Veteran cyclists eager to show young guns a trick or two at Eston MTB Challenge

2014-07-30 00:00

A GROUP of 11 cyclists, all over the age of 70, will test their mettle against riders as young as 15, at this year’s Illovo Eston Mountain Bike Challenge.

The oldest competitor is Derek Stringer (80) from Brighton Beach, who will compete in the 18 km ride.

Not daunted by the prospect of going pedal to pedal with at least 2 500 other contestants from across the province, members of this veteran group say years of training, a scenic route, and healthy living should tip things in their favour.

The race will take place on Sunday, and will play out over 10 km, 18 km, 40 km and 60 km routes at the Eston Club in the Midlands.

Dave Bridges (72), an accountant from Crestholme in Waterfall and the second oldest person to compete, is set to compete in the gruelling 40 km half-marathon.

“I will be doing this voyage this year for the first time after doing the 18 km race for three years previously. I have basically been cycling as much as I can to prepare for this,” he said.

Bridges believes the recipe to preparing for this challenge is consistent training and some rest.

“When I’m not working or cycling, I’m sleeping,” he said.

Edward Hattingh (70) from Amanzimtoti, another cyclist competing in the half-marathon, believes his recipe for a successful race is always being healthy and exercising.

“I am a part of two cycling clubs and cycle at least two or three times a week. I also take advantage of the spinning classes at gym. One thing about this route is the scenery, it’s a beautiful mix of forest and road,” said Hattingh.

Just edging into the 70-year age mark, Malcolm Kohrs, an ex-businessman from Kloof, will also be part of the cycling crusaders. “I have done this race four times and also cycle at least 40 km a week. I go to gym regularly and plan on just going flat-out, on the day.”

Kohrs said the first time he took part in the race, he found it extremely challenging but has now grown to love it.

“I am extremely competitive and aim to be the best,” he said.

An event organiser said this is the first time they have had such an impressive number of older people participating in the event.

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