Eleven years after the historic event that launched their organisation, The Cows will field a record entry for the Discovery 947 Ride Joburg cycle race on Sunday that will include former Sharks winger Cedric Mkhize making his first appearance in the black-and-white colours of The Cows, and a tenth anniversary of the Apocalypse Cows who ride the route twice in aid of the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Mkhize’s rugby career was cut short by a car crash in 2007 that left him paralysed, but the likeable Durbanite has not let that slow his sporting passion, and he has become an accomplished hand-cyclist.
He says that it all started with a vital shift in his own attitude. “I have had to deal with a lot different challenges,” he said. After some time of grappling with them they became opportunities; opportunities to better myself mentally, emotionally and physically to achieve some personal goals.
“I have done a couple of cycle races in past couple of years mainly to challenge myself physically and test my abilities.”
The 94,7 kilometre route around Johannesburg will be a significant test for Mkhize, who completed the 65 kilometre ride at the recent Tsogo Sun Amashova in his hometown of Durban. It was there that he connected with stalwart Cow Gordon Reid, who persuaded him to join The Cows and take on the Joburg classic for CHOC.
“I have done a lot for me and a lot less for others. This one is about making a difference for the people who need it most,” said Mkhize.
“The biggest motivator for taking on this mammoth challenge is that not only will it be a personal achievement but I’ll be making a difference for children with cancer and their families,” he added, emploring his fans to add their donations via his new GivenGain account with The Cows.
The Cows will have a massive “herd” of fifty riders taking on the double loop of the race as the Apocalypse Cows, all dressed to their 2019 theme ‘Austen Cowers – the spy who milked me’.
The AC Cows will include 17 year old schoolboy Gerrit Maritz, while in the main race more than 110 riders will be sporting the black-and-white colours of the Cows.
The Cows were founded at the 2008 947 Challenge when Kerrin and Grant Bain rode to raise money for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation after losing their 20 month old daughter Jess to cancer.
Anyone keen to assist Mkhize can make a donation at https://www.givengain.com/ap/cedric-mkhize-raising-funds-for-the-cows/donate#start