Roads Like These: Vol. 16 // Tour of Ara // Little Wheels London

LittleWheels.cc, is a women’s cycling blog based out of London and ran by two amazing ladies, Dani and Sam. Dani was recently in South Africa for a few months, and took on helping with the “Tour of Ara“, a six day stage race on vintage road bikes, through the Cederberg Mountains(worth the google image search linked!) and the Karoo.

Beautiful location, beautiful photos, beautiful roads!!


 

Words: Dani

While I was on holiday in South Africa at the end of last year I managed the social media for a little-known bicycle race called the Tour of Ara. When I think of stage races I think of carbon, huge corporate companies and masses of people, none of which entice me. Luckily the Tour of Ara has none of those things. For me the Tour of Ara was almost make believe but it was real and completely amazing. An event which brings a new meaning to the term bicycle race.

The Tour of Ara travels along roads less travelled through one of the most stunning backdrops imaginable – the Cederberg Mountains and the Karoo Desert. The beautiful surroundings are constantly changing and appear never ending. It’s a serious challenge of gravel and dirt roads with plenty of climbing and ridden only on vintage road bikes. Certainly not a race for the faint hearted. The remote location makes this special race extra special. With only 35 riders, no support team, no sponsors and no cash prizes, the unforgiving roads mean this is more about adventure and less about winning. The Tour not only involves the local communities along the route but also supports them, as well as celebrating the vibrant culture of this magical area.

I travelled with the race photographer Richard Johnson. We drove along the route closely following the 35 rider’s every push. I carried with me my beloved and well travelled Olympus OM10 and tried to capture the amazing beauty of the Tour of Ara.

 

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