Bicycling WOW Rides

3. It’s About the Journey

- Aaron Borrill, Editor

The Wow Rides. It’s an intrinsica­lly difficult concept to define properly; but in a nutshell, it’s an ever-growing ream of bucket-list riding destinatio­ns – something we intend adding to every year. Of the many rides we considered, we feel the following pages best represent the cycling zeitgeist – what makes riding a bike such a quasi-religious experience.

And it’s not just about the location; it’s also the rich history, the scenery and the incredible experience that underscore­s each ride. I’m sure you’ve experience­d the magical glow of an early morning or late evening ride, or perhaps felt the bite of icy cold or searing heat – these are the emotions and physical sensations I’m talking about. This is what makes an average ride a Wow Ride.

In the SA Trails section of this book,

I’m blessed to have ridden all 12 of these special locations with some talented riders – Ryan Lenferna, Lance Stephenson, Neill Ungerer, Nils Hansen, Andrew Hill, Oli Munnik and Reuben van Niekerk; not to mention Desmond Louw, who captured our travels so honestly. I won’t lie – it was hard work. Each location brought with it a unique set of challenges, but the stories and memories are what stand out most.

Do I have a personal favourite? Hmm... that’s a hard question to answer; but if I were to narrow it down, it would definitely have to be one of the climbs. See, nothing quite compares to watching a landscape morph exquisitel­y when you’re slowly inching your way into the clouds. Not only does the vegetation around you change, your perspectiv­e on things shifts constantly – and on that score, the tough and challengin­g Sani Pass is a national treasure. Ride it now. Climbing something like Sani makes you feel alive, as the force of gravity tests not only your fitness and strength, but your mettle, too.

The Wow Rides, then, is more about the journey, sensations and emotions, and less about the destinatio­n. So switch off your GPS and Strava on your next outing – they’re unnecessar­y distractio­ns. Take everything in. Breathe. Live. Ride.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa