The last weekend of May 2022 saw Sling Aircraft and Sling Cycles management and friends heading down to the matchless Tanqua Kuru Bicycle Race en mass. Three Sling aircraft and two motor vehicles carried a team of 14 from Johannesburg to the Tankwa Tented Camp – home to the race and springboard to almost all Tanqua adventures.
Two years in, the Tanqua Kuru Bicycle Race is destined to become a classic – two magnificent days of riding through God’s own landscape. This year’s race saw sand and gravel, rock and corrugation, zebra, eland, reedbuck, jackal and hare, sun, wind, rain and rainbows. Jeremy and his friends laid on magnificent catering during the race – essentially a picnic feast on each day. (First time we have eaten parma ham and melon, gruyere and salami, figs, grapes and naartjies during a cycle race!).
The field was accommodated in a combination of Tankwa Tented Camp bungalows and fixed and knock-up tents. Roaring fires and a steady stream of drinks over the bar counter kept all participants warm. A couple of log fires heated outdoor plunge pools for easing the legs after the race rounded up the luxury accoutrements. Meals were excellent as always, and Saturday afternoon saw everyone out on the rocks behind the camp, dressed in white shirts and ties, benefitting from philosophical musings issued by Deon, along with 100 litres of gin and tonic dispensed from plastic jerry cans to facilitate the learning.
On Saturday, James, Branko, JP, Malama, Renay and Guy took on the 115 km north and western loop, with Andrew, Jonathan, Future, Adam, Wayne, Gillian and Mike (on the prototype Sling Tagati eBike) setting out for 55 km. Sunday saw all survivors riding the 50 km eastern loop, sometimes into driving, horizontal rain.
Cyclists can be quite a vain and demanding bunch. Gravel cyclists, though, are of a different ilk – what a warm and wonderful group of people. A magnificent weekend was had by all, each swearing to return on every anniversary.
See you next year Slingers!