I woke early on Saturday morning even though I had not had enough sleep, Friday had been an epic party with the Mohicans and I'm going to go back to that later.
I do not suffer with headaches, I have never had one in my life but if I did I know that I would have had the Mother of all headaches that morning. I staggered out of my small tent in the cold early morning with my mouth feeling like a homeless person had been sleeping there and had left his blanket behind. Clutching my toothpaste and toothbrush I walked into the ablution block, the same one out of which I had fallen the previous night, or was it earlier that same morning, hurting my ribs which were still bothering me.
With my breath a bit fresher I went off in search of coffee, even lousy coffee is good! People were moving around, bleary eyed many greeted me like we were old friends - were we? Did we know each other from the previous night?
The Wimpy restaurant in Montagu didn't seem able to cope with the demand and my breakfast was disappointingly cold but still it made me feel better. Later on that morning I rode the wonderful, fast R62 to the Karoo Saloon. It was a mild morning, perfect for riding and there were a lot of bikers there, I drank half a beer and headed back to Montagu.
Saturday passed in a dull blur, I had more to eat in the early afternoon but I was not in the mood for any more alcohol and then it was time for the biker games which were pretty much dominated by the Mohicans who certainly know how to rally!
Here's Mercia getting ready to throw the shackle, just look at the size of that thing! She and the Mohicans National first Lady were the winners on a draw - the two of them threw that thing further than most of the guys did, even though the guys had to throw it with the pin in.
That evening we had a braai, very nice meat and a convivial atmosphere after the prize giving in the main tent. Things started slowing down, I had still not had a drink and by ten o'clock I could not keep my eyes open and retired to my chambers.
Sometime later I heard Alex, the Mohicans President arrive back in the campsite and ask where I was, he was told that I had gone to bed. The Mohicans had been good to me, a Meeulander had been welcomed into their camp and the prospects had looked after me, such is the biking fraternity in South Africa. Eventually I drifted off to sleep for an hour or two.
Sunday morning I surfaced early, I could hear people moving about, coughing, many like the guy right next to me were still snoring. Toothpaste and coffee time again and then I packed up my gear, I bade my hosts, the Western Cape President and the National President of the Mohicans and their respective first ladies farewell and a safe journey and I was on the road.
I felt much better, my ribs still hurt but I was ready for the road and the first part of that road is glorious, Montagu, Ashton and then Robertson to Worcester - high speed, wonderful riding and a much better breakfast at the "Whistle Stop" where many early riders had gathered.
I phoned Janet to say that I was on my way, where I was the weather was not bad, sun shining and fairly warm but her news was different, get ready for the crap. Sure enough after Worcester the skies darkened to ominous grey and the temperature dropped.
After the "Nuwekloof pass" I pulled over to put a jersey on, don't get me wrong though I was still enjoying myself, my eyes were clear and bright!
Nearing Riebeek I could see the rain against the mountain and stopped to pull on the bright orange plastic rain suit, I do not like riding in rain but I believe that if you are a biker and you do any riding you are going to get caught in it, best to be visible.
Janet's news had also been that it was blowing a gale and the nearer I got to home the more the wind increased until I was speeding along leaning at an angle into the wind, wiping the rain off my visor and shivering with the cold. You know what? I wouldn't have changed anything that day, it's all part of the total package, the experience of being a biker.
I arrived home safe and after a warm welcome from my lovely wife and our friend Linda, a hot shower and a good lunch I felt absolutely wonderful - my ribs were still sore though.