The Cows Media Release

thecows1710

9 Aug 2017

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod


Mauer back to ride another GABRAN

Durban - With over 130 riders confirmed for the 2017 edition of the GABRAN (the Great Annual Bike Race Across Natal), Bluff cycling enthusiast Johnny Mauer has committed to extending his record as the ride’s most decorated participant, having taken part in virtually every GABRAN since the three day ride’s inception.

The ride now forms part of The Cows annual fundraiser for the Childhood Cancer Foundation CHOC, but the ride from the foothills of the Drakensberg to Hillcrest started more than thirty years ago, and Mauer says he won’t miss out on an opportunity to ride the GABRAN.

“It beats a day in the office,” says the 56 year old telecommunications professional wryly. “In the years when the GABRAN was cancelled because of low entry numbers, I did the ride anyhow. I had booked the leave and arranged vehicles, so I did the ride on my own.”

Mauer stumbled on the very first GABRAN and rode the final day with the group, and has hardly missed one since then.

“It is a lot of fun, and not a race at all, and a chance to really enjoy this beautiful country of ours,” says Mauer.

The ride holds a treasure trove of memories for Mauer, especially when they linked up with independent riders who were so struck by the GABRAN idea that they just tagged along.

“The best part of the GABRAN is sitting around the campfire while Horst Phillips plays his guitar,” he says.

He says the race is different every year, and the afternoon sessions can become quite protracted when they get bogged down at some of the popular stops along the way.

“The afternoon socialising is superb. Some years we get quite delayed because there are some many great places to visit, especially on the second day when you go through the Midlands Meander area.

“We sometimes come across locals who set up refreshment tables on the side of the road for the GABRAN, and there are no sports drinks there, I promise you!

“It is a not-to-be-missed experience,” he added.

Mauer says the ride is within the reach of any recreational cyclist, whether on a road bike or a mountain bike. “You obviously need to enjoy the outdoors and the camping, and even the longest days are ridden at a laid back, casual pace.”

He also laboured the value of the acceptable practice of taking a ‘casevac’ lift if a rider is struggling, for whatever reason.

He has been part of the event since its early days and seen the arrival of the mountain bike craze, which led, somewhat controversially, to a MTB rider being included in the GABRAN logo.

Mauer proudly houses a collection of all the GABRAN t-shirts spanning three decades, which tell the unique story and evolution of the ride.

With a few places still available for the 2017 ride, which will contribute to The Cows efforts to raise R10 million this year for CHOC to commemorate their tenth anniversary, Mauer says any bike riding enthusiast should seize the opportunity.

“Just do it. You will never ever forget it or regret it,” he concluded.

More information can be found at www.grabran.co.za

ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

 The Cows Logo - JPeg

 

“It is a not-to-be-missed experience,” says Johnny Mauer (right), seen here at a GABRAN with Tanya Mauer. He has ridden almost every edition of the GABRAN (Great Annual Bike Ride Across Natal). Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017