The Cows size up 2017 100 Miles of Nowhere

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Unable to turn their backs on a sporting challenge, a die-hard band of cycling bovines will square up to the task of riding 160 kilometres on a static training bicycle this Friday as their contribution to The Cows fundraiser for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The South African edition of the famous 100 Miles Of Nowhere was started by The Cows in 2011, emulating the iconic fundraiser started by American blogger and cycling enthusiast Eldon Nelson, and has been held at Cadence Cycle Performance Centres around the country.

With a jam-packed calendar and a number of logistical challenges presenting themselves, there was chatter in the herd of The Cows about cancelling the 2017 100 Miles of Nowhere, but the Westville-based core of the herd would have nothing of it, and will tackle the task en masse on Friday afternoon 29 September, starting at 12:30pm.

“The last two years the Westville cadence studio has been jam-packed for the 100 Miles Of Nowhere,” said manager and head coach Matt Wickham.

“When it was decided not to run it at a national level this year, we gave the KZN herd the opportunity to run it as a stand-alone event at the Westville studio, and they jumped at it,” he said.

“They are an incredibly energetic and lively bunch, to say the least,’ he added.

Of the twenty bikes set up at the Westville studio, ten have already been booked for the annual fundraiser.

“We are taking entries of teams, basically any number of riders as not everyone is as fit as they would like to be at this time of year,” he said.

With The Cows having set a national target of R10 million to be raised for CHOC to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Cows, the sporting enthusiasts are using every opportunity to nudge their national fundraiser closer to that lofty tally.


New record set for SA 100 Miles of Nowhere

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Avid cyclists who joined in the 2016 edition of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere organised by The Cows KZN herd, based on US Blogger the FatCyclist’s template, raised R170 000 for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics) as they rode the required 160 kilometers on static training bikes at Cadence Centres around the country, setting a new record for the South African version of the ride.

The nett total amount raised matched the amount raised at last year’s 100 Miles Of Nowhere, but was pushed past this mark with the arrival of a further R4 000 raised by the Coffeeberry Cafe in Pietermaritzburg through their pledge on every cappuccino sold last month.

“That really embodies the spirit of this event,” said Iris Varty, the co-ordinator of the KZN Herd of The Cows. “For every person who rode the event, it seems like there was another concerned, committed corporate willing to contribute to the 100 Miles of Nowhere cause.”

In all 324 cyclists rode in the 2016 event, including nine of ten cyclists who took part in the inaugural South African edition of 100 Miles Of Nowhere in 2011, riding at Cadence centres in Hillcrest, Durban North, Westville, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Westville gathering managed to raise the most money (R57 642) as well as bringing home the first team to reach the 100 miles mark when the Bluff Meat Supply quartet covered the 160 kilometers in 4 hours and 26 minutes. while Team Sequel, riding at the Durban North Cadence studio topped the list of team earnings.

In between the notable achievements were numerous striking personal contributions, ranging from Corneel du Toit who rode the 160 kilometers on his open training bike at home, and send in his entry fee together with his GPS readout verifying that he had done the full distance.

The project also received a donation in lieu of a wedding gift from a bride and groom who were unable to take part in this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere.

“It has been a great success, driven by the passion of the men and women in the cycling community who identified with this unique challenge, and our passion to use our sport to benefit the children battling cancer,” said Iris Varty, the co-ordinator of the KZN Herd of The Cows.

“Many sponsors put their hands up, either to pay for bikes at one of the Cadence Centres, or else simply making donations in support of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere, which all helped to reach the grand total at the end of the day, for which we are all really grateful,” she added.

While the Westville and Durban North gatherings attracted the biggest attendance, while a four strong team representing the Sunfoil Dolphins were part of the enthusiastic crowd of cyclists at the Hillcrest Cadence Centre.

“The Sunfoil Dolphins guys were unbelievable,” said event organiser Rose Owen. “They had all come off a big gym training session that morning, and were obviously out of their comfort zone, but they gave it everything they had.

“They stayed at the Hillcrest Cadence until the last guys had finished their 100 Miles,” she added.

At the Durban North studio, SA Rugby L2016JohnSmitegends stars John Smit, John Allen and John Slade got locked in some heated duels on their team bike.

The Tyger Valley Cadence in Cape Town saw ace cyclists Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock, with Lill’s girlfriend and 2008 Beijing Olympian, Candice Neethling and former elite mountain biker, Timo Cooper leading a spirited charge to their 160 kilometre target.

In Johannesburg the resurgent Cashandra Slingerland stunned the cycling community by grinding out her 100 Miles solo at the Bryanston Cadence, showing off her staggering return to top form, enjoyed by fellow riders Kerrin and Grant Bain, whose daughter Jessica was responsible for founding the Cows after she succumbed to cancer in 2008.

Riders in each of the centres were able to watch comparative read-outs from selected bikes at each of the Cadence Centres, and were swept up in the ebbing and flowing charges made by the faster teams.

The organisers and the Cadence team have already started planning the 2017 event, and considering changes that may include shifting the event to a Saturday in May, and offering easier social team options on bikes running on cadence.

Mark Carroll, who heads up Cadence from their Hillcrest studio, said that they would also try to accommodate serious cyclists wanting  to do a hard ninety minute training session, but who still wanted to be part of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere project.


Sweat and smiles at 2016 100 Miles of Nowhere

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Avid cyclists in seven different centres around the country staged a successful 2016 edition of the fabled 100 Miles Of Nowhere cycle on training bikes as part of the annual CHOC fundraiser run by the KZN herd of The Cows.

Using three Cadence studios in Durban and one in Pietermaritzburg, Bryanston, Cape Town and Pretoria, riders tackled the 160 kilometers in teams of two or four, with road racing star Cashandra Slingerland taking it on solo, and almost being the first to complete the distance, showing her return to top form as part of her comeback to elite racing.

The pace was set by Werner Moolman’s Bluff Meat Supply team at the Westville Cadence throughout, with impressive competition coming from the Cape mountain bikers Darren Lill, Waylon Woolcock, Candice Neethling and Timo Cooper in Tyger Valley.

In Durban North, former Bok skipper John Smit ground out his share of the 100 Miles, riding with his wife Roxy and another former Shark and Bok front rower John Allen.

The Hillcrest studio saw a team of the Sunfoil Dolphins cricketers taking up the challenge with Mthokozisi Shezi handing over to fellow pace bowler Craig Alexander, before skipper Morne van Wyk took over after 80 kilometers on the team bike, with newly appointed coach Grant Morgan finishing off the team’s contribution to the charity ride.

“Yes, it is a tough way to spend a Friday afternoon, but the 100 Miles Of Nowhere is great personal test for every one of us,” said Iris Varty, one of the original founders of the South African version of the American blogger FatCylist’s famous ride.

“Everyone gets tired and sore, but when you go through a bad patch you just think about what the kids that are being looked after at CHOC house while they are undergoing their cancer treatment, and your pain and discomfort seems insignificant,” she added.

Riders collected funds for CHOC (Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics) by paying for their team bikes for the afternoon and also attracting donations and sponsorship.


Stars rally behind 100 Miles of Nowhere

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Stars rally behind 100 Miles of Nowhere

Durban – As a record number of cyclists start the 2016 edition of the fabled 100 Miles Of Nowhere charity ride in support for the childhood cancer foundation CHOC, a number of sport stars have rallied in support of the campaign.

Run by The Cows, a group of social ath2016RacD1LillWoolcockletes who, through their various endurance challenges like the 94.7 and Amashova and Cape Argus cycle races, the Comrades Marathon, Midmar Mile swim and FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon, raise funds for CHOC’s (Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics) childhood cancer treatment and support programmes.

The core of The Cows KZN herd that started the South African version of America Blogger FatCyclist’s 100 mile ride on a static training bike, will be taking on the 160km challenge in teams of four at the Westville Cadence studio, spearheaded by mother and daughter combination Iris and Lauren Varty.

The Durban North Cadence was one of the first to sell-out, and they will be starting their ride an hour after the other seven Cadence centres. In amongst the packed studio of avid cyclists will be former Springbok skipper John Smit, who will be riding in a team with his wife, and another former Sharks and Springbok player John Allen.

The TygerValley studio in the Cape will see the 2016 ABSA Cape Epic African jersey winning duo, Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock, with Lill’s girlfriend and 2008 Beijing Olympian, Candice Neethling and former elite mountain biker, Timo Cooper making up a stellar four-rider team for the challenge.

In Johannesburg, highly respected road racer Cashandra Slingerland will tackle the 160 kilometre training bike ride solo at the Bryanston Cadence studio, as part of her base training for her return to elite racing. She has hit top form after a two year layoff, and can be expected to be right up thAmyJaneMundyeir with the front runners for the honour of being the first to complete the 160 kilometres.

She may well find herself in a duel with avid track racer Darren Goddard, who will also be taking on the challenge bat the Cascades Shopping Centre in Pietermaritzburg, which has turned out if massive support for the charity drive.

In Hillcrest the national anchor Cadence studio will see another well known cyclist in the saddle for the 100 Miles Of Nowhere ride, when Amy-Jane Mundy joins a team of her training partners for the Friday afternoon challenge.

The hi-tech training studios will be networked, allowing riders in each centre to see exactly what the participants in the other Cadence studios are doing which will allow for real time comparisons in the race to see which rider will be the first to the 160 kilometre mark, and which two person and four person teams will be the first in their categories.

For many of the other riders however the 160 kilometre target will be a daunting one, but buoyed by the festive atmosphere that prevails during the 100 Miles Of Nowhere, they will enjoy massive mutual support from the other riders taking part.

As each rider or team gets to the 100 Mile (160 kilometre) mark, there is ribald celebrations in the studio, making everyone a winner in their own right.


Slingerland & Mundy take on 100 Miles of Nowhere

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Some of South Africa’s well-known female cyclists have confirmed their participation in The Cow’s 100 Miles of Nowhere cycling event that takes place at Cadence Cycling Performance Centres across the country from 14h00 on Friday, 24 June and are urging fellow cyclists to follow their lead and get involved as well.

Recently retired road racing snake Cashandra Slingerland is set to go the 160km distance solo at the Bryanston centre in Gauteng as part of her return to elite racing, while former South African Cross Country MTB Champion, Amy-Jane Mundy and her team-of-four team mates, Rose Bulman-Owen, Cynthia Ramsey and Robyn Adendorff, will join The Cows’ Hillcrest stampede in KZN.

Slingerland’s decision to commit to the 160 kilometres on a training bike ticked two boxes as it fits perfectly into her base training schedule while the opportunity to support CHOC at the same time excites her.

“I CashandraSlingerlandrode 150 kilometres on Monday and then saw this chance to do 160 kilometers on a training bike,” said the 42 year-old, who has found her return to elite racing after a two-year lay-off exhilarating.

“I am feeling better now than at any stage in my pro career. I am excited to ride again, and I am proving that age has nothing to do with it,” said Slingerland, now riding in Cycle Nation colours.

“The fact that we will be riding for CHOC is added motivation,” she added. “Going the distance matters even more now. If I feel sore or tired, there’s added motivation to keep going,” she said.

The Cows are a group of social athletes who, through their various endurance challenges – such as Friday’s stationary bike, indoor cycling challenge – raise funds for CHOC’s (Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics) childhood cancer treatment and support programmes.

“It’s great to support charities where I can and through my training partner, Rose (Bulman-Owen), I’ve seen firsthand what an awesome bunch The Cows are and they raise money for a really worthy cause so its great to be involved in this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere,” says Mundy, who missed out on the 2015 edition due to being pregnant with her second child.

34 year-old Mundy is thrilled to see Slingerland, amongst others, continuing to embrace their love for cycling even after the curtain has come down on their racing careers, just as it did on her own a little over half a decade ago.

“We might disappear off the racing scene but you never quite get off the bike!” says Mundy. “It’s good to hear others haven’t stopped riding altogether either and its really nice to see them getting involved in an event like the 100 Miles of Nowhere!”

“No doubt its going to be a long haul in the saddle – even just the 40km each that I and my team mates will each be doing.

“I’ve done a one hour Cadence session and that’s challenging enough, let alone another 30 to 45 minutes on that as Friday will be!

“Rose and I are doing Berg & Bush together though so we’ll add this one to the training books because 40km on a stationary bike is not to be laughed at,” adds the MTB Skills Academy coach.


Cape quartet join The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere mooovement

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2016 ABSA Cape Epic African jersey winning duo, Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock have joined with 2012 London Olympian, Candice Neethling and former elite mountain biker, Timo Cooper in a four-rider team for The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge at the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre on Friday, 24 June from 14h00.


Visit CHOC house with us

CHOC House – the relationship between CHOC and The Cows from Gameplan Media on Vimeo.


The Cows stalwart set to maintain 100% record at 100 Miles Of Nowhere

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Having ridden in every edition of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere cycling fundraiser, teenager Lauren Varty can’t wait to jump back on her static bike and cover the 160km kilometers on Friday 24 June as a celebration of what this project has achieved in a short space of time.

The bubbly Westville woman, who is pursuing her dream of becoming a vet with a first year B.Sc at the University of Pretoria, was instrumental in establishing The Cows in KwaZulu-Natal, a group of passionate athletes who take part in popular endurance sporting events to raise funds and awareness for Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics (CHOC) for children battling cancer.

Varty will be returning home for the varsity holidays and will ride the 160 kilometers at the Westville branch of the Cadence Cycle Performance Centres, one of five in KwaZulu-Natal being used for the fundraiser, along with two in Gauteng and one in Cape Town added in this year to make the project national.

With a target set of R250 000 for the project, Varty is excited and humbled by what started on a much smaller scale in 2011.

LaurenVarty“I was only fourteen at the time!” she recalls. “We had just joined The Cows after the 94.7 Cycle tour, and we decided to do a version of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere that was run by American blogger The Fat Cyclist.

“We had to break it up into four 40km sections to make sure I could handle it! Eight of us first did 40 kilometres in five kilometre laps on the Durban beachfront, then we went to Hillcrest and did 1,5km laps, then to a cul-de-sec where we did a hundred 400 meter laps, and finally we did 40 kilometres on indoor trainers at Rose Owen’s house,” she recalls.

Despite her full schedule of school commitments, the former St Mary’s pupil has done every one of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere rides since then, even managing to squeeze it into her matric year last year.

“It was just before our Matric trials exams! Luckily I managed to prioritise my time wisely and got through both of them okay!” says Varty.

Last year Varty and her mother Iris Varty rode the full 160km ride on static bikes in the oversized furry suits that The Cows have become famous for, making the already arduous ride a lot tougher. But Varty won’t have it any other way.

“Sure it was tough. But in the bigger scheme of things, what we were going through was nowhere near as tough as what the kids battling cancer have to go through every day. If we can inspire the children to push through by seeing us struggling through our 100 Miles Of Nowhere ride then I am really excited,” she said.

“Luckily both my mom and I are really stubborn, so we got through the tough times together without much trouble. We are a really good team and can battle through, and it feels like we are in sync!,” said Varty.

“The ride in the furry Cow suit will take us anything between five and seven hours. It is really hot, but it is mostly a mental challenge,” she said.

As a teenager determined to make a difference to the charity that she stumbled on in 2011, she is in awe at how the 100 Miles Of Nowhere project has grown in such a short space of time.

“I heard that the target of R250 000 has been set for the ride this year. To be able to aim at a figure like that, and to know that it is now happening nationally at all eight Cadence centres is really humbling,” said Varty.


The Cows set R250 000 target for 100 Miles Of Nowhere

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With just less than a month to go to the 2016 edition of the 100 Miles Of Nowhere charity ride on Friday 24 June, the KwaZulu-Natal herd of The Cows has set a target of a quarter of a million Rand to be raised for childhood cancer sufferers.

The avid cycling enthusiasts, well known for taking on major events in their cow suits, raise money for the Childhood Haematology and Oncology Clinics (CHOC) and have expanded their annual South African edition of the famous training bike ride started by the American blogger popularly known as the ‘Fat Cyclist’ to include venues in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

The riders will take to Cadence Cycling Performance Centres at five locations in KwaZulu-Natal, one in Johannesburg, one in Pretoria and one in Cape Town, hoping to have every training bike occupied in the eight centres to help get to their target of R250 000.

Funds raised will come from the entry fee of each individual or team, along with donations to the cause in support of the riders.

The events have become popular as the close environment at the Cadence studios is conducive to a festive atmosphere and there is raucous celebration when a rider reaches the 160 kilometer mark.

Riders can enter as a solo rider, a team of two or a team of four for the 160km ride on stationary training bikes.

“It is a very do-able challenge,” said Iris Varty, the “Daisy” of the KZN herd of The Cows. “It is a great fun afternoon and in the short space of a few hours, we believe we have the capacity to raise an amount that will have a significant impact on the lives of children confronting cancer.”

“There is always fun competition between the various centres to see which one gets a rider to the 100 mile mark first.

“The various Cadence centres will be following on our 100 Miles Of Nowhere Facebook page and it becomes very spirited.

“It is always encouraging to see corporates contributing to the cause during the ride, even if they don’t have someone riding at one of the centres.

“We all know how tight the economy is at the moment but there is such a great energy and enthusiasm around the event that we honestly believe that with the centres in Cape Town and Gauteng involved, we can reach this target,” she added.

Entries are limited at each of the Cadence centres and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis by booking on the event website, www.100milesofnowhere.co.za

Venues: Cadence Cycle Performance Centres in Durban North, Westville, Hillcrest, Ballito and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Bryanston and Wapadrand in Gauteng as well as Tyger Valley in Cape Town.
Date: Friday, 24 June 2016
Time: 14h00–19h00


Welcome to the 100 Miles Of Nowhere 2016

cropped-LOgoSquare.jpgTCHOCLogohe KwaZulu-Natal Herd of The Cows will be hosting an expanded and beefed up 100 Miles Of Nowhere fundraiser around the country on 24 June 2016.

The events will take place at Cadence Cycle Performance Centres in Durban North, Hillcrest, Ballito and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Bryanston and Wapadrand in Gauteng as well as Tyger Valley in Cape Town.

Read all about it here, and then SIGN UP to join in the fun at a Cadence Studio near you!

We like to Moo-ve it moo-ve it!!