Thursday, 29 March 2012

Exploring & reaching the ocean

After a lovely morning of bonding with old friends, I decided that I needed a few key spares (like a skewer that I forgot and some links) so went to a local bike store. Now, dudes, you have a bike store and service is key! Just cause I am a skirt, doesnt mean you can be a jock. I am a cyclist and have likely seen and done more than you. After that warm and fuzzy experience, I was driving down York street and saw Willie Marx cyclists. I have read about Willie Marx and know he has set legendary records. So, I pulled up and met the former pro.

Wow! What a man. If you are a cyclist reading this and are ever in George, please go pop in and meet oom Willie (and support his shop). After seeing his scrapbooks and listening to stories, I was invited to return for a bike setup. I left his store feeling like I had had service despite not spending 1c yet.

I then headed to Beyond Flavour Eatery and Bakery for lunch where I enjoyed a chicken wrap second that was amazing. It was served with a salad with beautifully nom feta. Feel like cloning this place and putting it near my home. But the wrap was not all… homemade lemonade. I love food and healthy, tasty food is hard to find. Tasha the owner, chef and baker has hit the nail on the head. (Beyond Flavour can be found at the Eco Stop Centre on Langenhoven str in George)

After my lunch, I headed back to Step Aside and grabbed my bike. The cruise into town had my bike shuddering and squeeling so instead of exploring on the way to the shop, I headed straight to Willie Marx cycles. My bike setup showed my saddle was WAY too low. Whilst doing the setup, Oom Willie shared a secret with me. He told me….. Sorry, its a secret from a pro and I cant share. Smile with tongue out He then fixed the shudder, sold me a few spares and sent me on my way. I really enjoyed the meeting and my bike feels much more comfortable.


Then came some exploring and a trip in the forest where I met a guy that won a Schwinn Mesa yesterday and now wants to enter Trans Baviaans as well as seeing a herd of bushbuck. The forests of George are really special and I am not sure if I just didnt notice it but it seems as if people here are much more active then they were when I last lived here.

In the evening, I dispelled a Joburg myth:Mitchells beer is not only available on tap – it comes in bottles too.

Link to my route with pics -

After a day of good experiences and meeting really fascinating people, I needed an adventure and today was the adventure. Today I hit the tar early and headed to Wilderness.

The trip out of George was uneventful and fairly quick. As I cruised out I contemplated how distance is relative. In Joburg travelling an hour to somewhere is “down the road”, in George, that equates to going really far. I mean, Oudtshoorn is “down the road” but is far. Anyway, I have weird thoughts on the bike. As I exited George, I hit the top of the Kaaimans Pass. I had decided to take this route to Knysna as I was nervous of the back road but this had another toughie: it was busy. It was a fun downhill but I so craved my roadbike! I can only imagine the speeds I could get on the roadie. It would be such a blast!! (I maxed at 56km/hr but held back cause I still have a holiday and cant afford a crash.) Reaching Wilderness was easy and fast so I scouted out coffee shops, then went to the beach where Rex posed for a pic.


Then, after some seriaasly strong but yum coffee at a place with blegh service, I got the nerve to travel up Kaaimans Pass back to George. Do NOT cycle up this pass. Wait until one day when they finally end the construction. It is narrow and not fun for that section. For the rest it is not that bad if you are on a mtb (can be done comfortably on a roadie too) as there is a storm gutter to cycle in. If you do decide to cycle this, do it early like I did – the tourist buses at least hoot and wave. Its a beautiful pass and is an experience second to none though. Glad I did the ride.

With the trip to Wilderness done and dusted, I have now stood and touched the Indian Ocean. In 2 weeks, I will ride to the Atlantic to complete the Trans-Continental journey. Just wish Tessa and Johan could have done this part with me.

Link to today’s route with pics:

Spent the rest of the day being a sloth at Step Aside. Nice to chill for a change!

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