Paul and I attempted the CityScape route the week before. The route is a 428 km bikepacking route with the starting point in Centurion Pretoria, South Africa.
Unfortunately a broken rear derailleur pulley ended our journey at kilometer 145 just after we survived a thunder and hail storm. "The perfect story for around the camp fire".
Fast forward to the following weekend and we attempted the CityScape route for a second time.
Winter was now fast approaching as was apparent from the cold dark morning ushering us to rather "go back inside".
It was 4 am Saturday morning, the adventure has begun!
Talk, stop, peddle, eat, drink, silence, peddle, pictures, nature... this was the repeated activities over the course of the two days. We reached our overnight destination as darkness fell, and enjoyed a festive dinner before turning in for the night.
WHAT!! it was 4 am again the following morning, time to pack bikes and gear.
As if waking up at this ungodly hour was not enough it was misty with visibility limited to a few meters and it was WET. We somehow managed to get going, day 2 has begun. Unspoken words swirled in the mist "will they go the distance"!?
The first five hours of riding was as if man and machine were being tested. We passed the test and were rewarded with sunshine at 9 am just as we entered a small town.
We stopped and unpacked leaving gear scattered to dry, and prepared a hot coffee and breakfast. This was just what we needed to ignite the body and soul again for the remainder of the adventure. Another 155 km to go!
The last 90 kilometers were littered with hills and a persistent head wind. And just then something unexpected happened at around 340 km.
The more we cycled the less we became concerned with how we felt, it was as if our bodies made peace with what was happening. Helmut, who joined me on this incredible journey was in agreement and optimistically said that we could probably ride another 200 km the following day. Is ultra distance riding really this much "fun"?!
8:30 pm Sunday evening we rode into town as we completed another bikepacking adventure. Both of us concurred that our cycling abilities definitely "leveled up" during the two days of riding.
My advice to you - JUST DO IT.