Sunday, 19 June 2011

Day 6 - Vuvu to Rhodes

The FNB Home Loans Team's spirit is exceptionally high today as the riders reach Rhodes and overcome a major psychological barrier. This is an important milestone as they bid farewell to their Ride-to-Rhodes comrades to continue the next 1800km to the finish. Getting here was not easy task.

Saterday's pictures:

Mr Loos looking great after a 4km hike from the mountains behind him.
Mr Humphries not looking so good after the same hike
Close to Malekholonyane, Albert's bike's BB (Bottom Bracket) started giving trouble. It is quite a scare when your bike's drive train starts packing up in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, he carried an extra one on in his backpack. This BB however, did not fit. Fellow riders offered to help by stripping their own bikes, but Albert needed to get to Rhodes first before they could take theirs apart for spares.

Today the riders climbed the pass in major headwinds. Halfway up the mountain, John made the call to go around, as the climb was too steep and the wind too strong. So, the riders split up. 
"We left the river down below two hours ago with a 5km hike up the mountain and a 1200 meter climb. This is where John and I parted."
Albert and some fellow riders stopped further up. According to the Free Stater, the drops were frighteningly dangerous in the windy conditions. All he could think about is that if something were to happen, they could not even send a medical helicopter to assist them. He would have to sleep up there, and wait for an entire crew to climb up the following day to help carry him down. Here are some of the views climbing up the Drakensberg:

Albert, tackling the mountain head-on, reached Rhodes at 14h30 and managed to get some rest. Hours later there was still no word from John. The rest of the group grew increasingly concerned as night set in. Eventually a support crew spotted him and guided him to reach the support station just after 18h00. He was exhausted from cycling into the wind the entire day.

From Albert, and the rest of the FNB Home Loans team, a big thank you to Andries Olivier from Malmesbury for stripping your bike to assist Albert in continuing the race. Your crank set will have some great stories to tell about the next three weeks. Also, thanks to Fiona and Derek (the bike boffin), for assisting with the repair and giving guidance to the team for when things go wrong.

As always, tomorrow's profiles courtesy of the Freedom Challenge Official Site:


1 comment:

  1. probably first time i've heard someone had a spare bb on them..defintely first time it didn't fit!