Hello everyone. I now this arrives post-event but we had intermittent/no internet connection from Penhoek Pass onwards and then life became very hectic. But this is just the final few kilometres. They were tumultuous and would not have happened without your help and support!
It is done and dusted!
The 2012 edition of the 1965Ride finished on the Victoria Recreation Grounds, the Queen’s College Stadium at exactly 13:00 today.
This took spilt-second timing and massive organising ability. These are not qualities found wanting in Mike Boy , the Deputy Headmaster of Queen’s College, who not only rode the last leg with us but organised the finish proceedings. This included three schools: Queen’s College, Girls High School and Queen’s College Junior School.
The local motor cycle club joined us from about 20 kilometres out but before that, 1965 colleague Eion Taggart joined us on his BMW motorcycle to make sure we all arrived safely and good shape. It was so good to see him again after almost 50 years!
We were joined by the intrepid walkers who, led by Alasdair McDonald, had walked over 100 kilometres and created a huge new opportunity for people to become involved in this initiative to give talented youngsters the opportunity of a lifetime!
I guess at the end we must have had close on 100 cyclists, pretty much the whole of the Queenstown metro traffic force, Aldersons Ambulance service and many townsfolk on hand to make sure we were welcomed in properly. Every intersection was closed to traffic as we swept into town in grand style.
The day had started chilly and wet with a thick mist that was almost on the ground at Hazelmere but by the time we arrived on the Rec it had turned into a pristinely beautiful Queenstown day.
The headmaster Dave Lovatt was on hand to welcome us when we eventually came to a stop on the grass that was to be the scene of a thrilling few rugby matches on Saturday.
He gave us some really encouraging welcoming words and then we handed over the Olympic torch that had been used in the Atlanta Olympics by the SA Para-Olympic Team and which we had brought with us from Johannesburg to symbolise and celebrate the creation of the Queen’s College Old Boys Association in Johannesburg in 2012. In the handing-over ceremony, former National President of the QCOBA, John Ralph, handed the torch to the current National President, Alasdair McDonald, who finally handed the torch to the Head Boy of Queen’s College, Kerwin Cristoffel, who lit the eternal flame in the cauldron made for the purpose by 1965 colleague and former teacher at Queen’s Tubby Milne.
On Thursday evening we enjoyed a stunning dinner at Roche House, courtesy of John and Jen Ralph. It was an evening filled with reminiscences, laughter, good food and wine. What a great way to celebrate a fabulous eight days in the saddle for such an important cause.
This brought to the end our ride of 2012 and today we started thinking about the 2013 edition!
During the weekend we met with the three boys who were given the opportunity of their lives by our ride last year: Jerry Danquah, Dale Venske, and Lungisa Mbula. They are all outstanding young men and are thoroughly enjoying their time at Queen’s. Jerry broke the under-19 shot putt record this year, both of the other two boys are playing rugby and enjoying it. Their academics are up to standard and we have committed to stay in regular contact with them. Thank you for supporting us to support them!
On our return to Gauteng we returned our faithful support vehicles to McCarthy Ford and Mazda Pretoria East and to Isando GM just across the way from the OR Tambo Airport. These two vehicles were an essential part of our tour and we could simply not have done without them. Thanks to Old Boys Mike Dovey and Bruce Pitt for their enthusiastic support and sponsorship!
It has been a truly memorable two weeks that culminated in a wonderful reunion weekend in Queenstown.
Many thanks to all our supporters, all of you who followed us on Facebook, Twitter and along the road. It has been little short of overwhelming and we are truly grateful to all of you for everything.
2013 lies ahead.
Come and ride with us