uBhejane Xtreme MTB
Challenge Media Release
27 Nov 2018
Written by: Dave Macleod
Parkin and Duke target first ever uBhejane
Xtreme Ultimate MTB challenge
Hillcrest - As entries start to stack up for the gruelling 340km
uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge on Saturday 8 December, Olympic medallist
Terence Parkin has upped the ante substantially by targeting the first
ever “Ultimate” uBhejane ride of 570km with Durban rider Dave Duke.
The pair will start the newly added three day uBhejaneX ride from
Hillcrest to Hluhluwe’s Hilltop Camp, and after completing the first two
days and 230 kilometres they will return to Hillcrest to join the rest
of the riders for the one-day 340km trek to Hluhluwe.
Parkin, who is deaf, is no stranger to ultra-distance events, having
completed a 902km ride for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation
that started cycling in Johannesburg and ended with multiple Midmar
Miles and finished with the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon in 2018.
“I love a challenge!” the Durban based deaf athlete enthused “ The
harder the better!”
Parkin said that he was passionate about supporting rhino conservation,
and said his motivation to take the tough 340km ride and balloon that
distance to 570km over three days was his growing outrage at the ongoing
“I hate injustice and cruelty in any form,” he said. “I guess I am
stubborn. That’s why I am happy to throw my weight behind the uBhejaneX
MTB Challenge and take it to the next level.”
Parkin is in great shape as he trains every day, clocking long hours on
the bike every week.
“It is all training for my next challenge for the Princess Charlene of
Monaco Foundation, a 1059km journey, cycling from Johannesburg via
Afriski to Midmar, then swimming the aQuellé Midmar Mile eight times,
then running to Pietermaritzburg and then doing the FNB Dusi!”
Parkin was approached by another ultra-distance rider Dave Duke, who has
been part of every edition of the uBhejaneX since its inception, and the
duo quickly hatched the plan for the first ever uBhejaneX Ultimate ride
“My wife has signed up for the three day ride, and is feeling pretty
nervous about it,” said Duke. “That’s when I decided to look into doing
the first two days of the three day ride to support her and then come
back to do the full 340km ride.
“I needed a wing man. Terence is as mad as I am and he jumped at it,” he
added. “He is such a great athlete and a humble gentleman. And he is as
tough as nails. So I know what I am in for with him.
“It will be quite a week,” he added. “I will be doing the MRP Red Cap
ride from Johannesburg, which is over 600 kilometers and then into this
Ultimate Rhino Ride of 570km! Actually the road ride is for sissy’s
compared to the one day UbhejaneX!”
“I am like Terence. The harder the better,” said the 49 year old Kloof
"Growing up in KZN, I visited Umfolozi and Hluhluwe many times enjoying
the wildlife as it should be - left alone," says Duke.
"Poaching and hunting is something I just cannot fathom. The uBhejaneX
dreamt up by Mark Carroll is brilliant. I have ridden this ride four
times and it is one helluva day on a bike.
"But to finish this and relax at Hluhluwe on the Saturday night with
fellow riders and organisers is an absolute treat and one of the
highlights of my year," eh added.
The ride has extra significance for Duke as he pays tribute to a friend
Neil Taljaardt, who rode the full 340 km ride while battling cancer in
"It was his last ride while he was battling with cancer. He rode strong
as ever and then lost his battle in January of 2017. His photo is on the
back of the race shirts with the ‘Never ever give up’ slogan," says
Those interested in taking
part may apply to enter, donations can be submitted and more information
can be found via the event’s website, www.ubhejanex.org.
Click to download the hi-res
uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge
Logo - jpeg
Olympian Terence Parkin will
join Kloof cyclist Dave Duke in attempting the first 570km 'Ultimate'
ride at the uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge from 6 to 8 December.
Kloof cyclist Dave Duke, seen
here at the start of a previous edition of the uBhejane Xtreme MTB
Challenge, will partner Olympian Terence Parkin in attempting the first 570km 'Ultimate'
uBhejaneX ridefrom 6 to 8 December.
Kloof cyclist Dave Duke
here with the late Neil Taljaardt (left) on the 2016 edition of the uBhejane
Xtreme MTB Challenge. "It was his last
ride while he was battling with cancer. He rode strong as ever and then
lost his battle in January of 2017. Hi photo is on the back of the race shirts
with the “Never ever give up” slogan," says Duke.
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