Words by: Frans le Roux | Images by: Brian Wood
EVENTS ARE BACK, AND WE WERE STOKED TO LINE-UP IN GREYTON FOR THE THIRD ANNUAL PIE RUN. DESPITE SOME CRAZY WEATHER, ASSOCIATE ED FRANS LE ROUX LOVED EVERY MINUTE.
When I look back at my 2019 cycling event memories, I can hardly believe that most of them were cancelled in 2020 due to Covid. Fast forward six months, and some events are still happening, and we are all flippen excited! One such an event was the recent Greyton Pie Run.
The third annual Pie Run took place on a cold, wet and windy morning in the sleepy town of Greyton. I loved the event in 2019 and wanted to ensure I came back for more this time around. The route and format were unchanged as it takes riders on either gravel or mountain bikes from Greyton to Riversonderend and back. After a swift registration process, I went to my overnight accommodation. No sign of warmer spring weather as rain and wind made its way through the village. Waking up the morning before the event I knew that the 80 odd kilometres on my gravel bike wouldn’t be easy. Puddles, wind, and the odd shower made everyone anxious and rather quiet in the start chute.
The race started with a short neutral zone where the kids from the local community cycling club led us out. The biggest mistake I made in 2019 was not working hard enough to stay in contact with other riders to hide from the elements. Within the first 20 minutes we had a rain shower and some weird gusting side winds. The route inwards towards Riversonderend is truly beautiful with orchards, rivers and rolling wheat lands as far as the eye can see. Pedalling through a couple of small rivers on a gravel bike (NO SUSPENSION) is a tricky affair. Next up we had a quick halfway stop at the Ou Meul Café for some pastries!
As much as the 35-odd kilo’s towards Riversonerend went by quickly and without too many struggles, the way back to Greyton proved to be a whole different story. The groups were now broken up and we were greeted by a massive head wind. The kind of wind that was so strong that it made it barely possible to have a conversation with other riders around you. After suffering for more than an hour at barely 20km/h we made a sharp right turn. I will forever be grateful for that one turn as it lifted my spirits and made me reach a bunch of five riders. With the same wind now pumping at us from the left, we could manage to get into some sort of rhythm.
Some short and sharp rolling hills followed as we snaked along the Riversonderend river. Amusingly the last 10 kilos towards Greyton were the worst. The road surface was filled with rocks and corrugations and made the going arduously slow. The sight of coffee, beer and food at the finish line made the slog worthwhile. Tummy filled I left Greyton satisfied but broken. For the 2021 event I might be persuaded to use my mountain bike!
Thanks to the race organisers and Greyton Mountain Bike club who hosted us. We’ll see you again in 2021!