The Absa Cape Epic is one of the most grueling mountain bike stage races in the world. For eight days, Lentine Zahler and Elizabeth “Bud” Reeder will race through some 800 kilometers of unspoiled terrain and 15,000 meters of accumulated climbing over some of the most magnificent mountain passes in South Africa.
This incredible race is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the duo and they’re accepting the ultimate challenge. In a time when they take a therapeutic type of solace in riding their bicycles, they consider their ability to take on such a challenge as a great privilege.
“Worldwide, bicycles provide women and their communities access to natural resources, community resources, education and micro finance opportunities that are otherwise out of reach. Bicycles help them carve their own paths in life, and help their communities grow and prosper. In a nutshell, bicycles do life-changing, epic things all over the world, everyday. We hope that by accepting the challenge of racing Cape Epic, we inspire women around the world to want to get out on their bikes. But we know that through this experience we actually have the power to PUT women on bikes.”
Partnering with World Bicycle Relief/Qhubeka and Trek Bicycles to visit several grassroots projects in South Africa that share the power of bicycles with women and their communities, it is the team’s goal to deliver 65 bicycles to these projects in the backyard of the prestigious Cape Epic, significantly boosting their efforts, and capturing on film the stories of how bicycles are helping women to be epic.
“Without having bikes in our lives to help provide basic needs (we both commute by bike, have found personal community by bike, and make our living in the cycling industry) we wouldn’t be the empowered women that we are. Every woman deserves this same opportunity and we hope to inspire women to hop in the saddle and get moving in their own direction through racing Cape Epic, by proving that all women can do amazing things when they put their minds to them, and that many of those amazing things can be achieved by bike.”
Leading up to the event, Lentine and Bud hosted a gathering at Mosaic Cycles that raised $1,260 with beer, food, and silent auction sales. It was a great showing of community support for these two ladies and the work of World Bicycle Relief. A huge thank you to the sponsors that made it happen food was donated by Biju Thomas and Little Curry Shop of Denver, beer by Sanitas, and hosted by Mosaic Cycles. Raffle donations were provided by POC, Oakley, Trek/Bontrager, Butter, Skratch, Pro Peloton, and VeloNews.