I decided not to ride today. I wasn’t ill, a little tired but certainly not exhausted. I just didn’t fancy it.
Unlike our last trip the ride through Africa is a supported tour. Tour leaders, medics, chefs and bike mechanics all accompany us as we ride from Cairo to Capetown. We simply ride our bikes. Rising early for breakfast we head out for the day, aware of “coke” stops, lunch stops and of course camp at the end of the day. Easy…
However, in comparison to other more holiday geared bike trips (smart hotels, stop offs at key monuments, distances more ameniable to leisure) the TDA ride is described as both a race and expedition. It is listed as one of the top ten toughest global bike challenges.
We average 121km each ride day which sounds ok until you consider that the journey through Africa is both on and off-road. Last week it was flat (apparently easier)as we came out of Botswana so in 5 days we cycled 825km, with 207km in just one day. Supported it may be. Easy it is not.
Today was the start of the next off-road section – packed dirt roads,expected to get deeper with sand as we head towards the famous dune landscapes of Namibia. While the 114km of today was meant to be one of the easier days and seemed to offer some amazing views as the route climbed out of Windhoek I was not in the mood to ride my bike and perhaps that’s one of the hardest parts of being on a supported tour. It just doesn’t stop and wait. Whether you’re tired, ill or just not feeling it the circus moves ever onward. I would be riding the truck.
We have just 15 more ride days left now till we hit Capetown. While feeling I should be doing them all there is more off road ahead and the fact that for me TDA is not the end of my cycle tour I will just continue to see how I feel. Tomorrow is just another day.