Memories from 99 Bikes winners, Chris and Rebecca

Earlier this year, our amazing friends at 99 Bikes, an Australian chain of cycle shops, ran a competition to send two people who donated towards Qhubeka to South Africa. Overall, the campaign raised over 10 000AUD (more than 100 000ZAR)! Qhubeka is very grateful to 99 Bikes for their ongoing support!

Here’s the video in which 99 Bikes founder Matt Turner explains the competition:

Chris and Rebecca Williams were the lucky winners of the competition and they were in South Africa to take up their prize in early May, which included return flights from Australia to Cape Town, six nights’ luxury accommodation in Cape Town, and touring through game reserves and famous wine regions.

Here are some thoughts from Chris and Rebecca on their experience:

“My brother is a keen road and mountain biking enthusiast,” says Chris. “He loaned me a road bike to see if I would also catch the biking bug. I needed a helmet and the guys at 99bikes Kawana were very helpful. My initial purchase put me onto the 99bikes email list, which is how I received notice of the competition.”

Riding Qhubeka Bicycles through Spier wine farm.

Early morning views of Spier.

Having made a donation to Qhubeka, Chris was entered into the competition. “We love what Qhubeka is doing,” he says, explaining why he chose to donate. “Bec and I have also seen firsthand, the impact of giving bikes to individuals and families in need. Giving bikes really can change lives!”

Enjoying the spectacular Table Mountain.

Visiting Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Asked how he felt when he discovered he’d won the competition, Chris replies, “Shocked! Couldn’t believe it! Even during the trip we would wake up and say to each other, ‘Is this for real?'”

One of the couple’s highlights of their trip was a bicycle distribution in Paarl. “50 bikes were given to a neighbourhood watch patrol to more effectively keep crime down and keep the community safe,” says Chris. “The joy on the faces of some of the older recipients – some hadn’t ridden a bike in 40 to 50 years – was priceless. We all rode around on their new Qhubeka bikes and it was like everyone became a kid again. Some had never ridden a bike before. It was a delight to be a part of such a special day.”

The 50 bicycles that were distributed at the Paarl event.

He notes that eating sheep’s head (known in South Africa as a ‘smiley’) with a local family in a very poor community will be hard to forget, as will their safari, seeing the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), and a personal encounter with cheetahs.

One of South Africa’s poor communities, where sheep’s head was on the menu for lunch.

“Cape Town is such a beautiful and amazing city,” Chris says. “We are extremely grateful to 99 Bikes and Qhubeka for this prize. Special thanks to Wayne Patterson at 99 Bikes, Ian Mills at Qhubeka and Gareth Hardres-Williams of Mammoth Safaris.”

Safari sunset.