feature by Hanlie Booyens
I USED TO BE A RACER – I loved it too. However time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters and these days it is not result sheets anymore. For me it is about finding joy in the journey. It is about discovering places that lift my soul. It is about reconnecting with my spirit in spaces where time slows down and I can appreciate life for all it is.
Away from the crowds there are amazing roads to travel, there are climbs to conquer and views to treasure. All you need is a bit of imagination, a good map and my friend Google.
And so we stumbled upon the Ben10. It had the allure of a proper challenge in a beautiful part of our country. It looked perfect offering great climbs, stunning views, remoteness and space. One for the bucket list. The challenge was set by the guys from Mountain Passes South Africa (www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za). Initially aimed at the 4x4 community, they invited cyclists to attempt it as well. The goal is to cover ten specific high-altitude gravel passes within a time frame of seven days, whilst enjoying the beautiful and remote Eastern Cape highlands scenery. As they state on their website: “This is not a race but a journey.”
- January/February 2019 edition of Ride Cycling Magazine.
Just when we think it's safe to go in the water........ Records are made to be broken. We've had some astonishing numbers come across our desk this week, surpassing by a long margin any previous highs we had achieved. During December 2016 we logged over 100,000 page views. What makes this remarkable is that our readership was steady between 55,000 and 60,000 for the last 6 months of 2016. Also during December, a single Face Book post on the Sani Pass logged a fraction under 160,000 views over a period of just 3 days. Once everyone went back to work, we expected the numbers to return to late 2016 levels, but they have pegged in at 80,000. We have just passed the 10,000 LIKES mark on our FaceBook page as well. A massive thank you to everyone for this throroughly rewarding support.
The Ben 10 Eco Challenge which we've been talking about for over 3 months, was launched last Saturday. Entries are streaming in and already the number 1 spot has been claimed by Mr. Rudi Pieters, who completed the challenge on a BMW R1200GSA motorcycle. The gauntlet is down! We've had a few questions about the dates of the challenge.
Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.