Round about this time next year many of you will be riding, about to ride, or have just ridden the 2015 PBP. If you are not well into training mode by now then success will become increasingly more difficult. The South African programme as such allows qualification to be achieved by the end of this year but there will also be an opportunity to qualify in 2015.


There is a new challenge surfacing in South Africa regarding qualification which is probably unique. There will be a qualifying set of rides planned to be ridden on gravel: open to all but nevertheless complying strictly to Audax protocols. No details as yet so don’t ask me questions which are unanswerable. You will be kept informed as details emerge. It would be useful however if you are interested to let me know.

600km BRM 29/30 November 2014


This will be an entirely new route although going over roads which are all well enough known and used for Aurasan events. It will start and finish at the Lido which however will not be used as a halfway ‘sleepover/meal’ point. Sleep at the half way is mandatory for most riders and unfortunately the increasing popularity of the Lido for Saturday night functions accompanied by sleep depriving volumes of sound can put the death knell to the motivation to get up and tackle the second leg.

Also the price of the bed at R250 at the last telling; whilst competitively priced especially for us cyclists, is still a lot of ‘tom’ for a possible 3to4 hours sleep and then there is the price of the meal.

So here is the deal: the half way stop/sleep over will be at the Church Hall in Greylingstad at 346.5 kms. The route which will come as an overview with this newsletter will be in the form of a very irregular figure of 8. and will not involve any route not in regular use for our events; there will be minimal duplication. Somebody referred to it as a work of art but I’m much too modest to agree! As Judge Davies says “You be the judge!”

The Church Hall is massive, has a fully equipped kitchen and is well away from the distraction of the Greylingstad Saturday Night Rave! Bedding – you will need to supply your own bedding and toiletries and of course a change of gear for the second leg; if that is your style. This will be collected at the Start and returned at the finish. If you have a portable mattress well and good.

We are sourcing a local supply and also as we had for the stopover we had in Benoni. I have access to mattresses as well. This can all be sorted out a few weeks before the event. Showers are available. Tonia and Jean will prepare a meal to repair the damage and set you up for the rest of the challenge.

All this will be made available should you desire; there is no compunction or indeed requirement. If indeed you are a true solo artist then you will still have the normal facility of a bag-drop in Greylingstad and the use of the facilities in return for the normal entry fee plus a donation to the Church.

Otherwise the cost of entry plus the plusses will set you back R250 which would be the price of a stopover (possibly) at the Lido. There is one irrevocable condition: confirmation and payment up front must be made by the 17th November.

Please let me have your thoughts and ideas on the above as well as on the route. At this stage none of it is set in concrete. Although naturally I would be very loth to make any major changes.

600km Route overview

Leg 1 (346.5kms). Lido → Henley-on-Klip → Three Rivers → Deneysville → Vaal Truck Inn (near Villiers) → Heidelberg → Devon → Greylingstad. Leg 2 (256kms). Greylingstad → Devon → Deneysville → Three Rivers → Lido. Finish. Total 602.5kms.


You will be hearing a lot over the next few weeks about this event which has now been granted direct sponsorship by Standard Bank (God Bless their little cotton socks!). As mentioned in our June Newsletter Aurasan has been invited to organise an event which will take the form of a Randonnée Populaire.

The Route sheet is attached to this newsletter and will be used in an innovative way; combining the Control with the Directions which may lead to some streamlining in our admin systems. The entry details are being handled exclusively by the organisers and the income from the event is coming to the JPU Cycling Development Initiative.

The Entry Fee includes admission to the Fair, showers, safe parking and the chance to spend an afternoon with family and friends. The event distance is 105.5kms so with an 07h00 start you should be back in plenty time for socialising.

We will also have a stall which will be selling (giving away almost) cycling gear which has been donated to JPU. So please give this initiative your support. The essence of JPU is ‘getting the children of the streets off the streets’(see Citizen attachment) not just the promotion of a brand name and getting medals, positions on podia, and top ten finishes.

Not that these are not highly desirable. I once had a top ten finish – sounds much nicer than finishing last!

Safe and enjoyable cycling and the health and fitness to enjoy it.

Eddie Thomlinson.