But there’s always a price to pay. Even in the 1800s, the US writer Mark Twain captured the risks: “Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” Cyclists reel off a de rigueur list of injuries, including road-rash, saddle sores, sciatica, and chronic hip or knee pain. And a collarbone break is an infamously routine cycling injury. Allison Morton accepts injuries with the HTFU attitude. That’s harden the fuck up. “If you don’t crash, you’re not trying hard enough,” she says.
Therein lies the essence of cycling: a never-ending belief in the benefits of spinning the legs — a perpetual motion that keeps the body moving, the mind content, and the spirit soaring.
Clearly, for people of all ages, whether it’s a wind-whistling-through-the-helmet sense of freedom, the thrilling call of the open road, or the calmness of a solitary trail, cycling offers something for the soul.
Whatever the price tag, it’s worth it.
THREE EVENTS TO THRILL, AND THE DREAM BIKES TO DO THEM ON
The three stages traverse majestic Drakensberg passes, undulating forest trails, and sugar-cane fields, ending at the KwaZulu-Natal coast. The event offers trail, adventure, and race options, providing scope for the full spectrum of riders from weekend warriors to racing die-hards. Do the adventure on Specialized’s S-Works Stumpjumper 29. With its lightweight carbon frame and top-notch handling and suspension, this bike is conceptualised for climbing resilience and designed for descending speed.