The Cows Media Release


6 Aug 2019

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

The Cows gear up for 30th GABRAN

Durban - A loyal core of cycling enthusiasts will leave the foothills of the Drakensberg next Friday 16th August for the annual GABRAN fun and fundraising ride across the province in support of the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

GABRAN is an acronym for the Great Annual Bike Ride Across Natal.

The three day ride spans 283 kilometers between Drakensville and Hillcrest and includes overnight stops at Wagendrift Dam and Midmar Dam, and is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year.

Organised by the Westville Cycling Club and The Cows, the passionate riders stress that this is not a race but an experience.

“It is do-able for any rider who spends some time on a bike,” stresses organiser Lynne McRae. “Everyone rides at their own pace and we keep together in groups of similar speed and fitness, and if it gets too much there is always a support vehicle ready to load up anyone who is struggling.”

While the ride is relaxed, the rewards at the end of each day tend to ease the daily recovery routine.

Fully catered, the overnight stops include plenty of live music and entertainment which builds camaraderie amongst the participants.

Few are more passionate about the ride than 58 year-old Ronny Mauer who has been part of every single edition of the race.

In the rare years that the race has not been formally staged, Mauer, supported by his loyal wife driving as a seconder, has done the ride on his own.

McRae says that there are no major changes to the route or plans, but said that the key stop for a drink before reaching the first night stop at Wagendrift dam has been changed.

“We can’t use the Escourt Bowling Club now so we plan to ride down the Escourt Golf Club this year,” she explained.

That stop in Escourt is a key part of the ride as are important stops such as the BierFassl in Nottingham Road on Day Two and the chocolate tasting stop just before Midmar Dam.

“By Day Three everyone has their heads down to get to the finish,” said McRae. “There is always a lamb-on-the-spit at the finish at Hillcrest which keeps everyone focussed on the job at hand.

Entries are still being taken at the website

More information about The Cows can be found at

About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.

As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.

Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have raised well over R30 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!

More information can be found at


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 The Cows Logo - JPeg


Riders tasking part in the annual GABRAN ride from Drakensville to Hillcrest ride at their own pace. "It is an experience, not a race," says organisers Lynne McRae. Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

The Three-day GABRAN bike ride is as much about camaraderie and the festivities off-the-bike as it is about the 283 ride.. Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

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