Msizi James and Matt Flax ride to help Africa Foundation (NPO)
With Msizi taking part in the race for the first time, and Matt returning after four years, the two men who are regular voices on the airwaves were swapping their microphones for bicycles to ride for a commendable purpose.
The Africa Foundation intends on building a creche in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Msizi and Matt, who were both kitted in the NPO’sswag on Sunday, rode their bikes for the charitable cause of making a dream come true for the foundation.
For a first-time participant, a realistic approach was the chosen method for Msizi who completed the 35km race in a pleasurable fashion.
“The race was so good, so much easier and so much more fun than I thought it would be. I know that it was 35km, but it was still challenging, but not enough for one to give up and feel defeated. I know that the 97km route is quite brutal at some point, but the 35km was still enjoyable. It was just a great day out in the city,” Msizi explains.
For Matt, who completed the 97km race, it was not about getting to the finish line first. It was about taking in all the fresh air and enjoying the scenic Joburg on the freeway while riding a bicycle. He indulged in conversations and made friends along the way. Four years later, he believes that experience is a better teacher and a good advantage to have. Most importantly, he learnt some lessons.
“For the 2022 cycle challenge, I did not buy anything new. I was using stuff that I have used before because I have made the mistake in the past of buying things for the race and not wearing them. My shoes and shorts are tried and tested; I was not giving myself the opportunity to be surprised on the day,” said Matt.
As though they were in the same room when asked about how they felt about being on their bikes in the streets of Joburg, both Msizi and Matt were in awe of the companionship of the people cycling and the people who were cheering them on along the way.
Matt comments, “The other thing is that the camaraderie is just incredible. You meet such cool people, everyone is so friendly and supportive. You see the absolute best coming out of Joburg.”
Msizi echoed his sentiments, “I loved the camaraderie. I loved that the whole of Joburg came out. There were strangers bonding on the road. I also spent about 5km with a guy named Denver, now I know his whole story, and now wish him good luck with his move to Saudi Arabia.”
The 947 radio hosts are looking forward to the 2023 edition of the 947 Ride Joburg cycle challenge. At least once a year, they and other cycling enthusiasts take up the rare opportunity to use the roads and freeways in a different way. They get to pause, reflect and admire the beauty of a Joburg that is free from motor vehicles, speed cameras and motorists.