Neither a heatwave nor a gun-wielding robber could stand in Uitenhage resident Johan Oosthuizen’s way as he smashed a world record for the longest time spent on a bike.
Oosthuizen, 40, also broke the world record for getting the most high fives on a bicycle with the help of Daniel Pienaar High School pupils.
Oosthuizen is still waiting for his charity organisation Fuel on Wheels’s official world record certificates but he said it was confirmed that they were now the proud holders of these two feats. He broke the record on April 1.
“I basically just cycled around the block for six days, 22 hours a day. Everyone was so excited about this, the whole town cycled and walked with us,” he said.
“I just asked people to bring R10 or some tinned food.”
He managed to raise R36 000 for three schools, Northern Lights, Innes Primary School and Winterberg Primary School.
“We also just received R10 000 in clothing from Rotary,” he said.
Oosthuizen said he started Fuel on Wheels with his friend Gerrit de Jager to raise money for a woman who needed a wheelchair.
“People came from as far as Plettenberg Bay to cycle with me,” he said.
He said he wanted to break the record for covering the longest distance on a bike but the hills and the wind were against him.
“It has been confirmed that we now hold the world record for the longest continuous cycle – 17 hours and 36 minutes,” Oosthuizen said.
His partners were TJ Kitching and Jaco Human.
He said the entire attempt was recorded and updated via satellite for the World Record Association.
He said he now also held the world record for receiving the most high fives on a bicycle – 509.
“The whole of Daniel Pienaar High School just stood in line and gave me high fives,” he said.
Oosthuizen said a security team from Woga Security kept him safe, even when a gun-wielding robber tried to steal the industrial mats used to even out the speed bumps in the road.
“People tried to steal those mats three times. The first time a guy pointed a gun at me.
“I was lucky to have the security guy next to me. He didn’t even know me for a week and he almost had to take a bullet for me.”
Oosthuizen said they covered about 300km a day but a heat wave on the Thursday, when temperatures shot up to well over 40°C, slowed them down a bit.
“I started Fuel on Wheels because I really wanted to help people,” he said.
“I feel honoured that we will be able to help the learners at these schools to get something to eat and to buy wheelchairs for those who need it.”