Last night I found myself giving cycling tips to Steven Roche. Mr Roche is a Tour de France winner and has won the big three in one year, the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia as well as the World Championship. When he did it only one other man had done that feat. I was telling him about Mountain biking. I should have told him to just read my blog but I did get a little thrill as I was talking with him.
Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP and Media dinner hosted by the Cycle Tour Trust slap bang in the middle of the Cycle Tour Lifestyle Week in Cape Town. As one of the organizers said on Friday, it’s a week when cyclists take over the city. At my hotel, a trailer truck arrived early this morning, carrying at least 150 bikes. The breakfast room was full of thin, not so thin and fat men and women with very little hair on their legs.
There was another first for me yesterday. I got my legs waxed on television. Tania Nefdt is the eNews Channel’s “tail-ender” reporter. You know those funny pieces at the end of the news? She does those and she does them very well. I got a call from her early on Wednesday asking if I could join her and colleague, Lance Witten, to wax our legs for the channel. I agreed and went along for the laugh. I had already shaved my legs the night before, so the waxing wasn’t too bad but the fun bit was Lance who has never had a wax before. He was making so much noise that we attracted a crowd who wanted to know what was going on.
Lance and Tania didn’t make the dinner last night but some big names in cycling were there including those that put this world-class event together and those that make it possible. I have been to a number of these high-profile events but I still get a thrill when I realize just where I am. The mayor, the sport MEC, Mr Roche and Dave Bellairs were rubbing shoulders with me.
The wine was flowing as it should in Cape Town. I singled out Steven, who recognized me from last year, which was a little ego boost. We sat for a good ten minutes just talking cycling. The sport is one of the few where professional cyclists will actually take the time out to talk with you. I have a feeling that rugby, football and cricket players are so up their own asses that the public isn’t important anymore. Cycling pros seem much friendlier. And that is the lesson I learnt from Steven Roche. No matter who you are and how important you are, always take time out for the little people.\
On another note, I had lunch with Liezel van der Westhuizen and her boyfriend, Dean, on Wednesday. Liezel of Idols and Expresso fame. She always has time for me and she’s also one of those that is willing to talk to people who recognize her. In fact, if you can find it, read her blog about her Ironman experience. She would stop along the route to greet people who shouted out her name. What a pro. She is doing Ironman again this year and I wish her, and Dean, all the best.