We can see clearly now on day 5

By David Moseley

To borrow from Johnny Nash (or Jimmy Cliff or the Hothouse Flowers), we can see clearly now the rain is gone. It was misty in the morning, but the sun finally came out and the spirits soared.

Day five of joberg2c, 123km from Emseni near Winterton to Clifton Prep in Nottingham Road, was an absolute classic joberg2c day, featuring blue skies, a gentle breeze, Drakensberg views, rolling, green fields of gloriously groomed cows, and a few challenging climbs to keep the riders honest.

For this rider, the first 70km was an honest-to-goodness dog’s breakfast thanks to misfiring machinery (and possibly misfiring mental stamina). Stuck in some light gears and unable to get any forward momentum on the flats and descents, I was spinning faster than the little rainbow wheel on a crashing Mac.

But after a quick visit to bike doctor Dylan at the second waterpoint, the robust Pyga Hyrax was good as new and ready for an assault on the second half of the stage.

Yours truly was also rejuvenated thanks to braaied pork sausages, cheese sandwiches, mini pancakes, date balls, choccies, crunchies, and peanut butter biscuits (yes, I ate all of that in the space of five minutes. And yes, I did mush some of them together) at the 71km stop.

From there, it was a smashing descent towards the Bushmans River, followed by some gnarly climbs, and a brutal 3km slog called “The Rise”. The final 20km had more ups and downs than a pogo stick factory, but none of that mattered because riding on solid ground was an absolute delight whether it was a climb or a descent.

Mentally back in the game (123km is a mind game on the bike first and foremost), this rider attacked the climbs with glee, skipping past riders to their cries of “I didn’t know Pyga made an e-bike”. (In fact, they do; there are two prototypes here. So now if you want to look cool and dabble in some pedal assist, you can contact your local Pyga dealer).

It was the perfect second half of a stage race day, with the conditions and the country scenery only adding to the experience. Though a long day (as I type this at 17h49 the last rider is crossing the line to the sound of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire – certainly, his bum will be on fire), there was only joy etched on the faces of the riders.

After a few challenging days on the bike thanks to the muddy conditions and rain, day five was a return to iconic joberg2c territory – where the riding was long and tough, but also rewarding. This was a day when riders finished with tired bodies but big grins. The idyllic countryside route with all the dozing cows also inspired this piece of improv…

What do you call the head of the moonarchy? The cow-een!

Sorry, not sorry.