CLOCOLAN - BMW's riders from across South Africa gathered in Clocolan, Eastern Cape to take part in the 2012 GS Eco event. More than 600 GS owners chose from a variety of tar and dirt routes to demonstrate their riding capabilities. In addition to the choice of routes, participants took part in the GS Skills Challenge which saw riders taking on slopes, opening a gate with one hand while moving the bike with another hand and bike-weight balancing challenges. The skills challenge had riders pushing objects through a goal post and riding onto a seesaw. RIDING FOR CHARITYRuan De Lange (Western Cape) came out top and was crowned 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). Mandie Engelbrecht (Western Cape) was named the best female rider and Elmarie Bierman (Gauteng) the best pillion.Rob Holder, general manager of BMW Motorrad SA, said: “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.“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. During the event, riders donated 600 trees to the community of Kanana, Grasmere, in colaboration with the Food & Trees For Africa charity. Intiality 300 trees will be distributed with the remainder being delivered at a later stage. To date more than 1200 trees have been planted in various communities where the event has been held. In addition, two schools and an old-age home in Clocolan benefited from the funds raised by the 2012 entrants. 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 will be in the Eastern Cape from October 17-20 2013.