An Almost Enjoyable Argus

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By Lisa Gibbon

The only thing worse than doing the Argus is not doing the Argus. In the 10 years since I did my first ride, I’ve sat out twice – once by choice (I opted out in 2009 when the wind was blowing portaloos over before the start), and again in 2011 when I broke my shoulder. I hated every minute of not being part of the race. Having said that, Argus is always an extremely anxious ride for me – I white knuckle it almost all the way to the finish, grateful that I get there in one piece. I’m not quite sure where the anxiety comes from – 94.7 is one of my favourite rides, it has as many people as Argus, and is arguably more difficult (although Argus is more technical, with twists and turns, and sharp steep descents that require skill and concentration).

Whatever the reason for my fear, yesterday was no exception, and I was as nervous as ever. I saw the first big crash on the Blue route, with riders strewn across the road, which did nothing to alleviate my anxiety. 20-odd k’s in I started to relax (a little). Boyes drive was manageable, and the descent past Smutswinkel was nothing short of exhilarating! Chapmans was as beautiful as ever, and not too taxing, even the descent was OK. Suikerbossie is what it is (hard), but after that it really is downhill all the way. Really.

Conditions can be a little taxing for this race, and yesterday it was the heat, rather than the wind that was the challenge. Apparently the temperatures hit 43 degrees at some point up Suikerbossie – thankfully not while I was there!

Whilst cycling through a very pretty Camps Bay, I was struck by how very privileged I am to be able to do all this stuff – running, riding, eish…….even swimming. As participants in the myriad of beautifully organised events available across the country, we enjoy good weather, stunning scenery, get fit and healthy, meet new people, and yes, there is always the cold beer at the end! Putting in the training is a small and mostly enjoyable price to pay for such rich benefits. The 92 year old who completed the ride in 5h47m bears testament to the fact that where there is a will, there is most certainly a way, and health permitting, we can all look forward to many years of fun times on roads, trails, and yes, even in the water.

So, Argus is over, I’m in one piece, and I almost enjoyed it, hehe.

Now the bike gets a wash, and goes into hibernation for winter, and my running shoes enjoy my full attention. Up next…..Om die dam…….

See you on the road.

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