Memorial rides for legendary Burry Stander to mark anniversary of his death

2014-01-03 00:00

MEMORIALS for the late South African cross-country mountain biking legend Burry Stander will take place over the weekend on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Memorial rides will take place today, starting at 5.30 am in Port Shepstone, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Karkloof, Hermanus and Stellenbosch, and as far away as California in the United States.

The ride in Port Shepstone has been organised by Stander’s family, and will culminate on Saturday with the official opening of the Burry Stander Bike Park.

“The build-up to the weekend has been so smooth, and I feel that Burry is hard at work for us,” his mother Mandie Stander told The Witness yesterday.

“Greg Minnaar will also be there. He will be doing a mountain bike clinic where he will do a demonstration,” she said.

The events will begin at 5 am with a short ride from the Ghost Bike in Stott Road, Shelly Beach, where Stander was killed when he was knocked over by a taxi a year ago.

“After the ride, we will have a short service where we will light candles,” Mandie Stander said.

Saturday’s opening of the park will be attended by dignitaries such as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and officials from the provincial Sports Department. There will be a 30 km Burry Outride, which will be on the district road, starting at 8.30 am. A shorter five-kilometre ride will begin at 8 am and will be followed by a walk on the Burry Cross-Country Course at 8.15 am.

The official opening for the park will be at 10 am.

Mandie Stander said that because there would be no pre-registration, it was difficult to tell how many people would be attending, but she said that the response they had received from the community had been good. The events will also promote safe cycling.

She said she started thinking about the idea to open the park in April last year.

“We wanted to start the Burry Stander Foundation in April/May last year and we thought we had to start somewhere.

“We’re trying to put a positive in light of the tragedy that we have had to go through. It’s all come together, and it’s like Burry is smiling down on us. We hope to make the next two days something he would be proud of,” she said, adding that they would be working with the KZN Department of Sports to make it an annual event.

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