Action-oriented families looking for a great day out in Nelson Mandela Bay will have one last chance to enter The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s road and mountain bike races this weekend.
The 30th anniversary edition of the weekend festival of cycling will offer something for riders of all ages and fitness levels, both on and off road.
Those moms and dads who missed the online entry closing date, can still sign up at the official expo and registration on Friday and Saturday.
Aside from more than 30 cycling-related exhibitors, visitors to the expo can look forward to free massages, good food, and stunt riding displays by multiple South African trials champion, Dylan Victor.
Late registration for both road and mountain bike events will be open from 9am to 7pm on Friday on the exhibition level of The Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre.
On Saturday, late entries for the mountain bike races will be accepted between 4.30am and 5.30am at the Addo Polo Club.
Roadies wishing to enter the family and kiddies’ races along the Port Elizabeth beachfront can make their way to the Reach for a Dream gazebo at the Hobie Beach race village from 6-7am.
Reach for a Dream, which is the official beneficiary of the family races, is a non-profit organisation that makes the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true.
It has already received almost R9 000 from generous “Dream Riders” who added a donation during their online registration process.
Older children and their parents can also consider entering the longer, more challenging events.
Mountain bikers 15 years and older, can ride with their parents in the 60km Adventure, while roadies like the Van Schoor family will be signing up to do the 55km Pursuit on Sunday.
For Anton van Schoor, 43, and daughter Kelsey, 13, the race is their first longer-distance event together.
“We do most of our training together,” social rider Anton said.
He said St Dominic’s Priory Grade 8 pupil, Kelsey, was a competitive cyclist who trained five days a week and was trying out all the cycling disciplines.
Last year, she won the bronze medal in her age group at the national cross-country championships and took the women’s 20km title at the Steeltek Crossways Classic mountain bike race.
Although Kelsey’s grandmother, Dawn van Schoor, also enjoys cycling, Anton said she did not cycle competitively, preferring to enjoy the leisurely local pancake ride.
Anton’s advice to other cycling-mad families was to keep it fun.
The full lineup of mountain bike races includes the 80km Extreme, 60km Adventure, 30km Powerade Leisure Challenge, 5km Powerade Kiddies’ Challenge and 500m Powerade Toddlers’ Dash.
On the road side of things, the family races are the Powerade-sponsored 21km Leisure Ride, 10km Sprint, 2km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash.
The weekend draws to a close with the 55km Pursuit and 106km Classic on Sunday, which will be followed by the official prize-giving from 1pm at the race village.
More than R300 000 worth of lucky draw prizes – including a VW Polo 1.4 – will be given away to participants.
For more information visit www.heraldcycletour.co.za
– The Herald Reporter