What is there not to love from riding a mountain bike? And this coming from me, a devoted ‘till death do us part’ roady and triathlete. This afternoon Wessel, my 11 year old son, and myself went for a two hour ride on this beautiful and sunny summer’s day. As we rolled off there wasn’t a cloud in the sky while Wessel was going up and down through the gears of his brand new Merida which his grand dad gave to him just the day before. We first rode around in the neighbourhood and then we left for the nature reserve at Witbank dam. It was pretty. The green from the previous week’s rain could almost be touched and the smell of nature was absolutely divine.
We crossed the river and soon afterwards suddenly almost gave a one horn eland a crash-kiss right on his face! The massive buck was standing dead still in the road not even blinking as we were hastily calculating the safer side to duck past him!! Seconds after that we turned right and started up the really steep climb…from there on it was great fun. We rode around for about 40 minutes spotting spring buck, zebra, bush buck and black wildebeest when suddenly the skies went from brilliant blue to ‘crap is on its way’ grey! I phoned Ryan to find the quickest way out of there, but unfortunately his phone was engaged. Francois luckily answered his phone and easily pointed us in the right direction. As the two of us again crossed the river a big old cat fish swam up stream, crossing the river right in front of Wessel causing him to jump and shout like something resembling a high school showing their girl students a horror movie! Man I cracked up laughing my butt off.
After the very steep incline leading towards the gate, we were about 6km from home when suddenly all hell broke loose. It was the biggest storm I have ever faced on a bicycle. The hail was stinging us like bees as we pushed our hearts into the red just to get to the Total garage as fast as we could. The wind picked Wessel’s 28kg little body right up and moved him half a meter at a time. We were riding at a 45 degree angle compensating for the wind coming from the left. Visibility was about 20 meters!! Jis, we laughed and shouted and begged for breath as we approached the gas station…very relieved to see our mom and wife already waiting there with the car.
It was brilliant. I will do it again as soon as I can. Get on a bike and go cycle…your best experience might be waiting just an hour down the road…even on, dare I say it, a mountain bike!