The sun rises on the small farm of Weissenfells, the fire already crackling, casting beams of light in the twilight as the first cyclist stirs for day 2 of their Cycle Challenge. The freshness of the morning driving students to put on as many layers as possible, allowing for a rather comical image as they gather for their breakfast.
Fast forward to an hour later and the hitch of breath is heard as each cyclist settles their slightly tender muscles onto the bicycle, but after a few rotations of the pedals, the muscles have warmed and stretched and off they go.
After a glorious start of flat surfaces and slight downhills, the turn off to Namibgrens 8 km in changed their perspectives somewhat. The uphills became longer and the downhill shorter. Thick sand became a bit of a bane to the cyclists and an increase in bicycles powered by walking was to be seen. A small moment of memory at lunch time when an iconic image was recalled, where a lone bicycle, belonging to Ms Hella Rust rested under an iconic Namibian tree, reminding the group of the late teacher who was a driving force behind the St George's Round Square Cycle Challenge. Her spirit is truly with us, as this is what she loved. #iride4hella
Team work and endurance took a sharp upswing, as the groups settled into their paces, each student taking care of the other, the pack learning to stick together and to adapt. More experienced cyclists took to pushing their less experienced comrades, or pulling them along in their slipstream. Teachers occasionally climbing out of the bus to assist with moral support, or leaning out of the bus window to shout encouragements.
The last few kilometres to Namibgrens turned into a fun ride as the cyclist stretched their legs cycling through a small puddle of water, the look of joy on their faces.