Philies Chronicles – Sani to Sea 2015 Day 2, 13 May. Written by Philip Burring


Let me type this now. Whilst the euphoria is racing through my veins like little red blood cell versions of the Angry Swamp Birds. Today, Day 2 of the Sani2C MTB race is surely, undoubtedly, indisputably the most insanely stunning, beautiful wow wow wow stretch of MTB riding you could ever hope to ride. 40km of immaculately manicured singe track roller coaster nirvana. The views, the gorges, the mighty Umkomaas river racing through KZN like an aqua doppelganger of the Angry Swamp Birds, the soaring eagles (who are, as you will all recall, so reminiscent of that awesome cycling team of yesterday’s stage, the Angry Swamp Birds), the indigenous forests, the lunar landscape of burnt forestry land, and then the searing heat in the river bed plains of the river, fraught with the 2 inch thorns of the acacia trees. All of which is just the evil foreplay as the tortuous infamous wicked Nandos Hill looms large for km after gradient km. As tortuous a hill on the body as a Nandos extra hot flaming peri peri burger; just the sort of free chow one longs for after 60km of riding through Africa. A little birdy (not an Angry Swamp Bird) tells us that the Team Roundhouse Snap rent boy, Milton John Osborn, deposited his burger on the banks of the Umkomaas shortly after leaving Camp Nandos. You may have gathered that the Angry Swamp Birds dominated again. Milton and Mottram flopped in an hour later, still moaning and whinging about the superior racing tactics of the Birds, like Alex Ferguson complaining about the one penalty decision that went against him in his career. The Crossman team suffered a sidewall blow out (allegedly) and we haven’t yet seen the Lee Macpherson and Robin Gowlding team (mainly cos they haven’t made it to the bar yet). John Ross today dug even deeper, put up his hand even higher to be counted and looks as fresh as the steaming moist cow patties that littered the valley floor. He did suffer but he seems to relish that. We now sit basking in the glory of two stage victories with a bottle of red. The campsite is serene and inviting with each row of tents set amidst the orchards of this Highflats farm. In his defence Milton looks dapper. Gay but dapper. Motts is in bed. We still haven’t seen Lee and Robin. Or the Crossmans.

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