Tour of Ara 2017: Bighead’s Big Adventure (Part Three – Final) – By Todd Leedy

Stage Five – Naaim de Vos: Calvinia to Sutherland, 161km “The morning road is, um, not in great condition”   Heading over to Hantam Huis for breakfast in the usual cold morning vest and arm warmers, I noticed the streets surprisingly slightly wet and a heavy mist in the air. No sign of pre-dawn light […]

Tour of Ara 2017: Bighead’s Big Adventure (Part Two) – By Todd Leedy

Stage Three – Mbotshwa Buda: Middelpos to Calvinia, 98km “There is something sticking out of your head” During our braai dinner following stage two, we heard the unfortunate news that Tour of Ara organizer Stan Engelbrecht’s beloved Alpina had been diagnosed with a cracked downtube. A fourth completed Tour not in the cards, he was […]

Tour of Ara 2017: Bighead’s Big Adventure (Part One) – By Todd Leedy

Prologue “Because I’m 50!” The Tour of Ara is a six-day stage race over a predominantly gravel road course in the ‘Great Karoo’ area of Northern Cape Province, South Africa. It began in 2014 as the brainchild of Stan Engelbrecht. Stan also runs the South Africa official L’Eroica event each year so you know he […]

Hard Men of Australia: Road Racing in the late 1940’s to early 1970’s – on Gravel

Long before the advent of tubeless tyres, electronic shifting, GPS navigation, power meters and now suspension – on gravel bikes – there were the hard men of road racing. These lads raced steel framed road bikes with downtube friction shifting, exposed brake cables and tyres that more often than not, weren’t up to the job […]