Just after Lance A’s so-called ‘coming clean’ outing, ‘Mrs. Wiggley’ announced her ‘Retirement from Retirement’ at an exclusive and very emotional Oprah interview and live broadcast from the ‘Cube MTB retirement estate’.
Asked by Oprah, if she lied, when she declared her retirement from cycling, after completion of the Doomsday Ride, ‘Mrs. Wiggley’ replied ‘Yes’. Asked, if she’d ever intended to retire from cycling, she replied ‘No’. If she feels sorry, to have fooled her handsome ‘Mr. Wiggley’ and the other doomsday riders. ‘Yes’, she said, ‘I feel sorry, from the deepest of my heart and apologize’. ‘I would not do it again, if could turn back time’, she said, with an oil drop on the still wagging tail.
- Jan 2013 (OWN)
Soon after the broadcast of the interview, a reliable insider told us, that this may only be a temporary ‘re-incarnation’ of ‘Mrs. Wiggley’!
‘Mr. Wiggley’ – who was spotted this afternoon on his Sunday ride – has already ordered a new bicycle, that will be shipped in early April, after he returns from Cape Town from his annual Cape Argus cycle tour and family visit.
Our Hotel in Sayaxche kept a secret that nobody was aware of until he or she was trapped behind the high walls of the building, that was additionally guarded by heavily armed soldiers.
The nicely arranged garden around the pool area turned unexpectedly into a pre-historic jungle from which no-one was able to escape anymore.
Soon we were surrounded by giant creatures which immediately took hostage of our bicycles and some riders.
It was almost impossible to escape from their claws and jaws.
With a final gulp I disappeared into the dark throat of this ancient and long thought to be extinct creature, revealing a last glance onto the shocked fellow riders at the far end of the scene … Was this the end, although the real Doomsday is still 5 days away?
It was yesterday night at the ‘Del Rio’ when a sudden blast rocked us out of our post-dinner lethargy. A loud explosion followed by a bicycle that flew past the terrace in the upper floor of our hotel, with a tire and inner tube dangling from the rear rim. Usually a loud bang is nothing odd in a Central American country. It could be anything from a fireworks cracker to a gun that is often fired. However the shiny white bicycle frame high in the air, in a cloud of blue anti-flat slime, caught our attention. What has caused it to fly that high and who’s bike was it at all? Those who do not have a white frame were immediately relieved, however those with a white frame were in shock! First JJ came running to check for Jean’s bike, as she was doing some tire maintenance prior to dinner. Eventually the bicycle was identified as David H’s, from the still attached Doomsday plate #116. So, it was Cristiano’s duty to pass the message to David, who was already relaxing in his bed. With the determination of a Canadian Mountie David showed up at the scene and immediately started to cleanup the slimy mess and patiently started a second attempt to make his bike fit for the next day’s ride to Flores. Besides some blue stains on nearby bicycles, there were no more signs the next morning of the late night incident.
It is further to mention, that the locals must have inadvertently taken the tire blast bang as their signal to start a big and loud firework with more big bangs and sparks in the air.
Below you will find the details of the final 6 cycling stages to Belize City and the Lamanai Temple. We will have 3 more days in Guatemala before I can get my 5th bracelet in Belize. The track details of the final stages are looking like easy rolling towards the end. Nothing compared to what we had to master in the past. Only 500km to Belize City in 5 days and another 130km to the ‘Party Zone’ at Lamanai. Less then 90km thereof on unpaved roads and averaging not even 750m of accumulated climbs per day. That means that the support vehicles will be deserted and everyone is on the bicycle again and not being shuttled up to the summits for a downhill release. The first day gives us an elevation loss of more than 1100m leading us closer to sea level.
After finding the ‘Secret TdA Branch’ in El Paso, it turns out that TdA is building up their own Coke Stop Network in Central America, extending their business with their cycling clients and making sure that everything is on stock we may ask for – maybe bicycle spare parts, too?
Now that the tour comes to its final showdown – Doomsday is only 6 cycling days away, it is time to talk about my long time trustful and strong friend and companion ‘Mrs. Wiggley’, who was with me through pain and joy though out the many cycling years. ‘Who am I talking about?’, you may ask. Sure, my bicycle – I lately call ‘her’ Mrs. Wiggley because of the wiggling and wagging movements she developed over time when I ‘ride her’. Together we are ‘Mr. and Mrs. Wiggley’ – as baptized by fellow cyclist Jos – and you can recognize us from far away as there is no other ‘couple’ displaying the ‘wagging tail’ all day long, making you think we enjoy every single inch and peddle stroke of the tour when we ride together. Do we like it, even on very hard, cold, wet and dirty days? Yes, to some extend we do, because you need to enjoy cycling if you voluntarily do these kind of tours and ‘hardship’.
Our relationship started in late 2007, when I bought ‘her’ to do the Tour d’Afrique with me and completed the first kilometers in Cairo. We are now almost 5 years together – not that we share home and bed (although at some places she is allowed to sleep over in my room, when there is no secure bicycle park) – but we shared many hours and kilometers together on the road. In total it is more than 40000km or more than 3000 hours of cycling together. We have been 2 times to Africa and now to Central America for the Doomsday Ride. Besides these epic multi week/month tours, we cycled thousands of kilometers in Germany on weekend trips and to bring me to work and patiently waiting for me to get me back home again. Together we have double the miles on bicycle then on my fancy TT Roadster, in the same timeframe.
I must admit I haven’t always treated you well . Often you were just ‘dumped’ in the dark bicycle cellar after using you, dirty and wet as you were and not cleaned or maintained for many weeks. But you almost never failed on me. If so, then just to give me a hint to better watch your signals to be more safe and prepared when we go on the road. So we always found our way back home, even if only walking and pushing.
During the long tours I always tried and happily succeeded to lose weight to relieve you from unnecessary load, as I packed you with a lot of extras during the days.
We have been though the roughest, hottest, highest and most beautiful parts of Africa and Central America together. Whenever I couldn’t help you personally we could visit the ‘bike clinic’ and consult our tour mechanics Luke and Paul to gently lay hands on you and help us out of our miseries, to get fit again for the next stages. I am confident, that we will both master the final 6 days and 630km of cycling to arrive in 1 piece at the Lamanai Temple in Belize on December 21st.
Now, after 5 years of good and reliable partnership and often hard ‘riding’, I promised my ‘Mrs. Wiggley’ that ‘she’ may retire after returning from this tour. Her links and joints developed a kind of ‘arthritis’ that may not be fully cured anymore, leaving her in pain with every peddle stroke. This said: ‘No more long distance flights in dark cardboard boxes! No more long days on the road’. I will probably ‘frame the frame’ and give it a well deserved display in my apartment.
We have 2 father/son pairs riding this tour from San Jose to Belize.
There is Ruut (77) and Michiel (50) from the Netherlands. Ruut is a very experienced rider, who started with serious cycling at the age of 50. He already completed the Silk Route with TdA. There are not many places in the world he hasn’t explored on bicycle or hiking. Michiel likes to pass me on the steep climbs on his ultra light MTB, pointing out the sweat pearls on my forehead whereas he doesn’t even seem to raise his pulse.
The second pair is Gavin (72) and William (32) from South Africa. Both strong and experienced long distance runners and cyclists. Gavin already cycled the Tour d’Afrique from Cairo to Cape Town with me. William is very supportive to his father and you see them all day long cycling together or William riding ahead and waiting for Gavin to close up again.
Antigua sits in a Highland valley at 1500 meters overlooked by the spectacular Agua Volcano (3765 meters). A little further away are two other volcanoes Acatenango and the always smoking, sometimes erupting, Fuego.
Antigua, sited in the Panchoy Valley, was designated ‘La Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala’ by the conquistadors in 1543 and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Before I went into town I had to visit the Bavarian restaurant around the corner and have a ‘real’ Radler with Brezel, Rösti and a Ritter Sport chocolate.
Thereafter I spent the time in the historical part of the town until my legs were tired.