1965Ride 2019 The Final Blog
The 2019 tour will go down as memorable for many reasons:
- First truly international tour
- The record number of tumbles – 8 at last count
- First time we had actual inter-bike crashes – 4 to be exact
- First time on the re-configured route which seemed to work very well
- First time overnight stay at Shumba Valley
- The incredible and dedicated Free State Traffic support for the 100 kilometres between Villiers and Reitz, and we had no rain and wind from the behind
- One looooong cold and wet day on day 3
- Four participants over 70
- 9 ladies out of 18 cyclists – a record in itself and the fact that half our number were female is a great portent of things to come
- Only Lord Fraser and Hazelmere have been hosts on all 9 tours so far
- No Queenians to meet us at Bailie – this was a first. Thank goodness for the group of motor-cycling friends who escorted all the way to the Parry Davies fields
- Joined by the East London Contingent and the crazy guys led by Warren Wilkinson who rode the 1000 plus kilometres from Cape Town to Queenstown in 5 days
- The excellent coverage of eNCA both before the tour and at the finish, even though they filmed the wrong group of cyclists coming into Queenstown
- The excellent camaraderie
- The happy, laughter-filled dinner at Cranberry Cottage
- Rodger and Lyn doing far more than could reasonably have been expected of them to do to support the whole Parlotone (The Parlotone being every member of the 2019 contingent)
- Dries and his MTB patrolling to help anyone needing help
- All of us doing something that very few people in their lifetime would even contemplate
- The amazing welcome onto the Rec as we finished our Odyssey
The 1965Ride has had at its core since inception the principle of giving and sharing. The idea has always been to bring money from outside Queenstown into the town to give deserving and talented kids a better chance at life. The essence of the tour is camaraderie, friendship and teamwork. This we tried to emphasize all the way down from Jozi to Queenstown.
Mishaps. We had a few. And not just physical ones. In a tour this long and with this many people these are inevitable. Fortunately none of them caused permanent damage as far as I can see; and hopefully all of them left us with lessons of life to contemplate.
All of our 9 tours have been filled with characters. 2019 was no different. There are the silent ones who just get on with getting from one stop to the next without complaint. There are the busy ones who are always busy with something. There are the accident-prone ones who, fortunately, are not too numerous otherwise our fabulous medic, Mark Berger would have had his hands even fuller than they were. There are the helpful always giving an encouraging hand or word. There are the real team players who go out of their way to make the journey better for the rest of us. There are the enthusiasts who revel in everything – the journey, the team, the landscapes, the whole experience. We were fortunate in 2019 to have had a preponderance of the latter!
We have never had such a large contingent of women on the tour before. They added greatly to every element of our journey and they can be truly proud of their contribution to all that happened and the lives they will change.
It was fabulous to have our international trio of Ann, Gavin and Hedley being part of the journey. Each contributed in a unique way to the ambience and success of our efforts and we are truly grateful to them for the massive effort they had to make to join us.
We have always tried to provide good accommodation and food to each successive Parlotone and all the credit for this must go to Rodger for his untiring efforts to do so again this year, notwithstanding route changes and number changes almost to the very end.
A tour like this does not just happen like magic. All of us have many people to be grateful to: From (and most importantly) the 1965Ride Action Team that have been on the job since August 2018, the traffic officials, SANRAL, our many sponsors (local and international), our hosts at all of the venues we stayed at, the cautious (and I suppose) also the not so cautious motorists along the way who mostly gave us right-of-way, and many others. The tour would not happen without their help and kindness.
And then we need to recognise members of the 2019 Parlotone who along the way earned the respect of their colleagues by epitomising the spirit of the 1965Ride and all it stands for.
So here they are:
Nissan Person of the Day
Day1: Tegan Barraud
Day 2: Claudette Viannello
Day 3: Dries Ferreira
Day 4: Julian Levitt
Day 5: Rodger Webb
Day 6: The Entire Support Team
Day 7: Frans van Zijl
Day 8: Dini Gudlindlu
Winner of the Give-it Horns Trophy for 2019: Dries Ferreira
And now all that remains is for us to thank all of you in the 2019 Parlotone, collectively and individually, for your contribution to building our nation from the bottom up. You have all left a legacy that should be around a long time after we have joined the Big Parlotone in the Sky.
Registrations for the 10th Anniversary tour in April 2020 are open on the website. Register now to avoid disappointment!