Pointer continues Tour de la Vache for CHOC
Johannesburg - Following an idea generated nearly ten years ago, Jeremy
Pointer continues to raise awareness for the CHOC Childhood Cancer
Foundation of South Africa through his annual Tour de la Vache.
As an avid follower of the Tour de France and a keen cyclist himself,
Pointer decided to try and emulate the riders of the Tour and use that as a
way to raise awareness for the Cows.
"I've never set any particular distance or climbing to achieve, but just
simply to spend some time on a bike every day (and because the professionals
go out on "rest" days, I would too). I usually try to mix up the rides, some
indoor, some MTB, some road, some commutes," Pointer said.
"Early on I added the Cow onesie to the challenge. I've occasionally asked
the social media audience if I should change this, but overwhelmingly the
response has always been to keep it, so every year as TDF comes around I now
do my own little Le Tour de la Vache (The tour of the cow).
"Every day I don the onesie and whether it be indoors or outdoors, off I
Getting on a bicycle wasn't something that Pointer took to as a young
person, but it was something that he discovered later in life and helped
turn his life around.
"Apart from childhood cycling and a brief stint of solo riding as an adult
in the 1990s, I was never a cyclist. In 2008, when applying for an insurance
policy while weighing close to 130kg, and not able to get a good blood
pressure reading, I realised that I was heading for serious medical issues
if I didn't change my lifestyle.
"So in 2009 I bought myself an entry-level MTB and an indoor trainer (basic
resistance) and started pedalling, slowly at first, then adventuring outside
for short rides which became gradually longer. My current goal is to get in
about 200km a week – I am actually exceeding that most of the time – and the
occasional often solo long ride."
Pointer's commitment to the cause was tested this year due to a few
devastating circumstances, however Pointer continued in his efforts which
shows his dedication to helping CHOC.
"This year was memorable for a number of challenging reasons: On the seventh
day of the Tour my stepfather passed away, and then on the seventh last day
my father had heart surgery with complications and he has not woken up.
"Despite these difficulties, I kept up the challenge. This has never been
about me or what I could achieve, but rather about raising awareness around
the work of CHOC and for the children and families that benefit from the
work they do.
"Difficulties just encourage me more, as I am reminded that what the
children and their families go through is far more difficult than sweating a
little, or the little bit of physical suffering I endure," he added.
It was a good effort from Pointer as he broke down the numbers of his 2023
Tour de la Vache.
"In total this year I managed to squeeze in 695km with 7401m of ascent in
just over 26 hours of riding. This might not be a lot for many people out
there, but fitting in work, hospital visits, other responsibilities, and
working around the load shedding this year, meant that I barely stopped
being busy in one way or the other, so I will take that," he mentioned
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
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