October 2017
  • Day5

    Day 5 - Blue Waters Hotel pickup

    October 22, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We arranged the Blue Waters hotel as our final rendezvous. A quick shower and we were ready to head back to Johannesburg at 12h30.

    Durban (Zulu: eThekwini, from itheku meaning "bay/lagoon") is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban's metropolitan municipality ranks third among the most populous urban areas in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. It forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. The municipality, which includes neighbouring towns, has a population of almost 3.5 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. It is the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal which is the 2nd most populous province in South Africa. It has the highest number of dollar millionaires added per year of any South African city with the number rising 200 per cent between 2000 and 2014. In May 2015, Durban was officially recognised as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan, Doha, La Paz, Havana, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur.Read more

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  • Day5

    Day 5 - Amashova day

    October 22, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Race day from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Final 106 km 1160m ascent to Durban. Unfortunately Paul and Maurice had a stomach bug and were unable to race.

    HISTORY OF THE AMASHOVA CLASSIC – 1986 to 2015
    ‘OLDEST CLASSIC CYCLE RACE IN SOUTH AFRICA’

    The history of this, the oldest ‘classic’ cycle race in the country, is one of dogged determination to succeed in spite of the odds. The idea of having a bicycle race on the route of the world famous Comrades Marathon, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, was the dream of veteran Springbok cyclist Dave Wiseman and his friend Tony McMillan. Realising that they needed media support to make the venture fly; they enlisted the help of Fred Forge at the Natal Mercury. Forge assured the duo that he would give the race publicity if they went ahead, and with that assurance they approached Pick n Pay who agreed to sponsor the event.

    The relevant authorities, however, did not share the enthusiasm of this visionary group. The NPA felt one “day long” event was enough and wouldn’t budge. Finally, a local politician, who saw the value to Durban of hosting such a race, forced the traffic authorities’ hand. So, reluctantly, permission was granted for the first race to take place in 1986. The race was called ‘The Natal Mercury/Pick n Pay National Classic.’ The traffic authority gave permission for only 150 riders to participate.

    In the years that followed, the traffic authority gradually increased the allowable participation from this small group to 350, then 500, then 550 and so forth. In addition, these cyclists would have to qualify for the race by doing other events at a fairly high average speed. Only 4 hours was given for all to finish. The impression created by these restrictions was that this was a race for only the most serious cyclists.
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  • Day4

    Day 4 - Rest day in Hilton

    October 21, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Everyone did their own thing. Some went out for a 50km early cycle. A few technical issues with some bikes meant a quick trip into Pietermaritzburg to sort them out with the local bike shop. The rest of us went through to Durban to collect the racing numbers and sort out the Blue Waters hotel for the final day shower arrangements.Read more

  • Day3

    Day 3 - Hilton stop over

    October 20, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Everyone was happy to arrive at the 4 Star Protea Hilton Hotel a little earlier than expected.

    Hilton is a small town (now incorporated into the town of Howick to the North West) that lies on the brow of the escarpment above Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In 1872 the Reverend WO Newnham opened Hilton College on a large estate a few kilometres north of the town, which is now one of South Africa's leading private schools.Read more

  • Day3

    Day 3 - Mooi River Wimpy

    October 20, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    After a very wet ride of 100km into Mooi River we all decided to get into the bus and drive to Hilton for safety reasons.

    Mooi River (Afrikaans: Mooirivier) is a small town situated at 1,389 m above sea level and 160 km from the coast in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The first European settlement in the area was at Mooi River Drift in 1852. This was formally named Weston in 1866 after the first Governor of Natal, Martin West.Read more

  • Day3

    Day 3 - Sandford to Hilton

    October 20, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    An overcast morning and all were in great spirits before heading out towards Hilton. After a hiccup with the bus door we were on our way at 08h00

    Bergville is a small town situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was established as Bergville Mountain Village in 1897 and is now the commercial centre for a 2,500 km² dairy and cattle ranching area. A blockhouse was built by the British soldiers in the town during the Second Boer War. Bergville is equidistant from Johannesburg and Durban and is also known as the gateway to the Northern Drakensberg.Read more

  • Day2

    Day 2 - stop over at Sanford Lodge

    October 19, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    A challenging decent into KZN for those who braved the wind and then a magnificent tailwind into Bergville. Our next stop was Sandford Park Country Hotel.
    Situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, Sandford Park Country Hotel is a resort steeped in history. Established in 1852, Sandford Park incorporates the history of the region to narrate the essence of the resort. We arrived just before lunchtime and were able to enjoy the facility and probably the massages the cyclists had ever experienced.Read more

  • Day2

    Day 2 - Drinks stop at Sterkfontein Dam

    October 19, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    A very windy stop at 80km on the way to Bergville. Some of us decided to get into the bus for the decent down into KZN as the wind made the decent very dangerous.

    A great lookout over the Sterkfontein Dam. This is the 3rd largest dam in South Africa in terms of water capacity and it is slightly larger than Vaal Dam.Read more

  • Day2

    Day 2 Golden Gate to Bergville

    October 19, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    A nice ride through the Golden Gate National Park. A few cyclists left earlier to do an extra loop and a few hundred meters extra climbing.

    "Golden Gate" refers to the sandstone cliffs that are found on either side of the valley at the Golden Gate dam. In 1875, a farmer called J.N.R. van Reenen and his wife stopped here as they travelled to their new farm in Vuurland. He named the location "Golden Gate" when he saw the last rays of the setting sun fall on the cliffs.Read more