And the nine disabled boys and girls say they are eager “to live on the edge” when they participate in the 40th annual tour this Sunday, where they will be completing the gruelling race alongside professional cyclists.
The crew went for a practice run on Sunday at the Green Point Cricket Club and the Sea Point pavilion, riding along in their smart buggies pulled by the cyclists from the Warriors on Wheels Foundation.
The buggy has a roof for protection against the sun and is fitted with a seatbelt and helmet.
There were squeals of laughter and big smiles as the “race” got underway, giving the excited kids a taste of things to come.
Partnering with Cape Town Tourism on this event for the second year, the foundation aims to promote universal access in tourism and sporting events while giving the gift of adventure to some brave disabled children.
Co-founder of Warrior on Wheels, Deirdré Gower, says the initiative was started in 2012 after she applied for permission to cycle in the tour with her son, Damian, in a cart. Deirdré’s request was turned down.
“My own son is physically disabled. We always enjoyed all sorts of adventures and when I decided to do the Cycle Tour I wanted him along,” the mom explains.
“Permission was denied, but after engaging with the organisers, the rules were changed to include a category for buggy teams in 2013, allowing children with disabilities to take part.
“Since then, the number of buggy teams has increased yearly, with the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust going above and beyond to implement measures to ensure inclusion and safety for all,” she says.
Deirdré says the children, with various disabilities and from all over Cape Town, are “true warriors”.
“When the cycling happens we will have our abled-body cyclists, our children will be in their buggies and we will have a cyclist behind to see that everything is fine.
“This initiative is a way for me and my son to share our adventures with others. They’re not the warriors on wheelchairs in the Cape Town Cycle Tour; they’re the Warriors on Wheels, just like 35 000 other cyclists,” Deirdré adds.