11-2019 Cycling Sani Pass in SA

Since I cycled up Sani Pass with three BMW colleagues in about 2005 but could not reach the top because of inaccurate time planning, I wanted to come back and finish the job. We did not know that the SA border post closes at 16:00 p.m. I was fetched by our back up vehicle. Although I was not as fit as my tow other friends who reached the top in time, I would have made it, had we started earlier in the morning. I believe in 2005 we started at the Premiere Resort Sani Pass, a fine hotel about 8 km from the SA border post. That makes then about 22 km to the top and about 1.400 m uphill.
This time I was not fit enough for this variant, so I decided to start at the border post only. 8 km and 900 m uphill.

19.11.2019, On the way to the hotel and pre-run late afternoon.
From the hotel to the South African border post there is basically one large construction site to upgrade to road with asphalt. Understandable, but ending a legend of a tough ride where 4 wheel drive vehicles were mandatory.
From the border post upwards it is still a little challenge.

20.11.2019, Driving with Volvo through construction site until border post.

Arriving at border post.

I had quite a few stops, partially because the bike became unstable and of course because I needed to catch some breath. One starts at about 1.900 m altitude to go to 2.873 m. Not only breath, but relax the muscles as well 🙂

While getting closer to the top the mild berg wind rose to almost gail force strength. That made it impossible for me to get onto the bike in the last steep sections without being blown off again. I tried numerous times but had to concede. The last 500m altitude I had to push the bike.

Just one beer in the highest pub of Africa and some nice conversation with locals. Soon I went back down. I was concentrating as much as possible but could not avoid a bad fall. Front wheel got stuck between two stones and I fell head over heals onto the hard road. Luckily not onto the rough rocky surface but just the hard clay. Needless to say it still was hurting a lot. But no injury. My guardian angels decided to let me fall, but protect me still 🙂