“Go purple turtles!”

Written by Paul Polta

I’ve been here for over 6 months now as a volunteer at the National SCOUTS SA Office. I’ve had such a great experience with my Scout Group 2nd Rondebosch and have made some really good friends. One such a friend is Daniel Lejeune.

At some point in your life you get random ideas for adventures you desperately want to do. Add to that friends who convince you to join the implementation of their ideas… and you get the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020.

So Daniel and I started to participate in cycle races and most recently the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020, which is one of the biggest timed cycle races in the world! We were all excited to do the race, when we saw that SCOUTS SA was making branded cycle gear!

So we decided to ride the race in purple. I was so proud to represent Scouting in one way or another and it was so much fun. What surprised me the most during the race was the support we got! No matter a spectator or participant, everybody was shouting comments like “Go Scouts!”. Elderly people reminisced about their time as Scouts, people at the streets cheered us on as well as Scouts who were watching.

There was also a person who obviously didn’t know much about Scouting but who shouted “Go purple turtles!” which could be a cool Patrol name if you think about it. The most remarkable comment was still from a lady behind the microphone, who reminded us of our promise. “Show me those three fingers” she shouted!

As with all adventures there is always the chance that something can go wrong. During the race my back tyre burst and we needed to replace it. While we were on the side of the road changing the tyre, a man smiled and said “you should have been better prepared”. At least we were prepared enough to change a tyre!

I am very impressed by the race and all that went with it. This huge event ran so smoothly and without major problems. I was also impressed by the amount of Scouts that participated, may it be as riders, spectators or even helping to organise the race. It was a great experience and getting support from strangers along the road was a boost for my moral! I’m thankful for all of it!

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