Quintin van Jaarsveld
Cyclists on Friday converged on Burry Stander Bike Park in Umtentweni to pay homage to the South African mountain biking icon on the seven-year commemoration of his death.
On January 3, 2013, South African sport lost one of its greatest sons when Stander, the country’s best-ever mountain bike rider, died in an accident involving a taxi during a training ride in Shelly Beach.
Seven years on, the two-time Olympian and Under-23 cross-country world champion’s legend lives on, as cyclists worldwide rode in his honour.
Stander’s father, Charles, led the official memorial ride at Burry Stander Bike Park, established a year after his death to continue the late, great star’s commitment towards development and to provide a safe environment for riders.
The local group followed the now annual 15km route up the famous “Mushroom” hill, a tough 7km climb that was one of Stander’s favourite training rides and a key contributor to his legendary cardio.
Jean Osbourne, who participated in the memorial ride for a fourth year, said it was a special experience.
“Getting to the top of Mushroom as a group was a very humbling and heartfelt experience. We felt that Burry was smiling down on us the entire time it took us to get to the top,” she told eHowzit.
Burry’s oldest brother, Charl, led the Concept Cyclery Ballito-organised ride at Holla Trails, which was also well attended (video below).