One of the world's gruelling mountain bike challenges
Riding in the heart of 'rhino land' in South Africa
2017 was the toughest year to date
Helping Rhinos and our new field partner, Project Rhino combined forces for this year’s epic uBhejane Xtreme mountain bike challenge. The event offers ride distance of options 340 km long horn, 250km short, 100km Baby horn; Orphan 35km rides, all culminating at the Centenary Centre Rhino Statue in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi wildlife reserve.
A cycling jersey produced by Durban based Lassen Sports Wear was included in the entry and proved to be a huge success. The jersey is emblazoned with a reproduction of the Karen Lawrence-Rowe painting, The Last Three that was auctioned at our London Spring Talk in March 2017 and which sold for £19,000. The Last Three features on both front and back of the jersey.
Joined by Helping Rhinos Patron and ‘Voice of Cycling’, Phil Liggett, almost 80 riders this year began the various distances. “The hardest thing I have ever done” was a not uncommon comment from many of the riders. With temperatures of up to 45C on occasions and riding into a strong head wind for almost the whole way, this fourth year of the Challenge was the hardest yet. Only eight riders of the 35 who started at 02.00hrs from Hillcrest, Durban, completed the whole distance.
The late arrival of the riders at Centenary Centre because of the conditions meant a 6pm arrival at Hilltop was not possible. Park rangers agreed to a 7pm arrival but an aptly timed thunder storm meant that most ended their ride with just 35kms left. 5 stalwarts were determined not to be beaten, and, accompanied by a Ranger’s vehicle they arrived in the dark, but safe from the lions and leopards!
An outside braii in the chill air of a damp evening, was accompanied by the wonderful duo of “Lashis ilanga, who entertained with their indigenous songs of Zululand.
Funds raised will be shared between Project Rhino and Helping rhinos.
Stay tuned for details on how to enter the 2018 uBhejane Extreme ride.