilled. Helena got injured and couldn't do the race but how difficult can 110km around the most beautiful coast line in the world be?!?!?

... quite difficult!!

I hadn't ever cycled more than 65km but figured I'd give it a go. That was more than most people when they saw the weather! It was rainy and gale force winds. The race pictures below I took from a picture forum and they show a little of the outrageous conditions!! But I enjoyed it immensely (and laughed a lot - outloud sometimes - during the race!!).

My bike ...

So for starters I was doing a road race on a mountain bike. While we were waiting before our group set off one old guy looked at my bike and said "You're going to cycle on that?" to which I smiled and nodded wondering whether he thought I had another bike to get before starting!

My timing chip. This times me, and makes sure I do the whole race (so I couldn't take a shortcut and end up at the end of the race - I did think about it!!)

The conditions at the start were hilarious. There were port-a-loo's (port-a-potty's) flying around in the wind and people were blowing all over the place. Here are a few pictures ... with a starting speed of a few km/hr!!

It was a long way around to the end! My goal soon became just to finish the race and not to be blown off the road and cliffs!! Since I hadn't cycled it before I didn't realise until much later just how bad it was!! The good advise that I was given from my dad included the fact that for all the uphills there must be downhills ... I was looking forward to free wheeling down Chapman's Peak but when I got to the top (no probs cycling up it) we had to pedal downhill because the wind was so strong. And the final stretch - down Victoria Street towards Camps Bay - is normally a beautiful stretch. But, people were blowing off their bikes and all over the road and we had to get off and push our bikes. That was difficult enough, let alone cycling!!

When I reached the end of the race there was no great banners or "Finish" sign. It was quite peculiar to me that there wasn't more than something that looked like a bedsheet hanging above two poles. The next day I was talking to some people who said the finish line had blown away into the sea ... obviously long before I arrived!!

The original finish line fanfare ...

The beginnings of it flying away ...

Clinging onto the finish line!

But, finish line or no finish line, I completed my first (and possibly last!) Argus Cycle Race. And here's the medal to prove it ...

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