You may have heard rumour that Sunday, 9 March was going to be a windy day in Cape Town. Yes, ‘The Cape Doctor’ was here and blowing between 25-30 knots / 50-60km. It was relentless!!! So much so that most conversations about the wind would recollect the forocious conditions of Argus 2009. If memory serves me, I think that was the one that Hendrik Verwoerd couldn’t continue due to wind. I now understand why.
We all met up in our KU starting chute around 6 / 6:15, waiting our turn to start the epic ride that was about to literally HIT us. We chilled next to the recumbents until it was our turn to be ushered closer to the start line. Freezing our anatomical bits off in the morning air. 3 Minutes to go and we all start preparing. 6:44 Arrives and the unicyclists are off, each one trying to do the most graceful-one-step-wonder free mount. Alas, we didn’t get far, 100m from the start line is a tunnel formed by a sky scraping building. Apparently the wind was funnelling into this tunnel at 80km’s. We were forced to dismount and push or drag our unicycles through the tunnel. Mounted on the other side and continued. This pretty much set the tone for the day.
I could get a personal account of everyone’s experience for this Argus but I thought it best to keep this fairly short. But know this, for all 6 riders to cross the finish line on Sunday was an incredible achievement, mentally and physically. It was tough conditions for a unicycle. It was either a hectic headwind or tailwind with the occasional side wind. Every now and then there were patches on the route that were sheltered from the wind. Personally the odd gap from fighting and reacting to the wind was like hitting the reset button long enough to build the strength to continue.
Photo from left to right: David Eave (Darling Brew), Dylan Eave (WWF), Christopher Human (WWF), Rob Bulloch (WWF), Wayne Lotter (Safmarine) and Donna Kisogloo (WWF)
To get you in the loop of the way of the Argus. 7 Hours is the point where you receive an official time and a medal. 10 Hours is the cut-off point of the race and you don’t receive an official time but you do get the medal. After 10 hours it’s time to de-rig and go home.
These are the results of the day:
1. Rob Bulloch, 6:41:33
2. David Eave, 6:52:14
3. Dylan Eave, 7:30 (unofficial time but made cut-off)
4. Christoper Human, 8:25 (unofficial time but made cut-off)
5. Wayne Lotter, 9:05 (unofficial time but made cut-off)
6. Donna Kisogloo, 10:17:00 (unofficial time and didn’t make cut-off) – my prize, a medal and glass of champagne at the finish line from the commentators. I think they saw the disappointment on my face when I asked the time and realised that I didn’t make cut-off. I couldn’t gear up and maintain it which led to me doing most of the 109km in low gear (29″).
Congratulations to everyone for the tremendous effort you displayed on Sunday. You know you are a silent hero after a day like that!
Thank you to Shaun Engelbrecht for his amazing support along the route. Sounds like you really got around. Although you didn’t get to ride this year you sure displayed incredible spectatorship! Another big shout out to Andrew Barkley for taking photo’s and keeping us all updated on Face-to-Facebook.
Unfortunately the WWF riders didn’t raise any money for their cause Luckily there is still 78 more days to make a donation