94.7 Cycle Challenge – Riding for a Purpose

As an active member of the Fat & Forties brigade, I felt compelled to try lessen the weight of my footprints on this earth and so began training to ride the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. This event is one of the major attractions on Joburg’s summer activities schedule and for 2013, 27 000 cyclists turned up on the day to grind their way through Johannesburg and surrounding suburbs.

This year the theme of “Ride for a Purpose” gave cyclists the opportunity to support and raise funds for a wide selection of charity groups. I chose to ride for the PinkDrive charity which raises awareness for Breast Cancer, as unfortunately several family members and friends had been diagnosed with this terrible illness during the past few years.

The Tiggo and wife duly delivered me and my bike to the permanent race start at Waterfall Country Estate. The big advantage of this vehicle is that the rear seats are completely removable, allowing you to load all your cycling gear with minimal disassembly and there is still space for the supporting crew to come along for the ride.

The vibe at this event is really awesome, especially in the charity groups where the focus is on having a fun filled day in the sun. Resplendant in a pink top and matching socks, we set off to join the other 13 000 cyclists already on the road in front of us.

As if 94.7km was not enough, a fierce wind and baking hot sun added to the challenge. I survived the infamous Krugersdorp highway and Heartbreak Hill just before the end before creeping across the finish in 3h30mins. It is called “a finish” with a good reason, because I was finished. I was very grateful to blob out in the Tiggo, suitably armed with a bottled reward as my wife and mini support crew chauffeured me home to recover.