Spring Family Day Ride set to get Durban mooo-ving

Cycling enthusiasts will be celebrating the onset of spring on Saturday 2 September with a Spring Day Family Ride in Durban that will also channel it’s energy into a fundraiser for The Cows and their ongoing drive to support the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Starting and finishing the Pick n Pay Hypermarket Durban North, the ride gets under way at 6:30 am and the riders are encouraged to come dressed up to celebrate Spring Day, and will get a hot cup of coffee and large muffin for their R50 entry donation.

The ride will be carefully managed by the organising team from Cycle Specialists, ensuring that all the road crossings on the out-and-back course to La Lucia are closed to traffic when the group of riders pass.

“Doing good is good business. We Support and participate in our communities,” said Kevin Goosen, the general manager of the Pick n Pay Hypermarket.

The hosts at the Pick n Pay Hypermarket have laid on a number of lucky draw prizes as well for entrants with a Smart Shopper card, with a quick card registration site available at the store to assist participants.

The Cows have raised over R29 million for CHOC in the past nine years, and have set a lofty target of R10 million in 2017 to celebrate their tenth anniversary.

“September is Childhood Cancer awareness month, and their slogan is ‘Go For Gold’, so participants are encouraged to ride wearing a gold ribbon that will be available to buy at the start,” said Iris Varty, one of the conveners of the KZN Herd of The Cows.

She added that there will be CHOC merchandise available to buy at the start as well, to contribute to the days fundraising drive.

“Kids will be able to interact with the two CHOC mascots at the store, and the serious Cows will also be in their furry Cow suits,” she added.

There will also be a short Kids Fun Ride on a safe track in the parking lot of the Pick n Pay Hypermarket Durban North. All riders should wear cycling helmets to be able to participate. Participating children will also be eligible for luck draw  prizes after the ride.

There is no pre-entry. Registration can be done at the Pick n Pay Hyper Durban North between 3pm and 7pm on Friday afternoon 1 September or from 5:30 on Saturday morning 2 September.

The Cows’ Believe MTB race celebrates it’s seventh year

Mountain biking fans from around the country will converge on Northern Farm outside Fourways for the seventh edition of one of the most unique races on the calendar, the Believe MTB Race and an important fundraiser for The Cows and their ongoing drive to support the Childhood Cancer Foundation CHOC.

The Believe MTB Race set a new record for entries for a debut event when it was launched in 2009 by Marc and Charlie Bainbridge when it attracted over 1400 riders, and has matched this level of support every year since then, thanks mainly due to the heavy emphasis on fun.

Riders have traditionally been presented with a glass at the finish instead of a medal, often accompanied by a celebratory ‘shot’, reflecting the antics that are typical at the shooters table stationed at the water tables on the route.

Dress-up is almost mandatory, and the day’s most prestigious award is the Mad Mulley’s Award for the best dressed person.

Seven years on, the Believe MTB Race has grown into something of a Gauteng institution, and even though the Bainbridges have moved to Mbombela, the race will continue in it’s zany format.

Marc and Charlie Bainbridge joined The Choc Cows in 2008, and after creating the Believe MTB race as their way of creating funds for the cause, Marc joined the Cows committee in 2010 to further assist wherever possible.

“Marc’s brother Craig came back from Dubai after he was diagnosed with cancer, and we started fundraising for his treatment with Marc riding to Cape Town. We then decided we would start our own annual fundraiser for The Cows, and decided to do a totally different mountain bike race.

Craig always had the word ‘Believe” tattooed across his chest, as a mantra he lived by, which is where we got the name for the mountain bike race,” she added.

“The Cows do things totally differently, so we set out to put together a race that was based heavily on fun. We encourage riders to come dressed up, but The Cows need very little encouraging to do that anyhow!

“The shooter tables have become pretty legendary as well, and while we always get a number of the top elite riders coming to do the race every year, they understand that there is no big cheque for them at the end because this is all about raising money for The Cows.

She says that having to relinquish control of the race when they moved east was difficult.

“It has been an act of family labour for the last six years, “ says Bainbridge. “I am a control freak, so offloading the race was really hard. We had a big say in how we wanted the race to be run going forward, to make sure the ethos remains the same. By bringing in the right partner in Richard Beswick and Illumin8, riders will be guaranteed an even better race going forward” she added.

The event on 30 September will once again offer skilled riders a testing 55km course with technical demands and flowing single track, while the 25km and 10km races are far easier and less technically demanding.

“We really want everyone to get involved, so there is also a 1km ‘race’ to get the little ones in on the action as well,” she said.

More information can be found at https://www.believeproject.co.za/about-believe  and https://www.facebook.com/believe.bainbridge

GABRAN Cow goes the extra mile

As entries 2017 GABRAN (Great Annual Bike Ride Across Natal) start to arrive at The Cows HQ Paddock, some of the stalwarts of the sport-mad charity fund raisers have gone the extra mile to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation CHOC.

Durban based Wayne Campbell, a member of the Kings Park Cycling Club, is a GABRAN veteran, and committed to helping GABRAN contribute to the global goal of The Cows to raise R10 million in 2017 to commemorate the tenth year of their existence.

Campbell was working on site in Cato Ridge when he noticed a substantial amount of scrap metal on site. He arranged for this to be delivered to a scrap metal dealer, which raised a substantial amount, which he topped up to R30 000, which he gladly donated to the GABRAN 2017 kitty.

“I have done most of the GABRANs over the last five or six years, but this year unfortunately I will be missing it because I will be away overseas,” said Campbell.

He said that arranging to have the scrap metal sold to add to the GABRAN fundraiser was typical of the way that The Cows operate.

“Where I can, I do,” he said.

The GABRAN is such a special event, and I would definitely have dine it again if I had been around,” he explained.

“First of all, it is a ride and not a race. It is social in nature and a lot of fun.

“It is also a successful fundraiser, and getting involved with like minded people to raise money for CHOC, while riding through these beautiful places is really special.

“The fun and hospitality at places like the famous Escourt Bowling Club, all the breakfast stops, the pit-stop at the Bierfassl in Nottingham Road, together with the fun and games that are organised at the overnight stops, make it really memorable,” he added.

“It all starts the night before, because most people choose to stay at the ATKV at the start of the race, and the fun evening there tends to set the tone for the rest of the ride,” he said.

The race is open to any cycling enthusiast looking to enjoy the leisurely 283km ride from the foothills of the Drakensberg to the outskirts of Durban. Minors who are 14 years or older are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

While road bikes are the popular choice, many opt for tandems or mountain bikes, and the odd unicycle or mini cycle has also completed the fun event.

The first stage is a 100km ride from ATKV in Drakensville, followed by an 87km second stage to Howick, and finishes with a 94km closing stage to Hillcrest.

Wild Coast challenge for The Cows stalwart

No stranger to a sporting challenge, Durban based stalwart of The Cows Gordon Reid will be donning his black and white furry cow suit to take on the unique Go-Chi-Mor hike on the Wild Coast from 4 to 6 August to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation CHOC.

Reid, an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer and paddler who has taken part in the Comrades, Midmar Mile, Tour Durban and the Dusi Canoe Marathon as part of his decade long drive to help children battling with cancer and their families, heard about the two day event and couldn’t turn his back on the opportunity.

“The event was run last year for the first time by the best friend of my best man,” said Reid. “It sounded like such good fun, so when they were looking for a charity to support, I jumped at the opportunity.”

“That’s what The Cows is all about. We raise money for CHOC with other like-minded athletes, and it sounds like the vibe at this event will be fantastic.”

The event is a two day hike or run along the coast, starting at Gonubie and overnighting at Chintsa, before finishing at Morgan Bay the next day.

Reid said he wasn’t worried about the challenge of taking part in the furry Cow suit, which is notoriously hot. “Who knows, if it is chilly, I will be the warmest person there!” he quipped.

Reid will channel all the money raised to CHOC, which supports CHOC houses in the Eastern Cape.

“The financial support we get from The Cows is very important ,” said Debbie Kleinenberg, the CHOC regional manager in the Eastern Cape, running two CHOC Houses in East London.

“We operate 21 beds for youngsters and their mothers, but where we are always under pressure is with the operating costs of the houses,” she said.

She said that while the Eastern Cape doesn’t have a formal ‘herd’ of The Cows, they were regularly active in fundraising, and they have branded their minibus and premises with bold black and white cow livery.

She added that education and awareness was a critical element of what they do in the region.

“We have a regional co-ordinator responsible for these awareness programmes, but what makes it challenging is the fact that we have to service a massive rural area in addition to East London and Port Elizabeth.

“What we are working towards is getting a suitable vehicle that will allow the co-ordinator to get into remote rural areas to carry out these awareness and education workshops,” said Kleinenberg.

“Ultimately we want to get a CHOC House established in Port Elizabeth as well,” she concluded.

For Reid, there is a secondary goal. “We would love to get a new Herd of The Cows active in the Eastern Cape.

“I know there are plenty of passionate sportsmen and women, and so many great events in the region, that an Eastern Cape Herd of The Cows could be really successful,” said Reid.

The Go-Chi-Mor is a two day trail run/ walk from Gonubie to Chintsa (19km) ending at Morgan’s bay (26km) and takes place from 4 to 6 August 2017.