Ride - vital element of Tour Durban

2017-04-11 06:01
Photo:suppliedAnother massive field of cyclists is expected for the 45km Fun Ride at the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers on Sunday 30 April.

Photo:suppliedAnother massive field of cyclists is expected for the 45km Fun Ride at the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers on Sunday 30 April.

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WITH KwaZulu-Natal entering road cycling season with the approach of autumn, the 45km fun ride at the aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund Managers, will once again be the best supported leg of the three races that will be held on Sunday 30 April.

The race starts and finishes at the Moses Mabhida stadium and takes the field of recreational riders along the M4 coastal freeway to Umdloti and back, offering the cyclists close up views of the beach and sea for most of the route.

With the region enjoying the mild and reliable autumn weather, the out-and-back loop has proved hugely popular with riders, for a variety of reasons.

“The full road closure is a massive drawcard,” says Gary Harman, a member of race hosts Club Cappuccino .

“Safety for road cyclists has become a major issue in recent years and the shift away from recreational road cycling has been affected by this. So the chance to ride on full road closure is a rare luxury.

“Just as attractive is the condition of the M4, which was recently resurfaced and is now a fantastic surface for road cyclists,” he added.

“The route has changed over the years and settled on this out-and-back loop, which has become very popular, for a number of reasons. There are no major climbs, which makes the 45km route very achievable, even to cyclists who are not that fit.

“The sea views are spectacular, and provide a welcome distraction when the fatigue starts to kick in. It is also an attraction to be able to ride past other riders coming up the first half of the loop,” said Harman.

More importantly it keeps the culture of recreational riding alive in the region. For Harman, this is one of the race’s most important elements.

“It is so important that we have entry level races at our major road classics that offer a starting point for younger and less experienced riders, as well as an opportunity for riders that might not be able to train or race that much to stay involved in the sport,” said Harman.

The 45km attracts recreational riders on a wide variety of bikes. Conventional road bikes are matched in numbers by mountain bikes, with a few tandems, unicycles and other novelty bikes, racing alongside the hand cyclists.

Many of the fun riders also elect to ride for a particular charity, either to raise funds or awareness for their chosen cause. East Coast Radio DJs Darren Maule and Damon Beard road last year in the colours of the Domino Foundation, the race’s major beneficiary.

Entries for the 45km fun ride close at 11pm on 17 April.

The 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund manager, takes place on Sunday 30 April.

More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za - Supplied.

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