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11 Sep, 2015

Cycling for better education

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They rode from Heidelberg to Queenstown in nine days.
Called the 1965 Ride, this charity event has raised R2.5-million since 2011.
Cyclists head into Queen’s College after 850 kilometres of hard riding.
Support vehicles backed the 17 riders the whole way.

The 1965 Ride cyclists who endured a gruelling nine days on the road received a hero’s welcome when they finished at Queen’s College in Queenstown.

Emotions ran high as the 17 cyclists were met by scores of pupils, teachers and parents from the six surrounding schools in the area.

The pupils encircled the school and cheered the cyclists on as they were led into the school by the Queen's College brass band.

The 1965 Ride culminated in Queenstown after the cyclists left Heidelberg, Gauteng on 8 April and covered a distance of some 850 kilometres in nine days.

The goal of the event is to raise funds for disadvantaged pupils, who would otherwise not have been able to afford a quality education.

Though mentally and physically exhausted, the cyclists rolled into Queenstown with huge smiles on their faces, beaming with a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie.

The 68 year old Tony Frost, initiator of the ride, described it as a tremendous success.

"The people who participated are not all from Queenstown, but from other cities around the country,” he commented at the finish, “We were a group of people bound by a deep belief that education is what our country needs to grow positively and to move forward."

The ride has been undertaken each year since 2011 by a group of passionate cyclists, each tasked to raise a minimum of R30 000 to participate.

Proceeds from the 1965 Ride go directly to a bursary fund that supports pupils at six schools in the Queenstown area including Queenstown Girls' High School, Hangklip Hoërskool, Queen's College Senior and Junior Schools, Balmoral Girls' Junior School and Hangklip Laerskool.

To date the 1965 Ride has secured over R2.5-million, which has been raised through the fund-raising efforts of the cyclists.

The 1965 Ride began in 2011 with five cyclists and grew to 22 cyclists in 2014.