Last night, there around the Potjie at the Round Church of Secunda, we had some mixed emotion. On the one side there was immense relief, after a hard day on the bike, to be warm safe and being well fed by these lovely people. On the other hand: a bit of worry. The accuweather app on our cellphones told us: 100% chance of rain, extreme thunder showers for today.
After we left there, we went to the kind people who hosted us for the night. They did their best to make it a good experience, and it was! But the whole time we were intensely aware of the rain beating down on the roof.
This morning: guess what- the weather app was accurate for a change! It rained… sometimes heavily. It the rain we packed our bikes, this time with all our luggage, as we would ride on from Kempton Park.
We gathered at the Philadelphia Baptist Church, and these guys gave us coffee and “beskuit”- some rusks that is big in South Africa. You dip in in your coffee…
We said our goodbyes to each other- we really became close friends over this week we shared the sun, the wind, the rain, the gospel, the jokes… And then we took on the road for the last time- on the N17 tollway to Johannesburg. I hate South African tollgates! We pay exactly the same fare as when I drive with my fully loaded pickup, with my fully loaded caravan. 300 kg vs 3000 kg on the road, the same fee… come on…! It is also so bad, in the rain, to get your gloves off, fish out your money, hand it over, put back your purse, struggle to get the soaking wet glove back on, and then not get run over by the irritated motorist who is sitting in his nice hot car, listening to awful music on his stereo system. And he pays the same as me!
It was really beating down hard all the way. This is biking at it’s worst. You never feel safe, You have to keep the safety cocoon around you much bigger than usual- braking distance and idiot factor with taxi’s and cars around you.
We diverted from the group at the OR Tambo International Airport. Drove on to Pretoria, soaked to the skin. The wind-chill factor being wet on a bike on a cold day… We stopped at Pretoria, and I was shivering. We had a quick cup of coffee. And then we hit the road hard to get home- As fast as safely possible.
It may sound if I am complaining. I am not. This was still a day on a bike, much better than the normal guy’s day at the office.
When I got home, my wife and kids were so happy to see me in one piece again. I immediately had a long nice hot bath, and then a warm meal- it felt like a long, long time since that coffee and rusks in Secunda!
The journey has ended- we arrived home safely. Some of the group is riding down to MArgate in this rain, and I pray that they get home safe. Others to Lichtenburg, Bloemfontein… we came from all over the country.
I enjoyed this journey a lot. Thanks to all the good people at the South African Babel Sosatie (Bible Society- the kids at some schools pronounced it sounding in Afrikaans like a Babilon Kebab… 🙂 )
Just maybe I can do Word Riders 2014 in the Western Cape, God willing…
Thanks for my 3 trusted readers for following thus far.
The Soaked Rider arriving home…