Midrand. With a bigger starting line up and greater variety of the best roads and tracks in Clocolan, situated in the heart of the Eastern Free State, the 2012 BMW Motorrad GS Eco was a great success. More than 600 owners of BMW GS motorcycles from all over South Africa made the BMW GS Eco challenge a true national event from October 18 to October 21.
Riders of BMW GS motorcycles had a choice of tar and dirt routes to choose from allowing both pure hobby riders and trained professional riders to demonstrate their riding capabilities. In addition to the choice of routes, some participants took part in the GS Skills Challenge where they showcased their riding skills by overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles in a limited area such as riding on a slope, opening a gate with one hand while moving the bike with another hand, bike weight balancing movements, pushing a big rim into a goal post setting and riding onto a seesaw, amongst others.
Western Cape rider, Ruan De Lange, was the 2012 BMW GS Eco Skills Challenge champion. Other finalists included Roger Kane-Berman (KwaZulu-Natal), Duncan de Klerk (Gauteng), Gunther Kritzinger (Gauteng), Shane Levy (Mpumalanga), Stephan Joubert (Gauteng) and Geoff Goetsch (Gauteng). Although the event was dominated by male riders, even a number of ladies showcased their riding skills. Another Western Cape rider, Mandie Engelbrecht, was named the best female rider while Gauteng rider, Elmarie Bierman, was named the best pillion.
“The enthusiasm among riders is what bears out the idea behind the GS Eco event. This event has grown into an annual occasion offering a unique experience to BMW GS riders from all over South Africa,” says Rob Holder, general manager of BMW Motorrad in South Africa.
“Not only do we ride and have fun, but our annual eco theme enables us to offset the carbon emissions caused by the event by donating various trees and other necessities to various poverty stricken areas and in so doing leaving a lasting positive imprint on the communities in which the event is held,” adds Holder. He says this is part of the reason why the event is only limited to 600 riders.
During the 2012 BMW GS Eco event, BMW Motorrad and participating riders, donated 600 trees to the community of Kanana in the Grasmere area of the Vaal region in partnership with Food & Trees For Africa. However, 300 trees were distributed in that area at the start of the event while another distribution will be done for the remaining 300 trees at a later stage. To date more than 1, 200 trees have been planted in various communities where the event has been held.
In addition, two schools and an old age home in Clocolan also benefited from the funds raised for the 2012 event entries. The Hatane Pre Primary School received new blackboards, tables and stationery while the Clocolan Primary School’s boarding house was given new linen. The frail care facilities of the Clocolan Old Age Home will also be upgraded.
The next BMW GS Eco event is scheduled to take place in the Eastern Cape from 17 to 20 October 2013.