Saturday, 22 May 2010

Round and About 4 - Blog 64

Thursday I decided that it was time I really did a bit of energetic exercise on the road, so for the first time since last August I removed my bike from its covers. The reason it is so long, is that I went down with pneumonia last August, and then when I returned to the UK the winter weather did not encourage me to get back on my bike. I feel now that I have most things here under control, (including the rabbits), I can enjoy the countryside on two wheels, and build up those muscles and lung capacity again.

Well, I only managed 15 kms, and as I stopped to take several photos along the way I don’t think I did very much in the way of building up too much muscle or lung capacity, but I did discover that the seat seems to have got quite hard! I will obviously have to work up the mileage slowly and try to forget taking my camera along with me. I know though if I do the latter something will crop up that I really want to take a picture of, it always happens!

Anyway here are a few of the pictures I took along the way. Also one previous picture taken several years ago when I was cycling the Argus in Cape Town. South Africa's Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is the world's largest individually timed cycle race. The idea for the race can be traced back to 1978, when Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann organised the Big Ride-In to draw attention to the need for cycle paths. The Ride-In, held under the auspices of the Western Province Pedal Power Association, was well received and drew hundreds of cyclists, including the Mayor of Cape Town. In 1978 The Argus, Cape Town's largest newspaper, agreed to sponsor the 'Argus Cycle Tour'. The inaugural event was held on 28 October 1978 and attracted 525 entrants. In 1991 the 15 000-entry mark was passed as Pick 'n Pay (a large supermarket chain) became a naming rights sponsor, resulting in the event becoming "The Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour". In 2009 nearly 30 000 braved the start and just under 27 000 finished. The event is over approximately 105 kms, but the route occasionally varies, as in some years there has been a danger of falling rocks in the mountains.
Climbing Chapman's Peak in Cape Town with the Atlantic Ocean in the back ground.

This looked a bit like the sea, the crops were blowing in the strong wind and the silver and green looked like waves, it was really quite stunning but the photo does not do it credit.

Baling already, it seems like the crops were only planted a few weeks ago! Note the poppies by the side of the field.

This small château is just down the road from us and is owned by an international horse owner and three day eventer.

I was quite glad there was a fence between me and these two billy goats. They were quite stroppy, stamping their feet and threatening me with their horns. They look quite harmless here, but this was after they had got a bit bored with me and had moved away.

Wild flowers at the side of the road. Due to the very strong wind it was almost impossible to get a good photo as everything was constantly on the move!

24 comments:

  1. Hi Diane...

    What a great outing.... I like the old pic of you on your bike...

    And, the ones you took along the way are beautiful.. Love the hay bails and esp. the goats!! I've noticed the poppies starting to bloom here, too... now... LOVE it.. If you can get pics of any poppy fields, please DO! I would LOVE to see some pics...

    Have a great time- petit à petit sur le velo...

    Have a great night/Sunday... Beautiful day today.. We're very lucky!

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  2. Thanks Leesa. If the wind settles down I will go for a ride again tomorrow. If I see any poppy fields I will take a picture, but they usually seem to be along the roadsides.Diane

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  3. 'Only managed 15 km's ...' wow !Well done, I would've been dead after that ;) Before my son was born, I used to work out daily & reading such an inspiring/energetic post like this makes me want to get back into it soon ! Well done too, for cycling the Argus ! (The photos are stunning)

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  4. Hi Diane I think 15 miles is very impressive. You also have me curious now - who is the international rider who owns that gorgeous Chateau x

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  5. I love cycling in France - I can just go for hours. Good for you!

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  6. Loved seeing the beautiful countryside here!

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  7. Good for you getting the bike out. Me, I'd rather walk. Yet I saw a lot of bikers pedaling on Chapman Pass when I was there.

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  8. Go girl.
    My knees no longer appreciate rides up steep hills, but I do enjoy casual, fairly flat (which is hard to find around here), long rides. You notice things around you that you might otherwise miss. Those wild flowers are prettier than the ones that were purposely planted in my yard!
    Glad you could drop by.

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  9. It is amazing how soft the butt sems to get. :) Many years ago when I got on a bike after many years absence, I could not sit for a week!! :)

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  10. Thanks Lynda, I am planning on going out again in a moment just catching up on the blog 1st. Glad you like the pics. Diane

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  11. Hi Roz, Off the top of my head I cannot think what her name is. My Dr's son keeps his horses there and this is the reason I know about her. I have not actually met her. Diane

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  12. Hi Kirsty, Yes cycling here is always different, I just wish there were a few less hills but it all adds to the interest. Diane

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  13. Gaelyn, Chapmans seems like a long time ago now, I did cycle the Argus 8 times, I should have done 10 rides though and I would then have had a special number! I can't see me ever going back to do it again. The most recent long ride was in 2004 when I rode with a friend from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland called the 'End to End'. I must have been nuts! But it was for charity and we made over £8,000. Diane

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  14. Thanks Mya, Yes the countryside is pretty. My knees are not too bad but they do have their moments! Diane

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  15. How right you are Joan, it is going to take some time to toughen up again!!!! Diane

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  16. You made me feel guilty that I have not been out on my bike for months either. I hasten to add that I am simply not in your league of cyclists though looking at the photo.
    Enjoyed sharing your ride with you, never go anywhere without your camera though!

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  17. Great Post Diane - you made me realize how slack I'm becoming here in the desert, pigging out in front of my computer all the time ... I'm seriously thinking of buying a mountain bike and doing some exercising (mind you, next month I go back north again and I'll get fit lugging rocks around ... )

    Thanks for the history of the Argus Tour and also the great pics.

    PS - NEVER leave your camera at home ... :)

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  18. LindyLouMac. Don't feel guilty, just get your bike out and cycle small distances around and and about. There is always so much to see and you DON't have to race. Just stop and enjoy the scenery and the smell of the countryside. Diane

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  19. Onestonedcrow. I agree leaving your camera at home is not a good idea. This morning what I did was nearly as bad though - the sun was very bright and I thought the screen was looking a bit odd, after quite a number of pictures, my addled brain realised that I had somehow set the camera to black and white. It may be interesting though for a change! I was angry at the time but I am now laughing at my myself. It won't happen again. Well, I hope not! LOL

    Watch your back heaving around heavy rocks. You mean we are going to miss you on the internet again? Diane

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  20. Cycling is such a pleasant form of exercise. I love your photos and your determination. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  21. Thanks Mary.Hope you have a good weekend as well. Diane

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  22. The nicest days are the breezy ones, where everything seems to dance! Bad for pictures, but good for our hearts and souls, don't you think?

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  23. Hi Marjie, Breezy days are just fine, strong wind I can do without especially when it blows from the North! We have had some cold days that I could hardly stand up - not good for cycling or pictures! Diane

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