SEARCH The Blog

Malmesbury to Cape Town (80 km) - Final Stage of the TDA

South Africa
Day 121 - Final Stage



A quick note...

So, after my tablet which I'd been using to write and send out my blogs, had decided to stop working a few weeks before ending our TDA tour, and coupled with poor connectivity (especially in Namibia) my daily blogs suffered (as I am sure you all noticed) and so you have all had to endure late after-the-fact accounts of each day's ride... And if you haven't noticed... I have been putting a few out on "the interwebs" every so often now that we are back in Prince Albert. 

Now, as far as the TDA chapter of the blog goes, we have finally arrived at the very last TDA Stage after 4-months of cycling. Thank you to everyone for your amazing show of support and for reading along thus far. It is much appreciated, and even a tad overwhelming to think that so many of you were interested in our bucket-list journey from Cairo to Cape Town. 

As it sits right now, we have have 19'862 visits to the Treloar Herald blog, and so I hope that there are at least a handful of newly-inspired souls among those nearly 20-thousand visitors!  

Life is short. Don't sweat the small stuff. Get out & live your bucket list.

Cheers, 
Mike



Cape Town, at long last, with my best girl by my side.



The "Final Count Down", the day we had been riding towards for these last four months had finally arrived, but also a day of very mixed emotions. Happy to be at our destination, happy to see family and friends again, but very sad that it had all come to an abrupt end. 

Packed up our tents for the last time and readied ourselves for the last ride of the Tour.  Judith and I left Camp relatively early together, as she didn't want to arrive late at the Lunch position, where after lunch, we would form up into a convey and proceed to the finish, escorted by the Cape Town Traffic Police.


On the way to Lunch a group of us had an impromptu photo shoot in our new TDA 2017 Commemorative Cycling Jerseys, with Table Mountain in the background. This was followed by the opening of some small bottles of champagne by Judith and I to mark the memorable occasion.





Riders dishing up their last TDA Breakfast

The long and the short of TDA 2017


Our first proper view of Table Mountain from the Koeberg Countryside

Forming up for our first group photo with Table Mountain in the background

Informal group photo at the first proper sighting of Table Mountain

The arrival of the South African Police investigating the reports of  lycro-clad TDA riders invading the Koeberg Countryside


I rode a leisurely 59km to lunch with Judith and we arrived at the Lunch Truck, which was parked on the beach, within the allotted time period. We were treated to cheese & biscuits and other delightful snacks, accompanied  by sparkling grape juice (no alcohol). Had the first of our official TDA photo sessions, all looking so impressive in our new 15th Anniversary TDA Cycling Jerseys.

After lunch, we formed up into a convoy, with Judith placed in the front (no pressure!) and headed off into a headwind for the final 20km ride to the finish at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton.

Lunch consisted of cheese & biscuits at Blouberg Strand

Getting stuck into the delicious snacks and cheese

Photo session with friends for life Andje, Murray and Philip

Michael and Judith finally within reach of Table Mountain only 20 km to go

TDA Staff also pose for a group photo at Blouberg Strand
"The Originals" - The Tour Riders who completed the full TDA from Cairo to Cape Town!

It's a Public Beach so TDA had to organise toilet facilities for the Riders...


The finish at the Hotel was a bit chaotic, we  crossed the finish line (flag) on the beach, but half the people who were waiting for us and other riders were at the front of the Hotel!  But all's well that ends well, and they came down to greet us once we were in had figured out what was going on.

It was fantastic to be met by our family -  our son Kenneth, our daughters Jo-Ann & Mary-Jean,  Judith's Brother Gregg,  Cousins-in-law Jill & her son Craig.  While Friends - 

Richard & Denise;  Bruce, Sonja & son Thomas, were also there to welcome us home.

There was much joy and jubilation, and the sudden realization that our roller-coaster ride from the top of Africa to the bottom of the continent had come to a sudden and abrupt end. All I could think about, was what were we going to do tomorrow, if not riding our bikes?



Our arrival at the Finish was followed by another official photo shoot, the final one for the day. Then it was time for the presentation of the Tour Medals, first to the Sectional Riders, then the Original (Full) Riders who had all started in Cairo, followed by the Four Riders who obtained EFI Status. These being Alex, Charles, Mark and Liz, only four out of the original twenty seven who started.





Medals & Champagne await the finishers!




Arriving at the Finish on the beach outside of the Lagoon Beach Hotel


Our son Kenneth (who brought some beers to the finish!)
and our daughter Mary-Jean in attendance at the Finish.
Some of the Family and Friends with Michael vd Berg, Judith and Mike T 
(Kenneth is away fetching more beer!)
The big group of TDA Riders get into the pose

And there we all are!

Denise & Richard from Prince Albert were there to greet us

Final Destination - Four months of cycling to get from Cairo to Cape Town

Judith with Daughter's Mary-Jean & Jo-Ann
Mary-Jean, Mike T, and Judith with all-smiles at the finish festivities
(thanks to Kenneth for the pic)


The EFI Finishers are awarded their special medals for riding every stage, all the way down from Cairo to Cape Town

Mike vd Berg Collects his medal for his well earned trek from Windhoek to Cape Town

Judith gets her hard earned Medal

Mike T opts for his signature 'secret handshake'  before accepting his finishers medal.

The three South African Riders Liz, Judith and Mike T receiving their full tour medals

Having a beer with Brother-in-law Gregg, who flew down from Joburg (along with Jo-Ann)




We then spent the rest of the afternoon having quality time with family and friends, as well as some of the other Riders, as the realization of  our achievement finally got to us.

Later that evening we attended the Official TDA Dinner, accompanied by immediate family members, and it was a truly a memorable occasion to mark the completion of the 2017 Tour!


Cheers,
Mike T


A clean shaven Peter and wife Deborah with Murray at the TDA Dinner

Andy and Kenneth enjoying their dessert at the TDA Dinner

Daughters Mary-Jean & Jo-Ann enjoying the TDA Dinner too

Toasting the end of the Tour with Michael vd Berg at the Dinner

Mzungu shenanigans at Dinner





Until the next adventure... 
(which may come sooner than you think)  
...skip the grapevine, and read it in the Herald!



 _

Dorp op-die-Berg to Malmesbury (123km) - South Africa

South Africa
Day 120 – May 12 – Stage 86


Woke up to a very cold morning, I decided to cycle the complete day. After all, it was going to be our second last day!

While tomorrow would be a short day (expected to be a bit of an anti-climax).  Judith cycled from the Lunch Truck, so I rode with Mike vd Berg and Philip for most of the way. When we left Camp the temperature was only 3 degrees, it was not going to be a pleasant morning jaunt, and oh how I missed the equatorial temperatures of a few months back!


The day’s route was a mixture of dirt and tar, we started with dirt and finished on tar, with us riding down three mountain passes and only up and over one (Mitchell's Pass) situated between Riebeek-kasteel and Malmesbury, from where we glimpsed our first view of Table Mountain, our ultimate goal.  Although it wasn’t anything spectacular yet, as it was so far away, it was great to see it in the far distance.

We arrived at the Town of Ceres, and went off to the Wimpy for a leisurely breakfast, followed later in the day by milkshakes and cake at a Coffee Shop in Riebeek-kasteel (Judith had also stopped at the same Coffee Shop with Anne & Peter). Today we did so much eating and drinking, you would think we were on a culinary expedition and not a cycle tour!

Our final day of camping was situated at the Malmesbury Caravan Park, where we pitched our tent for the last time. Had the riders’ briefing, followed by a formal prize giving, where the TDA Staff presented each rider with a Certificate and their official 2017 TDA Cycling Jersey, which the majority of us would wear on our ride into Cape Town tomorrow.

Judith received a Certificate for "The most pedal strokes", while I received one for " The most creative/disturbing use of Vegemite” - which related to my antics as the Royal Baby during the Equator Crossing escapade!
 
It was a day of many "lasts". It was our last Riders’ Briefing, our last supper, the last time we would be camping and sleeping in our tents; and the last time everyone would be making use of public toilets and public showers again.


Later in the evening - in celebration - Murray, Michael vd Berg and myself, took ourselves off to sample the vibrant Friday night life of Malmesbury, where we circulated and mixed with the locals... Tomorrow would be our last day of the Tour. However that didn’t stop one of us (his name will remain anonymous and yet will be sketched in infamy forever) from liberating some toilet paper at one of the drinking holes we frequented, just in case he needed it on tomorrow’s ride.


Getting back to normality after the Tour finishes tomorrow, is definitely going to take some doing for some of us riders!


Cheers,
Mike T


Mike vd Berg leaving Dorp op die Berg on his way to Malmesbury

Looking down the Pass towards Ceres

Philip on his way to Wimpy for breakfast

Collecting my bike after our Wimpy breakfast

Lunch Truck position

Mike vd Berg quite unaware of the snake above him at the Coffee Shop


Time for celebrating - Alex and Andje sampling the fruits of the vine in Riebeek-Kasteel

Judith enjoying herself at the Coffee Shop in Malmesbury

Rick, Peter-4 and Ann with Judith in Malmesbury



Tallis explaining tomorrows arrangements and emphasizes that we are not allowed to do our ablutions on the Beach


The Last Briefing - Malmesbury to Cape Town

Final arrangements for tomorrows arrival at the Finish

Charles the Winner of the Last Section - Rainbow Nation

Andje receives her Certificate and Finishers Jersey

Philip collecting his Certificate & Jersey

Marie the proud owner of a broken elbow collects her Certificate & Jersey

Mike vd Berg collects his Certificate for "The Columbus Award"

Andje with Murray the proud holder of the "Softest Spoken Rider" Award

Michael & Judith receiving their Awards


A very subdued Last Supper ...




_