Deane Wright, 80, will be riding the Argus for the last time
CAPE TOWN - Eighty-year-old Deane Wright from Botswana will bid farewell to the cycling world at this year’s 40th anniversary of the Cape Town Cycle Tour after competing in the tournament for seven years.

He has been an avid cyclist since his retirement in 2001 and has clocked up an astounding distance of 153 600km to date.

Fondly named Sir Deane of the Dust by his fellow Batswana, he has not only dedicated his time to introducing women to mountain biking, but also clears and maintains racing tracks in his native Botswana over weekends. Wright takes the ladies out for a 32km-plus ride three mornings a week, and in the evenings he rides with the men.

And there’s no rest day either for a man many believe to be past his prime, as he also rides with various other groups on Saturday mornings.

Riding an average of about 200km per week, Wright has been an inspiration to many riders. He has participated in many races over the years in both single and multi-stage events and has won many medals and trophies.

While helping a friend cut down a tree, he broke his neck, collarbone and sternum in 2004. He didn’t let that keep him from his cycling for very long. Wright was described by the Cycle Tour Trust as kind-hearted, generous with his time and dedicated to the cause of bringing awareness to the world of cycling.

After riding a MTB trail early one morning, he came across a kid (baby goat) being harassed by some stray dogs. He chased away the dogs and rescued the kid, carrying it in his arms to a nearby village.

The Cycle Tour’s Nicole Felix said: “I myself have been with him on one occasion when we rescued another little kid that was left behind in a kraal while the rest of the herd was out feeding.

“We heard this commotion as we passed and realised this little kid was all alone with no water to drink, in the hot sun. It was about 32ºC already and it was just before 9am. Deane was the first to gain access under the fence. He moved him and gave him water.”

Cape Argus