In May 2013 I was invited to join a group of mountain bikers on a tour through South Africa. Our itinerary was handcrafted by South Africa Tourism and built around the 270km Nedbank Sani2c stage race from the Drakensburg mountains to the coast near Durban.
We saw life in the big cities, rode up high in the mountains, were chased down the road by an elephant during safari, and ate delicious three course meals everywhere we went.
Before the trip, the tour group fundraised $43,000 for a South African organisation, Hearts of Hope. The funds were used to build a preschool in the remote Emseni community. To visit Emseni and help paint the interiors of the school was an important time to exchange stories and thanks.
I worked on the articles for this trip with a broken finger after an up close and personal incident with a tree. A six page feature on the bike race was published in Flow Mountain Bike issue 4, brought to life with stunning helicopter images by Kelvin Trautman.
We complemented this with a destination piece I wrote and shot for the web. This detailed the other riding and experiences we had in a format that lets more overseas readers share the article with the click of a mouse.
A third story, Beyond Biking, looked at the work of Hearts of Hope. It’s nice to see more stories out there that show how life on the bike impacts life off it.
Links to web features for Flow Mountain Bike:
South Africa: Just Go. Feature article on three iconic South African mountain biking destinations – Cape Town, Franschhoek and the Drakensberg Mountains – and the people who call them home.
Beyond Biking. Feature article on the work carried out by Hearts of Hope and Sani2c Oz Tour participants, who raised $43,000 to build a preschool in the Emseni community.
Flow’s First Bite: Specialized S-Works Fate Carbon 29. First impressions of the mountain bike being tested in South Africa and how it’s suited to the demands of the trip. (Link broken after website update.)
Tested: Specialized Women’s S-Works Fate Carbon 29. Full review of the women’s 29 inch mountain bike used throughout the trip.
The Nedbank Sani2c: an experience as much as a race. Web recap of the Nedbank Sani2c stage race in anticipation of the magazine feature to be published later.
Link to PDF of print article for Flow Mountain Bike magazine:
Pushing the Boundaries in Africa: The Nedbank Sani2c. Magazine length feature article on the Sani2c stage race.
Riding as a team at the Nedbank Sani2c for kathbicknell.com.
Images: Kath Bicknell