Durban – With just less than a month to go to the popular aQuellé Tour Durban on Sunday 24 April, part-time cycling enthusiasts are blowing the dust off their road and mountain bikes alike to prepare for the 45km Fun Ride that attracts the majority of the riders taking part in the iconic cycling occasion.
Starting and finishing at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the 45km out-and-back race takes riders on the recently resurfaced M4 up to uMdloti and back, with striking views of the Indian Ocean throughout, making for easy and manageable riding for the part-time cyclist.
With cycling safety top-of-mind for every rider, the outing on full road closure provides the peace of mind road cyclists thrive on and the camaraderie of their fellow riders.
The 45km ride always attracts a significant number of tandem teams, hand-bike athletes as well as riders on a variety of other bicycles eager to test themselves over the accessible distance and manageable terrain.
With Durban eager to make itself a bicycle-friendly city, the aQuellé Tour Durban has been embraced by recreational cyclists as a festival opportunity to take full advantage of the excellent roads under full closure and the superb Autumn weather.
Greg Albert, owner of the Cyclesphere store in Durban, says more and more Durbanites are embracing a lifestyle built around enjoying the city on bicycles.
“The 45km is such a do-able, fun and easy ride!” said Albert. “The biggest advantage of this race is that it starts and finishes at the same place, so there is no hassle at all about getting there and home afterwards.”
He said that there was a large community of active Durbanites with a bicycle at home that would easily be able to take on the 45km ride and enjoy the security and accessibility of the event.
“Anyone can do it!” he stressed. “The full road closure is such a bonus and the road to uMdloti and back is superb now, so anyone who has a bike should have the date penciled into their diaries.”
Albert said that the event was an ideal way for a group of friends or colleagues from work to enter as a team and ride together. He pointed out that every year he gets inundated with questions about entering on-the-day because riders missed the normal entry deadlines.
“It is that old Durban fever issue!” said Albert. “There are more Durbanites riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour than their own race here, which seems crazy.”
He gave the 45km distance his full support. “When the Cape Town Cycle Tour had to be shortened to 40 odd kilometers because of the fires, there was a flood of correspondence asking for a 40km race every year. Our Tour Durban has exactly that so local riders always have that option.”
The aQuellé Tour Durban 45km Fun Ride will be fully supported by the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World, where the race registration and expo will be taking place on Friday, 22 and Saturday, 23 April.
“The aQuellé Tour Durban is all about enjoying the sheer splendour and beauty of Durban,” said SUNCOAST Marketing Manager, Louise Howell. “It is a cycling event that Suncoast are extremely excited to be associated with.”
“We are urging all of this year’s participants to come and see all the latest equipment and merchandise that will be available at the Registration and Expo before enjoying another great day in the saddle on race day,” she added.
Normal entries can be submitted online at www.cycleevents.co.za/road-events/aquelle-tour-durban-2016/ until 22h00 on 11 April, after which late entries will be taken at registration at Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World from 10h00-17h00 on Friday, 22 and Saturday, 23 April. More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za