“How do you like them apples?”
A long, long time ago a dude was walking trough a beautiful kloof, with luscious trees, flowing rivers and singing birds. He had the very difficult task of giving all the animals in this luscious garden he was living in, names.
He cried out: “Could I please have some help, a partner, a friend that I can share this beauty with! “ God concurred and gave him Eve…
Fast forward to summer RASA. (Also known as Alex RASA, sorry, I mean asterix RASA) 2022.
We have 8 Eve’s, and mrs Robinson taking on the RASA / RTR leg this year. 12 of the 23 riders starting RASA are novices. We have come a long way … With activity on the trail the first 3 days of the event not yielding a lot of excitement, your fat-free popcorn stores might still be required as the pace increases at the latter part of the start list. Small errors here and there gave us a glimmer of why we have stocked up on popcorn, red wine and firewood. So whether you are Adam or Eve or even Steve, freedom does not pick its host, its host has to long for freedom.
But with not a lot to talk about on the trail, I would like to talk about the progress made in the RASA and South African sport. There has been an immense growth in female participation in sport. Maybe, just maybe, we have reached the point where we do not have to focus on the sex of the individual, but rather on what they have achieved as human being. Like Adam cried out for a partner, a helper and a friend in the Garden of Eden, I cry out for the day we don’t see sex, colour or creed as a limiting factor, but to embrace the freedom the trail bestows on us.
Andrew Rose and Shaun Knowles made whoopsies on Mpharane Ridge, which earned them an hour and a haf penalty. Other than that we did not have hardly put a foot wrong, great riding guys.
Newbie Janine Wencke, Stefan Coetzee and Guy Henderson are sleeping at Masakala tonight. An uneventful journey from Ntsikeni from a dot-watcher's perspective but magic day by their account. Race office received the following message and photos from Guy Henderson:
"Day 3 Freedom Challenge. Ntsikeni to Masakala. (Near Matatiele)
I was cycling along today lost in my thoughts and thinking to myself is this real, is this really happening, am I at last cycling the Freedom challenge. So I mention this to Stefan cycling along side me that this is all quite surreal and that I have to pinch myself and without missing a beat he replies “but surely your bum is telling you that this is real. 😂😂”
And today was especially tough. Another long day in the saddle with already tired legs and a sore bum. 13 hours…But so worth it.
What struck me most about today’s ride was the huge contrast in scenery that we rode through.
Starting just after 6 this morning, with the mist lifting over the rolling Ntsikeni grass lands, with herds of Wildebeest scattering as we approached, to the intensive agriculture around Two Springs our lunch station, to the very rural areas around Masakala where we are staying tonight. They couldn’t be more different. But that’s how special this journey is. To take the road less travelled and see the incredible beauty of our country.
Our hosts today and indeed thus far, have been so welcoming and the meals they have served up have been tops.
So it’s with very weary bodies that day 3 comes to a close. Yippie, still have another 18 days of this. Very special indeed. Laterrrr. Guy ( Stefan and Janine, my travelling companions)"
Nicole Morse and Marelise Badenhorst will be resting their weary heads at mr Dalu Ngobo.
Today’s starters, Dave Templeton, Mark Preen, Ian Henderson, Gary Preston, Jacqueline Shaw and Craig Bosenberg all aiming for Diemersfontein and the evergreen Gavin Robinson, on his “eleventy” Freedom event are enjoying the hospitality of the Wadiloves at Allendale.
Tomorrow a new group, jam-packed with Erasmus', will be venturing into both the known and unknown. And the newbies on the trail will be exposed to some new challenges.