Posts tagged Guy Veysey
I wish I could upload the full HD version but unfortunately its 1.7GB!! Sorry the quality is a little low – had to shrink the file size somehow!
Sadly, as we rolled into Cape Town on Monday, we couldn’t help but feel the anti climatic emotions one always gets at the culmination of an epic adventure. It’s impossible to bring readers truly into the world we lived in for our 10 days but hopefully with the aid of pictures (and video once I’ve done some editing) I’ll be able to give everyone an idea of our journey.
After James Cunnama, Collin Allin and myself had flown into Cape Town, we regrouped with Guy Veysey, Raoul De Jongh and Matt Blake, loaded our bikes and kit, and immediately hit the road to George with a quick detour to drop some things off at the De Jongh family’s farm. Hours later, we arrived at the Rockpedal Classic registration to pick up our race numbers and then continued on to our accommodation on one of Retief Goosen’s farms. Our twitter tagged: #epicunsupportedtour was about to begin!
5am and we were up. Since we were staying near the finish, we had to make an early start as we still needed to drive the 40 minutes back down to the start in George. Despite being a ‘race’, we weren’t in any rush and just stuck together throughout the 2 days of the event. Day one took us out of George through some forestry roads and some single track before hitting the big climb up the Montague pass. From there some pretty simple riding through to the finish. We then headed back to our accommodation which was a few km’s away. The R1300 worth of food that we had bought the day before was then demolished as we fed ourselves up knowing food in the next few days wouldn’t be so abundant. Super athlete’s James and Raoul then went off for a run after some serious power-napping and due to their steamy bodies scored our group 4 bottles of wine compliments of one of the local ladies. Needless to say we made sure they went running almost everyday to see what else they could get for us. Just after they got back from their run, mother nature put on quite a spectacular show for us in the form of a double rainbow (bringing up memories of a hilarious YouTube video: watch here) The world champs pool tournament then kicked off with me catching a hiding from everyone not winning a single game – eish!..but I totally blame it on my race number – 13! Another big feed and we were off to bed..
The second day of the event was pretty straight forward following basically the same route back to George but in reverse. Climbing the pass the day before suddenly seemed all worth it. By the time we got to the pass I found myself on my own having tucked myself nicely in the front of one of the front bunches. Realising the others were behind I decided I better wait for the others and completely by coincidence ended up chatting to the only 2 good looking girls in about a 10km radius! Once the boys had regrouped and after a few minutes thanking the girls for looking after me, we made our way down the pass catching some pretty cool footage on my GoPro camera as I chased Raoul down the pass on his new Morewood Kwela (29er). Once the ride was done, we had to restock on our food then we headed back for some more Pool champs (this time I won all 9 games I played..boom!) Matt then headed off with Guy’s car which we packed with all the kit we didn’t wanna carry on our backs and we were officially on our own from there!
The first two days had been pretty easy going with only about 120-130km combined. Day 3 and beyond was about the same distance but on a daily basis…and the riding didn’t get easier! Our first task of the day was to ride ourselves to breakfast in Oudtshoorn about 80km away. Trusting Guy and his pre-mapped Garmin Edge 705 we successfully made it there missing only one turn, adding about 12km to our day. Some monster Ostrich burgers were the order of the day with James (aka the human locust) opting for 2 omlettes meals. We then made our way in the rising heat past Cango Caves, up the Swartberg Pass and all the way down the other side into Prince Albert. The decent down towards Prince Albert showing off some spectacular views (see pictures attached). Unfortunately however, we all knew that the 20min decent was our first challenge of the next day.
Having ridden down the pass the day before, we knew that this was going to be a big day for us…especially considering that that pass was one of many and wasn’t going to be our toughest challenge of the day. The 20min decent took us about 90min to ride back up to the half way mark where our turn off lay waiting. Enter Die Hell! We were welcomed by a sign that said:
Dangerous Road for 48km! Use at own risk!
Raoul, Guy and Colin who had done this route last year knew what we were heading for, James and I, had no idea at all! We had however been told about their experience from last year and much like a tale from an Indiana Jones story, warned of possible impending death due to cobra’s, dehydration, fatigue or fall off cliffs to our doom. Well they weren’t far off! The heat started to pick up leaving no question as to why the area was called The Hell, riding huge passes with little place to fill water bottles. On the second last big descent into the Kamgaskloof, Guy did the perfect thing for any camera man and had himself a spectacular crash whilst I was riding behind him. Not the most graceful dismount – ‘superman’ing onto the dirt road but the whole thing was caught on camera and will definitely be featuring on our YouTube Special Documentary once it’s completed! Not long after Guy’s sudden introduction to the deck, it was feeding time once again. The little restaurant we found in the middle of nowhere wasn’t exactly the most accommodating place as Guy found out (asking only to use some napkins) but we did smash 3 loaves of bread making cheese stacked sandwiches. About an hour of riding later and another big pass we found ourselves lying flat on our backs under a small thatched hut try to hide from the heat of the Karoo desert. Our last big effort for the day was to hike our way up Die Leer and we weren’t too keen on hiking up during the hottest time of the day. By the time we decided we could start the 2km hike, which climbed almost 1km in elevation, we had cable tied our wheels to our bikes to shrink the width of our bikes. So with backpacks and bikes we marched our way up step by step taking just short of an hour to reach the top. I won’t lie, that hike was something else and we were all glad to get back on our bikes at the top! Another hour or so and we arrived at our next stop having been out for almost 10 hours. At this moment, super hero James went running with his shirt off again and lo and behold, next thing we knew we had 30 cans of soft drink plus some beers and piles of food in our previously bare kitchen. I think every time somebody came into the kitchen and opened the ice filled coolbox a tear came to their eye.Why? During the day much of our river sourced water was made drinkable with water purification tablets…Note: Use 1 tablet for about 2L of water, not 2 tablets for a 750ml water bottle, unless you really enjoy drinking what tasted like over chlorined pool water!
Our third day on our own couldn’t have started off much better. We were treated to a huge breakfast with oatmeal, egg, bacon, sausages, juice, coffee, rolls, tomatoe’s, mushrooms and much more. Needless to say we almost ate our hosts out of house and home. Our next stop was our most remote stop in the middle of the Anysberg reserve where there were no shops (not even en-route) and there wasn’t even any electricity. Pre-organised by Guy, our host had got together some supplies for us to take with us in our backpacks which was rice, pea’s, tuna and some oats for breakfast…Yummy! (or not). Having seen James topless our host even offered to drive to our next stop with food, but we figured her husband would not have been too thrilled of the thought of his wife joining 5 young athletes in the middle of nowhere..so we declined and were on our way. There’s not too much to speak of in terms of Day 5′s route. Lots of super remote riding through reserves and farms. What did happen though is we yet again scored some extra chow after Colin managed to sweet talk a lady into eventually giving us some wors.
Oats (desperately flavoured with a chocolate GU) was our fuel for the morning. We all seemed to be feeling a little stronger after lots of sleep during the afternoon before. I’d managed to keep a few Rehydrat’s and so having smashed those down I was feeling MUCH stronger and ready for the day. After what seemed like an eternity riding in super remote area, we finally started seeing some civilisation not too long after the Ouberg Pass. With only about 15km left of the ride to the De Jongh family’s farm, we made a quick stop in Montagu for an early lunch. Mobilising our full bellies we limped our way up to the Klein Hoek Kloof farm, marking the end of Guy and Colin’s riding (both needing to get to Cape Town early).
Arriving at the farm we were very warmly greeted by Raoul’s extended family who had all gathered for Xmas. 16 people under one roof can only work during Xmas time and this certainly was not exception. The 24th and 25th was filled with much food, wine, beer, laughs, The Big Bang Theory (Colin and I watched about 15 Episodes), a short 50km ride and a shorter 5km run. A merry Xmas indeed!
With only Raoul, James and I left (aka ‘Team Morewood’ – all riding white Morewoods..2 Zula‘s and 1 Kwela), we hit the road nice and early to enjoy the cooler morning knowing this was our longest day (distance-wise anyway). We had originally planned to stop by Dan Hugo’s family farm near Stellenbosch but our progress was a bit faster than expected passing their farm about an hour and a half before Dan would be there so we just kept on going. We only had one major climb that day – up the Bains Kloof Pass. We didn’t mind thought as the total for the day ended up being 167km which took us only 5 and a half our of ride time to complete…not bad on MTB’s with all our kit on our backs! Before we made our way down the Cape Town side of the Pass to Gary’s farm (our last overnight stop), we made our way down some pretty awesome single track taking us into Wellington. Unfortunately though, a lapses of concentration resulted in Raoul and myself biting the dust not far from each other. Neither doing too much damage, other than my elbow taking a direct hit to the bone which made it swell up a bit (still slightly swollen).
The last day definitely wasn’t the most spectacular 100km of riding, spending most of it on tar and dirt roads but we did however get an amazing section of single track though Contermanskloof. Nice smooth swinging track with table mountain in the background…pity about my tender elbow which was slowing me down a lot but still enjoyable riding a bit off the back. All we had left at the end was the final drag on tar roads into Cape Town. The wind was a little out of hand making progress a little slow and challenging towards to end but we eventually rolled into Sea Point and into Guy and Raoul’s driveway marking our finish line.
What an incredible time! Big thanks has to go to Guy and Raoul for all their organising, Matt for help driving Guy’s car back, the incredible accommodating people we met along the way and to all involved in the riding of the epic adventure. What a way to tap out some base miles!
So the last few days have been pretty hectic trying to quickly get my life sorted out. And here’s why: About a month ago I was invited to join some fellow triathlon nuts on an experience that I could not miss! The fellow nuts: Raoul De Jongh, Guy Veysey, James Cunnama and Collin Allin. The trip: a 2 day MTB event in George, followed by an unsupported ride back to Cape Town on our MTB’s from the 2 day Rockpedal Event. We’re taking some camera’s and going to try to keep everyone updated via our blogs, facebook and twitter, but from what I gather from last year’s experiences these guys had, phone signal is going to be hard to come by. ATM’s and pretty much civilisation will a distant memory and luxuries will be at a bare minimum. To be honest, I feel like a little boy just before Xmas! Awesome challenge, great company and many good memories to come!
So here’s the itinerary:
Epic Unsupported Tour Itinerary – 2010
Friday 17th Dec
- Leave Cape Town at 13h30 to George via Ashton to drop car at farm
- overnight at Vineyard View Guest House in Louvain (4kms from race village)
DAY 1: Saturday 18th Dec
- Stage 1 of Rock Pedal Classic: George Showgrounds to Louvain over Old Montagu Pass (61kms & 1,100m – approx 3 hour ride time)
- overnight at Vineyard View Guest House
(leave car in George and collect next day)
DAY 2: Sunday 19th Dec
- Stage 2 of Rock Pedal Classic: Louvain to George Showgrounds, back over Montagu Pass (51kms & 550m – 2hr30 approx ride time)
- overnight at Vineyard View Guest House
DAY 3: Monday 20th Dec
- Louvain to Prince Albert via Oudtshoorn & Swartberg Pass (134kms & 1,900m +- 6 hours ride time, excl heat stop)
- overnight at Acacia Cottages, 5 Pastorie Street, Prince Albert
DAY 4: Tuesday 21st Dec
- Prince Albert to Seweweekspoort through Gamkaskloof and De Hel (111km & approx 2,750m incl 2km portage/climb)
- overnight at Stone Cottage, Seweweekspoort,
UNKNOWN FROM HERE!
DAY 5: Wednesday 22nd Dec
- Seweweekspoort to Vrede, Anysberg Nature Reserve (90km with 17km in Reserve, approx 800m)
- overnight in Anysberg Nature Reserve Accommodation, (Leguaan & Seps Cottages),
DAY 6: Thursday 23rd Dec
- Vrede, Anysberg Nature Reserve to Kleinhoekkloof, Ashton via Kruisrivier and Montagu (100km, incl 27km in Reserve, approx 1,200m)
DAY 7: Friday 24th Dec – Route 62 unnamed Pass
- On Route 62 there is an epic climb Raoul has always wanted to ride. We are going to see if we can do it. (100km, approx 2500m)
DAY 8: Sunday 26th Dec – Kleinhoekkloof to Wellington
- Route to still be determined. Gotta find our way to Mischa farm for a night there. (110km, approx 2000m)
DAY : Monday 27th Dec – Wellington to Cape Town
- Last day with probably quite a bit of road riding, but the aim is to ride into the gate at home. (90km, approx 500m)
Total Distance: 847km & 13,300m climbing
So I hope that I’ll be able to keep everyone posted on our progress but if I can’t, have a great Xmas and an even better New Years!!