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Mountain biker tackles Amashova for charity

Jean Erasmus will be riding the 106km race this year in aid of Saint Giles – riding for those who can’t.

MOUNTAIN biker Jean Erasmus has set her sights on a sub-six-hour ride this year as she tackles the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic cycle race. She has been a member of East Coast Cycle Club for the past four years.

Erasmus (67) is a document controller at Saint Giles in Durban’s Point area where she has worked for almost a decade. The cyclist is riding the 106km race this year in aid of Saint Giles – riding for those who can’t. She is looking for sponsorship donations to contribute to Saint Giles’ work.

The organisation houses a remedial therapy centre where people with disabilities access quality rehabilitative treatment and a work centre which employs 75 disabled staff members who package products for several companies. Of these, 30 staff are contracted to work at the National Blood Institute in Pinetown on behalf of Saint Giles.

Other activities at Saint Giles include an educational trust offering bursaries to university students and a charity shop offering affordable items to the public and mobility devices for hire, including wheelchairs, crutches and walkers available to the public at reasonable rates.

Also Read: Glen Anil para athlete set for Amashova debut

This year will mark Erasmus’ fourth Amashova ride. In 2017, Erasmus rode her first Amashova, tackling the 65km category from Cato Ridge.

“In 2018, I did my second Amashova, and this time, I did the 106km from Pietermaritzburg. I completed the race in 05:28. In 2019, I repeated the 106km Amashova, and in 2021, I entered the 106km, but the organisers changed the route due to the ongoing roadworks, and the race was from Moses Mabhida and back – 80km,” said the cyclist.

Erasmus tackled her first mountain-bike race, the Sappi Scottburgh Classic in 2017. In 2018, her off-road-racing event was the 100km Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge, which she completed in 08:05.

“Its all dirt and gravel roads. It’s a lot tougher than Amashova,” said the cyclist.

Her first road race was the 2017 aQuelle Tour Durban, a 45km route. This year, Erasmus rode the 2022 mountain bike Tour Durban race on Saturday, September 10 in a time of 03:14 and tackled the 90km road race the following day, crossing the finish line in 04:03.

Also Read: Mount Edgecombe father and daughter ready for Amashova challenge

Health challenges led Erasmus to take up the sport.

“I started cycling in 2016 due to a health problem. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). One of the side effects is that you are very lethargic and pick up weight. I started cycling to try and get back into shape and improve my health,” said Erasmus.

Erasmus trains six times a week.

“In the morning before work, from Monday to Friday, I cycle about 35 km on the promenade. On Saturdays, I ride off-road, doing mountain biking from Cornubia into the sugar-cane fields. Sometimes we ride up to the airport or to Tongaat,” said the cyclist.

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