The End! #muddy #tired #worth it And just like that the Dr Evil Classic is over for another year.
The ‘Dr Evil Muddy’, is how most people will remember it. Bikes slipping & sliding downhill and slipping & sliding uphill. Chains jamming. Gears seizing up. Brakes failing. What didn’t fail, however, was the sense of humour of the cyclists, who (mostly) grinned through it all.
The hosts, too, were unfailingly cheerful about the invasion of their school. On the first day, the start chute was lined with Wittedrift High school-kids cheering the cyclists on. When ‘Greg’ had to go home to fetch his shoes, everyone waited for him & gave him a hero’s clap to send him on his way. Prefects handed out medals. The netball courts were used as a cleaning zone. Bikes were stored in the school hall for safety. Everyone was welcoming.
There were a few hiccups of course. Two cyclists couldn’t find Cairnbrogie (“But they said it was in Harkerville!”) & missed out on that day’s ride. The mud made Day Two, shorter & more scenic this year, but still difficult, a day of falls & injuries. And ironically, with the rivers flowing full & the fields sodden, Wittedrift High ran out of that very commoditiy – water – on the last day, & had to send all the bikes home covered with mud. Minor details these – the race was, once again, a total success.
And, in the end, the mud became a badge of pride. It told a story: three days of challenges, accepted & survived. Three days of concentrating only on the partnership of body & bike. Three days of forgetting about work worries. Three days of exploring some of the secret trails around Plett. A muddy bike meant you’d done it.
Hopefully they’ll come back & do it all again next year for the Dr Evil Classic 2016.
Just without the mud.