The Charity Cycle Tour
27 February 2020 - 5 March 2020
The 18th Charity Cycle Tour has started, and the support team had to work very hard to get everything ready for the cyclists’ arrival on the 26th of Feb.
Arrival consisted of registration, receiving kit, doing medical checks, packing the truck with the tour supplies and making sure that the vehicles have our amazing sponsors stickered onto them.
After these tour preparations, we had a handover function where Bakubung Bush Lodge received a R 75 000.00 donation from the CCC, that they will use towards their CSI projects. We had the media there to capture this important function including the local news paper and an SABC News team.
On the 27th of Feb the tour started with a very special cycling route through the Pilanesberg National Park. Our destination for the day is Klerksdorp making up a 185 kilometres route. Pitstops are made as needed and included a lunch stop in Ventersdorp. We reached the Klerksdorp Protea Hotel in 5:44:15, coming in at a 32.2 km/h average speed.
Day 2 to Bloemhof is this tour’s second shortest ride (shortest being the Cape Town Cycle Tour race) with 149 kilometres of mostly flat roads. This made for a fast ride that was completed in 4:15:15, averaging at 35 km/h. The facilities at Why Not accommodated us with not only amazing service, as always, but also with amazing food. Not to mention their stunning baked goods that spoilt our team with afternoon treats.
Day 3 has come and gone with our cyclists knocking down another 160 kilometres from Bloemhof to Kimberley. By keeping up an average speed of 38.5 km/h, we completed today's distance in a mear 4:10:45 minutes. With morning temperatures under 17°C, a long stretch of wet road and a little rain to top it all off, our cyclists proved that nothing was going to stand in their way!
Arriving at Kimberley we had a lovely welcome from Sun Flamingo where we handed over a donation of
R 25 000.00 to Boitumelo Special School.
Day 4 our longest day has been defeated!
The journey of 257 kilometres from Kimberley to Britstown was completed in 7:20:13. A 3am wake-up and the usual breakfast and stretching routines got us all off to a good start.
Reflective jackets were donned and lights were switched on to help guide our cyclists through the dark Kimberley morning.
Once awake, the Sun joined our peloton for most of the day before a few welcome clouds intervened on the final stretch to cool things down in the harsh Karoo. Mid afternoon brought us to the door of the Transkaroo Country Lodge where a well deserved shower and the anticipation of a wonderful dinner awaited us.
With the way our team handled a day like today, we know that the rest of this adventure will be tackled head on and those kilometres will be knocked down one by one.
Day 5 - After another long day, cyclists finally arrived safely in Beaufort West.
Today was tough on the cyclists as they had already added the previous day's strain and pain on to today's 238 kilometres ride.
A fiery sunrise over the sprouting, damp Karoo made for a beautiful morning ride as we headed away from the pouring rains in Britstown to a much warmer and drier Beauford West. As the sun hit its apex, cyclists could feel the heat but luckily we didn't have much further to go. A lovely pitstop at 3 Sisters was made where we were treated to ice cream and lush green lawns to picnic on.
Even on a tough day like this one, the cyclists managed to keep an impressive average speed of 31 km/h during their 7:40:50 journey.
Day 6 and so we edge a little closer to the end with 3 tough days behind us as a reminder of how much one can achieve when you set your mind to it.
The past few days have put the cyclists to the ultimate test of will and strength. Many of them breaking their own personal records 3 times over!
It was yet another early morning as usual but that came with its perks. After leaving Beaufort West to venture through the cool morning breeze, we were lucky enough to witness yet another Karoo sunrise.
The team kept an excellent pace of 35 km/h, knocking down the 200 kilometre journey in just 5:40:04, even with an ascent of 789 m.
Being on the N1 brought its own challenges but with our super support team on high alert, we were able to keep our cyclists safe and sound all the way to Laingsburg.
Day 7 -
The tour is sadly rolling to a close with only the last stretch from Worcester to Cape Town left.
We had a good start to our morning in Laingsburg with Laings Lodge serving our cyclists cooked breakfast at
4 am. After all bags were loaded and a good morning stretch took place, we received a lovely send-off before disappearing into the night.
Even though it was 5 am, many trucks were eager to get an early start to their morning too, leaving the support team on high alert for the cyclists’ safety. Good communication and team work ensured that everyone stayed safe for the remainder of the day.
As is our tradition, the CCC makes a coffee stop at the famous little town or Matjiesfontein. With the sun always short on our heels, it makes for excellent photo opportunities. This year we were fortunate enough to have a train roll into the sunrise.
Up ahead laid the famous/infamous Hex River Pass, it all depends if you like speed and tight bends or not. Cyclists were prepped beforehand on how to approach the pass and then grouped accordingly – daredevils and speedsters up front, the more cautious of the bunch at the back.
Our lead pack flew down the mountain pass, swerving like swallows around the bends, reaching top speeds of 88 km/h. With everyone safely down from the top, grinning from ear to ear, it was off to Worcester where a hand-over ceremony awaited us.
With the temperature hitting a high of 38°C, it was the hottest day of the tour yet and we arrived at the Sun Golden Valley with a big welcoming committee and beautiful ceremony where R 75 000.00 was divided between 3 charities, a lovely reminder to the cyclists what they worked so hard for.
Day 8 - And so, it all comes to an end.
Our final leg of the tour stretched from Worcester to Cape Town V&A Waterfront where we were all greeted and escorted to the foot of the Table Bay Hotel by the bagpipes of the Cape Town Highlanders.
The CCC brought in a donation of R 132 000.00 which will be divided among 5 schools that have been elected by the Table Bay staff in an effort to give back to the communities that they come from.
Red River Primary School is a no fees paying school in an area which is infested with crime and other social challenges. This school has a total of 836 learners who all stem from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds.
Entshona Primary School is based in Philippi in the Cape Flats where most of their 1117 learners come from informal settlements where poverty is escalating. Kairos Primary School, based in Delft is also a no fees paying school with 1364 learners from their surrounding areas.
Palm Park Primary School is a state dependent school who guide their learners to reach their full potential, at their own pace and in a safe, stimulating environment in Eesterrivier.
Portland High School is Table Bay’s adopted school located in Mitchells Plain with 1300 students.
This donation is not only distributed between the schools but also utilised by Table Bay to purchase school shoes, uniform and stationery which they take to schools in need.
As the CCC, we are all so proud of one another for the achievement of not only cycling all the way from the Pilanesberg to Cape Town but also for the tremendous generosity of the cyclists and sponsors that have made this all possible. Being able to see where these donations are given and how much they are needed and appreciated makes every kilometre, every bead of sweat, every ache or pain seem worthwhile.