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A Bike Ride In The Bush - Veld, Babba's Lodge – A Family Outing
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A Bike Ride In the Bush  -  veld, Babba\'s Lodge – A Family Outing

The weekend neared and Linda and I asked by my daughter to attend the monthly mountain bike outing they normally attend. Nothing else to do, except write, blog or read, “why not” our reply. A family outing to Babba's Lodge, North of Pretoria in South Africa.

Whilst they rode in the bush-veld, it would give me a chance to take photographs. An early start at six o’clock, with three cycles on the back of the vehicle, for my son-in-law, grandson (6) and granddaughter (3).

Babba's Lodge, a privately owned property, a well set up facility to hold a monthly bike ride, is a half hour out-of-town, as the racing only started at eight o'clock, I naturally ask if the traffic on a Sunday would be so heavy. The idea was to get there early to get a good parking spot near the finish line. A good idea as there was no place for a chair in the vehicle.

Forty five minutes later we arrived, the place was already half full, but a good parking spot was still available. There were mountain bikes all over the place, with people dressed for the occasion in tight riding gear, caps and gloves. Being winter I thought they would be better covered, but then they were going to tackle a distance that should build up a sweat. I enjoyed the tight riding gear on the women, the men's, with these funny seat pads that protect the family jewels, makes them look as if they have had a slip and never made it to the toilet in time.

There are four different races, 70km, 35km, 13km and for the very young 1km. My son-in-law was to tackle the 35km as his fitness level is in question, (I've kept him in front of the computer encoding my program) the Grand children, for fun, the 1km. My grand daughters bike is a push model with no pedals. The first off, the long distance, positioning myself for the best photo shot, I could only listen to the announcer as the rules read out. “Beware of the Lion, if you meet them don't stop and pet them, even though they are tame.” What! No way was I allowing anyone to ride in this race.

A second person near me said “don't worry, they're in cages” I think he saw the panic on my face. Count down and off the first race went, followed fifteen minutes later by the middle distance. There were hundreds of entrances and once they were all past I moved up to get shots of the grand children. My daughter was taking a small amount of ribbing from the announcer with her daughter on a bike with no peddles, she would go with her, so she also lined up in the crowd. Count down and the sixes and under took off with as much enthusiasm as the adults, the six-year old went off like a bullet and the three-year old, as fast as the legs would work, with Mom running beside her.

A stroll to the finish line got me there just in time to see the grandson come in third, how they got around that kilometre in such short time astounded me. To the delight of the crowd, along came the three-year old not that far behind the last of those with pedals. To see those faces as they received their medals and certificates, such joy. That over, it gave me time to get closer to the circuits of the others, the camera sang, the look of strain, the pain, suffering accompanied with the thoughts of “Why am I doing this?”

The finishing line rewarded me with some good photos of that last struggle to reach that line, but it was here that I saw the camaraderie of the families. Sons encouraging fathers and mothers, all together on bicycles and others encouraging friends or team mates. The race over, the war stories began, who fell where, who overtook whom, how they handled the climbs and descents, one big happy family. Out came the portable braai (barbecue), beers opened and a chatter taking place all over. Families joined by friends, picnics, no one in a hurry to go home, what a wonderful day, so like those I experienced as a youngster.

This was a great outing, and Babba's Lodge needs congratulating on encouraging the family outing, if you are in the area visit the farm and check the Internet for the following race, it's a great family outing.


Street Talk

Golfspice  

Mountain biking is great fun and exercise, and being off road much safer. It's surprising how hard children will work to keep up with everyone else in such events. They thrive on the carefree enjoyment and challenge without consideration of difficulty of the ride or getting tired.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

So true, their level of competition, their drive to win or succeed far out ways any though of pain or suffering, it is really inspiring to watch, and when finished I was gob smacked at the camaraderie shown between them, no disappointment of not winning, a mere congratulation and get you next time attitude was good to see.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

You do have a way with words Rob. I really enjoyed this article.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Thanks Shawn.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Sounds like you had a great day Rob, I haven't visited South Africa yet but from your blog photos it looks like a pretty amazing place.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Penny it's a great place to visit, with always something on the go.

Reply
  about 2 years ago
Lemuel  

Very nice outdoor activity with the whole family. Thanks for sharing. You got lovely grandchildren!

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Thanks Lemuel, appreciate the sentiments.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

For a moment I thought you were going to tell us you went mountain biking... I got this image of you in your bike pants but luckily it passed quickly. ;-) What a nice family event for you all!

Reply
  about 2 years ago

I would certainly not wear those pants, they look terrible, good on the girls that don't have that bulging area. It was actually a great day, I thought Linda and I might be standing around doing nothing while all was in progress, but we weren't. It was great fun.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Dear Rob, Sound like an exciting event, a splendid event to support the grand children.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Thanks Alfred.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

The mountain bike event sounds like a lot of fun to me. I would love to mountain bike in S. Africa with such beautiful scenery and wildlife. I am looking forward to seeing your photos on your blog

Reply
  about 2 years ago

They will be up soon Jay.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

We watched our daughter run a half marathon in NYC and the camaraderie was much the same. We talked with people we didn't know laughed with them and had a good time. I would love to visit S Africa and enjoy the climate, scenery and people

Reply
  about 2 years ago

John I suppose it's like minded people that do these events and watch them, so we should all get on, its wonderful to actually go and meet and talk to others and walk away with no idea who they were, yet you had a laugh together. John I would enjoy having you here.

Reply
  about 2 years ago
AJ  

It sounds like a fantastic time, Rob. Family bonding at its best!

Reply
  about 2 years ago

It was a great outing thanks AJ

Reply
  about 2 years ago

O my! A bike ride in the bush veld Babbas Lodge a family outing sounds like a wonderful family outing. If I'm ever in the area instead of checking the Internet for the following race I think I'll check and see if you've got an in-person tour for a group available. Good article. Nice job. Picture is fun too.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

If you're ever in the area with a group I'll happily be your guide.

Reply
  about 2 years ago

Definitely! Same to you for NYC.

  
  about 2 years ago
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