In September we put on the Real Steel Bicycle Race, a classic, metal bike race, from Franschhoek Motor Museum to the Trail’s End Bicycle Museum to celebrate the history of the bicycle. Despite frigid conditions, it was a massive success and everyone had a wonderful time!
A brief race recap by Jimmy the Gun, the toughest Grand Master on two wheels:
“Climbing the Franschhoek Pass is one thing, doing it in the worst possible weather conditions imaginable and on old restored steel-framed racers, is another. Dipping close to freezing, driving sleet and a gale force Northwester kept any hope of Strava PRs at bay. But fuelled with hot chocolate and marmite sandwiches at the summit, laid on by Trail’s End, we persevered, headed downhill with the wind chill numbing every extremity in our bodies and fought like hell for victory on the next Strava segment. Victory was not mine, not once (all taken by Nils Hansen) but the curves of the descent were wakening, made even more so with wet carbon rims and lifeless fingertips unable to feel the brake levers. Another fuelling station by the ever enthusiastic Brenda and Pieter Silberbauer, slowly drying clothing and a scenic detour along Graymead Road, meant the punchy climb up Villiers Pass was less daunting than legends would have you believe. The descent into Grabouw, following either a beer by Nova Beer Project or an L-Gin and tonic, with swirling winds and local drivers, both intent on clearing this planet of two-wheeled traffic, was a sketchy affair, sweetened by the prospect of a hot shower, beer and braai, again laid on by Trail’s End Bike Hotel. No matter the weather, spirits were high and no doubt the hardy souls who took part in this inaugural retro-ride will be back for more next year, accompanied by more beautifully restored classic steel bikes.”
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