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
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
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
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
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
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.
The Three-day GABRAN bike ride
is as much about camaraderie and the festivities off-the-bike as it is about
the 283 ride..
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