I haven’t said very much about riding on the farm so I thought now’s the time.
The farm is near Molteno (whereverthatmaybe) in the Stormberg Mountains. It gets extremely cold here in winter and never really warms up to any decent early 30 degree days in summer. The Freedom Challenge comes right by the farm on their journey. Never heard of it? Well, in short it is a MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE of 2,350 kilometres on Southern Africa’s Freedom Trail as a non-stop, unsupported race from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl outside Cape Town. That is lunacy! Have a look at some of the pics of these poor souls riding through snow and minus temperatures in that area!
I’m not brave enough to go to the farm in winter let alone go riding there in winter – still people do.
The ride I usually do is a 45km odd circular route around the P.I.L’s and neighbours farm. The rules to avoid getting lost are simple, at the siding turn left and take every left thereafter and you’ll eventually get back to the siding (44.5kms later). Got to love farms – that’s the block!
I missed a left turn ONCE (I’ll never do that again by accident!) and landed up going straight at the third left and almost landed up in Burgersdorp. The usual 45km turned into an endless “wherethefuckamI”. I had paced myself well to make a record time on the 45km. So when I hit 40km and realised I am nowhere near where I should be, I realised I was lost. I had no water left and no food! It was hot that day and I was getting sun branded! I suck to the “turn left” rule so at the one point I should have turned right, I turned left!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I think that route wold have been about 90kms. I did about 75kms before getting picked up by the search party that was deployed when I was 4 hours later than I should have been!
Now I know exactly where the turns are, and even if it looks like a driveway, take it anyway! I have also invested in a 3 litre camel back so that I can stay hydrated! This is the route.
The last ride on the farm was great! I felt really buggered after the Karoo2Coast and it literally took me all week to recover! I went out for a ride on the Saturday after the race and managed a very respectable time, if not my fastest time to date. Must be the altitude or something?
I’m still threatening to wake up early and go for that ride so if you’re keen, let me know!