Until last week we had never heard of the Boertjiefees, but it just goes to show how riding a bike can lead to new and fun experiences.
It all came about when we were invited to my dad’s birthday party. As you can imagine, quite a few of my kin are partial to a bike ride and with the Boertjiefees taking place in close proximity it wasn’t long before a plan was hatched to race our bikes before the evening’s festivities.
With our spirits high and our thoughts on the coming celebrations, we piled into cars and drove to the tiny Free State town of Bultfontein where quite unexpectedly a highly organized showground awaited us. Trail runners jogged past us as we entered and lined up in a small field for a flat and fast course around the maize fields which stretched as far as the eye could see.
In stark contrast to the town’s name, there wasn’t a hill (Bult) in sight, but instead the landscape had shallow dips and rises which gnawed at our legs as we made our way around the race route. To make things interesting a strong wind picked up and sandy patche
s made the going tough in a few spots. As it turned out the sand and the wind were the main factors in splitting the main race.
I rode the 50km race with my sister and we had so much fun that we took a ‘wrong turn’ making our race 10km longer than expected. No stress – that just meant we had more time on the bike to catch up while getting in a few extra training miles.
Melt rode the 70km event with my brother in law and the 2 of them ended up in the lead group. Wimpie ran out of steam with 20km to go so Melt took matters into his own hands going solo to the line.
There was no other way to end an event like this but to have post race Boerie-rolls (South African version of a hot dog) and pancakes while trading war stories about the day’s proceedings.
You can imagine a day that starts like this was the perfect prelude to a pretty good evening and I’ll leave it at that…