This year’s ABSA Cape Epic bike race has two new high-tech features that will make following along fun and easy: the ability to track riders in real-time online, and a bike-riding browser game with levels based on the individual stages of the race.

The game is quite challenging, too, with an old-school look and feel and mechanics that will have you failing over and over again until you learn the levels’ pitfalls by heart. It harks back to old 8-bit games like Super Mario and Sonic, with obstacles to avoid, pits to jump over and moving platforms to navigate and, of course, coins and powerups to collect.

Tracker_Bike_Thing

If you want to test your old-school skills, you can find it here, on the ABSA Cape Epic website.

Tracking the riders is made possible by Tracker, the company that specialises in keeping tabs on cars, and it’s all done from the same site that hosts the game. You’re able to search by team, individual riders and even race numbers to see where your favourite riders are, as well as see who’s currently in the top ten.

But that’s not all. Since the tracking functionality is integrated directly into the website and the game’s courses are based on the topography of the races stages, every time your avatar passes another bike on the course, you’re passing an actual rider. It’s all very clever.

Lastly, you can even win prizes for participating. Daily prizes for the fastest time on each stage are up for grabs, and the top overall player at the end of the campaign will win the grand prize of R25,000. You’ll need to register before playing, of course.

It’s heartening to see local events making use of tracking tech, the internet and gamification to broaden their appeal beyond their traditional audiences.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.