Estelle Pickard recently met an inspirational group of women: the Untamed Cycling ladies. They work to get women on their bikes and Estelle knows you’ll love to read about their tours.
Somewhere between the crevices of Table Mountain there are three untamed adventurers that I feel the world should know about. These three make me think of the famous Carrie Bradshaw quote: “Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.”
So it all started about six years ago when Jennifer and Leanne, long time competitive sailing buddies, started taking their girlfriends on “Freedom Rides”. They would arrange a cycling getaway for a few days, riding some of the most remote roads in the country. Just a bunch of chicks, having a jol. Every year there would be a new destination, a new set of friends, new roads to explore. In 2014, Mel joined one of the Freedom Rides. For her the experience was a spiritual journey of re-discovery and she felt so inspired by the concept that she convinced Jennifer and Leanne to turn it into a business. They’re taking ladies on rides anyway and these ladies are gaining so much from the experiences on a personal level, they should share and open up these trips to women beyond their immediate circle of friends. So the three of them opened shop.
While there are many female cyclists on the trails, not as many of them partake in races. Women tend to enjoy their rides more in a non-competitive environment. So this year, Untamed Cycling was born from the sheer passion for adventure of three like-minded women – Jennifer Burger, Leanne Wheeler and Mel Black. Aimed at middle-aged moms, women trying to fill their empty nests, or just women trying to find something in their lives that are just their own. Untamed Cycling hosts cycling adventures for groups – the adventures tailored to the needs and abilities of the group. No (wo)man gets left behind… the slowest rider sets the pace – it’s about the journey, not the destination. Whether you are riding 40km per day or 110km per day – riding takes the whole day on these trips. The first stop is at 10am for tea and home bakes, with many stops to follow for pictures, smelling the flowers, swims in rivers and just general appreciation of nature. With no one in sight but your friends, the adventure becomes more than a ride… people share their life stories while slowly conquering routes they didn’t realise was possible for them to do.
Trips previously offered by Untamed Cycling include Gifberg in the area of the Northern Cederberg, Matroosberg in the Southern Cederberg, Tulbagh, Swartberg, Die Hel and Baviaanskloof to name a few. Routes consist of district roads that rarely get ridden by vehicles these days. There will be little to no singletrack riding on these trips. The distance, duration and intensity of a given trip depend on the group’s desires. The costs associated with the trips include accommodation at authentic farm stays and all meals are included. Lunch packs are given for a picnic along the route and dinners are usually the local cuisine of the farm you’re staying at. Even though the trips started as female only groups, the Untamed Cyclists welcome male riders, as long as they understand that the slowest rider sets the pace.
When you look at the prices being charged for these trips, you can see that the purpose of this endeavour is clearly not about the money. So what is the purpose then? Like most female cyclists I’ve met, these women want to share the amazing experiences, growth and empowerment the bicycle has to offer its riders – they want to share their passion.
So get a group together and plan a holiday! You might get your own Eat Pray Love experience just the other side of the N1.
Sus Untamed Cycling
For more information visit their website at www.untamed-cycling.com.