Jos & Gabriele’s secret TDA society
I was honored to be inducted into Jos Malherbe and Gabriele Bohrer’s secret society today. Well it wasn’t quite that but they did agree to an interview and I was invited to sit by their tents to conduct it. Jos is from Cape Town, South Africa and although Gabriele hails from Lugano, Switzerland, Jos says his buddy’s second home is a South Africa as he visits there twice a year.
The dynamic duo met in 2010 when they completed the Tour d’Afrique together. When Gabriele found out about the TDA he decided to ride a section to test the waters and see if he would enjoy the full tour. “The (full) tour is such a big trip. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it.” Jos chimes in, “being the cautious Swiss he is. Cautious European.” Only tough love from Jos for Gabriele, but anyone can tell they are good friends. They almost always cycle together and when they aren’t riding you can find them enjoying a bottle of red wine (or beer if the vino supply is low). I ask them what they do back home and Jos says that cycling is his biggest job. “Gabriele gets paid, but doesn’t work. He’s a journalist.”
I asked them for highlights of the tour so far but they chose to expand on the low points which occurred on day 2. “Jos was vomiting 2km from camp. I was cramping really bad and didn’t get into my tent until 10pm.” Jos elaborated some on his puking experience which I remember well because some landed on my foot. Jos then joked about how he lovingly took care of Gabriele while he wasn’t feeling well. “I had to massage his back. And various other places that I won’t mention since he is married.”
They did share a highlight from today which involved them finding a hotel a couple kilometers from camp where they were able to shower and eat a lovely dinner of spaghetti bolognese all for 200 Birr (about $10). Jos and Gabriele were in great spirits so I think drinks were included in that 200 Birr as well. “It’s the cleanest we’ve ever been after 111km. We did it special for the interview.”
I received the most enthusiasm when I asked them about their red wine of choice. Gabriele goes for Pinot Noir and Jos enjoys a nice Malbec or Merlot. But they both agreed on steak as the best food pairing with the wine. Which brings me to the question of what they wish they had brought with them. “Gabriele brought no wine so I almost kicked him off the tour. I brought two bottles.” Gabriele tells me how they had hoped for one more locker like they had on the 2010 tour to store their wine.
Parting words from Jos for future TDA riders: “Don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy the landscape, not the race. You can race at home.”