In 1980, a teenaged boy found his “fix”.
Fortunately for those around him, it wasn’t drugs or setting fire to public buildings or anything else too destructive.
No. The fix he found was riding bikes.
He did his first Argus in 1980 on a Peugeot Sting, aged 14, and has done 31 more Argus’s since.
Almost all of them – 25 tours – have been “sub-3”, about 110km in under three hours. A truly astonishing feat.
Since he was 18, he has clocked up 430 805km, which is the distance from earth to the moon (384 400km), and a little way back. Or almost 11 times around the world, on the equator (40 030km).
“Obsession is a terrible thing,” he joked this week.
“Or a pure thing,” I replied.
He agreed: “I found my fix, I guess.”
Far more importantly, Andrew Wheeldon has shared his love of cycling with the world.
He founded the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) in 2002, which has since distributed over 13 000 bicycles and facilitated the planning and implementation of cycling lanes across RSA.
Andrew’s hard yards have contributed to the efforts of a worthy few who have helped turn greater Cape Town into one of the most cycle-friendly cities on Planet Earth.
An excellent way of finding out more is the Cape Town Green Map.
It is endorsed by the City of Cape Town, Responsible Tourism Cape Town, Western Cape Government’s 110% Green, Cape Town Tourism and mapmyway.co.za
This Easter Weekend, young Beth and I descended upon listing number 34 on the map, Boschendal MTB Trails – a carefully-marked network of single-track, jeep track and farm roads meandering through this historic wine estate, founded in 1685.
Boschendal has for decades consistently rated as one of the most magical experiences the Cape Winelands has to offer. But that story’s for next time.
Or find out for yourself, at boschendal.com
For now, get a Cape Town Green Map, which you can source at www.capetowngreenmap.co.za
And get riding.
It may just become your “fix”.
Murray’s weekly column is back, after a short hiatus.