I surprised my wife Celeste earlier this year by casually mentioning I had entered her into a little bike race through Johannesburg in November.
Naturally suspicious of any husband inspired surprises involving exercise, she was none too pleased to discover that she was expected to peddle some 95km around Jo’burg with 30 000 other Loonies in the 94.7 Momentum Cycle Challenge.
None the less, she committed herself to a training routine and weekends leading up to the event were occupied with many hours saddle time on our Axis Mountain bikes, trying to toughen our derrière.
We began our journey with the Tiggo back in November 2012 at the same event where Celeste was taxi driver. This time however, there would be no drop off and run – there was a little ride of 94.7km that needed to be negotiated first!
On the morning of the event we simply removed two rear seats and loaded the Axis bikes into the back of the vehicle – no need for finicky bike racks. We headed off to Waterfall Country Estate along with several thousand other motorists. Fortunately the Tiggo’s high ground clearance proved useful in finding parking on the kerbside, close to the start and we quickly had all our gear unpacked and were ready to roll.
Although officially a road race, the 94.7 challenge attracts cyclists of every shape and form and their trusty steeds – 6 figure racing machines, mountain bikes, unicycles, bmx’s and even a large contingent of ice cream carts ridden by cows. Skinny folk, not so skinny folk, super fit, totally unfit, kids, grannies, grandpa’s, bridal couples in wedding attire and even a gorilla suited masochist all pitched up on the day to ride for a purpose.
We supported The Bateleur’s Conservation Charity Group this year and decided from the outset to ride at a comfortable pace and simply enjoy the amazing vibe and unique scenery. Our Axis mountain bikes got a set of skinny road tyres for the day which made for easy rolling and before Celeste even fully realised it, she had ridden 60km and was about to tackle the notorious Krugersdorp highway section. However, the weather was kind to us and we got a gentle tailwind to assist us which was a first. Heartbreak Hill was broken and with a commendable 4h40 ride time, we were back at the finish with an ice cold coke on hand.
The Tiggo once again performed flawlessly, our Axis bikes were trouble free and we got to spend some quality time together without the kids! All in all it was an awesome day and we got the medals to prove it!
Chery – More car More life