4:35 am. Still dark outside. But my alarm was bleating, and my heart was beating, and my breathing was still in the stable rhythms of sleep. The urge to turn over and go back to sleep was strong. But then I rembered two things:
1) I'd checked this blog and found that my ghost of Christmas past, had, on the 26th of December 2004, done a 70km cycle in Johannesburg, and a few days later, the 30th, cycled over a mountain pass into Franschoek
2) I'd made a To Do list and there was just no way to fit in a big workout later on, especially not when most of the day has to be written off because the temperatures are predicted to hit 34C.
So I got up and sent Jean an SMS. Good thing I did. He'd made meticulous preparations, but overslept, and my SMS galvanised him into action.
I arrived in Paul Kruger Avenue just after 5am, and saw two lonely cyclists waiting for me on a gray corner. In 10 seconds, 7 more cyclists burst out of everywhere...we were suddenly 10, and on the Dewetsdorp road Jean made us 11.
Was good to ride with Franna and Mauritz and Joggie was also there. We went an easy pace as some of the guys wanted to cycle about 180km.
It was a lovely morning...at one point a widowbird (it has a long, luxurious black tail, as long as your arm) flew alongside me...for a quite a few seconds. Nice moment. With 50km to go to Dewetsdorp 5 of us (including me) turned round.
Cycle: 2:36Distance: 70km
At the end we played a game of racing to a point and then celebrating victory (zipping up the jersey and raising your arms and saluting the crowd), and then the guy behind does the same. Quite funny.
Got home before 8am. My dad opened the door for me. He seemed pretty surprised to see me up so early. Cycling is a serious business though.
I'm going out with the same breakfast flock tomorrow and the day after, and will stretch the distance out to 100km tomorrow, and maybe 120km the next day if I feel strong enough.
Today's going to be hot so I'm going to relax, and then later go to gym for a swim and some strengthening exercises. It's good to be on the bike again.
It's good to be challenging my ghost from Christmas past.