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 left over 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 kilometre 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.