And into the mountains I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.
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.