Trains, Floods and Frogs

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Mostly creating exciting adventures and fabulous memories.

We’ve been blessed with many rainy days in the past couple of weeks, in my region. The downside of all the rain, most mountain bike trails, and gravel roads have turned into mud baths. No matter where you ride, the end result is mud, mud, and mud. There are also lots of water puddles and overflowing streams and rivers. As mountain bikers, we fall back on Urban Rides to keep our fitness up. Streetwise, however, is not as adventurous and relaxing as riding your bike in the countryside on bush trails and gravel roads.

This morning, Sunday, 6 February, Allan and I drove out to one of our favourite Trail Parks, Buffelsdrift. It was not to be, however. The single track resembled small streams. The bikes didn’t even get offloaded. We drove back home and sought out ridable local gravel and single tracks.

Adventurous? Yes! We went off the beaten track and tackled a new route, out of necessity, to circumvent mud and water puddles, pools and rivers that miraculously formed in past days. Luckily my Partner in Crime is very resourceful and we had a fabulous time on the bike.

Our ride, 54 km was a mix of gravel and bush trails, with an elevation of 457 m, not too shabby. En route, we had a few stops, cleaning mud off our mountain bike shoes, to make it safe to cleat in and enjoy the ride. One stretch of road was completely blocked with water. It’s a service road for the railway tracks. The railway line passes above the service road at an elevated height. We climbed up to the railway tracks with our bikes. Walking along the railway line helped us navigate to dry land. Whilst on the dual carriage railway track we had a tremendous surprise, as a cargo train made its way towards us. Luckily we were not in the way. Wow, what an experience! The huge blue and red locomotive with grey railway cars sped past. The driver waved and blew the loud train horn, with us waving back. We were able to take photos and a short video clip. Exciting memories made!

Next, we had to cross a low water bridge that was flooded by the stream which usually runs under. The water was too deep to ride through with our bikes or walk through. Carefully, we shuffled across using the small bridge walls. Bikes wheeled next to us in the water, half rolling, half carried. Nerve-racking, but we made it to the other side without any mishap.

Safely on the other side, I spotted a little creature swimming in the water. Frog! Such a cutie! We spent some time with the little guy watching his very impressive breaststroke in the flowing water. The wonders of nature!

Navigating our way back home, the ride played off in my mind. My creative juices flowed, and the beginnings of a creative story formed. The brave little frog which we encountered, the big red and blue cargo train and a bicycle will most likely feature.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Mostly creating exciting adventures and fabulous memories. Even scored a few badges on Garmin Connect, by completing some challenges I set for myself 🚴‍♀️💪😅!

Photos by Allan Webber and Luculle Stols – on Instagram