By Megan White
Saturday morning was an early one for the over 250 cyclists who took part in the One Life cycle challenge last weekend. The day started with cyclists disappearing into the mist and ended with lunch, music and even a jumping castle at the start and finish, the Grahamstown Golf Course.
The race, whose title sponsor was Makana Brick and Tile, comprised of a 80.4km leg to Carlisle bridge and back, a 34km leg for the less confident (but still brave) and lastly a family 10km leg for those who like Nosimilo Mthimkhulu a, Rhodes 3rd year BCOM student, just “woke up one morning and decided to ride!”
“This is the 2nd year” said organiser Susie Rradloff of Liver of Life Church when asked many times the cycle has happened in the past. The cycle was started and organised by River of Life- with the help of the Walmer Cycling Club- as a fundraiser, the proceeds going to the church ministries: “We called it One Life, because we all only have one life to live and need to make the most of it, living it to the full, and being good stewards of it. Summed up: Loving God, Loving Life, Loving People!”
This year, EP champs Conrad Viljoen and Anriette Schoeman took home the gold medals once again (as in 2006) for the 80.4km leg in the men’s’ and women’s’ categories respectively. Although the final figures had not yet been tallied, entrant numbers for this year’s cycle, according to Rradloff’s estimation, had doubled. The race also functioned as an Inter-Provincial event as the East Londoners competed against the Border Cyclists in a time trial.
The race unfortunately also saw a large accident happen but this was dealt with by paramedics and trained professionals which had been organized before the race. Although, at 7am on Saturday morning the dense mist that swilled around the riders reduced the visibility significantly on the road, Adrian Erasmus, an on-duty NetCare official said he didn’t think the mist would be to dangerous for the cyclists. The mist did evaporated within the half hour, giving way to a hot, and according to Radloff, successful day. However this was not entirely the case as there was a minor accident during the race however this was dealt with efficiently by paramedics and others who were organized before the race.
All in all the race was a great success and looks to be set to become a wonderful annual event which allows riders to challenge themselves in the eastern cape terrain against the wonderful backdrop of Grahamstown.