Every year it's more exciting, every year it's different; waiting for the little specks to arrive on the Swartskraal road.
The rewards for me are huge, seeing the surprised looks on rider's faces when I pop out of nowhere with the hot beverage of their choice. Knowing what it means to these riders is fundamental.
From the first year, when I got the "I'm not sure if you remember me, my name's David Waddilove" phone call, to this morning's excitement.........
Graeme Murray (saddlemaker extraordinaire) is watching the race closely because Andrew Barnes is on one of his saddles. When Graeme heard about Dave Barr's plight, his immediate reaction was "well, why don't we get a saddle to the *&^%**&%$ Aussie bastard!"
That's to me what the Freedom Challenge is about. Creating a space for the good in people to shine.
So it happens that there's a saddle winging it's way to Dave by overnight counter-to-counter courier (the Post Office play a big and often un-acknowledged role in this kind of thing) Who else can get a saddle from Velddrif to Rhodes in 24 hours?
While this was all being arranged, we received news that Dave Barr had turned back due to bad weather (I assume his sore backside played a role). Hang in there mate, we're getting the real thing to you as fast as is humanly possible.
Something else that deserves a mention, in fact much more than a mention, is that Steven and Di Thomas have donated a large number of bikes to cycling projects along the Freedom Challenge route. I'll stop gushing here, Steve, and just put a picture instead...
You two, of all people will know what these bikes means to Gert and Jan.