Durban – Avid cyclists in seven different centres around the country staged a successful 2016 edition of the fabled 100 Miles Of Nowhere cycle on training bikes as part of the annual CHOC fundraiser run by the KZN herd of The Cows.
Using three Cadence studios in Durban and one in Pietermaritzburg, Bryanston, Cape Town and Pretoria, riders tackled the 160 kilometers in teams of two or four, with road racing star Cashandra Slingerland taking it on solo, and almost being the first to complete the distance, showing her return to top form as part of her comeback to elite racing.
The pace was set by Werner Moolman’s Bluff Meat Supply team at the Westville Cadence throughout, with impressive competition coming from the Cape mountain bikers Darren Lill, Waylon Woolcock, Candice Neethling and Timo Cooper in Tyger Valley.
In Durban North, former Bok skipper John Smit ground out his share of the 100 Miles, riding with his wife Roxy and another former Shark and Bok front rower John Allen.
The Hillcrest studio saw a team of the Sunfoil Dolphins cricketers taking up the challenge with Mthokozisi Shezi handing over to fellow pace bowler Craig Alexander, before skipper Morne van Wyk took over after 80 kilometers on the team bike, with newly appointed coach Grant Morgan finishing off the team’s contribution to the charity ride.
“Yes, it is a tough way to spend a Friday afternoon, but the 100 Miles Of Nowhere is great personal test for every one of us,” said Iris Varty, one of the original founders of the South African version of the American blogger FatCylist’s famous ride.
“Everyone gets tired and sore, but when you go through a bad patch you just think about what the kids that are being looked after at CHOC house while they are undergoing their cancer treatment, and your pain and discomfort seems insignificant,” she added.
Riders collected funds for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics) by paying for their team bikes for the afternoon and also attracting donations and sponsorship.
More information can be found at www.100milesofnowhere.co.za.
About 100 Miles of Nowhere
The event was first done in 2008 by an American blogger Eldon Nelson who goes by the name of the Fatcyclist or Fatty. The original event was a personal challenge for Fatty during his wife’s treatment for cancer. He did the first 100 Miles of Nowhere by himself, on a set of rollers in his garage. Before he knew it, his blog followers wanted to join him and do the event and so it become an annual and international event.
The next year — and every year after that — hundreds of people have done it. The event has since grown and there are participants across the globe. The Fatcyclist edition has an entry field of 500; who sign up and pay/donate to Fatty’s chosen charity. He used the interest in his challenge to raise more funds and awareness for cancer foundations. The idea is to complete a century in the most mundane and mind-numbingly painful way, to match the mind-numbing and painful repetition of chemotherapy and radiation for cancer.
The first South African version of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere was held in 2011 when a group of ten of The Cows completed the challenge as part of their year-round fundraising for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics).
Venues: Cadence Cycle Performance Centres in Durban North, Westville, Hillcrest, Ballito and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Bryanston and Wapadrand in Gauteng as well as Tyger Valley in Cape Town.
Date: Friday, 24 June 2016
About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for CHOC. Cordi van Niekerk was one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 94.7 Cycle Challenge in memory of their little daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.
As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family’s life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.
In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to an incredible 140 energetic cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.
Eight years later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R24 million mark of funds raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!