ON Friday May 11, Arthur Duncan, aged 83, from Howick completed the 260 km Adventure in the three-day KAP sani2c mountain bike stage race.
Arthur took up cycling seriously at the age of 65, and has completed the KAP sani2c race five times previously, but not since 2010. “My son-in-law invited me to ride with him. I had never thought of doing another sani2c because of my age, but when the opportunity came, I thought I am going to take on this challenge, because I do keep myself fit throughout the year. It was a challenge, but I got through it with Stuart who pushed me and motivated me, and it’s been wonderful.”
The KAP sani2c mountain bike stage race started on Tuesday, May 8 when the Trail version departed from Glencairn farm in Himeville in the southern Drakensberg. The adventure started on Wednesday with Duncan in the saddle, and on Thursday the race event started, which attracts the top elite mountain bikers in the country. All riders travel south on the same path through the beautiful southern Drakensberg, down into the Umkomaas Valley, through Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve and to the coast at Scottburgh. With over 4 200 riders taking part, it is the largest mountain bike stage race in the country.
Duncan decided at the age of 65 that he was going to cycle from the sea to the highest peak in Southern Africa, Thabana Ntlenyana in Lesotho. The three-day ride had him hooked, and he has become a multiple national champion in both road cycling and time trial in his age category. Duncan has represented South Africa in road cycling and went to the UCI Road World Championships last year. Not satisfied with being an accomplished cyclist in his retirement, Duncan took on the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon when he was 72, and at the age of 77 he did a second Dusi as the oldest competitor that year. The race component of KAP sani2c finished on Sunday in Scottburgh, with Nico Bell and Matt Beers taking top honours in the men’s race, and Amy Mc Dougal and Samantha Sanders winning the women’s race. Yolandi du Toit and Ben Melt Swanepoel were first among the mixed teams.