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947 Cycle Challenge - 2013

On the morning of 17 November 2013, race cyclists all over the city were pulling themselves out of bed before the sun had even risen to make their way to the race. 39 of those cyclists put on Africa Alive shirts, ready to cycle for this epic mission. 

Some of the more experienced cyclists had started the race before the rest of us had even arrived. We made our way to the meeting point from parking spots many kilometres away, where some of the cyclists attached Africa Alive flags to their bicycles and balloons to their helmets. Many of the cyclists had only met for the first time the previous day, but there was a spirit of solidarity amongst them as the team made their way to the start line.

At 9am the team took off to the sound of loud music, giant dolls and acrobats. Wycliffe SA director, Karen Floor, waved her Africa Alive flag high as she started the race. At about 11:30 the bulk of the cyclists passed through the supporter zone, about half way through the race. The faces of many of the cyclists lit up when we called out to them. In fact, supporters from all kinds of different organisations were cheering every single cyclist on.

At the finish line, the Africa Alive cyclists were coming through at greater intervals. A few clustered together after the race, and all were remarkably upbeat despite the exhaustion of the race. A number of cyclists shared their reflections with us:

“A few things stand out for me about riding for Africa Alive. One is the team spirit on Sat evening, when we met for the first time, put on our shirts for the group photo and were committed to the Lord before riding our hearts out in an action prayer to see God’s Word in every in every language. The other is how many hills there were! Every time we’d make it to the top of a killer of a hill we had scarcely caught our breath when we hit another hill, and another, and another . . .That’s what reminded me of the Bible translation challenge, where each and every language is a steep hill. But courage! Just like the cycle challenge, where you dig deep and find the strength to carry on to the finish, we can trust God to renew our strength until every language has received God’s living Word – no exceptions. And what a reward there will be when together we reach the finish, a medal of note!” - Karen Floor

“Fanie and I had a really good ride. We improved our time with 1h30, which I'm so grateful for because just like last year I had severe "cyclist's hot feet". Excruciating pain due to heat and uphills. Did not stop once though. Found that if I just unclip while riding and shake my feet the pain goes away. Also drowning my feet with water while cycling helps. Saw many cyclists on the side with shoes off and that wastes a lot of time. This year I wanted to ride for a Christian charity as I only recently truly found God. Double blessing to have found you guys and was proud to be part of team Africa Alive.” - Karen Grobbelaar

“I always enjoy cycling anyway, so if I can combine that with promoting God's word, that's just a double blessing. I had planned to hang back with Jordan, as it was his first race, we were aiming for 4 hours, but Jordan was strong, so we did 3:27 (including a minor crash) so we were very happy with that. I love the heat, but Jordan did struggle with it and found the last 20km tough going, but after finishing, he is super happy, as am I.” - Craig Botha

“For me, cycling 100km for the Bibleless of Africa was so much more than a one day event!  It was a journey, which included the months before actual race day.  In a nutshell, God used me, an ordinary person, to make a difference in His kingdom....and I am very grateful for that opportunity.  We had a wonderful team of cyclists from aged 14 to 72, persons from near and far, experienced cyclists and beginners, from Baptists  to Methodists.  This experience was a true testimony of God using ALL his children to further His kingdom and it was an absolute blessing to be a part of that.” - Bernardine Friese

“On meeting the rest of the team, I was touched by the humility and unity of all the team present including some from George, Durban and Howick. Despite most of us only meeting that night, I sensed a gentle and very special presence of the Holy Spirit throughout our brief fellowship. We concluded the evening with a prayer for a safe and blessed ride the next morning. Being my first 94.7, I really felt like a child on Christmas-eve, excited by the prospect of the new adventure to follow the next morning. On arriving at the venue, I was amazed at the enormity of the event. With at least 5 helicopters hovering above and thousands of bicycles around, there was a real buzz in the air.

Just before 9 o’clock am, it was our turn to set off amongst the field of 31 000 cyclists! I couldn’t have asked for a better ride. I was especially impressed by the tremendous support of the many spectators of all races and ages who cheered and clapped us on as we did our thing!” - Marvin Oliver

When Bernardine embarked on the task of putting together a team of cyclists for Africa Alive, she hoped to have 20 members. 40 signed up - double the amount hoped for. She also hoped that R12,000 would be raised by the cyclists. We are proud to announce that at least R24,000 was raised, with still more trickling . . . 

It has been a journey of many double blessings!

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