With the traversing through world renown Big 5 reserves bordering on the Kruger National Park, the safety and security of the riders is paramount and obviously needs to be taken into consideration with all planning and arrangements of this unique event.

Based on this, there are a few measures that have been incorporated into this event which may differ slightly to the majority of cycling events in South Africa.

The first is that the event has been set up as a Touring Event and not a Racing Event.   (For more details on this, click HERE).    This has been combined with the second characteristic of “Peleton Riding”.   The primary justification behind this is to enable a more controlled cycling environment that will mitigate the extensive spread of cyclists from the fastest to the slowest that would normally occur in a standard race format.    With the implication of a slower cycling pace through a tour Format as opposed to a racing format, there is more time to control and manage a situation with cyclists should they encounter any dangerous game firstly and secondly, with the implementation of peleton cycling (ie all riders will have to ride and remain within their specific peletons), it is also possible to then ensure both a qualified ranger cycling with each group as well as a safety sweep vehicle for each peleton should a dangerous situation be encountered.   

In the instance of a potentially dangerous situation, the lead guide will initiate a “drop and retreat” action - ie drop your bikes and retreat to the safety vehicle on foot, in a calm and controlled manner.   During the trial run of this event, this action was necessary when we encountered a Bull elephant in Musth and was expertly and calmly handled.

Although Hoedspruit Rotary will endeavour to do everything they can to provide a safe and secure environment for all cyclists participating, it is still imperative that everyone rides and registers at their own risk and is aware of the dangers that may be involved in riding through Big 5 territory.    All cyclists will need to sign detailed indemnity forms before participating in this exciting event.   (Click HERE to see a copy of the indemnity form)