Collecting people’s stories – Cycling 9000km in 70 days
On the 13 February 2010 Ruan Smit intends beginning his epic cycle journey around South Africa. His journey across the face of our culturally diverse country is not about beating a gruelling time, or breaking a record. Rather it is a social experience. Along the 9 000 kilometre route, Ruan intends collecting stories about the people he meets. On his average 150 kilometre day, he will stop to chat to the people of South Africa, to enjoy food with them, and sleep in their surroundings …
And every one of his stories will find its way onto a series of social media – his blog, Facebook and Twitter – on a daily basis – and Ruan will be sending us weekly updates about his experiences which we will publish right here on the SA-Venues.com Blog – so we’ll be able to travel with him in a sense. The intention is to create excitement around 2010; to give international and local tourists the opportunitiy to explore South Africa from a different perspective. It will also give focus to the lesser known tourist destinations around South Africa.
Ruan has been asked by many people ‘why’ he is undertaking the journey. And his response on his blog has been: “When you get on that bike and the rhythm grabs you, your legs going wild and your breath steaming in the cool morning air. When you pass that person that gives you a smile just because you’re there, when the mud washes your face and your legs start burning … At that point everything becomes silent. It’s you, the road, the landscape and a few odd people that watch as you pass by.
“That silence makes it all clear … you see everything as if for the first time, the free state really becomes inspiring and even Johannesburg roads have some form of wit as you dodge the potholes. I do it for that reason. For the silence, the people and sharing the landscape again, for the first time.”
Ruan isn’t taking the journey alone. His time on the road collecting the stories of our nation needs our involvement. In a sense each of us who choose to support him will travel with him as well. And it’s as simple as sending an SMS, to support the 70 day journey. An SMS to 36545 costs only R5, so just about anyone can sponsor his tour.
On his blog he has written about choosing the South African Coat of Arms as the logo for his cycle shirt and why. He says the symbolism grabbed him because the San words mean ‘Diverse people unite’ – what better way to sum up his tour.
You are reading Explore South Africa Cycle Tour Series Read more from this series of articles.
- Collecting people's stories – Cycling 9000km in 70 days
- Scraps of Hope - Pre cycle-tour Free State visit
- Where is Ruan? Join us as we follow him on his "Explore SA" cycle tour
- A human wallflower - from the road, by Ruan Smit
- She’s no Barberton Daisy ...
- Rashid had R30 - Stories from Explore SA Cycle Tour
- Not another high tea - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Give a Soccer Ball ...
- A Gonubie affair - Stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Kenton on Sea inspires - Stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Say Cheese! - Stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Adin ‘The no money man’ - Stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- There is a city… stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- An Elands Bay Road trip - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Where love grows with flowers - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- A River of Life - Stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- And Douglas smiles - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Digging for Dreams in Kimberley - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Seeking the sun - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Pitching a tent - stories from the road by Ruan Smit
- Parys with a ‘Y’? - stories from the road by Ruan
- A different forest - stories from the road by Ruan
- For the love - Ruan makes it home