Photo: It was a day for our local bike shop sponsors - Carbon Wheels and Rasen Adventure.
Stage 4 of joBerg2C is done!
We started in batches this morning after a 6km ride to the start. The views were breathtaking, and it was cold but not teeth-chattering cold like yesterday.
Photo: Just look at that smile!
John & I set off with our group and we went out fast to try to get a good position amongst the other mixed teams.
There was a lot of downhill today, which played to my strengths. I was able to make up a lot of time on the fast and fun descents!
Great Wall My China was an incredible scene and John stopped to take a photo but I wanted to keep my momentum so there are no photos of me with that incredible backdrop. I may regret it, but I had a good pace going and it is really hard to get your rhythm back after you stop. Also, a lot of people stopped for photos, so it was a good time to make up a few more spots, and I knew John would catch me quickly.
The climbing today was painful, but you have to climb to get those beautiful long descents. There were beautiful forests and expansive fields, mountains silhouetted all around us, and some wildlife (but no cheetahs Terry, sorry to disappoint!).
I have to say thank you to EndlessBiking in North Van for my super coaching sessions last summer. My downhilling has improved so much, and I've gone from fearing the descents to really enjoying them. Today's trails were the best I've ever ridden. I'm using all my skills, and making few mistakes. I can see my improvements compared to some of the other riders who are quite tentative on the downhills. Not taking anything away from them, though, as most of them pass me on the steep climbs!! John says that's my next training camp - ascending quicker!!
The other riders are so encouraging, and there was lots of conversation today. One guy riding behind me had even read our blog! I didn't think anyone had read our blog!
We encountered a protest in one of the villages along the way which held us up for a bit, but it was exciting to see the protestors! They all turned their attention to the dirty mountain bikers passing by and most of them were cheering us on!
Since we were faster today, we had a longer day back at camp, which I appreciated so much. We were able to dry some of our wet clothes and have a leisurely beer in the Old Mutual tent with the rest of the gang. We were also treated to a talk about the war between the Boers and the British by a wonderful storyteller. I knew nothing about it, but we were very close to the site of Spionkop on today's ride. Some of the British Army riders who are participating in the race made an extra effort to ride up to the top today to see the memorial site.
All right, well it was a great day all in all! Thanks again for all your support!!