IF you think mountain bikers are crazy, then you have to watch the 40 cyclists who tackled the Tour Of Ara in 2016, a gruelling 800km stage-race through the harsh terrain of the Karoo.

My feelings about cyclists in general are conflicted due to a dear friend who takes it all very seriously which keeps me in a precarious position of support. When I accepted the media invitation to watch a screening of the Tour Of Ara documentary at The Labia, he said I might even enjoy it more than he would.

Turns out he was right.

Beautifully filmed in black and white, it not only captures the insane gritty reality of cycling – on “vintage” steel-framed bicycles, and road ones at that – mainly on gravel, but it explains tour organiser Stan Engelbrecht’s vision and inspiration.

Directed by Rick Wall, Tour Of Ara portrays the harsh conditions, the injuries, the triumphs, and communities with whom the participants cross paths. Adriaan Louw’s slow paced cinematography and the music of cult-composer Nils Frahm complete the film experience, which is as engaging as it is aesthetically pleasing, with a perfectly framed shot as the final scene.

Stan Engelbrecht


Watch the film and trailers here. Recommended for lovers of quality film making, whether they like cycling or not.

For more information about the annual Tour Of Ara, go to

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