Guy van Heerden, an avid, experienced motorcyclist and adventurer from Tzaneen, came up with the idea to complete the magnificent Ben 10 Eco Challenge on an adventure bike.
Van Heerden’s idea quickly spread amongst friends and fellow adventure bikers. Along with van Heerden several riders from Tzaneen area and two bikers from Polokwane, joined the fray to take on the mighty Ben 10 Eco Challenge.
Van Heerden was responsible for the planning and organising of this adventure and was trusted by his fellow bikers to lead the group on the Ben 10 Eco Challenge.
For persons who have never heard of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge, the aim of this adventure is to drive 10 specific high altitude gravel passes within a specific time frame of seven days, whilst enjoying the beautiful highlands scenery of the Eastern Cape. Any person who takes on this adventure ride supports eco-tourism in this remote part of the Eastern Cape, thereby uplifting the local population.
Van Heerden and his fellow riders started this drive on the 14th of November and completed the Eco Challenge on the 16th of November, and so ensured their names of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge Hall of Fame for riders who have completed this challenge.
Van Heerden and his fellow riders did not have perfect weather conditions though and had to contend with rainy conditions most of the time, but this did not deter the Limpopo group to reach the goal in finishing the Ben 10 Eco Challenge.
With about one day to go, the youngest rider at the age of 17 years in the group and also the youngest ever to finish the Ben Ten Eco Challenge, Gerrit du Toit (Junior), fell and broke a bone in his wrist along the route. Despite this incident the gutsy du Toit grind on along with his father, Gerrit, to complete the challenge.
Here are the 10 passes along with its altitudes these adventure riders took on and completed:
Ben MacDhui Pass (3 001m)
Carlisleshoekspruit (2 563m)
Volunteershoek Pass (2 581m)
Naudé’s Nek Pass (2 590m)
Lundin’s Nek Pass (2 170m)
Joubert’s Pass (2 234m)
Bastervoetpad Pass (2 240m)
TTT (Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse (2 720m)
Otto du Plessis Pass (2 115m)
Barkly Pass (2 018m).