The Bystanders Blog
The Cape Argus Cycle Tour, Cape Town South Africa.
Just a few short comments from the gcws (gallant cyclists wives) We did not take part in the Cycle tour on Sunday March 14th. In a way we didn't feel we needed to, as the route and every tiny detail had been rehearsed for our benefit over the preceding two weeks.
It starts with the packing, long arguments and discussion about cycle bags, luggage allowances, blowing up tyres , deflating tyres, securing gears and brakes.
Then the attire, long shorts, short shorts, socks . shoes, camels. Well they discussed them so we assume they took them. The medications, drinks and food ,another source of endless pondering- protein drinks, energy drinks, high carbs and even peanut butter sandwiches recommended or discarded.
When we arrived in South Africa with all the gear, there was then every opportunity to discuss the probably weather, wind , temperature, and even -a great treat to drive round the course. This meant every hill, down hill run, dangerous cliff, baboon obstacle could be observed and commented on. :Last year, or the year before this happened or that happened, the fried eggs blew off, the cyclists were all blown over, the race was stopped, the helicopters rescued the stranded. The stories were never ending, was it any wonder that the gcws felt no need to participate.
Then the great day itself, little sleep for the cyclists themselves over wrought and still counting kilometres along the route, and not much for us gcws either woken up at 5 a.m. Then privileged to watch the final preparations. The hunt for the sun tan cream, mixing the noxious fluids for the camels, phones, food and frenzy. Until at last they go.
This year we followed to the finish line and managed to observe Peter come over the line in 6 hours 15mins and Martin in just under 7 hours after some struggles with cramps and glamorous physios who tried to pull him straight. No sign of the Easts, although they must have whizzed through the finish ahead of the other two.
The local paper praised all the fool-hardy folk who liked to spend Sunday in pain .We too marvelled at the perseverance and downright idiocyof the 30,000 who sweat and puff round the 75 mile course. We did not need to take part ,our roles was still not finished. We then had to listen to the detailed analysis of the day. And footballer's wives think they havea raw deal.