Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 115

the munga | RACE REVIEW I have some water please?” I walked outside to the back of the shop and had a vomit. Judging by the wet patches on the ground, I could see others had done the same. We hooked up with some riders, including a guy named John, whose GPS was lost or broken, and became part of the group. We were seven and we rode all day and into the night. With 13km to Vanderkloof Dam, John hit an aardvark hole. His derailleur was smashed. A few guys stayed behind, but I kept going because I was slower and I knew they’d catch up. When they did, they announced John was walking the last 13km. The paramedics were nearby so he’d be okay. We arrived at Vanderkloof Dam at around 12pm. We ate and set the alarm for an hour later. RACE VILLAGE 2 VANDERKLOOF DAM TO BRITSTOWN As the sun came up, so did the temperature and the wind. By the time we reached the water station, it was 49˚C. There was a mass of bodies lying in the shade, and we decided to rest there until the midday heat had subsided. My mind was wired, so I couldn’t sleep. I chatted to the lady host while the guys found couches to crash on. About an hour or two later, John arrived. He’d gotten lost the night before and walked a total of 30km, pushing his bike the whole way, arriving at 4.30am. I could see the relief in his face and was amazed at his willpower. If it was me, I’d have pulled out at that point. We left together at around 3pm for Britstown. It was a grind. Pedalling against a 40km/h headwind, in and out of loose sand and ruts, and melting in the heat. The conversations that piped up have left so many memories in my mind. Chris, from Harare, gave me a few laughs. The three guys, Mark, John and Frank, of the group of seven, rode ahead. I was lagging behind and so was Chris. Gavin waited up ahead. It was a bit of a tricky navigation, I’d told him to go ahead, but I was glad he stayed. Just before Britstown, I saw a tree. I hadn’t seen one for hours. Under the tree was a cow with a calf. In a momentary lapse of reason, I stopped with no one around and took a picture, I guess because the cow looked so good in the shade. The picture turned out completely blurry. The food in Britstown was a relief. The buffet had plenty to offer, like lamb stew and Malva pudding with custard. I also had my cycling shorts washed. What a pleasure. RACE VILLAGE 3 BRITSTOWN TO LOXTON We left in the dark. It felt better riding in the dark after such extreme heat, and there wasn’t as much wind. I can’t remember much about getting to Loxton, except that we stopped at a water station on the way that had 100 different Ride.” My bike felt like a kite that was going to take off. Soon enough it was over and before me lay a road of thick sand like I’d never seen before. I could see riders ahead of me walking, some falling off and others riding through. So, this is The Munga. All I could think about was surviving the moment. At 100km, I saw a small shop. I grabbed R10 and wobbled inside to be greeted by three smiley ladies. “Can warrior woman | MTB | 115 the munga | RACE REVIEW I have some water please?” I walked outside to the back of the shop and had a vomit. Judging by the wet patches on the ground, I could see others had done the same. We hooked up with some riders, including a guy named John, whose GPS was lost or broken, and became part of the group. We were seven and we rode all day and into the night. With 13km to Vanderkloof Dam, John hit an aardvark hole. His derailleur was smashed. A few guys stayed behind, but I kept going because I was slower and I knew they’d catch up. When they did, they announced John was walking the last 13km. The paramedics were nearby so he’d be okay. We arrived at Vanderkloof Dam at around 12pm. We ate and set the alarm for an hour later. RACE VILLAGE 2 VANDERKLOOF DAM TO BRITSTOWN As the sun came up, so did the temperature and the wind. By the time we reached the water station, it was 49˚C. There was a mass of bodies lying in the shade, and we decided to rest there until the midday heat had subsided. My mind was wired, so I couldn’t sleep. I chatted to the lady host while the guys found couches to crash on. About an hour or two later, John arrived. He’d gotten lost the night before and walked a total of 30km, pushing his bike the whole way, arriving at 4.30am. I could see the relief in his face and was amazed at his willpower. If it was me, I’d have pulled out at that point. We left together at around 3pm for Britstown. It was a grind. Pedalling against a 40km/h headwind, in and out of loose sand and ruts, and melting in the heat. The conversations that piped up have left so many memories in my mind. Chris, from Harare, gave me a few laughs. The three guys, Mark, John and Frank, of the group of seven, rode ahead. I was lagging behind and so was Chris. Gavin waited up ahead. It was a bit of a tricky navigation, I’d told him to go ahead, but I was glad he stayed. Just before Britstown, I saw a tree. I hadn’t seen one for hours. Under the tree was a cow with a calf. In a momentary lapse of reason, I stopped with no one around and took a picture, I guess because the cow looked so good in the shade. The picture turned out comple ѕ䁉)Q ɥѽݸ݅́)ɕQՙЁѼ)Ȱѕ܁5ل)ՑݥѠхɐ$ͼ)䁍危́݅͡͡)]Ёɔ)I Y%11) I%QMQ=]8Q<1=aQ=8)]Ёѡɬ%Ё)ѕȁɥѡɬѕ)Սɕаѡɔ)݅ͻeЁ́Սݥ$e)ɕȁՍЁѥ)Ѽ1ѽፕЁѡЁݔ)ѽЁ݅ѕȁхѥ)ѡ݅ѡЁɕ)It5䁉Ёє)ѡЁ݅́Ѽх)M՝Ёٕ݅́ȁ)ɔ䁄ɽѡ)ͅ'eٕȁ͕ɔ)$ձ͕ɥ́)݅ͽ)ѡ́ɥѡɽ՝)Mѡ́́Q5չ)$ձѡЁ݅)٥٥ѡи)Ѐ$ͅ܁͵)͡$ɅH)ݽͥѼɕѕ)ѡɕ͵䁱̸q )݅ɥȁݽ5Q