Cyclist breaks bike in tangle with crossing zebra in game reserve race

2012-08-21 00:00

FROM Buck Norris to Racing Stripes.

A 26-year-old man has become the latest mountain biker to have a close encounter with wildlife at Albert Falls Dam.

Wessel Fourie, a firefighter at King Shaka International Airport, laughed when he described the experience he had over the weekend when he was confronted with “Mr Zebra” while cycling in a multi-sport event at Albert Falls outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

While riding his bike, he came across two zebras on his path. One just crossed the gravel road in front of him, but the other turned towards him and knocked him to the ground. Luckily, Fourie walked away with little more than a few scratches and bruises, and a dismantled bicycle.

He said the experience was “priceless” and thanked God that it was nothing serious.

“It was an experience I will probably never forget. In my imagination I can still see how I literally was rubbing shoulders with Mr Zebra.”

Fourie, who hails from Durban, told The Witness that one of his female friends heard the announcer speaking over the public address system saying that someone had been hit by a zebra. She started laughing, not knowing that it was her friend. “So when I got back to the main venue site and told her it was me, you could imagine the reaction.” He even earned himself a couple of nicknames from his buddies, like “Racing Stripes” and “Zebra Crossing”.

Msinsi Resort and Game Reserves marketing manager, Ray Naguran, said neither the cyclist nor the zebra were injured.

Last year, 17-year-old Evan van der Spuy was knocked off his bike by a red hartebeest during the Time Freight Express Mountain Bike race at Albert Falls. The video made during the accident was one of the most viewed on YouTube in 2011.

The race organisers declined to comment on the record.

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