4:52 – Argus Cycle Tour
That was my time for the Argus Cycle tour, which I rode last Sunday. The last time I rode the Argus was in 1989, so it was with a great deal of nervousness that I woke up on Sunday morning. I was cycling in the Z group, which meant a respectable starting time of 8:45am (Z is about ½ way through the field).
When I arrived at the start, it was pouring with rain, something which carried on and off for the first hour or so. The rain of course made the rode very slippery, something which became very apparent when I came off my bike just past hospital bend, about ½ hour into the race. So, I rode most of the race with a really big bruise developing on my left buttock, as well as my left thigh.
Aside from my tumble at the beginning, it was a really great ride. The hills were tough, but not excessively so, and not nearly as bad as I was anticipating. Aside from the early morning rain, the weather was fantastic, it was not too hot and the South Easter was behaving relatively well.
It was with a great deal of relief when I cycled over the finish line in Green Point, with a very respectable time of 4:52. I was hoping to break 4:30, which I think I would have done had it not been for the rain and my tumble.
There were two things that really struck me about the race. The first is the organisation. It was amazing how efficiently the organizers managed to get 35000 cyclists over the start line, around the peninsula, and over the finish line in Green Point. There were plenty of places to water the cyclists, and loads of first aid tents and masseurs. Well done guys – the organisation was fantastic.
The second thing is the support we received from the spectators. I really think that it is the spectators that make the day. At times, I felt like Lance Armstrong with the cheering and support as I rode around the peninsula. Some people even got up at 5:00am to get to a good spot to support the crowds before the roads closed (they had to stay there for most of the day!). Guys, without you it would have been far more difficult.
Most of you know that I rode the Argus for the John Whiffen Trust, raising funds to provide communication and leadership skills for physically and mentally disabled people.
Am I going to ride it next year – well I have already started saving for a new bike!
It’s not too late to make a donation, give me a shout if you wish to.
A final Thanks to Nick for lending my his Eddie Merckz racing cycle – you made it much easier!
In 1989, I completed 5006 out of 10059 cyclists. This year I completed 19843 out of 27499 cyclists.