This is one of those weeks where I thought I'd get a lot done: All of my regular work, finish a manuscript, finish my Iditarod race report, tour around the region, try local cuisine, get all of my prep done for the Freedom Challenge, go for satisfying shake-down bike rides on famous mountain bike trails in the Cape Town region, and post blogs for Beat back home in California.
Well, you know how it goes.
I actually didn't expect to do much touristing this week; both time and mobility are limited, and I'm not in Cape Town proper — I'm about 50 kilometers southeast. The weather has been marginal — rain and wind every day, and temperatures ranging from 6 to 12 degrees Celsius, so not terribly warm. I went with Liehann to his office (technically his brother's office) to work on Tuesday and we got out for a lunch ride on a network of banked singletrack and rocky doubletrack through a recently logged forest. The trails were swoopy down and steep up, and the ride probably would have been a lot more fun if it hadn't been raining sideways intermittently. I realize cold sideways rain and mud are going to be a major part of the Freedom Challenge, and I might as well get used to this. But California has spoiled my once-deep all-weather resolve. When it rains in California, I'm one-hundred-percent runner; I don't think I've ridden a bike in the rain since my early days there. And wow, have I fallen out of both practice and patience with the mud barrage. Funny how attitudes can change so drastically.
I paced around for a few minutes, searching for any other way out. I tried to pry the gate open, and then placed my foot on a wet rod, where it slid of instantly. I thought about the contents of my pack and whether they'd enable me to survive a night out if I really couldn't get out of there. But of course I knew I wasn't going to sit there and freeze; I was going to climb that gate even if it meant impaling a limb to escape. Finally, I placed one of my Hokas on the sharp tip of one of the fence rods; the point actually dug into the shoe but stopped short of stabbing my foot. Thank you Hoka! That was just enough height off the ground to swing my other leg between two sharp points higher up, and leverage a flying leap to freedom on the other side. Actually, the shoe did not pull away from the point easily, and I nearly twisted my ankle upon landing, but freedom!
And now there's still so much to do. How did this week get away from me?