Archive for March, 2013

Observatory Ride

Another ride we will not forget easily. Participation was a record for this event, as seen in the photo. From left to right: Omar, Joe, Luis, Nick, Jun, Thomas, Mohamed, Mike, Timo, Hisham, Tobin, Khadiga and Erhard. Note the rider in the middle who had bonked at this stage already.

Observatory_Ride_2013_03_15

But he was not the only one to struggle, as we had to fight cross wind all the way to the exit of the Ain Soukhna road at km 60. The only leg with tail wind was the 10 km from there to the foot of the climb. At the top of the mountain Nick defended the polka jersey from last October, followed by Tobin and Thomas. Great climb, guys.

After the descent, things got really tough: the wind tremendously picked up speed and later in the A. Soukhna road a lot of sand as well. Our speeds came down to about 14 k/h in flat terrain! Some used the vehicles to draft in the wind shadow, others found shelter behind Timo. The heat at that time (11 am) was also enormous. It was the first heat wave in the year; so far we had been riding with vests. Several ran out of water and reserves. On the A. Soukhna road the strong wind from the South (left) started to require concentration to keep control of the bikes, albeit it was not as dangerous as a week ago.

And after 100 km and with 50 km more to go, it happened again: a truck came by with the first cyclists on the back. Given the extreme conditions, lack of water and exhaustion, we climbed on the truck who took us back to Carrefour. Tobin, Thomas and Nick were long distances ahead and resisted longer, but at some point around the Cement Factory it was only Nick on two wheels, and eventually all came back to Maadi in four wheels.

Unbelievable: this is the second time within a week and perhaps in the club´s history that a ride is aborted. However, as it is usually called: “Safety first”. It sounds like a good reason, eh? At least let´s call it the official reason.

Special thanks go to Thomas and Hisham for the logistics: water, sag wagon service and transportation of survivors. What would we have done without that support?

I think the next ride should have the primary goal of finishing it…

Luis