The iconic Rickshaw Bus accompanied the heroic Ride for MRP Foundation peloton into Durban marking the end of the 606km event from Secunda (Mpumalanga) to Durban. Image: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee
Although the 606 km Ride for MRP Foundation (Dec 1-2, 2019) demanded intense mental and physical energy from it’s 74 participants, this year’s Ride with purpose was also filled with plenty of hero-moments.
The tenth edition of the two-day stage ride from Secunda to Durban gathered together cyclists from local businesses, scholars, business executives and accomplished athletes including triathlete Mhlengi Gwala and mountain biker Mboneni Ngcobo, as well as Rugby Legends Joel Stransky, Jeremy Thompson, Wayne Fyvie and Warren Brosnihan to raise funds and awareness for the MRP Foundation.
In addition to her fervent fundraising efforts (R19,000 thus far), Zisandele Mkhize, one of the 14 women who took part in the event, was awarded the ‘ABSA Rider of the Day’ and R25,000 towards her fundraising efforts after displaying an impressive amount of perseverance on Day 1 of the Ride. Despite dislocating her toe she pushed through the pain to complete the second stage.
“Yesterday was a rough day but there is something about riding home and knowing your surroundings that gives you a second wind. We all share one thing, the human condition. I know what it’s like not to have food in your stomach, I’ve been there and I understand that it’s something that needs to change. This event and the Foundation is close to my heart, especially when you actually see a difference being made,” said Zisandele.
This year’s ‘King of the Hill’ went to the talented Unathi Nxumalo, a seventeen-year-old rider from Thandaza High School in Hammarsdale. The first-time cyclist was the first person to reach the top of the infamous Warthog Hill, part of Griffin’s Hill Mountain Pass, near Mooi River, a punishing 3,76 km climb with a 244m elevation.
Unathi is part of the KZN Cycling Development Team and was sponsored to ride the event by Beaver Creek. He was elated with his Day 1 ‘win’, saying, “I feel happy because I know what poverty is like and I’m happy to be riding with the purpose of helping children who are going through poverty.”
One of this year’s most heartfelt moments was when past Dusi2C winner, Mboneni Ngcobo, received a Giant Contend bicycle from first-time cyclist, Wim Hollander. Wim rode in honour of Wim’s late stepfather, Paul Els, who rode the event last year but tragically lost his life in a cycling accident soon after the 2018 Ride. Paul raised a phenomenal R118,000 for the Ride, the second highest among the peloton, and received the Giant Contend bicycle for his fundraising events.
Third-time rider, Mboneni, expressed his gratitude for the donated bike saying, “I am very excited as this is the first time I will have my own bike especially for the road. This Ride is always challenging. If you don’t prepare it will hurt you.”
Karen Wells, Head of MRP Foundation, thanked the cyclists and partners for their commitment to raising funds and awareness for the MRP Foundation saying, “It’s thanks to inspiring people like yourselves that MRP Foundation can continue to impact young South Africans through our education and skills development programmes.”
A big thank you to our partners including Absa, CMH Nissan Durban, SPAR, Maxed, Expand-a-Sign, City Logistics, Zapper, Trader Plus, Corruseal, KTM, Westville Cycle Club, Giant, Cyclesphere, SA Rugby Legends and Hirt and Carter all contribute towards the success of the annual event.
The public can still support the riders in their mission to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation through EFT, Paygate and Zapper donations. Back your favourite Rider here.
For more Ride for MRP Foundation photos click here.
Who says superheroes can’t ride a bicycle? Capetonian Colin Van Zyl together with a 74-strong peloton “flies” on a downhill on Day 1 (December 1) of the Ride for MRP Foundation. Image: MRP Foundation / Roy Esterhuysen
Seventeen-year old Unathi Nxumalo from Hammarsdale was crowned “King of the Hill” for conquering the infamous Warthog Hill outside Estcourt on Day 2 of the annual Ride for MRP Foundation. Image: MRP Foundation / Roy Esterhuysen
Zisandele Mkhize, one of 14 women cyclists, won the ‘ABSA Rider of the Day Award’ for R25, 000 towards her fundraising for the MRP Foundation for her perseverance. Image: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee
Dusi2C winner Mboneni Ngcobo powers the peloton up Griffin’s Hill Mountain Pas outside Estcourt, on Day 2 of the annual Ride for MRP Foundation. Image: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee