Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ride to Nowhere

It's the name of a mountain bike race. I like it - but if it were strictly accurate, I guess it might be called "The Ride around nowhere".

You see, many more enlightened folk have given up the stressed, humdrum, over-hyped 9-5 mad rush of the cities, for a more elegant genteel living in this place I like to think of as "nowhere". Others have retired here and are living what I fondly think of as "life no.2". And latterly, the mountain biking fraternity have discovered the joys of McGregor, finding it to be a wondrous place to get out into nature, with wonderful. happy, hospitable people.

Hmmm  free range eggs, bacon, rolls, pancakes. If you have to eat eggs, make them free range!

And so this weekend was "the ride to nowhere". And once they had ridden to nowhere in their cars, they rode around nowhere on their bikes - and loved it.
First Ladies Arrive
Overall Race Winner (First Man Home)

We love nowhere - it has no traffic lights and many houses have no street numbers. I take savage pleasure in telling the cellphone companies that they're just going to have to accept my address without a street number for RICA purposes - tough luck, but there you are - there ain't no street number, so get used to it. Many of the roads aren't even tarred. And on the other side of the village, there is a dirt road which heads 8km into the mountains - and then stops. Sometime around 1957, there was an attempt to extend the route across the mountain to Greyton. Then they ran out of money, and that's where it ended - dead end, sheer drop 300ft straight down into the gorge. I love it  - I'm glad they went bust.  I can't think of anything worse than having 2000 cars an hour haring through McGregor en route to the Southern Cape coast via Greyton. One of our less intelligent bozo local would-be politicians (aren't they all less intelligent?) had an election manifesto that if he got into office, he would extend the road and open a Kentucky Fried Chicken in the middle of the village to lure passing motorists. Idiot.

The charm of the place is its unspoiled beauty, its silence (when the locals are not having an "opskop" in the "oudorp" - but that's not a big issue), and its proximity to nature. A place where you can hear yourself think. I can't imagine living close to a plethora of articulated trucks and cars whizzing by. If we wanted that, we'd have moved to any of the large South African cities. And if you happen to have been born here, and think the answer is in great wealth and power. It isn't - but if you think it is - go to Johannesburg, do not pass "Go", do not collect R200.

And so they came, and rode, and enjoyed, and everyone seems to have had a good time. Come anytime. Enjoy. Leave your wallet. And then please go and leave us to the silence. We can't have "Joburg by the mountains", can we?

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