Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barnes Charming his way across the Vlaktes

Andrew Barnes is through, in fact by now, he's probably well on his way to Rouxpos.

We met 35km out on the Swartskraal road yesterday morning, with a howling North-Wester blowing in his face. Looking on the bright side, it was a relatively warm 6 degrees with no rain.

The challenge for me was to fit two new tubeless tyres for Andrew while he slept for a few hours...or so I thought!

On arrival at Dennehof he calmly announced that he planned to leave "in about half an hour".

I now know that it's possible to remove the wheels from the bike, take them down to the workshop, remove the old tyres, clean the mess of old Stans, refit new tyres, seat them, Stans them, pump them, go back to Dennehof and refit the wheels and find Barnes lounging in front of the fire at Dennehof. All in 31 minutes.

Andrew will no doubt deny this, but I had to kick him out of Dennehof.

To give some idea of the sacrifice Andrew made yesterday.... there was a room, warmed for his arrival, lots of hot water, a soft dry bed, lots of great food, Lindsay pacing up and down the driveway, even someone to open the gate for him.....typical Dennehof hospitality.

To choose between the luxury of Dennehof and the Swartberg pass yesterday took sheer determination. Maybe that's why Andrew didn't even look inside the room!

Dennehof is fully prepped for the riders as they come in, full-on bike park with a high pressure cleaner, lights, 24/7 on call mechanic. You might even be met by Lindsay on his bike out in the veld (his BMW bike, that is)

And that's before you get to the front door.

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