Organisers of the Tshwane Classic, presented in association with Sun Time Square and Jacaranda FM, are intent on making Pretoria’s signature mass participation road cycling race a family festival when the event takes place on November 4 this year.
While elites and amateur adults and teens tackle road races over distances of 98km, 60km and 20km on totally closed roads, the younger generation will be fully catered for with a series of routes within the race venue at the Voortrekker Monument.
Tshwane Classic organiser Mauritz Meyer said they were determined that nobody should be excluded from the fun. “Our message is that we want everyone from the cradle to the most senior riders to participate in this iconic race,” he said. “We are starting at the very beginning; this is even for those who may be only a few days old and still in their prams.”
He added that parents with children up to two years old could enjoy a relaxing stroll over 500 metres. “There are no winners and every participant will receive a medal and a gift-pack.”
Meyer said the next group, from two to five year old, would ride over a course of 500m on anything with wheels, “whether it be two or more”.
“It does not have to be a bicycle and this will also be a race for fun, with no winners, but medals and gift-packs will go to all participants.”
Meyer said a big attraction for the children’s races would be the fact that these took place entirely within the grounds of the monument. “There is no traffic in the grounds so safety will not be an issue. Even the longer race, over 5km for children up to 10 years, will be on the grounds and without traffic concerns.”
He said the children’s races were all about participation and the organisers were promising an “unforgettable experience for everyone”.
Meyer said the whole area in which these races were taking place would be child-friendly with colourful decorations and music appropriate to them.
“We are obviously hoping for no incidents, but to make sure there will be an emergency tent and qualified doctor on duty.
“There will even be a dentist available while the Cancer Association of South Africa will be on hand to hand out sun block to prevent riders from getting sun burnt.”
To help youngsters experience “the real McCoy”, he added that they would have their own finish area. “They will pass over a mat which, instead of giving them a time, will activate a bell,” said Meyer, adding that marshals would patrol the route to make sure everything went smoothly.
He said the Tshwane municipality would also provide a senior traffic officer “to keep an eye on things”.
“The entry fee is just R50, part of which will be donated to needy children to provide clothing for the winter months,” said Meyer.
A green policy would be adopted and he said riders would be made aware of keeping the areas clear of plastic, glass and paper.
“In more than one way, we want the Tshwane Classic to become known as the race that cares, ” he said.
To view the Tshwane Classic promo video, go to: https://vimeo.com/271891651