With an estimated population of around 3 000 residents, McGregor could rightly be considered a hamlet. There are only a few shops and, with no through road to neighbouring settlements, the small Western Cape town is somewhat off the beaten track. And while many local residents revel in its quiet and laid back atmosphere, McGregor plays host to one of the
more unique mountain bike events on the calendar.
‘The annual Ride2Nowhere is the perfect race where both serious riders and weekend warriors come together,’ says race founder and director Eulogy Van Dyk. ‘2018 sees the seventh edition of this event and it has maintained its own unique and authentic character.
Ride2Nowhere really is about the “love of the ride.”
The town of McGregor is surrounded by a large farming community, of which the Ride2Nowhere has strong links.
While exclusive access to these private properties makes up much of the stunning race route, it is the Ride2Nowhere’s sense of community that forms an integral part of this continued relationship. ‘There are only a limited number of shops and establishments with employment opportunities in McGregor,’ explains Eulogy. ‘Most of the local residents’ work on farms neighbouring the village, but this is mainly seasonal work and leads to high unemployment. With the nearest high school in Robertson, many learners leave school early and do not complete their final year.’
Eulogy goes on to add that unemployment contributes to social challenges such as alcoholism, teenage pregnancies and poverty in general. Ride2Nowhere seeks to help.
‘We want to support the local community,’ says Eulogy. ‘Job creation around the event is a central theme and is important to us. We work closely with The Breede Centre, a local NPO that provides training facilities with an emphasis on practical skills for the local unemployed who are yearning for a better life.
‘Our aim is to support local service providers first. This extends to job creation over race weekend. Route and water point marshals, cleaning and bike wash crews, as well as administrative staff are all locals.’
Ride2Nowhere also supports local young cyclists. The McGregor Young Warrior Cycling Academy is a joint venture between the event and The Breede Centre. Its aim is to promote discipline and self-confidence in the youth.
‘The academy is currently managed by local resident Max Menzies,’ says Eulogy. ‘Ride2Nowhere cover the group’s entry fees for the event annually and host fundraising campaigns together with the general event marketing network leading up to the event each year.’