Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Table Mountain Burning

We had a great journey here to Cape Town South Africa and are posting all the back scenes part of this trip on our family blog: Terri and I will post all the race updates and prep stuff there. Here is what I've been up to to get ready for the race.

I got a short ride in yesterday after putting together my bike. Today we went up to Table Mountain and went to Shan's bike shop and had some coffee. I will update the name later. We had coffee and a nice danish roll, discussed the bikes, the course, and the race.

When we headed out this morning we found out that Table Mountain was burning. We were not sure if it would be closed but headed up anyway. It was pretty smokey since it had burned through the night and over 150 homes were evacuated, but they let us ride. Shan - one of the locals knew all the trials.

What a surreal sight - you could still feel the heat from the ground and the burning scrub. From time to time you could feel the water drops from the helicopters. The wood was still smouldering and the helicopters were flying all above. I was thinking we would got to jail today Wow.

Back to the ride. It was a tough ride. It is steep with loose rocks, sand, and broken up roads. There are big rocks in the decent and the turns are slippery. I was really happy to have my Stan's wheelset set up with my Kenda tubeless tires. It is so easy to pinchflat. I was happy to have the Scalpel - I will definitely need the full suspension for this one. For the rest of the week - I have no idea what to expect - but I am glad I brought the gear I did. Yes - this is a tougher prologue than most.

I don't have photos of it but it looked like the sun was rising because the fire was so hot.

It was a perfect beginning for the toughest mountain bike stage race in the world.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

OT, but what did you run at 24 Hour Worlds in Canada in '08?

Good luck in SA. Beware of poisonous creepy-crawlies.

And lions, you know how they love to chase things.