Huge python found on Weenen bike race route

2008-08-26 00:00

Riders doing a test run of the course for this year’s Husqvarna Weenen Game Reserve Classic, to be held next Sunday, were surprised when they came across a massive python lying across their path.

Brian van der Bank, one of the organisers of the event, said the python spanned the width of the road with its head in the grass on one side and the tail in the veld on the other side of the road.

He estimated the length of the reptile to be around four-and-a-half metres.

“It has obviously just come out of hibernation and was quite thin but in good condition. The reaction of those with us was fantastic. We were very excited,” said Van der Bank.

Van der Bank’s son, Lance, is an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff member and checked on the snake before she was released back into the reserve.

He said cyclists and spectators at this year’s event should have no fear of the python.

“At that size, they are rare occurrences.”

This is the seventh year this event will be held. It is the first to be raced through a game reserve and boasts a new revised course, making for a much more spectacular ride, said Van der Bank.

“The classic [48 km] will once again be run between two game reserves, Weenen and neighbouring Mtontwane, making for some great but demanding riding, especially on the 4x4 section of the reserve,” he added.

The 26-km intermediate is described as “pleasant”, covering the main section of the reserve with some single track and once again, revised sections making for a better ride and experience.

“The nine-kilometre fun ride for those who wish to take it easy and enjoy the magnificent views, is suitable for parents who wish to amble along with their children.”

Van der Bank said the course is scenic and “one can take time out to enjoy the wildlife”.

All proceeds are put back into the reserve, with wildlife and conservation being the ultimate beneficiaries.

For more information, contact Van der Bank on 082 779 8406 or e-mail bvdb@sai.co.za.

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