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My Day In Hell


Azonic
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I know there is a movie out called A Sunday In Hell. 2 days ago it was my turn. I entered for a 135km MTB race which I wanted to use as preperation for Trans 2011. Conditions were VERY cold, windy and rainy. Everything was going pretty well, was sitting with the leaders, trading places in the top three. My bike started making serious noises in the rear shock area (older style Scalpel) which made me stop and inspect. Couldn't see anything wrong so carried on. 20km later my seatpost suddenly felt very high as my leg was straight while clipped in. This was while flying down a hill btw, 47.5km into the race. I stopped and checked things out again. Lo and behold, my frame snapped (as it probably did 20km earlier). A year ago my Scalpel snapped at the top bottle cage boss on the seattube, straight separation. I had a shim put on the inside, and it was welded over. Sunday it broke again at the same spot. There I was in about 5 degree, wet and windy conditions, about 6km past the previous checkpoint, on a pretty unusable bike. I started walking back on the course as I didn't know how far the next checkpoint would be. Wow, within 5 minutes of walking here comes the organiser in his Prado with another MTB'er in the passenger seat. "Stay right here, I'm just taking this guy blah blah blah... I'll be right back". Haleluja, I'm saved. I tell him I'm anyway going to just start walking back on the route to keep myself warm and pretty much help everyone in my own rescue. Friends. I walked about 5km, an hour. No-one came. Shivers, not cute little shivers, the kind where you shake uncontrollibly. Cold, wind. Numb hands, wet feet. Have to walk through ankle deep water (by now it was PROPERLY raining), etc. Eventually another vehicle came from the front. They load me in, but unfortunatelly there is no room in the cab. So its the canopy for me. The driver, lets call him Frikkie, clearly has NO understanding of driving a little slower on gravel roads that are so washed out that you can see bedrock. I spend more time bouncing around in the canopy and banging my back on the sides than what I spend sitting down. Eventually I'm screaming at him, "F_k ou, slack af!!!". But no, Frikkie keeps going. Still being wet, we are now speeding down the tar road back towards the start/finish. The canopy doesn't fit all to well so I've got a nice cold breeze blowing on the back of my neck. Like it. I see the two guys in the front fiddling with the Garmin - as I later found out it was to find a shortcut back. Driving on the "main" roads would have taken 5 more minutes, but lets not go there. So we head down this arb gravel road again, Frikkie doing his best Collin Mcrae impersonation. From the bottom of this little hill we are going down is another 4x4 coming up. I later heard the driver held his hand up, in the "hello" position. But as you will soon find out, it was in the "STOP" position. We drive past. At the bottom of the hill we see water. LOTS of water. So much water you can't see where it ends around the next bend. Mr. Mcrae thinks this is cool, lets go for it. We drive into the water, soon the water is over the wheels (*new* Toyota Hilux). Soon the water is at door handle level. But soldier on Mr. Mcrae does. He punches it one more time and by now water is splashing halfway up the windscreen. We stop. Not because he took his foot off the diesel, but because we are now officially floating. We float about 2 to 3 meters to the left where bushes stop us. Radical. I'm in the back of a bakkie inside the canopy, with water now coming in at every badly sealed corner and hinge. Luckily the canopy wasn't locked... I gather my cellphone in the plastic bag it was in, luckily. The guys in the front start putting their stuff on the dash to get it out of the way of the rising water. They open the doors and jump in. By the time that the water in the back was ankle high, I'm sitting on the back, ready to do the same. I jump in, the water takes you just under the armpits and I'm not a short dude. I reach up to try close toe "flap" so that my bike doesn't float away, but can't, the bakkie is already about 50cm "in the air". I climb back onto the bumper to by able to reach the canopy flap. Close it and get back into the water. Here starts 100m of wading through the water back to the road where we came in. We get there, and start walking. After having walked for an hour earlier with my broken bike, here I was walking again, this time even more wet and colder. We walk for about 45 minutes before another vehicle picks us up. A old style Landy with no cover on the back. And we drive back down the kloofie and the Hilux rescue effort starts. To end the story, after about another hour the bakkie is towed in, and 30 minutes later I'm back at the start finish, wet and VERY gatvol... Oh, and my bike was submerged for about an hour in the back of the bakkie. All my bearings are ruined. To add insult to injury, this race was the first that I did on my BRAND NEW XT drivetrain. Probably took 6 months off it. I doubt anyone can have a day worse than that.

 

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Loco, it was. The organisers did what they could, but my opinion is that the 135km should have been canceled and just the 65km held. My gripe is with Frikkie. His "slimheid" is costing me big bucks now to repair/replace my headset and hubs.

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Old SID in my bike, new SID in that bike. I would expect the other chap to be in the same league worth of damage that I was in, save for the broken frame.

Edited by Azonic
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Certainly could not have been fun on the day, but kinda makes for a lekker story to tell future cycling buddies...

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hmmm, glad to hear that it wasn't reportd as 'cyclist killed at race' or something similar. Bakkie drivers = Superheroes (or so they think) :thumbdown:

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Us 4x4'ers just looooove stories of muppets that go into water without checking the depth! A true moron! You are really fortunate that it did not get any worse for you! You should put this story on the 4x4 community, they will love it!

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Glad you atre ok!!!

That must have been a company vehicle he was driving.

 

That will be correct. I can't divulge which company the vehicle belongs to though.

 

NO-ONE would have driven their own vehicle into that.

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Dude, I shouldn't be laughing .. but that was a funny story. Hell of a day out.

 

Glad you ok boet.

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Dude even while I was k@k cold and not ammused at all, I found it funny as I couldn't believe things could go so bad in one day. The whole episode from the bike breaking to getting back to the start/finish was about 4 hours.

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That will be correct. I can't divulge which company the vehicle belongs to though.

 

NO-ONE would have driven their own vehicle into that.

 

Estate agent perhaps?

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