Life in the Sun

Monday 25th January 2010

by catherine williamson

I’ve been in South Africa now just over a week and already the tan marks are appearing. Last week the temperature reached high 30s which I’m guessing is 30 odd degrees hotter than home. I flew into Bloemsfontein which is in the middle of a desert in between Cape Town and Johannasberg. Straight away I joined the morning group ride at 5am in the dark. There are 8 or 9 guys, all from a masters team who train most mornings be it steady rides or intervals round the streets. After the ride its a dip in the pool, breakfast then into the city for work in a bike shop….yep, I’ve been forcing the people of Bloem to speak English, have discovered how many different types of inner tubes sizes there are and have been fixing heavy town bike puntures. They won’t let me near any other mechanical things which is probably a good thing!! There’s a lot of sitting around and nattering which I learn’t quickly is the African way and I’ve become known as the English girl that doesn’t speak Africans!! My pay is fantastic……works out about £1 an hour!!!
Last Saturday we raced the season opener, 100km with the men. Early on I got in the break which soon became 7 guys and myself. It was pretty hard to keep through and off going and I did nag a bit at one point when guys started sitting and attacking. Soon got them all working well again and we got a gap of 3 minutes. Just near the end two tandams bridged across and made the finish really hectic. With a bit of luck I jumped on one and came round to take 3rd, 4th if you count the tandam (which no one does!!). I’m now quite well known in Bloem and am going into the first big race tomorrow with a bit of pressure on my shoulders. We have a strong team with the Swiss Champ who is a great sprinter so hopefully we ‘ll come away with a win. After that its a training camp in the mountains then back for another race next week.

Not sure when my next interneting might be but think the results and updates will be on www.konicaminolta/cycling.com. Not sure if its updated yet but hopefully it will be soon.

3 Responses to “Life in the Sun”

  1. shane Says:

    £1 an hour :O.

    Local celeb though eh!!!! 🙂

    good luck next week

  2. Dan Says:

    You’ll be a local celeb when you get to France Bert!

  3. shane Says:

    sounds right up my street.

    im already a local celeb in briggswath but…… for all the wrong reasons haha

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