Before the very first Cape Town Cycle Tour was held back in 1978, the organisers of the event went to the local department of sport and asked if they would consider getting involved. This was the Big Ride-In, a protest ride put on by the Pedal Power Association to draw attention to the need for cycle paths around the city and the peninsula.
The department of sport would love to be involved, came the answer, but only if they ensured that only whites rode in the race.
At the 2012 Absa Cape Epic, on a stupidly steep hill, with a jeep track a Jeep would have baulked at, with rocks the giants may have used to fight with, the couple of hundred people pushing their bikes up the hill heard a booming voice. “Rider passing.”
We looked back and then jumped left. The rider passing was Marius Hurter, former Springbok prop and 1995 World Cup winner, powering up the hill, spitting rocks from the rear wheel of his bike. He thundered on for about 200 metres, then was forced to stop when he lost traction and stepped off. We stopped and applauded.
So, farewell, 2014. You came and went so fast I can barely remember you starting and will no doubt have much trouble remembering the end.
There are also fairly big chunks in the middle that I have trouble recollecting. Perhaps they just weren’t worth remembering to start with, or, if they were, then I’m sure they will work their way back into my head at the most unexpectedly delightful time.