SHOOT: Gowland was a pioneer of a fashion enterprise that today we take for granted.
In September 1997, I allowed an Australian film crew into my house in Oxford without realising that their purpose was creationist propaganda. In the course of a suspiciously amateurish interview, they issued a truculent challenge to me to “give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.” It is the kind of question only a creationist would ask in that way, and it was at this point I tumbled to the fact that I had been duped into granting an interview to creationists — a thing I normally don’t do, for good reasons. In my anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop the camera. However, I eventually withdrew my peremptory termination of the interview as a whole. This was solely because they pleaded with me that they had come all the way from Australia specifically in order to interview me.
Imagine that you are a teacher of Roman history and the Latin language, anxious to impart your enthusiasm for the ancient world — for the elegiacs of Ovid and the odes of Horace, the sinewy economy of Latin grammar as exhibited in the oratory of Cicero, the strategic niceties of the Punic Wars, the generalship of Julius Caesar and the voluptuous excesses of the later emperors. That’s a big undertaking and it takes time, concentration, dedication. Yet you find your precious time continually preyed upon, and your class’s attention distracted, by a baying pack of ignoramuses (as a Latin scholar you would know better than to say ignorami) who, with strong political and especially financial support, scurry about tirelessly attempting to persuade your unfortunate pupils that the Romans never existed. There never was a Roman Empire. The entire world came into existence only just beyond living memory.
Rainy weather conditions greeted the Absa Cape Epic enthusiasts for stage 7 in Oak Valley. Today’s stage was beautiful, but hard. Most riders are relieved that tomorrow will be the final stage of this year’s epic adventure and are looking forward to returning home with their finisher jerseys and medals, a treasured possession for all. Stage 7 took riders over 99km and 2 160 of climbing. The short sharp hills early on really burnt with five minutes up and 15 seconds down making riders work hard. After the descent past Houwhoek Inn riders passed Botriver onto some fast gravel roads through the farmland.
Final stage of 2010 Absa Cape Epic
The final stage (eight) will take riders over 65km and 1 640m of climbing from Oak Valley to their final destination, Lourensford Wine Estate. As is tradition, the last stage is always the shortest, but never easy.
Stage 6 took riders from Worcester to Oak Valley, a distance of 123km and 2 240m of climbing. After a neutral convoy out of Worcester, riders were soon hugging the shores of Brandvlei Dam. Then the ups and downs began; retracing some of the 2009 route in reverse. Climbs were short but some gradients reached up to 26%. A dead-straight chute took the field down to the canals, through the orchards, then into some singletrack and finally over the wall of the vast Theewaterskloof Dam. The race then took a short-cut through a hidden valley to Porcupine Hills before reaching the foot of another monument of the Absa Cape Epic, the Groenlandberg Cape Nature conservation area. Route designer “Dr Evil” found a new way for riders to conquer this beautiful beast.