Cape Town - What do 9 best mates do when the
rat race of Gauteng gets to them? Well, they head to the Northern Cape and
cycle 800+ kilometres of course!
On October 17, 2015, close friends Cobus van Wyk, Wynand Steyn, Leon Whitlock,
Gerhard du Toit, Gerrit Brink, Herman Pretorius, Hennie Strauss, Retief Rossouw
and Ruan van Rooyen, set out for 820km mountain bike journey from Beaufort West
to Worcester! It took the fit men 10 days to complete the journey, with a rest
day here and there.
men said that it was tougher than they expected, especially the first couple of
days, as they eased into the long distances, big mountains, head winds and
heat. They knew it would be challenging because of the remoteness of the route,
the lack of infrastructure, the extreme heat and the long distances. They had
to start each day with approximately 8 liters of water, which added a great
deal of weight to the already fully packed bikes!
started planning the trip in April this year and all agreed that the Cederberg
Mountains were an area they wanted to explore. The friends also wanted to
incorporate a train ride, so a part of the Shosholoza train’s route was chosen –
they took the train from Johannesburg to Beaufort West where they were dropped
off, and then cycled the 820km to Worcester, where the train picked them up and
took them back to Johannesburg.
group prepared for the touch cycle by training together on weekends, and also
got together for mid-week rides. They did 2 training rides to Ezemvelo Nature
Reserve from Pretoria, with fully loaded bikes that led to crucial adjustments
to their luggage systems.
the trip, the team cycled through several areas with absolutely no cellphone
signal, where their Spot Trace satellite-tracking device really came in handy.
The device allowed friends, fans and family to track them 24/7 during the trip
and put their loved-ones mind’s at ease as they took on the grueling, remote
says, “Day 4, Tankwa Karoo National Park to Biedouw river was our favourite
part! I was amazed by all of the beautiful 'nothingness' we saw, and to think
that there are plants and animals that thrive in that harshness is just crazy.”
guys have all been friends for many, many years
- some since primary school and others from their varsity days. It’s
this bond that kept their sense of humour’s intact and they plan taking on more
adventures just like this one. This is in fact the third “Die Groot Trap” (the
Big Peddle) that the friends have embarked on together!
what the highlight of their journey was, all 9 guys agreed that it was the
friendly people they met along the way that made the trip so worth it; that
experiencing the kindness of others, who will go out of their way to help
regardless of their own schedules, was so refreshing.