You can never measure how much effort goes into a seamless event.
When the participants arrived at the finish of the Hoedspruit Rotary K2C Cycle Tour’s fifth annual event and cycled through the Rudman’s magnificent inflatable finish line, they were all excited with both happiness and relief that the long 100km ride and all the weeks of training that preceded it, was finally over. By watching and chatting to them as they dismounted, it was obvious that each and every one thoroughly enjoyed their day in spite of 6 to 10 long hours on their tiny saddles.
Peter Papsdorf providing his services as the tour’s paramedic, observed that there were hardly any sprains or bruises and said it was amazing what comradery there was in each of the five pelotons and how they all looked after each other. He said “I have never seen anything like the kindness shared between the peloton riders and their leaders”
Exclamations varied from “beautiful scenery”, “I saw elephants, buffalo and rhino from my bike – a bit scary but what a humbling experience” to “I am a bit bushed after the long day in the saddle”.
What really thrilled Hoedspruit Rotary was the consistent comments from participants about the amazing organisation and the fact that they were fed and watered all along the route in the middle of the bush? An American participant said” my breakfast on a large soft roll with scrambled egg, a huge piece of bacon and a sausage and the avocado was pure luxury”. Someone else waxed lyrical about the lunch -“imagine having a freshly cooked hamburger actually cooked in the middle of the bush all juicy – the best hamburger I have ever eaten.”
For the past 5 years Rotary Haenertsburg have provided the riders with their delicious breakfasts and the Hoedspruit Spur their much-loved hamburger lunches. These dedicated critical participants in the tour get up at a ridiculously early hour to be ready when the riders arrive. The tour starts near the Orpen Gate at 6.15am and by that time the organisers providing them with food and water along the route have long been in position.
Along the route, the water stops provide them with other luxuries –“an ice cold wipe to wash away the dust from my hot and dusty face – nothing ever felt nicer”. These practical and much appreciated gifts from Khaki Fever.
At the end of the tour, each rider was presented with a handmade miniature wire bicycle flagged with the year of the tour. Many of the riders collect these highly sought-after trophies and display them after each event. They are becoming collectors’ items. The bicycle trophies are hand-made and it takes the local craftsman about a month to make the 100 required.
Written by Lovelle Henderson