The ganna has arrived!

The ganna has arrived in Cape Point, and I’m lost for words. What a moment!

Kevin arrived at the bottom of the climb up to the lighthouse, and just rode past us, up the hill, with not a glance at us – his focus was on the steep hill ahead of him.

Soon the gradient was too steep to ride, but in a swift movement he was off the bike, and pushing. I ran to catch up, but couldn’t keep up. When he got to the stairs, the bike was swung up on to his shoulder – the pace didn’t falter. He moved between the crowd swiftly.

When I got up he was sitting down below the wall under the lighthouse, out of the wind, typing in his final tweet: Day 30, 68km, 6.5 hrs, 3 520km. I am the ganna.

Indeed he is.

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I am the ganna

from: wildlife-pictures-online.com

Kevin is in the final stages of his epic journey, closing in on Cape Town rapidly. He spent last night in Ceres, and has about 200km to go to Cape Point. He is heading for Tulbagh today and will probably overnight in Riebeeck West tonight. He is likely to finish on Saturday at Cape Point.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit Kevin’s article in the Mail & Guardian which was published the day before he left on this journey:

 http://mg.co.za/article/2011-03-31-i-am-the-antelope

Last week the M&G posted another article on his ride:

http://mg.co.za/article/2011-04-19-past-the-halfway-mark

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3 000km & Ceres on the horizon

Kevin is heading for Ceres, the largest deciduous fruit growing area in the Western Cape. Cape Town is tantalisingly close – 150km or a 90-minute drive, but for Kevin it’s around 300km to make it to his final destination – Cape Point. He is coming in to Cape Town from the north, to avoid the traffic, freeways and the city’s sprawl.

Today he passed the 3 000km mark, with a hard 100km slog up a gradual incline yesterday. Despite the headwind, he managed 85km today. He says: “I fought the wind all the way, at times going downhill but feeling like I wasn’t moving.” He estimates he’s about 80km from Ceres, so should reach it tomorrow, day 27.

The cold front has settled in to the Western Cape, with temps tomorrow ranging from 5C to 11C. Tonight he is sleeping at a deserted farmhouse, with the farmworkers for company.

Just to remind you of where he’s come from and what he’s still got to do (the route has changed in places):

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2 300km

Yesterday, day 21, Kevin reached the 2 300km mark, the distance of David Waddilove’s Freedom Challenge, the ride from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl, which Kevin did in 2007. Another 1 500km or so to go. A breeze!

He spent the night in Mortimer, having been delayed 2 hours along the road with tyre issues.

He is now in Pearston, with his sights set on Willowmore, via Jansenville.

May this Good Friday be good to him.

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2 000km, and a new bike!

34,8km. That’s the distance Elton and I travelled out along the road to Rossouw from Dordrecht, to pick up Kevin. I know this because I measured it precisely so that I could take him back 34,8km to continue his ride back into Dordrecht, where the three of us spent the night in a strange, octagonal house.

We had arrived in Dordrecht at around 4pm on Tuesday, from Joburg. Elton was on crutches, with a moon boot protecting his broken ankle. But he was determined to give Kevin’s bike a total makeover. So it was important to get the bike into town and hitched on a tripod in front of Elton, as soon as possible.

Elton had brought down a comprehensive toolbox, a large box of spare parts and his tripod. We got back to the house at 7.30pm, and Elton set to work, sitting in front of the bike, resting his ankle.

I made supper, we ate, bathed, and went to bed. Elton worked on, finishing his work at 2.15am, replacing all the cabling, fixing loose spokes, oiling everything in sight, and other things I’m sure I’ll never understand.

The alarm went off at 4am. We drove back towards Rossouw. Kevin eased his bike off the rack, pulled his backpack over his shoulders, and swung his leg over the bike, setting off at 6am. Soon a loud “whoop” was heard – he could change gears again! He moved up the hill with speed.

Elton and I drove back to Dordrecht, and tried to catch up our sleep, while waiting for Kevin to cycle back into town. He arrived at 8.35am and left 15 minutes later. We packed the car, and headed back to Joburg. A job well done, thanks to the sweet angel Elton. (says Rory on Twitter: “When God looks after a fellow biker, He sends Elton”)

Wednesday, 7.30pm, back in Joburg: Kevin is 10km from Tarkastad, 175km from where we left him 34,8km outside Dordrecht.

PS: on Tuesday he hit the 2 000km mark. He is in high spirits.

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Rhodes and back-up

Elton and Lucille will be travelling to Barkly East or Dordrecht (depending on how far he gets) on Tuesday, taking spares, tools, and a back-up bike. Elton will be giving Kevin’s bike a mini service, it having taken some strain in the mud and rain of the past 5-6 days. If that doesn’t work, the back-up bike will be wheeled out.

Kevin is taking it easy at the Rhodes Hotel tonight, having climbed Lehana’s today, a gruelling 2 700m. A 14-hour day, with another 82km bagged.

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A lazy Jo’burg

Life back in Jo’burg is also wet – a lazy Saturday afternoon, watching the arum lilies singing in the rain, while the bourgainvillea grits its teeth, hating the deluge. Watched episodes of Masterchef Australia, then put on Michael Jackson, to sharpen dance moves with Dillon for an upcoming wedding on the city rooftops next month – can’t wait.

The rain has stopped here and the almost-full moon is out, if only for a brief moment before the clouds engulf it again.

On the ganna trail, Kevin has lost 5kg: a mean, muscle machine now. Wait for those straight roads in the Karoo – he’ll bite the kilometres in the butt.

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