I got back onto the tar and worked our way back to the starting with a major smile on my face, dusty and happy, charging! Not believing I could do this, and there it was … the finish line chute! As I was alone outpacing the toppie, I sprinted alone to make it look like I too was chasing the race snakes of the A Batchers and bunny hopped over the line! I air punched and realized that I had finished! Finished? Yes, finished!
As I dismounted and collected my beer and boerie ticket I started to cramp, but I didn’t care, all I wanted was that craft beer and a boerie roll and to have my Flashy cleaned and ready for the second day. I pushed my baby to the wash bay and she got a well deserved wash as she had done what she promised me … delivering me to the finish line in one piece. I sat on the grass and uploaded my Garmin ride on Strava while munching on my boerie roll and drinking my craft beer! I started to cool down and watched as other riders came through the chute one-by-one some recognizing me and congratulating me on finishing and others just happy to have crossed the line. And finally, 30 so odd minutes later the father-daughter duo came through with smiles dripping from their faces and a proud daughter to have helped her father cross the finish line. The kind lady came to me and gave me a fist pump on completing and told me to stop doubting myself as she took her bike in for washing. An hour or so went by, as I thought I would see Johan , the friendly bike sweep to cross the finish line, but he didn’t. I packed my stuff and collected my Flashy to carefully mount her on the car and drive back to the resort for a nice cool shower and poolside chilling. An orange reflector jacket came through, and there he was, just before I turned the car keys, Johan had just swept two happy lads through the finish line! I took the key out and went over to greet him and tell him that I had for once finished my ride, and like always he smiled and congratulated me for such an awesome achievement, we had a little banter, but because he was in a rush he ran out and I drove away. Back to the resort I showered while singing to Billy Joel’s Vienna knowing I had held on and nothing slowed me down. Now it was just to get my mind and body ready for the second day that came ahead, as it was a route I had never ridden before. I knew after today nothing would stop me for the coming day ahead! Before leaving the race village I looked at the race results and noted I was 50 something overall and 3rd in category while 1st and 2nd overall were the race leaders. Saturday was complete, the Sandman was prepared to sweep me away to the land of sleep and rest.