Nick Theron and I (Andrew Lowndes) actually finished the Cape Epic! It was hectic!
We are both studying our LLB at Rhodes University.
We rode for Sabrina Love and raised over R43 000 for the Sabrina Love Foundation to send an underprivileged 16 year old boy, Xolisa, to Oak Hill in Knysna.
The event, which lasts 8 days, covers 781km and 16300m of climbing (double the height of Mount Everest). It is a mountain bike race that you ride with your partner. You have to stick with your partner the entire race.
Our aim for the ABSA Cape Epic was to finish with a smile. We purely wanted to finish the race and enjoy it…
We absolutely loved it. The weather conditions were vast. We experienced blistering heat, ice cold pouring rain and howling winds that were blowing us off our bikes.
There is a motto of the Epic, “there is no easy day!” This could not be more correct!
Stage 4 was a very hard day. It was 105km with 2600m of climbing. This was seen as a relatively easy day but was far from it. Nick was feeling weak and tired from the beginning, so we started out slow. To make matters worse, I suffered a puncture that would not seal. There is a maximum time allowed of 10 hours on every stage. If you don’t make it, you are out! With 25km to go, the wind was pumping into our faces, and we were in dire straits. It looked like we would not make the cut off. But Nick dug deep and threw in everything he had. We finished strong and made the cut off. Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.
Nick really proved to himself that he had what it takes to ride the Epic that day. Riding the Epic is not about feeling great and doing a fantastic time. It’s about when you feel horrendous, weak, fatigued, and shattered and still have the determination to keep on keeping on.
We were not riding for ourselves. We were riding for our families, friends and most of all, for Sabrina Love Foundation.
All the messages, tweets, sms’s, phone calls got us out of our tents and back onto the bike every morning to carry on riding for an amazing cause.
The support we received from riders and supporters was humbling. Everyone seemed to know the Sabrina Love Foundation and cheered us on.
We were so lucky not to have any major mechanical issues or crashes. We were known as the ‘Pinkies’. By some strange unintended coordination, whenever Nick would fall off his bike, out of pure coincidence I would fall to, and vice versa. This coordinated falling lead us to some hilarious situations from being stuck in bushes to flying head first over our handle bars on numerous occasions. Fortunately, we did not sustain any serious injuries and managed to cross the finish line together as a team for Sabrina Love. After all that we went through, from the melancholic lows to the indescribable highs, Nick and I have forged a bond.
It was a physically and emotionally taxing 8 days, that has changed our lives forever.
We would like to thank Tony and Suzy Lubner for allowing us to represent Sabrina Love. The experience has enriched our lives.