A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of riding with Leo, a visitor from Europe.
After a few emails going back and forth, he decided he wanted to take the option of me picking him up from Sandton and then going out to The Big Red Barn for a mountain bike ride together. When the morning finally arrived, I remember looking out of my window to see how warmly I would need to get dressed. Very warm, as it was one of the coldest days we had to experience this year.
When Leo walked out of the hotel, I thought I am either very overdressed or he was completely underdressed. During the car ride to Red Barn, he told me how his last ride, two weeks before coming to SA, the weather was a fantastic 5 degrees. Looking down at my temperature gauge, I felt I was the overdressed one when it showed 13 degrees.
He continued to say how happy he was to be able to ride in Johannesburg and get to see the trails we have on offer with a rental bike as it didn’t make sense for him to bring his bike all the way for a few rides. After arriving on site, he was able to give his bike for the day a good once over and was very impressed with what he saw. His pedals were on in no time and soon after that we were on the trails loving life.
We ended up stopping halfway through for any cyclists’ motion lotion, a cup of good coffee. We headed back onto the trail to redo some of the parts he thoroughly enjoyed for some more smiles and laughter.
Unfortunately, the day did have to end but on the drive home, he was smiling ear to ear, commentating on how great the trails were and how much fun he had on the bike.
I guess being South Africans we can sometimes take for granted how good we do have it, the weather, the friendly people, and the fantastic cycling trails.