18/05/11, stage 83, Elandsbaai to Yzerfontein

In my head today was the last big day before our finish tomorrow. 145k. Relatively flat. The wind might potentially be a challenge. Otherwise I should be oke…

Yesterday Baldr proposed to ride together for one last time, for old times sake, the two Dutch people together, which meant fast riding 🙂 He promised me we wouldn’t go too fast though, and he promised me to keep me out of the wind as well. And so we rode together. A nice pace, but not too hard because he broke the wind for me 🙂 At around 50k we picked up Fred and at 60k we had a cokestop and ate an exorbitant amount of cake and milkshakes. After that it was only 10k to lunch…
After lunch the local police forced us to ride in convoys for safety reasons, so we formed a group of 12 and got an escort from Tallis in the Landcruiser. What was supposed to become the last hard afternoon of riding turned into a dull ride on the highway behind a car, which was quite an anti climax. Not the last hard ride I envisioned it to be. The first half of the afternoon I drafted behind the car, which was easy riding, but during the second half I dropped back a lot, taking more distance from the car and the group. Together with Andrew and Brendan we even got a police escort 🙂
After the last climb of the day we got our first view on Table Mountain, which brought about quite some euphoria among tbe riders. It’s really close now! A bunch of giraffes, zebras, oryxes and ostriches only added to that feeling! 10k before the end of the ride we left tbe highway and were released from the convoy and made our way to Yzerfontein, where we took over the local bar 🙂 We had drinks and pizza and other food and celebrated that we are almost there! 
During our celebration I had all full tour riders sign my jersey, which I have worn for the past 83 riding days, meaning every day we’ve been on the bike. I swam with it in the Red Sea, in the Nile, in Lake Malawi, it has the spray on it of Victoria Falls with water from the Zambezi river and yesterday I swam with it in the Atlantic Ocean. Next to that it has the dirt on it of the Sahara desert, the Nubian desert, the Kenyan lava rocks, the Tanzanian dirt road, the Kalahari desert and the Namibian desert. This shirt has seen places 🙂 And despite that the white on the shirt is actually still pretty white. And I couldn’t be bothered to much with tbe commemorative tour jersey we received today during our last rider meeting. Tomorrow I’ll wear my own shirt, for the 84th and last time. Only 93k left on this crazy adventure!

Again a beautifull sunrise as we cycled along the shore of the Atlantic…

Last bit of dirt…

Not a bad place for cake!

We’re really getting there!

First view on Table Mountain!

Our police escort following us, keeping us safe from traffic from behind…


Celebrating at the local bar 🙂 Andrew signing the shirt!

Handing out the tour jerseys. 93k to go to the finish line!

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