When Dawn invited me for the umpteenth time to ride with them, i said yes 'cos the weatherman promised a very wet weekend with lots of rain. The festive season took it's toll on me: I was a little heavier and a lot slower than the last time i rode with them, and i didn't want to ride with them, cos i knew i'd hold them up.
But when the alarm went off long before dawn on Saturday morning, there was no sign of even a remote cloud. There were no more excuses: I had to get up, dress up and pitch up.
And was I glad i did!
It must be some of Joburgs' coolest tracks: We left from the Carlswald shopping centre in Midrand. It was 60-odd kays of singletrack, jeeptrack, dirt road, some long climbs, even longer downhills, very pretty views, and a coke-stop in Gerhardsville.
It must be Jozi's coolest crowd: Most of them have cycled the Freedom Challenge all the way to Cape Town. Those who didn't, have cycled the first bit till Rhodes - so all of us have carried our bikes over Lehanna :)
All of them extra-ordinary riders, very humble, very strong, but with nothing to prove. They waited patiently at the climbies, they laughed with me right back to the world and the prettyness, muddyness and joyfullness of the tracks and our aliveness.
An extra-ordinary ride with extra-ordinary people.
Thank you Dawn for inviting me - and Dave, Doug, Derek, Ben, Fiona, Henry - for babysitting me on the uphills, chasing me on the downhills, laughing with me on rivercrossings, sharing your chocolate brownie recipes and potatoes, lubing my chain, challenging me on the climbies and dreaming up more adventures. And the M&B breakfast afterwards. Like always, an honour to ride with you :)