It is not often that an amateur cyclist gets to train for a cycle race as part of his day job but for KwaZakhele resident Wesley Simakuhle that is exactly the case.

Simakuhle, an ice cream vendor by trade, pedals his tricycle cart eight hours a day as he peddles his frozen wares from Kragga Kamma Road to the Port Elizabeth beachfront and back.

The 28-year-old Ola vendor has therefore decided to put his time in the saddle to good use and signed up for the 55km Pursuit at The Herald VW Cycle Tour next Sunday.

“It’s going to be my first bicycle race,” he said.

“I ride every single day so it’s going to be easy.”

Simakuhle said his aim was to finish in less than three hours – a challenge made harder by the fact that he will be riding his highly visible and cumbersome red trike.

“I will ride on those three wheels with the box on the front. I tell myself I’m going to do it!”

He said his fellow vendors, who will be selling ice creams at the Hobie Beach race village, had promised to support and cheer for him.

“I’ve told them they must help me to finish!”

Once his race was done, Simakuhle said he was hoping to hop back on and go straight back to work among the crowds of thirsty spectators.

“I’m excited to sell the ice cream!”

He said when the weather was good he could sell a thousand ice creams over a weekend.

“I want to say thank you to all the kids and their parents in Walmer and Summerstrand who buy from me. They help me to live.”

Simakuhle lives with his grandmother and two sisters and helps to support his family. His younger brother, Witness, is also a vendor.

The brothers are among 50 Port Elizabeth-based employees in Unilever’s vending programme. The company created more than 1 500 such jobs nationwide last year and aim to add another thousand by the end of 2015.

The public are now also able to buy The Herald, Weekend Post and Sunday Times newspapers from their neighbourhood Ola vendor.

On Sunday, spectators can follow Simakuhle and his fellow cyclists’ progress at key points along the route as well as the start/finish chute on Beach Road opposite The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World.

The waterpoint at the entrance to the Lake Farm Centre is recommended for those wishing to give their friends and family an encouraging boost as they struggle up the climb.

For the 106km Classic, the iconic Maitland ascent offers a scenic backdrop for the public to see the country’s top pro teams battle it out.

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Issued by:
Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

Media enquiries:
Anica van Wyk
079 875 4299

On behalf of:

The Herald VW Cycle Tour