CLARENS – The Maluti Double 90 cycling challenge is an annual cycling event that boasts of a 180km race that brings cycling teams together from all over the country to come and ride along the beautiful scenic Golden Gate Route.
According to Neil Robinson the CEO of Pedal Power Association (PPA), PPA is an organization that has been around for 47 years and does a lot of sports and leisure cycling.
“Maluti Double 90 is a sports event that has been around for eight years, and this is the eighth year, we didn’t have two events because of lockdowns. We had over a thousand riders with a turnout of 79 teams for this event. It is a very competitive race and a very beautiful and strategic route. Clarens is in the Free State and positioned in the center close to Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, and Durban, so it’s easy for riders to drive to this event,” Robinson said. The team trail event takes place over 180km with up to 12 riders per team with a time limit of 10 hours.
Kenneth Ncube the captain of Vukani Cycling club who hails from the East Rand, had this to say: “I started cycling 25 years ago through the influence of my parents because they wanted to keep me off the streets. I continued with the sport because it promotes discipline and physical wellbeing. The team Vukani was started in Joburg, in the East Rand because as individual riders we came together and started riding together as a team of 170 riders. We have 5 different teams.”
Velokhaya cycling team has a branch in Bloemfontein and they encourage kids to join the sport.
“We try to encourage kids to participate in the sport so that is part of the reason why we are here to also rally sponsors to assist the kids,” Luthando Kaka captain of Velokhaya.
One of the things that the PPA does is to promote cycling to young riders, and they donate bicycles to disadvantaged kids. Five bicycles were given to Tulani Mdlalose from Golden Gate National Park who received them on behalf of the local community. Riders received medals upon completion of the 180km race and there were cash prizes for the winners in the different divisions.
“Without the support from the local community and contributions from our members, none of this would be possible, so I am very grateful to everyone who made this event possible,” Robinson said.