HARRISMITH – Barry de Kock and George Fitzpatrick are just about halfway to their goal of cycling from Beitbridge to Knysna. The pair – who have been friends since they both worked for SAA many years ago – have undertaken the journey to raise funds for cataract operations, sponsoring a guide dog, and cornea transplants, through the Knysna Lion’s Club.
The original idea was the 62-year-old De Kock’s. He wanted to do a mountain bike ride from Beitbridge (on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe), to Cape Point via Sedgefield and Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa.
After some persuasion, Fitzpatrick (69 – who has been managing the finish of the Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast since 2005 – decided to join him. According to Fitzpatrick’s wife Sue – who is chairperson of Lions Knysna – he has seen the response and delight of someone that has had a cataract removed. “Also, he is so involved with the Lions and Karoo to Coast, that they decided to raise money for the Lions sight projects – hence the title ‘Cycling for Sight’,” she says.
The ride will be some 2 060km long with around 20 110m of climbing, and should take them just over a month to complete. They are riding mountain bikes and plan to stick to dirt roads as far possible, although certain sections necessitate some tar miles.
To follow their journey and to donate to the cause, check out their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cycling-For-Sight-Border-to-Coast-1184494934916848/