bikesfront

When i first got my bike, I was born into a community of one of the coolest experiences in the world. Man oh man, to be a biker. i’d dreamed about it for a few years but was unable to afford a bike at the time. Now, it’s a different story. i’ve been biking for just over a year now, and although i’m still pretty new to this amazing community of people who do it because they can and love it, I can now say that i’ve managed to play an influence on people who have finally decided to, not to be too much of a cliche, Join the club.

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Sir Peter Brian Medawar once said “Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.” He was a Brazilian-born British scientist best known for his work on how the immune system rejects or accepts tissue transplants.

I know that I’m still pretty young. 25 years of age to be exact, and I was born in 1983. What a great time to grow up in is what I’m sure most will say about their younger years. Needless to say, as I go through my life day by day I begin to notice the little things in life that have slowly begun to disappear. Small little things that we took for granted as we were growing up that just aren’t there anymore. and I’m sure my older readers will say it even more than I do. I also distinctly remember my folks telling me that i would miss school one day, and, almost 8 years later, they were right. Such a care-free time where all we had to do was play and have fun, and do a little bit of school work along the way. I really do miss it.

But then again, as one gets older and begins moving into a career, you begin to realize that it’s actually rather great to be in the position you are these days. One can afford all the little luxuries that you couldn’t when younger. We have cars, and houses, and all the ice-cream in the world and the list really does go on. We can even afford the passions that we so often enjoy, such as climbing, in my case.

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View of Boven (from Rock & Rope Adventures - www.rocrope.com)

View of Boven (from Rock & Rope Adventures - www.rocrope.com)

Waterval Boven, about 100Km’s from Nelspruit in Mpumulanga, South Africa, is a haven for sports climbing. It’s world renouwned to be one of the coolest spots to climb, and for a very good reason.  There are currently more than 600 sport routes to climb in the area, and there are also a ton of Trad routes as well. Currently, I hear from some climbing buddies, that they’re planning on opening another new crag to the public. Negotiations are currently underway with a farmer who owns the property. Obviously access is needed. Once this process is complete there will be even more routes opening up at Boven. For the future, there are something like 20Km’s of additional crags to add to the equation, so as you can see, it’s rather insane! There is something that makes this place unique, the color of the rock. You can always tell if a picture is taken here because the rock is red. It’s really awesome!

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Red Column, A classic trad route in the Magaliesberg

Red Column, A classic trad route in the Magaliesberg

There have been many time’s I’ve said that a route that I’ve done has been awesome, but nothing can compare to Red Column in the Tonquani Complex. Since I was introduced to Trad Climbing a few weeks ago, i’ve grown to love it more an more each time I go. Needless to say, i still have many more years of Trading to do, this is one of those experiences that will stand out for a long time to come as probably the best climb I have ever done!

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There is something romantic about the traveller. Whether it’s the bleached blond surfer or the retired couple travelling in France, the traveller belongs, and ebbs and flows with the rhythm of a place. They are enriched by a journey of discovery.

Most of us prefer to think of ourselves as travellers rather than tourists. But did the warm smile of the local people we met on our last holiday mask a horror at our mangled Franglais and clumsy attempts to ‘fit in’ by playing boule with the locals? To them are our holidays simply a necessary intrusion?

To travel from travail, a journey or a circle. Tourists stick out like sore thumbs (or a sunburned nose). They are separate from the people and the places that they visit. Over eager for their annual 2-week dose of happiness, determined to record it on film, and ill at ease with local people they hide behind their cameras.

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We have all no doubt seen this often used advertising slogan splashed across the world media, but do we ever stop to think about it. In this opening article I will introduce you to the main theme of my essays, as well as the style in which they will be written.

It is often said that the root of all evil is money, but this is just humanity shifting the blame. I feel that what lies at the root of all social, economic, environmental and spiritual problems facing the world today, is our loss of connection.

We do not feel connected to the natural world which we are a part of and we have most definitely lost our connection to our fellow man. Some might say that this split occurred as Homo sapiens became fully self-aware and thus was part of a natural evolutionary process. This works as an explanation, but it does not suffice as an excuse for what has occurred as a result of our detachment. Our disconnection from the planet has led us to become the perpetrators of environmental catastrophes. Species extinctions, clogging the atmosphere with our pollutants and huge losses of biodiversity as our cities spread across the earths’ surface. The loss of connection with our fellow human is plain to see.

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“Probably the most beautiful kloof in the Magaliesberg Mountains, Tonquani is the picture of what most people would class as the perfect water feature that they would love to adorn their house except that this one goes on for Kilometre after Kilometre. Stunning tree fern lined pools of crystal clear water interspersed with giant rocks go to make this walk an unforgettable experience.” (Quote  – Footprint)

The Magaliesberg Mountain Reserve

The Magaliesberg Mountain Sanctuary

Once again, I’m at a loss for words. as I mentioned in my Kloofing blog, places like these are really special. There’s just something unexplainable about being in Nature and enjoying it to the fullest! Especially when you’re there to do the impossible (at least it seemed impossible at the start of the climb). The rejuvinating affect it has on you really is something else, and this time, the sense of accomplishment was greater than ever! I never thought i’d start trad climbing so soon. Originally I did sport climbing but now there’s more to the climbing. it means more now than what it did, considering that in trad climbing there is a philosophy of ‘Leave No Trace’. Let me explain…

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