By David Macgregor
Three men undertaking a 200km jaunt on bicycles powered by weedeater engines that can hit speeds of 40km/h, are hoping to raise R60 000 to fight rhino poaching in the Eastern Cape.
The Sunshine Coast cyclists’ pedal power will be supplemented by locally designed and manufactured Bush Pig Bikes engines. They will ride from Port Elizabeth to Port Alfred next Wednesday.
During the ride, the team will lay a wreath in Kariega game reserve where three rhino were left for dead in 2012 by poachers. One, Thandi, survived. Cyclist Mike Millard yesterday joked he had bought a padded pillow to put over his seat to prevent the Port Alfred Rotary Club-inspired Tour d Rhino charity ride from becoming a pain in the butt. “I am a bit nervous,” the 59-year-old admitted.
“I have never tried a long bike ride before; I hope the engine will do all the work and that I won’t have to pedal much.”
Millard is riding with Bush Pig managing director Simon Clarke and Port Alfred policeman Armand van Gend.
He said besides hopefully raising R60 000 through per-kilometrecompleted sponsorship, two of the bikes would find a new home in the resort town afterwards.
“It is really great that two will be donated to Port Alfred police after the ride is over for them to use in visible policing efforts. The cycle really is for a good cause.” The ride has been organised by the Rotary Club, Port Alfred High School Interact and Bush Pig to raise funds for the Chipembere Rhino Foundation.
According to Clarke, each bike is expected to use less than five litres of fuel during the ride. “They offer a unique opportunity to provide lowcost transport to millions [of people in Africa\.”