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A bad romance?

My Race to Cradock (R2C) March 2019. This was a race that didn't go according to plan. A race plagued by mechanical mishaps and navigational errors. I wrote this blog on a cold, wet night while trying to sleep next to a fence on the Schurfteberg near Cradock. My heart was broken.

Dear Freedom Trail,

We really need to talk about some stuff. Call me insecure, or even needy, but I get the sense that your feelings for me have changed and that I am about to get dumped. I really thought that we had a good thing going. An understanding of sorts. From the moment I met you, years ago, I was infatuated with your hardness, your seductiveness, and your blatant disregard for the conventional. My friends did warn me about your bad-boy reputation. They said you were bad news. I just could not stay away. I knew that you were wicked, wild and untamed. You knew that I was adventurous, curious and eager to learn. A match made in heaven.

The last few days with you have been awful. Perhaps you heard wrong when I was talking about The Munga. I never said that it was the toughest race on Earth. I also never said that I was going to ride the Munga. I cant believe that your jealous nature would make you rip three spokes out of my new wheel, at the nipple! Especially in the fading light on the Bontehoek portage. You knew that I would struggle to fix the wheel. I now regret ever sharing with you my insecurity of dealing with mechanical issues. You made me walk endless kilometres to Rossouw, through the night, searching for help. And then, cruelly, when I thought that the wheel was repaired, and that I was finally back on the trail, you led me completely astray down a random path, on top of a dark mountain, in the rain. You even made sure that my map, a splendid depiction of your curves and crannies, got completely destroyed in the torrential down pour. Do you realise that I spent the night lying on the cold, damp ground, next to a fence, just waiting for the dawn? As I lay there shivering I kept thinking "Why?", "Why now?"

Did I not pay enough attention to your beautiful contours? Or did I take your wildness for granted? I just don't know. In the last few years I have changed my life for you; I gave up drinking and partying to win your favour and affections. I even turned a blind eye to all your love affairs with the other riders. Oh yes, I was totally aware of your not-so-innocent, flirtatious behaviour! Come to think of it, maybe I should be breaking up with you? So, if we are breaking up, then you can have the cutlery and crockery, but I am keeping the blankets and the whips. I am willing to have therapy to save our love affair. But, I think you should know that my family and friends do not approve of our relationship. Especially my mom. She does not like you one bit. She says you are selfish, self-centred and manipulative. You break my heart but suck me back into the relationship, again and again. She also said you like to hurt my bum.

Love Ingrid (rider 52, just in case you have forgotten) Hello, what was that you just said? Something about a windmill? What? A windmill on a farm? With sheep? And a tractor too? Oooh, yes please.

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