Wendell Bole and I met in Brazil at the Master's World Championship race in September. We got talking and he invited me to come to the race - a project he's been working on for the past several years, when he's not helping to "feed his people", who live in the squatter camps near by. Wendell helps collect clothing and gifts for the squatter camp. The camp has three villages with a total of 534 families and they started with one village and 130 families. There are 61 children and 15 pensioners in this village, and each received a present for Christmas. They managed small food parcels as well. Since we left, the headman, Sam, was very excited with the prospect of growing vegetables and potatoes and to find a way to reduce or get rid of the rat population. We got a chance to visit the village and meet the people. Wendell continues to collect aid for the villagers so if you are looking for a wonderful cause, contact him. They are now finding ways to grow and sell the potatoes. wendell "at" circleoffaith.co.za What an incredible experience that was...
Wendell is a man of Faith, and one other purposes in his life is to help prepare the race track at the farm. The course was marked to perfection and so smooth and clean I felt like I was on a BMX course. It was fast and a great course that kept you awake and alert but so much fun! Wendell also owns a bike shop called the Cycle Hub, where they sell Cannondale bikes, parts, and do repairs. The bike shop is on the farm where the race was staged, which was really nice. What a nice guy! We stayed with Wendell and his wife, who spoiled us with wonderful food, rooms, and a comfortable place to relax and prepare for the race. We even got to fish on the farm, but we didn't catch anything even though we could practically see them laughing at us. It didn't matter, it was all great fun!
The best part of the journey (besides getting to hang out with Roger and Wendell and fishing, and the race), was that the Johannesburg cycling channel interviewed me and broadcast it that same evening. The local newspapers and magazines interviewed me, too, so there were stories on TV, print, and on the internet about the race, me, and Cannondale. It was excellent coverage and I was happy they got some good advertizement for the event.
We had a meet and greet barbque the night before the race and we got to meet the riders from the teams. It was a nice get together. We met Coert, who like Roger, is an amputee. They had a lot to talk about about and I could tell they will be friends forever.
Wendell, his wife Maya, Anton, Renee and Mattie supported me through the race. What a great team!! I got a lot of good advice. Roger and Maya worked together to feed me and every lap I came around I felt like I was at a buffet in Vegas. So much awesome stuff to pick from!
I'm sorry I didn't get to post this sooner. There are photos and stories on the FAcebook page. I especially liked the blog story from the guy with the 5339.co.uk tatood to his rear. I can't remember his name but did want to shake his hand and thank him for riding so well but was so beat I didn't get to see anyone after the race. Cheers to all for coming out and racing hard!
Many thanks to Thanks to Wendell, Dimitri, to all medics, time keeps & marshalls that were on route all day & night.
Here are some photos of the journey...
|Bag of Worms|
|Roger and the pit crew|
|me and Roger|