I have to confess that I was beaten by a rider in a Scooby Doo costume, but the good news is that I re-caught the man in the cow outfit before the finish. Such are the experiences of the rider placed 14,723rd in the Cape Argus Pick ?n? Pay.
It really was an epic day out. Capetonians reckon they are accustomed to strong winds, but when even they get scared, you know you?re in trouble.
One of the main problems was simply getting away from the start. You were okay when the tall buildings sheltered you but as soon as you in the open, a side gust would catch you and then there were bodies everywhere. Organisers were urging everyone to walk, but if you couldn?t handle the start you didn?t stand much chance of surviving the side winds on the flyover up to the motorway.
And this was all inside the first kilometre. Hundreds of riders quit the ride within sight of the start, some clinging to the crash barriers, others walking, pushing their bikes back down the slope.
And it got worse. Trust me, some 70 kilometres into a 60kph headwind is no fun, but least there was going to be tailwind as we turned north. Was there hell. Somehow we were battling the same gale for much of the return up the Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula.
There was simply no rest anywhere on the course. Imagine needing the 27 sprocket ? on a descent! It happened to me several times.
So maybe five hours, 48 minutes and 42 seconds isn?t too bad after all.