Cape Epic Day 4: To Worcester It Is


On Day 4 of the Epic, the riders left Ceres to make their way to Worcester, where the race village would be based for the next two days. Thus far, my fellow soigneuse and I had successfully avoided all spectator points. But on this day we joined The Parents-in-Law and the rest of the crowds at “Vantage Point 2”. Unfortunately for mountain bikers, the sport is about as spectator friendly as scuba diving, so when I say “crowds”, I mean three other cycling widows and their bored-stiff kids. When we emerged from the warmth of the car, it felt as though a mini tornado had hit the outskirts of Worcester and we stood behind the spectator railings (lest the over-excited mobs storm the riders), munching on mouthfuls of dust and waiting for our boys to come past.

At some point…
When you’re ready…
Aaaaaaanytime now, boys…
A leeeeetle chilly out here…
Now would be good…
Here they come!
Where?
Thzzere! (mouthful of dust)
Where?
Oops – not them. (eyes full of dust) Seriously, NOW would be good!

And so we stared at the portaloo across from us, teeth chattering, matted hair in eyes, hoping, praying, that they were just around the corner. Note that we didn’t stare at this portaloo by choice. We stared at it because the thing was basically facing us – just slightly to the left of where the riders were coming past. To make matters worse, I was desperate for the loo – I crossing my legs and clenching my teeth but there was just no way I was going to strut out from the “crowds”, be ushered along by the marshals and wave to everyone as I entered the plastic vault to do my business.

An hour and a half later, and a bursting bladder later, the boys pulled in with some lame excuse for their tardiness – something about a “cross-wind”. Whatever. We’re freezing here!

Of course, they said “hi” for all of 12 seconds and then sped off into the dust storm.

It was all worth it, though, once Day 4’s riding was over and we started heading out to our guest house to some place I’d never heard of: the Nuy Valley. I still can’t pronounce that word. Some of the locals told us that “Nuy” rhymes with “play” and others that it rhymes with “dewey” as in “dewey decimal system”. No matter how it’s pronounced, it’s absolutely gorgeous. The valley is framed by the beautiful Hex River Mountains and there are vineyards almost as far as the eye can see. You could be in the South of France, except that the wine costs next to nothing. And better still, it’s out of this world.

Definitely worth standing in a dust storm for…

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