6700km for Madiba - that's his target

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IOL mot pic jul18 PN Record breaker 1 Independent Newspaper Limited Andre van Zijl, 64, is going for the record for the longest time spent spin-cycling in a car with his target set at 6 700km. Here he is in his car- come-spinning centre in Irene Village Mall. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Pretoria News

Irene - Serial record-breaker Andre van Zijl, 64, is confident he will reach his target of 6700km on his car-cum-spinning centre in Irene Village Mall by 10am on Friday, Mandela Day

With 24 hours to go, by 10am on Thursday he had cycled 6471km since entering the Ford Figo on 23 May with the intention of not only setting a record for the longest time spent spin-cycling in a car, but also educating people about HIV.

Diagnosed with HIV 33 years ago, Van Zijl believes people should not just spend time planning to do something but “go out and do it even in the face of disappointment”.

But why this record?

“The most important aspect is honouring my mother and Nelson Mandela,” he says. Mandela loved children and Van Zijl supports charities with orphaned and disabled kids. He hopes to donate his estimated R20 000 so far to Cotlands, Sparrow’s Nest and Morning Angels - charities that are close to his heart.

Irene Village Mall exhibitions co-ordinator Leandie Jacobs said the mall provided Van Zijl with free exhibition space and bathroom facilities, and tenants supply him with food and refreshments.

“The customers first wonder why he is here, then they like the idea.”

Van Zijl is reluctant to defend his records - he holds more than 40 - which is why he prefers to set new ones.

The Knysna resident’s world records include 42 days pumping petrol non-stop, three days in a jacuzzi and talking on the phone for 50 hours non-stop. In this attempt he is allowed a five-minute break every hour which he prefers to accumulate in order to take a decent shower.

Author and conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s The Last Rhino and The Elephant Whisperer have seen Van Zijl through his journey. A selection of African music, regular updates on Facebook and Skype calls to his sons abroad on his iPad have also helped keep up his spirits.

Pupils at nearby schools, as well as a friend’s boa constrictor, parrot and bear, have also dropped in.

But, he jokes, he is getting tired of being asked if he’s tired.

After today Van Zijl does not plan any “resting”.

His future plans involve, in-between his other commitments, competing in SA’s Got Talent in September by either kissing the most people per minute, eating the most Smarties per minute or eating the most milk tarts in two minutes. - Pretoria News

*Send photos of your Mandela Day contribution to [email protected] and they could be added to our gallery of good deeds.

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