Where it all started

In 2008, Alberto Riccardi told Steven Proudfoot, Richard Laskey, Grant Greeff and Roberto (Alberto’s younger sibling) that they would be riding with him and Cordi Van Niekerk at the 947. This journey was inspired by the memory of little Jessica Bain who had whispered her final farewell to the world at the tender age of twenty months, on 27 February 2008. 

Jessica’s parents, Grant and Kerrin, would ride the race in CHOC gear. Cordi and Alberto had worked with Kerrin at IQ Group and were the booster rockets behind this cause and the honouring of a young life cut too short. That’s the original team in the picture below at the end of the ride.
CHOC helped the Bains massively with support during their impossible time. It was agreed to do the race to honour Jessica, with any money raised going to CHOC, which helped and still helps kids and families with cancer.
Richard Laskey, with his impressive CV of running and riding ultras in various outfits, proposed that the team would ride an ice cream bike to tug on the heartstrings of donors. So an ice cream bike was procured. We thought suits would help our cause. After meeting resistance from the fancy dress hire shop that wouldn’t relinquish animal farm outfits for a cycling race, we settled on cow suits – the only matching outfits we could find. This turned out to be a serendipitous choice.

A few days before the race our motley crew ambushed the 947 radio station, where the radio host, Jeremy Mansfield, graciously allowed us to be interviewed to help spread the word.
Cordi roped in De Wet Goosen, a cyclist of certain prowess, to help pull the ice cream bike with Richard at the helm. (Destiny would later cast De Wet as the captain of the Apocalypse Cows, a legend waiting its turn to be told).
We dreamed that R60,000 would be a good mark for our fundraising ambitions. Yet, as life often reveals, the ripples of kindness extend far beyond what we imagine. We ended up raising R230,000.
That’s how The Cows started. Ignited by love and enthusiasm. Very little planning. The rest is history.