Having never missed a Cape Epic, Hannele Steyn and Mike Nixon are currently one third of the way into a gruelling 1 600km, 15-day mountain-bike ride known as the Southern Cross as they gear up for next year’s prestige event.
The ride features 23 000m of climbing and encompasses much of the Western Cape’s geographic diversity, including rugged mountains, remote Karoo terrain, scenic passes and pristine coastline.
The pair set off from Stellenbosch on November 16.
Their goal in completing the Southern Cross loop is to kick off base training for the Epic whilst also bringing awareness and raising much-needed funds for both the Kingsley Holgate Foundation (KHF) and Blood Lions.
Steyn, 53, and Nixon, 60, who have both completed all 16 Epics, will also be pairing up for next year’s eight-day event from March 15 to 22.
Apart from being Epic legends, Steyn is also a former SA MTB champion and triathlon world champion, while Nixon has completed the Seven Summits, including Everest, as expedition rider for KHF.
Here are the Southern Cross route details:
November 16: Stellenbosch to The Hanepoot Huisie, Robertson (135km)
November 17: Robertson to African Game Lodge (100km)
November 18: Game Lodge to Rooiberg Lodge (125km)
November 19: Rooiberg Lodge to Prince Albert (128km)
November 20: Prince Albert to Willowmore (160km)
November 21: Willowmore to Steytlerville (110km)
November 22: Steytlerville to Patensie (115km)
November 23: Patensie to Baviaanskloof Lodge (100km)
November 24: Baviaanskloof to Uitspan (80km)
November 25: Uitspan to Uniondale (80km)
November 26: Uniondale to Mooiplaas (120km)
November 27: Mooiplaas to Welgevonden (100km)
November 28: Welgevonden to Swellendam (135km)
November 29: Swellendam to Greyton (115km)
November 30: Greyton to Stellenbosch (115km)