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TRAIL RUNNING

Conquering the 9PeaksBike

A Thrilling Adventure on Two Wheels. Written by AdventureLife SA. Images by Stephan Griesel

Jock Green and Ryno Griesel

In a remarkable display of determination and exploration, Jock Green and Ryno Griesel recently embarked on the 9PeaksBike Challenge, conquering the highest peaks of South Africa's provinces on their bicycles. This extraordinary twist on the original 9 Peaks Challenge pushed their physical and mental limits, propelling them through


breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable moments. Let's delve into their exhilarating journey, featuring quotes from Jock and Ryno, as they recount the triumphs, challenges, and the indomitable spirit that fueled their epic adventure.


Setting the Stage:

With the dawn of May 12, 2023, Jock Green and Ryno Griesel set off on a quest like no other—the 9PeaksBike Challenge. The challenge entailed cycling to the summit of each of South Africa's highest peaks across the country's provinces. Opting for bicycles instead of traditional vehicles added a new dimension to their adventure, allowing for a more immersive and intimate experience with the landscape they traversed.


The Motivation and Preparations:

For Ryno Griesel, a record holder of the 9 Peaks Challenge, the allure of the 9PeaksBike Challenge was irresistible. He expressed his excitement, saying, "The 9Peaks adventure concept is a really cool way to explore our country... I was keen to experience it from a bicycle as well." Jock Green, a former professional cyclist and elite trail runner, shared his enthusiasm, adding, "It's not just about the challenge; it's about experiencing the journey in a unique way." Their preparations included rigorous physical training, obtaining permissions for peak access, and meticulous logistical arrangements.


Overcoming Unexpected Obstacles:

Despite the meticulous planning, the team encountered unforeseen challenges during their adventure. Ryno revealed a particularly harrowing incident, sharing, "There are unfortunately always risks going into these projects... We were very blessed that a group of locals came to our rescue when a bunch of guys with knives insisted on liberating our phones, bikes, etc." Reflecting on the incident, Jock added, "It was a test of our resilience, but the kindness of the locals saved the day."


The Extraordinary Bond:

Jock and Ryno's camaraderie and shared experiences enriched their journey. Jock reflected on their partnership, stating, "Ryno is a tough guy... Regardless of what happened, he was back on his bike... Ryno is tough as nails." Ryno, in turn, appreciated Jock's mentorship and support, saying, "Jock's mentorship and patience before and during the project were absolutely life-changing for me... I am extremely grateful for the opportunity."


Thrilling Moments and Unforgettable Days:

Amidst the challenges, Jock and Ryno experienced moments that will forever remain etched in their memories. Jock described their ride to Merch Point as an outstanding day, exclaiming, "The weather, the sunset, the mountains... just added to this amazing day." Ryno reminisced about the first day, filled with excitement and anticipation, and Jock’s birthday celebration, which added a touch of camaraderie to their arduous journey.


Recovery and Future Aspirations:

The physical and mental toll of the 9PeaksBike Challenge is undeniable. Jock shared his recovery process, expressing gratitude for waking up each morning feeling energized and motivated. He acknowledged the importance of active recovery, stating, "I feel well recovered already... but my coach has recommended some active recovery before the next challenge." Ryno highlighted the contrasting impact of cycling and running events on the body, noting the importance of allowing sufficient recovery time.


Jock Green and Ryno Griesel's adventure through the 9 Peaks of South Africa on their bicycles exemplified the triumph of the human spirit. As they conquered the challenging peaks, they left an indelible mark on the landscapes and inspired us with their resilience and determination. Their quotes provide a glimpse into their remarkable journey, highlighting the joys, challenges, and profound connections formed along the way. The 9PeaksBike Challenge will be remembered as a testament to the spirit of adventure and the thrill of pushing one's limits. Written by AdventureLife SA. Images by Stephan Griesel



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