Wheels4Life riders tough it out for the last lap

2008-12-05 00:00

The Wheels4Life team reached their final pit stop in Pietermaritzburg yesterday before embarking on the last leg of their gruelling ride from Johannesburg to Durban.

The team, who arrived at noon, were escorted through the bumper-to-bumper traffic after cycling from Mooi River.

“It’s so exciting,” said Tendai Khumalo, the former Lions rugby player who is at the forefront of the project.

“There is nowhere else I’d rather be … I’m in pain — my arms are killing me, but it’s all in the mind,” he added.

Khumalo, who enjoys all things sport, is riding a hand cycle. He was left paralysed six years ago after an operation to remove a tumour on his spine. He has since been actively involved in promoting awareness of issues surrounding the disabled community.

The Wheels4Life ride, which left Johannesburg on Sunday, aims to raise money to buy wheelchairs for people in need. During their journey, the team looked for possible beneficiaries and raised R90 000.

Paralympic bronze medallist Gavin Kilpatrick is also on the team. The visually-impaired cyclist said that doing the project was a personal achievement.

“We covered 160 kilometres one day and I am very proud of that … In the beginning I felt like giving up, but seeing Tendai do this with his hand cycle really inspired me to keep going.”

A former Pietermaritzburg man also joined the team. Jody Forrester joked that he never thought the next time he’d come home would be on a bike.

Forrester said the team are scheduled to arrive in Durban at noon today, where a massive welcoming committee awaits them at the Sun Coast Casino.

If you’d like to make a donation, visit www.wheels4life.com or sms “Wheels” to 38585 (each sms costs R10).

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