Well done to all finishers of Saturday’s Cape 400 – in truly testing weather conditions. Thanks to Henri for standing in. And special mention to Pawel, who came all the way from Secunda, had a delayed flight, started late, cycled unknown Western Cape roads through Friday night and into Saturday night, all on his own – and still finished on time. Give that man a Bell’s.

Herewith Wimpie’s account of the event:

AUDAX 400 – March 2016 Report

Eight committed riders (not sure if that means to the psychiatric ward), arrived at Vrede farm at Koelenhof to start a very long ride. All the weather predictions indicated rain and headwinds all the way of the planned 400+ km. Mother nature was not very kind and she tested our mettle all the way, turning the wind when we turned.


As we left the exit of Vrede a car came in and it could have been our guest from up country, arriving late from the airport. We felt so sorry for him, because that was a very unfortunate and unkind start for him. No one wanted to delay the start any longer and hoped that he would catch up with the back group soon.

As we entered Stellenbosch for the first control it started pouring. The first 3 faster riders have by then identified themselves and the rest decided to follow at a more sedated pace. Chris van Zyl, Marius Carstens and myself rode the rest of the distance together.


We had our first puncture just before entering Riebeeckkasteel. As expected, the route we followed was not very conducive for provisions at that time of day. It was just after midnight and we needed water badly. We tried the hotel and arrived as the doorman was closing up. We convinced him to fill up our water bottles for us. By now the temperature had dropped, the northwester was in our faces and we were taking turns eating each other’s back wheel spray.

In Moorreesburg we found the 24 hr garage open and some of us tried out the little bit of warmth their coffee could offer. From my experience from PBP 2015 I stocked myself well with Brie cheese. I ate my first of several blocks, a solid 1,000 Cal at a time.


As we left town we engaged the road works with some lonesome, very early morning, following traffic, lighting the road up for us with their headlights. Marius had so many bladder release stops enroute we considered sending him for a prostate check-up afterwards!


We arrived in Velddrif after 03:00. Nothing was open. We could not find provisions or water. The way we were eyeing each other made me think that we could soon resort to cannibalism, so it was safer to proceed at bike-length distance from one another!

We pressed on to Vredenburg and faithfully the wind turned south as predicted. The rain stopped too. We arrived there just before 06:00, ready to find ‘Slap Sakkie se Vuil chips’ opening up for early business. None of us could finish half of the amount of chips offered…


It became sunrise as we left Saldanha. We were becoming fatigued and concentration waning. We had to discipline ourselves not tripping over the back wheels of the rider in front of us. We stopped in Langebaan, stimulating the local economy and pressing on through the nature reserve towards the West Coast highway.


We wanted to get going and waste little time because we were informed that Auntie Evita was preparing a scrumptious breakfast for us in Darling.


We speed over the long rollers to Malmesbury to take on provisions and complete the last section through Paarl and back to Vrede, but not without a last flat wheel in Paarl. The wind was heart breakening. Chris van Zyl did the lion’s share to get the sheep home. We were back in less than 18 hours, having spent more time on this occasion at breakfast than with previous occasions. Perhaps Auntie Evita spent a little bit more time than usual with her make-up for her preparation of our coming.



Results will be uploaded by mid next week.