PE ready for cycling fest
NELSON Mandela Bay is gearing up for the Herald VW Cycle Tour, which will take place on the first weekend of next month.
The 29th edition of the event starts in Port Elizabeth on the Friday with the two-day registration and expo at The Boardwalk Convention Centre.
Riders and their families will descend on the venue to soak up the excitement, collect their goodie bags or sign up for late registration between 9am and 7pm, and again on Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
Among the goodie bag items are a race guide, various product sachets and vouchers and a Powerade water bottle that participants can have personalised at the Powerade expo stand.
During the expo, some of South Africa's top cyclists will share tour tips and anecdotes with participants.
Aside from more than 30 cycling-related exhibitors, the public can look forward to show-stopping displays of indoor stunt riding by national trials champion Dylan Victor.
The 20-minute shows take place on the exhibition level at 10am, 1pm and 4pm on Friday and Saturday, with an additional 7pm display on the Friday evening.
After registration closes at 3pm on Saturday, Victor's show moves to the Hobie Beach race village, where he and musician Marc Anthony Kock will entertain the riders and guests who gather for the pasta party from 4pm.
Event organiser Linda Harwood said the large race village marquee would also house the Winezani wine and craft beer bar and Coca-Cola share kiosk.
Harwood said the first 2000 visitors to the kiosk would receive a free personalised 330ml Coke can, whereafter the product would be on sale.
Harwood said participants would also be able to carbo-load and recover at a number of Boardwalk eateries – including Steers, Spur and Mini Orbits – offering weekend cycle tour specials.
"News Cafe is also joining the fun, giving free beers to the first 500 finishers in Sunday's road race."
On the Saturday morning, the Powerade-sponsored kids' and family road races roll out at the beachfront, while the mountain bikers take to the trails out at Addo.
The family road events, which benefit Reach for a Dream, include the 500m Toddlers' Dash, 2km Kiddies' Ride, 10km Sprint and 21km Leisure Ride.
On the mountain bike side, family-oriented races include the 500m Toddlers' Dash, 5km Kiddies' Challenge and 30km Leisure Challenge.
"For the fitter, more experienced riders, there's the 60km Adventure and 80km Extreme," Harwood said.
She said late entries for the mountain bike events would be accepted at Addo from 4.30am on race day.
Afterwards, she saidweary participants would be able to enjoy food and refreshment, as well as a free bike wash at the Addo Polo Club race village.
The following day, Port Elizabeth residents will be able to see the country's top pro teams do battle on the city's streets for overall glory in SA's second oldest national classic. The 106km Classic is preceded by the 55km Pursuit.
The weekend festival draws to a close with the official prize-giving at 1pm at the convention centre, during which one lucky participant will win the keys to a brand new VW Polo 1.4 Trendline.
More than R100000 worth of additional lucky draw prizes – including GT bikes and appliances from Tony's Furniture, Appliances & Beds – will be up for grabs at the attendance draw.
Go to www.heraldcycletour.co.za, follow @heraldcycletour or find the race on Facebook.