One of South Africa’s most decorated adventurers and philanthropists Sibusiso Vilane will return to the uBhejaneX MTB Challenge once again in 2019 and will be stepping up to do the three-day ride from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe for the first time in aid of rhino conservation.
Vilane is a uBhejaneX veteran having taken part in a number of editions of the event from the 250km event to the short 30km ride. With such a busy schedule Vilane has made sure that he has managed to keep a spot free for the uBhejaneX.
“I sat down and worked out that due to commitments and travel I am only going to be able to ride the three day ride this year,” Vilane said. “I have still been putting in some good training but it wasn’t going to be enough to get me through the longer rides but to have two overnight stops breaks up the event nicely for me.”
“With that said I am actually really looking forward to it because it suits me naturally. My body adapts better to multi-stage events rather than doing one long haul.”
This year will be the second edition of the three-day uBhejaneX and Vilane is looking forward to the camaraderie of what a multi-day event can bring.
“When we meet up there probably won’t be too much said but as we get going and start to become comfortable with one another then I can definitely see some friendships being built.
“Especially with time off the bike together, that will help in us getting to know one another and that adds another dimension to the event,” Vilane added.
So although the back end of the year is fairly quiet for Vilane, it has been a jam-packed 2019 and 2020 doesn’t look like it’s going to be much lighter – but that is how he likes it.
“I said that I was going to challenge myself this year and I did! I did the Everest Marathon and then came back and ran the Comrades a few days later.
“I rode the nine day joBerg2c race and then did back-to-back summits up Kilimanjaro but now with this time off my body wants to keep going.
“People ask me if I get tired and I say that it’s my body that wants to carry on. It is an attitude that I have developed over time and I cannot stop.”
His 2020 looks like it will include a trip to South America and the Andes as well as the Himalayas. These trips are in conjunction with another Comrades Marathon, interspersed with a number of other events.
As with many adventurers conservation is close to his heart and through Vilane’s involvement with a number of conservation events, he continues to try and make as much of a difference as possible.
“I try and do as much as I possibly can and I know that we need to do so much more for endangered species, not just the rhino.
“I try to maximise my efforts when it comes to conservation and through this, I try and spread the word and raise money for conservation.
“I couldn’t live with myself if we let these animals go extinct on our watch and didn’t do anything to stop it,” he commented emotionally.