1 800km Charity Ride Completed: Cycling For Wheelchairs
The Cape Town Cycle Tour is filled with charity rides, piggybacking on the biggest charity ride of them all. Kind Kilometres is one of the many that use the event as a grand finale to a longer tour just to get to the start.
The Kind Kilometres initiative was started by cycling enthusiast Johnny Eyberg to help fund wheelchairs for those in need and to raise awareness around people living with disabilities. They did so in a unique way, with Eyberg and his team cycling a 1 800 km charity ride from Harrismith in the Free State to take part in the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour. During the official tour, the team pulled a specially-designed buggy along the way which carried Deon Bezuidenhout, who, in this special way, was able to partake in the full 109 km needed to complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020.
Bezuidenhout lost the ability to walk when a car accident left him paralysed 30 years ago, though never losing his love of exercise. Before the accident, it was Bezuidenhout’s dream to cycle this scenic Cape Peninsula race.
Curro Holdings, South Africa’s largest independent JSE-listed education provider, assisted the Kind Kilometres initiative to help realise Bezuidenhout’s dream as well as the project’s larger goal of raising awareness.
To do so, Curro Sport’s Cycle2Ride initiative sponsored R50 000 towards Kind Kilometres. Cycle2Ride also provided the support vehicle for the duration of the trip as well as covering the petrol costs. On route to their final destination, the Kind Kilometres crew stopped by Curro Langebaan and Curro Durbanville on Friday, 6 March, to help inspire the learners and raise awareness. These schools then donated funds towards the Kind Kilometres project.
Jaco Kotze, Facilities Manager at Curro Holdings and custodian of the group’s Cycle2Ride initiative, loves how Kind Kilometres inspires others to help where they can. “When we heard about the project, we knew that this is something that Curro’s Cycle2Ride initiative must get involved with. We are proud to play a part in fulfilling Deon’s dream of taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and of course’s Johnny’s extraordinary efforts to get him to the finish line and to raise awareness,” says Kotze. Kotze donned cycling shorts himself and helped pull Bezuidenhout’s buggy for a part of the journey to Cape Town.
Cycle2Ride is an initiative joined by Curro that aims to promote cycling as a medium for family cohesion, relaxation and fun, but also as a possible career choice for those truly interested in becoming professional athletes.
The funds raised by the Kind Kilometres initiative will be used to buy a much-needed motorised wheelchair for Bezuidenhout, with the rest of the funds going towards wheelchairs required in the larger Easter Free State community.
The Kind Kilometres charity tour initially left Harrismith on 20 February, with the goal of reaching Cape Town on 7 March; and Sunday, 8 March saw Eyberg and Bezuidenhout crossing the finishing line of the Cape Town Cycle Tour together.