60AMASHOVA is a Zulu phrase which means “LETS PEDAL TOGETHER”
The AMASHOVA is the oldest ‘classic’ cycle race in the country, conceived with the idea of having a bicycle race on the route of the world famous Comrades Marathon, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. In 1986 it had 150 cyclists, and today over 10,000 cyclists participate from all over the globe
So when a team from Safal Steel, in colourful kit, stormed into the finishing stands, they were greeted with roars from local supporters.
“What started off as a chat between colleagues about general health issues culminated in a 5am meeting at the Lion Park where we attempted a 15km bike ride – some of us for the first time in 20 years.
It was difficult at first, but we enjoyed it so much so that we were back there the very next day!Between March and April, our “Pro” cycling teammates, Larry and Khoza, arranged many rides over weekends and public holidays, mentoring and guiding us about gearing, breathing, nutrition and all things cycling. Larry was named our team captain and dubbed as Miyagi, the karate master from the movie “Karate Kid”, and our team was unofficially named #TeamMiyagi.
The big prize at the end of our journey was the Amashova race.
We decided we needed to look like a team, and designed our own team gear. We were very grateful that our Safal Steel executives sponsored complete cycling kits from shirts and pants to helmets, glasses and gloves.
The Ladysmith Cycle challenge on the 9th September 2018 showcased our new “team look” as 7 brave men took up the challenge. Despite the rigorous and daunting hills of Ladysmith trying to get us down, we fought back valiantly and proudly brought back home the medals to prove it!
Finally, the big day came - 21 October 2018. All the muscle pains, back spasms and planning led up to this day! Time to AMASHOVA!!
Teammates and families started chirping on our Group Chat from 2am. We met up at our various starting points and did the last checks - water bottles were filled, tyre pressures were adequate and bananas were packed.As first time riders our nerves were at an all-time-high but so too was our excitement.
The guns went off and the race was on.It was a tough one, with wind speeds reaching 35kmh.”
Despite, the weather conditions, injuries and mechanical breakdowns, we all finished the race better than we had expected. Below are names and categories:
- Larry Dickson 106km
- Megan Naidu 106km
- Mpumelelo Khoza 106km
- Janome van Wyk 106km
- Jan Theron 65km
- Deon Govender 65km
- Vyron Naidu 65km
- Veeren Deonarain 65km
- Glen Morkel 65km
- Shaun Fry 65km
- Corné Tait 65km
- Nhlanhla Shezi 65km
- Chris von Benecke 35km
Thanks to our families who continuously supported us and enjoyed this great feat with us!
And thanks to Safal Steel for our kit - we are proud to have represented the Safal family.
We extend an invitation to all in the Safal Group to join us on many more future cycling ventures – our next being the aQuelle Tour Durban in April 2019.
After all .... “Our great health is our greatest wealth”