Andrew Cox and Kevin Mackridge (Franchisees of TALISMAN HireBallito, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg) decided to get a couple of customers and Talisman Hire fans together to conquer the Sani pass with their mountain bikes.
There were 11 riders in Total, 9 from Ballito and 2 riders from Gauteng that left Underberg for the ride to the Top of Sani Pass and back to Underberg. Conditions were icy to say the least as the riders left early Saturday morning but soon the conditions “heated” up as they tackled the ascent of Sani Pass. The ride was around 100 km and our total calculated climbing ascent was just over 2500m.
The ride from the border post to the top was the most challenging for the riders, but also the most scenic as the last 8 kilometres was steep and loose, in fact we rode just over a 1000m vertical in 8km !!.
The group was however rewarded when reaching the highest pub in the world (2865m above sea level to be exact) for a well-deserved hot chocolate (not beer although it was tempting) and lunch to fuel they weary legs for the return. The descent was scary as the riders negotiated tight loose switchbacks and the odd 4×4 making their way to the top, hands were cramping due to the continuous skilful braking but they all made it down the pass without an incident , although apart from an annoying puncture halfway down. If the last 70km wasn’t challenging enough, mother nature dished out a 25km/h head wind for the last 30km home….eish that was hard work as by then a couple of the crew were now “gatvol”!!.
After reaching the point of departure, and with much elation, they all managed to muster up the energy for a quick hot shower. Saturday evening was spent at the Himeville Arms pub for a juicy steak ,egg and chips as they riders shared war stories of the days shenanigans’ over a couple of ice cold beers. Fun was had by all and new friendships were sealed and Sunday saw the group returning home to their families, the ride is a must for any fairly fit mountain biker and should be put on the top of the list of Top 10 rides here in South Africa.
It looks like this group of mountain bikers have started something as there were hints of another mountain biking adventure next year, please feel free to leave your comments at the bottom of this post for some ideas ,we are all ears !