Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cyclist proof fences

Jason and I set out on our fairly standard mountain bike route starting at my house, all the way out to Northern farm and around and then back to Jason's house where Caron kindly picks us up. I changed my brake pads during the week and although the wheels weren't running entirely freely, I thought they weren't too bad. How wrong can one be! I was puffing and panting my way up the very first hill when we met Kim (not SIL one) and Andrea who were on their way up to Emmarentia for their traditional saturday morning cycle. We contemplated joining them but thank goodness we didn't - they would have left me far behind. I was really struggling to keep up with Jason and even had to pedal downhill while he freewheeled which wasn't a good sign. Stopped to check the brakes which had got a bit more sticky, so much so that even pushing the bike downhill it would stop unless one was actively pushing it. We had done about 8km so far and as luck would have it, we were just passing Fritz Pienaar cycles so we stopped and begged some help. A little knowledge can go a long way and in no time at all my wheels were spinning beautifully. What a difference, could match Jason for pace and even give him a bit of a run for this money.
Seeing as we had lost so much time already we took the opportunity to go and have a look at one of the mansions which are being built quite close to where Jason stays. The particular one in question was simply enormous - 2000m2 under roof. That is twice the size of my entire property under roof, it was so big that I have difficulty thinking about what they are going to fill it up with. You know you are looking at a completely different league when you walk into the helicopter garage. Quite unbelievable and the mind boggles was to why one would spend so much on a house.
After leaving the mansion, we were approaching a fence which has a pedestrian gate in it but it is quite a pain because to get the bicycle over one has to carry it above one's head. Conveniently, someone had destroyed the fence right next to the gate just inviting one to circumvent the fence. It was a good plan except for the single strand of barbed wire that caught me across the chest and forced an undignified dismount. As I was falling off I thought I would grab a fence post but there was a whole lot of rust corrugated iron attached to it so I decided that the ground was the better option. A few cuts and grazes later I now have to come to terms with several years worth of teasing I am going to be in for every time we approach another fence. It was very lucky the strand wasn't 6" higher and that it snapped as I hit it - it really could have been quite bad.
After the brakes and the barbed wire, the rest of the ride was rather mundane by comparison. We had forgotten our Northern Farm entrance cards so we skulked around the side and climbed over the barbed wire fence to get in. As I climbed over the fence I had visions of slipping and getting another taste of the barbs but it wasn't to be.

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