So… If anyone had to ask me today if I was ready to hang up my thin clean wheels for a mtb, my answer would be no, coz I’m not mentally unstable enough to have enjoyed what we had waiting on today’s stage…

The trouble started when it started raining after yesterdays prologue and I thought hmmm, some mud on tomorrows stage but how bad could it possibly be?

And boy, was I in for a shocker! From kilometer one we were stuck in the mud, beyond anything I have ever experienced! Now for any of you who did stage 2 of Sani2c, multiply that with 10 and add a truckload of tubby glue!

I saw my partner John Lee at the start and within the 1st 11kms (which took us 1 hour) we lost contact. At first I thought he was ahead of me, and pushed ahead, but when another rider told me he was behind me, I waited for him just after the first waterpoint. I stood there freezing up, and after about 15 mins I thought it was impossible that he could be that far behind. I mean, its John Lee Augustyn we are talking about here! No one waits for John Lee. I waited so long I could just as well have started with a pottery class from all the muddy clay collected on my bike.

The TREAD/32GI team of Anriette & John Lee Augustyn force smiles after a tough Stage 1. They finished 5th. Photo: Twitter/@Mr_TREAD
The TREAD/32GI team of Anriette & John Lee force smiles after a tough Stage 1. They finished 5th. Photo: Twitter/@Mr_TREAD


Eventually I started pushing ahead as I was so cold my legs felt like I was pedaling squares! After about 60kms I heard a voice calling from behind me,

it was John Lee! I swear Ive never been so happy to see anyone in my life! I felt like jumping off my bike and hugging him!

Just when we thought the worst was over,  we got even more goo-wee mud in the last 25kms and had to push our bikes, it was impossible to ride. At least it was smooth sailing down the decents. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to follow on the downhills. Following his wheel is like watching poetry in motion!

We finished the stage in just under 6h30 of mudbath. Well, at least mud is

good for your skin right? Otherwise I might just become allergic. I’m not gonna sugarcoat this, I’m not Willy Wonka, today was hard for me, but will I do it again? Definitely! Because, even though I’m not a proper mountain biker, one day when I’m old, its days like today that I will remember.

Because life is all about making memories…


Blog: Anriette Schoeman

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