Quads 4 Quads - JHB to Cane Cutters
resort near Ballito to JHB in the Dirt: 2 October 2011
More than 700 people took the plunge and entered the Quads
4 Quads charity event for 2007 _ a ride on ATV's and off-road
bikes from Thunder Valley in JHB all the way to Cane Cutters
resort near Ballito and back to raise funds for the Quad
Para association of SA...
The enormous response proves that off road riders, both
of the two wheel and four wheel variety are not just a bunch
of hooligans. They have a heart - and they have found a
cause worthy of their support...
More than a million Rand was raised for the association.
Ari Serilis, Director of QASA did
the ride. He shares his thoughts:
QUADS 4 QUADS 2007 – dust, sweat and tears for a great
To describe this event in the true sense and to make a reality
of it, one would have to write your words on a piece of
paper covered in dust, a PC terminal to write this does
not do justice to the 4 days I have just experienced.
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU" were the first
words I used when asked to address the 300 quad and two
wheeler bike riders before we departed from Thunder Valley
in Brakpan on the 1st day of the 1000km off road ride to
Ballito. The same words I used to end my talk when we completed
the event at Cane Cutters Resort 4 days later. Cane Cutters
Resort supplied the riders with food, refreshment, accommodation
These special words mean a lot to QASA and the quadriplegics
& paraplegics in South Africa as QUADS 4 QUADS 2007,
raised R1 100 000.00 for the Association whose strategic
plan is to "develop the full potential of quadriplegics
& paraplegics" through our projects, products and
services we deliver. Our members are challenged on a rocky
road, 365 days a year, for thousands of kilometres in our
own four wheelers.
Although it did not seem so for Jakkie Pieters, a quadriplegic
and our Chairperson who rode the "up run" along
with half a dozen paraplegics and I, who braved the course.
This event was easier than the event of continuing life
as it is for most of our fellow members who don’t
have luxuries of quad bikes.
Click on images to enlarge
This event allows us the resources
to make a difference for them. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK
And so we set off on the 1st day from Thunder Valley to
Standerton, 200km away. It was awesome, but scary too, to
wave goodbye to the quadriplegics who came out to wish us
well, the support personnel and family and friends.
Within the first kilometre we were introduced to our long
lost friend not seen in the cities, DUST, who accompanied
us all the way!!
I could write a page for each kilometre of experience we
had. I saw so many things either side of the road and experienced
so many thoughts.
I am fortunate to ride a wonderful Yamaha 700 Grizzly, with
power steering and fuel injection and with the necessary
adaptations to seat me in a stable position and control
the steering, acceleration and braking, and this bit of
machinery allowed me adequate power to keep up with most
and all I could have wish for was air-conditioning, but
this does not come as part of the package.
Add HEAT just to test me further.
I suffer from not having temperature control which comes
with quadriplegia and this must be managed by lots of liquid
intake via a camel back and a support vehicle in the form
of a Polaris Ranger carrying a cooler box of ice in my wake
for when we stop.
After 7 hours of riding, we reached Standerton, relieved
to have completed the 1st day. This part of South Africa
needed rain. Every tree in sight along the way has animal
below in it’s shade and trees are sparse.
I smile as I remember huddling around the braai facilities
with 500 other comrades, trying to thaw the frozen chicken
pieces. I am sure there are still some pieces on those braai’s
WOW, Standerton folk are hospitable
and leave a lasting impression.
The mass ride through the town early the next morning on
our way to Newcastle 250km away was memorable.
The river crossing in knee deep water surprisingly offered
some relief even though it was scary. The lunch stop offered
some relief for my aching shoulders and sore hands and after
a tasty burger and some fuel, we made it to Newcastle having
ridden for some 8 hours. I can never forget the beautiful
mountain passes we navigated and the forest areas we rode
Majuba Lodge hosted us for dinner and the Family Adventures
team did us proud with their unique auction style, extracting
R40 000.00 from some generous bidders.
The riders from Team Moby who nurtured me through the event
must be applauded for their planning and patience and this
made a huge difference to my support team and I. They kept
an eye out for us, refueled us, maintained our bikes and
kept our personalised goblets full in the evenings.
A sore body was lifted back onto my bike for day 3, 250km
away from Weenen. 50km out of Newcastle saw a hectic section
of rocks and dongas. I did a lot of praying to survive that
stretch. A long stretch of riding alongside the railway
lines was testing and then we wound up and down some awesome
roads into Weenen, breaking the back on the journey.
This day was really hot and long and seemed endless, 8 hours
in the saddle again.
Doug Anderson a Paraplegic who also rode the event gave
us a huge amount of airtime on Radio 2000 and the sunset
was quite incredible to take away the attention from the
pain of my aching body.
Another braai together with my team
saw us energised before bed time at Imbalala Lodge.
One day and 275km to go before the end. Once or twice I
did wish that this could go one forever as it is quite an
experience spending more time on a quad than in a wheelchair
for a change and it revives the soul and you wish it would
I remember when they brought my wheelchair to my bike at
the end of each day, I would think "is that really
mine?" and the reality sets in. But still, for that
chance to ride a bike all day through our countryside, I
have to thank Family Adventures and their vision and the
opportunity they have offered to participate. For those
8 hours on my bike, with all that power, experiencing the
camaraderie and being able to "be one of the boys",
I shall never forget!
On the 4th and last day of the ride from Weenen to Cane
Cutters Resort near Ballito, it is difficult not to have
a few tears flowing, for a number of reasons; for having
got so far, For seeing a lot of poverty in the rural areas.
For seeing smiling, waving and hungry kids lining the sides
of the roads in the valleys. For knowing it is the last
day of an experience you might never have again, some tears
from pain, but most from the reflections. The last four
days I was not a quadriplegic, I was an off road rider with
THANK YOU for that - Ari Seirlis: National Director