A hearty welcome awaited three cyclists from Outshoorn, Vussi Marenene, Neels Terblance and Pieter Marais at Gearing’s Point in Hermanus on 8 September 2023, ending Day 5 of the Sea-Battical Paracycle Tour that started on Monday in Mossel Bay.
With 327km of cycling done and dusted for the week, hand cyclist Vusi said “reaching Hermanus is accompanied by relief that the pain is over, but also a huge sense of satisfaction”.
Vussi, a professional cyclist, was hit by a bakkie in February 2022 and the accident left him in a wheelchair.
He told Overstrand Deputy Mayor, Lindile Ntsabo, that he not only wants to raise funds to hand cycle on an international level but uses the Sea-Battical tour as opportunity to constantly raise awareness of paracycling.
It is very rewarding when abled bodied people decide they will get off the couch and start exercising, because the sight of a para-athlete racing, makes them realise they have no real excuse not to get out there and get healthy.
Fellow cyclist and organiser of the tour, ex Hermanus resident and explorer Neels Terblance, said he and Vussi are planning to cover 20 000km – he on a mountain bike and Vussi on hand cycle in order to raise awareness, to raise funds for millions of malnourished children worldwide, the critical endangered Vaquita porpoise and to train for his adventure in December 2024.
Neels has registered his trip with the Guinness Book of Records and is planning to be the first person to circumnavigate Africa in a specially designed human-powered pedal boat (28 000km of pedalling) and is using the Sea-Battical Paracycle Tour as precursor to train for his two-year pedal boat journey due to start at the end of next year.
Neels remembered the days when he joined the Hermanus See & Sand Lifeguarding as a volunteer at the age of 16. “As a lifeguard, I had the privilege of saving 14 individuals from the surf, an experience that further solidified my passion for assisting and inspiring others,” he said.
He concluded by saying: “Driven by an innate sense of curiosity and a desire to live life to the fullest, I firmly believe that embracing constant change is the key to a fulfilling existence. I approach life as an adventure, constantly seeking new experiences and opportunities to grow and evolve. I firmly believe that we have only one chance to live life, and it should be lived to its fullest potential”.
To find out how to pledge funds and to track his progress, go to https: //sea-battical.co.za