Third time, not such a charm.

I have to admit, I’m not one for big crowds, especially if it involves people on bicycles swaying from side to side. It’s the unpredictability that gets me. 

I do however love the vibe and comradery people have the ability to bring to events like the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Driving into the city at 05h30, I watch how the wind playfully pummels the trees on the N1 while my appetite for the 109 km ride drops somewhat. 

We meet up with a couple Dirt Addicts and the parking lot negotiations roll back and forth. While I’m not one to test wind, I suffer from chronic FOMO and regret.


Majority positive attitude wins, and we quickly find ourselves at the exciting, jam-packed, confused start shoots. 

Off we go. 

It’s exciting, the weather looks great, but I’m also not that naive. 

We pedal up the freeway, navigating the masses of our batch, chatting with familiar faces, and catching video memories for reels to be posted later.  The descent starts, and so does a healthy gust. I hold on tight and push my heels down like Biking in the Bosch taught me. I hope my MTB skills hold on the road. 

We make it down to the tree line where there’s shelter and the cruising starts. Legs feel good, as does the streetline gees.

Karin points out the cloud cover on the mountain tops. Yep, it’s going to get interesting soon. 


We turn from Tokai and head towards Muizenburg or Kalk Bay – I’m always confused by the area. I watch those in front as they round the corner and wobble a little. My heart does the same. 

I warn Juls, who I know is just as afraid of the wind. YES! We make the corner and speed up into a headwind. I think it’s a headwind.


There are cyclists of every ability heading in the same direction. Or sort of at least. A couple seem to prefer the swerving motion which I’m sure qualifies them into a different skill ability. 

The spectators line the streets. This is lekker, I think to myself and I try to spot anyone I may know. 

Juls has found her groove and speeds up to catch Karin, who is expertly navigating the chaos. I slack off to join Sam who has dropped a little. 


We find ourselves shoulder to shoulder, pushing on down the long street. I mentally prepare myself for the climb that lays a couple kilometers down the road as Sam reaches for a snack out her back pocket. 

I catch her movement out of the corner of my eye. At the same time I hear someone shout, keep your hands on the bars. Mine are. 

At that moment I felt a tug. The building that was sheltering us is gone and Sam, once next to me, is headed below me.

Shit! This is going to end badly.

It takes a second and I’m on the ground.

It takes another moment to gather myself. The pain that is serging through the shoulder that already has a plate in takes another moment.


Shit! Am I hurt, is Sam hurt? How’s my bike? 

I know I’ve hit my head but I realize I can get up. Unlike the last time. I look at Sam’s face. She seems okay but it’s filled with terra. 

The marshalls divert people around us as we try to get to the side of the road. Head racing, I’m trying to make sense of what needs to happen. 

Anja and Megan stop. I watch familiar faces ride by looking concerned. We check the bikes to see what the damage is. Stuck chain, derailleur blah blah, there’s a bike shop right there. 

Sam and I head over for help. What luck!

I realize I have a searing headache and realize it’s probably not a good thing, especially with 80 km to go till the finish. What now? 

The bikes get sorted pretty quickly and the gals ask what I want to do. I check how Sam is. She says she’s okay but the look hasn’t left her face. 

I take stock of how I feel. My shoulder is already stiff so I get the first aiders to check me over but I already know it’s not wise to carry on. 

The girls ask if they should stay with me but I don’t want them to give up their race for me so I send them off to enjoy the wind. I sort of smile but the FOMO is real. 

Now the next problem. How do I get back without waiting 6 hours for the sweep shuttle? 

That’s a longer story.

In short, I got back to the finish before the others and Sam and I are both fine. So are our bikes, sort of.

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