PMB man rides ‘Everest’ to raise funds for Qhubeka

2014-09-22 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG cyclist undertook a 15-hour ride to raise funds for a bicycle organisation at the weekend.

Kevin Benkenstein raised about R6 000 for Qhubeka on Saturday alone, to help the organisation buy more bicycles for pupils. He started his journey at 4.30 am, completing the leg at 9.20 pm on Old Howick Road.

Benkenstein made history as he became one of the first people in the country to “Everest” — when a cyclist rides a hill repeatedly in a single leg until ascending the equivalent height of Mount Everest above sea level (8 848 metres).

Benkenstein said after he found out about “Everesting” on Twitter, he decided to get involved.

“There is a great tie-in between me riding a bike to raise the money and Qhubeka’s mission of mobilising people with bikes,” he said.

“Saturday was pretty special. I did not expect such overwhelming response and support. I’m happy I could make an impact. People drove past and wished me luck, it was incredible.”

Qhubeka, which means “to progress”, has distributed over 46 000 bikes in the past nine years to pupils who travel long distances.

The 28-year-old said it was not an easy task. “When I woke up this morning [yesterday], my body was sore. ­Everything felt like a rock but it was worth it. It was a great experience.”

Although he’s currently living in Durban, he said he chose to ride in the City of Choice because he has “great memories here”.

“I grew up riding here, travelling down from school to town to ride with friends before heading back up after the ride.”

Benkenstein said he believes that giving a little to those who are in need makes a huge difference.

“Bicycles are the most incredible things and in so many different ways to so many people.”

To donate, visit www.givengain.com and search for Qhubeka.

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