Adventure bikers set off on 550-km ride to Rhodes

2008-03-25 00:00

­A group of 12 mountain bike riders yesterday set off on an epic eight day 550-km journey from Pietermaritzburg to the charming hamlet of Rhodes in the Eastern Cape.

Their aim is not to be the first ones there, but to absorb as much of the scenic beauty and the warmth of the people along the way.

Brian Henwood, leader of the group, said the ride was modelled on the first stage of a 2 300-km mountain bike trail from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl that was created by the Waddilove brothers, an environmental lawyer in Cape Town and the other a Donnybrook farmer.

“In June each year a group of intrepid mountain bikers set off from Pietermaritzburg on an incredible journey, called the Freedom Challenge …” he said.

The local group who set off yesterday is made up of a few engineers, a land surveyor, an educator, a ballet instructor, an attorney, a retired Anglican bishop, a few energetic health fanatics and a couple of varsity students.

“The journey will take the riders across farmland, through nature reserves and into rural communities. They will ride down and up the steep terrain of the uMkomazi River valley and the Drakensberg mountain range, along the Swartberg and Matatiele districts culminating in the ascent of Naudes Nek Pass before descending into Rhodes.”

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