Well, it would seem many busy years have lapsed since I was last torturing my buttocks on a borrowed mountain bike, trying hard to keep up with my father- in-law Henri and to finish the 108 km long Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour under a fierce South African sun.

But in fact that was only last March. Time flies like storks on their migratory journey, long pauses followed by mad dashes forward. No way to ever catch up. So much has happened since then that I can hardly keep track. I sit here today and wonder if I dreamt it all, the heat, the crowds, the cheering, the pain, the beauty, the coast, the baboons, the energy gels, the ferocious wind – and if I might ever do it again.

The fine Cape Argus folks back in Cape Town have been sending participants their certificates and suddenly, I thought I would post mine here, both to remind myself that it was all real, and that this parallel African world drenched in heat and covered in wonderful flowers actually exists – and also to once and for all put an end to any speculation as to whether or not I have an ego…

But really, 17,929th out of 28,976??? What was I doing out there, pedaling backwards?

Any way. Here’s to the timeless, ambiguous flirt of our two most conflicting emotions, pride and modesty.