mountain biking down swartberg pass

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The day started off with a long drive through rolling hills and recurring thoughts of wondering what sort of masochistic misadventure I got myself into… I was being dropped off at the top of Swartberg Pass for a 54 kilometre bike ride back down into Oudtshoorn.

The wind was a relentless torrent of icy, unforgiving fury at the top of the mountain, and the invigoration even erred on the side of frightening.

It was a long way down, and it had been a long time since I’d attempted any downhill shenanigans, but thankfully the bike was far better equipped than my retro-ride at home.

I was grateful for the gloves as I careened down the gravel road and into that biting breeze, unsure of how effective or controllable the brakes would be on the loose surface, but before long, not altogether caring of it while the thrill of the descent got the better of me. Although I started off a little tentative, before long I was belting out tunes to myself out of pure delight, grinning like a wild devil all the while.

These are the days I live for.

The sun was shining, and I had more than a few occasions to “pull over” and appreciate the view, taking note of the ostrich farms or stopping for lunch.

I was even so lucky to be passing by a pasture of goats and noticed a mother with an amniotic sac still attached, and realized she’d just given birth likely only 20 minutes prior, judging by her cleaned kid who now struggled to make sense of his legs and find a teat. Remarkable.

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Yes, without a doubt: these are the days I live for.

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