After Ballito was hit by a freak downpour on Friday night, I was a bit unsure about doing another off road ride at Holla Trails on Saturday morning. But after being convinced by Sean & Rich, we went ahead with it and met up at 6am, for another ride.
During the week I had ridden twice along the beach front in Durban (at 6am), from Blue Lagoon to Ushaka & back. Although it was “flat” riding, it helps with understanding the bike, as well as it being constant peddling. It is an amazing time of the day, and so awesome to see so many people out at that time of day, running & cycling along the promenade. We really do live in a beautiful part of the world. So lucky !!
Anyway, before we started Rich mentioned we would be extending our route from last week, by adding on a few KM. He also mentioned we would be heading up “Vomit Hill”. Not thinking too much of it, and after a nervous laugh, I climbed on the trusty Cannondale, and set off. We followed much of the same route from last week, through the single track. The rains had caused much havoc with the trail, and mud was high on the menu. There were plenty of slides, and a few broken trees to climb over. I also had my first tumble after misjudging a stream. Nothing serious though :)
After we finished the single track, we turned left, and followed the rest of the “Orange” route. After a short while, Rich stopped and said “You see those trees at the top of that hill”, pointing to what could have easily being the top of Mount Kilamanjaro, “We need to get there !”. At first I thought he was joking, but alas, he wasn’t. The name, “Vomit Hill” immediately sprang to mind, and I felt my stomach repeat the tumble I took earlier.
We carried on, and needless to say, there was a bit of sweating, swearing, stopping, walking, and lots of moaning. But, (eventually) we did it, and I got to the top. The name “Vomit Hill” did not stand up to it’s name (yay) and from there on, it was pretty much plain sailing. I have to admit though, I felt a bit more broken at the end of the ride. But after gulping down a few glasses of ice cold water, an ice cold coke & a toasted bacon and egg, I felt (semi) human again.
Check out the elevation on the Runkeeper iPhone app activity below. The climb to the top of the hill was about 4km, and the total climb was around 282m. Although it doesn’t sounds that hectic to seasoned professionals, to a beginner, like me, it seems like Mount Kilamanjaro :)
A huge thanks to Sean & Rich for putting up and encouraging me, I knew it was gonna be a toughie, and am pretty stoked that I made it. I know next time, will be a bit easier, and I can’t wait to tackle it again !!