It’s Not The Valley
Of A Thousand Flats
For lack of a better word, the long ride for the East Coast Cycling Club in the month of June was interesting. Although I planned to do the ride, I had to bail at the last minute because I was nursing a few symptoms leftover from the flu.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t ride at all. I did a little indoor training later the same day but the long rides aren’t the usual. With 2000 meters of climbing over an 85-kilometer track through some very cold country, you need to be at your absolute best.
I wasn’t. My better judgment won the argument.
Several others missed the ride too. There were only 10 who participated, which is low for the long rides. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it up all the climbs but I hated that I didn’t get to try.
Even though I can’t give an eyewitness account, all is not lost. The Chairman did a writeup, a route map was provided for the curious and one rider got a video. There was pic taken also.
The ride started at the Pot & Kettle in Botha’s Hill and headed out toward Inchanga. Shortly after the start, the ride took a long steep descent into the valley which the chairman described as “the mineshaft into suicide bend and death-defying corner and onto Marianne Foley Bridge.”
The bridge was the low point on the route. From there it was one climb after another (2000 meters worth) on a circuitous route that eventually ended back at the Pot & Kettle. One rider quipped, “I can’t believe I’m riding my bike in a place I wouldn’t drive my car.” And the chairman pointed out, “And that’s why they don’t call it the Valley of a Thousand Flats!”
One rider got a great video that shows route profile, altitude, grade, speed and even the riders heart rate:
You can see other videos on his YouTube Channel.
If you’re thinking about getting fit, don’t let this ride scare you. The East Coast Cycling Club offers a variety of riding options for every level of cyclist. From the A group to the D’s, rides are arranged every Saturday, Sunday and most public holidays. Anyone can fit in somewhere.