On 18 Oct 2009, just a couple months away, I will be riding in a bicycle race, Amashova National Classic Durban, but I am riding for more than just the exercise.
I need the exercise, to be sure, but it seems a little self-centered to ride only for my physical well being, especially since I live in the presence of hundreds of thousands who have so little and need so much. Therefore, I am adding another dimension to this event, orphans. I decided to use the occasion to raise awareness of the problem in general and to promote one project in particular: The South African Children’s Resiliency Project.
The SACRP (locally known as CRP) is spear headed by a good friend and colleague, Dr. Bob Graham. I first met Bob in 1990 and since that time he has made numerous trips to South Africa and worked with us on many short term projects. Bob, however, doesn’t do things in a small way. His vision and dream involved helping the underprivileged on a long term basis and, therefore, the CRP was born. Bob is now living in South Africa developing orphan homes for those affected by AIDS.
To date Bob has purchased a large farm near Pietermaritzburg, has built four homes on the property, has received their first three children and is developing recreational facilities for the kids. The village will eventually have seven orphan homes, a home for abandoned babies, basketball and tennis courts, a soccer field, a small garden, a day care and limited educational facilities. To see the village master plan and read some staggering statistics on AIDS affected orphans visit Bob’s web site here.
All the funding for CRP has been raised from individuals and institutions (religious and commercial) and donors have given generously but there is always a need for more help. Charitable projects like this do not make money. Therefore, I am asking folks to help raise funds for CRP.
I will ride in the race and wear the CRP logo on my jersey. Each of you can help by making a donation which is very easy to do. If enough people donate, we can have an impact.
If you live in the USA click on this link and follow the instructions for making a donation.
If you live in South Africa click on this link.
In 2008 people responded very generously with over $2,000.00 (app. R18,000.00) being raised. We should top that this year. Don’t be left out. Make a contribution today.
About Me And The Race
I started cycling about ten years ago but began riding seriously only three years ago. My first race was a 40 kilometer race, mostly down hill, in 2007. It was great fun and I knew I would do it again. In 2008 I took a huge step forward and rode the long race, 106 kilometers (66 miles) and was pleased to finish (5 hrs 28 mins). This year I hope to reduce my time by 30 to 45 minutes. I get excited just thinking about it.
The race begins in Pietermaritzburg and finishes in Durban. It is ultimately downhill but there is a LOT of climbing over the route.
There is a total assent of at least 1160 meters. The race starts at 600 meters above sea level and ends at 2 meters above sea level but there is still an average rise of almost 11 meters per kilometer. To describe it as “hilly” is an understatement. You can check out the race profile here.
This race, of course, is no “piece of cake” for an old guy like me. I have trained well enough to finish but expect to have many breathless moments on the day.
What I am asking is will you help? Not can you, but will you? Let’s work together to help those who cannot help themselves.
If you make a donation please leave a comment to let others know. It will encourage them to do the same. For the record, I will be riding but I have also made a donation. Let’s make this happen.