The Amashova Race is a yearly cycling event that takes place between 2 cities in KwaZulu Natal, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The gruelling event has become quite well known and many international cyclists now make their way to participate in the Amashova Race.
The Amashova Race
- The Amashova Race began in 1986
- It usually takes place every October
- The Amashova Race is open to all provided you qualify
- The Amashova consists of 3 race categories. The first is the Amashova Classic which is 106km. the second is the Half Challenge which is 65km. The third is the Amashova Fun Ride which is 35km. they all have different start points with the official start happening outside of the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
- The Amashova has cut off points along the way. If cyclists do not reach these points within the specified time, they will be pulled from the race and transported to the finish point in Durban by bus.
- Entries for the Amashova opens up months before the race day. Prospective participants can go online and enter themselves into the race.
- Online Amashova entries have a closing date, so this needs to be mindful of, so as not to leave it too late. Entry into the race can be done at the Amashova registration venue but cyclists will do so at an increased cost. No entries are done on the day of the Amashova Race.
- If the online option is used for the entry, cyclists will receive their race number and start times for their race category in the form of a SMS.
- Cyclists will then bring along this number as well as their CSA card to the Amashova registration The Amashova registration is done in the days prior to the race day.
- This CSA card is a license that is needed if cyclists intend on cycling in road events that are over 20km. The CSA is short for Cycling South Africa. On their website is where cyclists will be able to buy a license. This can be for a yearly membership or for a day pass.
Amashova packages are travel specials that cater for people who will be travelling to Durban for the race. This could be for participants in the race and their cheering squad as well. The 3 factor deal that is mainly offered as Amashova packages consist of flights, car rental and accommodation. Amashova packages differ across the board depending on budget and time. They can be done by crafting your own Amashova package by visiting certain airline websites or aggregator websites. Alternatively Amashova contestants may buy into an already packaged holiday deal through travel agencies.
The first factor in Amashova packages is flights. Once the details of this are arranged, it becomes much easier to schedule the other 2 aspects since you would know exactly which days that accommodation and rental cars will be needed when you are in Durban. Amashova participants will simply have to choose between all available options for this period which will be provided to them during the booking process. Flights to Durban are done by many airlines such as locally based, Kulula. Kulula is often chosen for their cheap tickets. Flights can be found by visiting aggregator sites or each airlines website, or calling through to their call centre. Not all airlines offer the opportunity to book these 3 elements in one go so it is best to choose an airline that does to save time, if this method is chosen. The process for booking flights with this option is best done online as customers would have direct access to all information, plus it can be done at anytime, anywhere. The process is as follows
- Find flights – the first step to finding the perfect flight to Durban is by providing the dates and departure/arrival airports along with the number of passengers into the flight search engine on either the airline or aggregator website. From this, the search engine will provide a list of flights that can be booked. If no flights are found then the customer would have to broaden their search and be a little more lenient in terms of the dates. To avoid this, please book in advance.
- Confirm flights – once a flight is found, customers would have to go ahead and confirm it by providing in their personal, contact and payment details before receiving their booking code. This code will be needed when checking into the flight. Many South African airlines offer an online check-in facility.
- Choose from available accommodation – Amashova participants will get a choice to choose from here as well. For a wider choice and to secure one of the more budget options, early booking is essential. The accommodation base can be in either Durban or Pietermaritzburg.
- Choose a rental car – the airline may have a partnership with a specific rental company which will only yield results of available cars in their network. Aggregator sites will provide a full list from all companies in Durban. For the most part, all rental agencies in Durban provide similar provisions in terms of rental vehicles ranging from basic hatchbacks to double cabs. Additional products for hire range from navigation systems and baby seats to bicycle racks. While not necessary, items like the rack can safely transport bicycles around Durban.
For the Amashova, participants can also look into booking into a package deal from travel agencies. Here the dates, airlines, hotel and rental company will already be chosen and the participant can simply just book into it. Packages that are put together by these companies do not only save time like the above option of creating Amashova packages yourself, but money as well. Travel agencies are able to sell holiday packages to customers at lower rates because of their bulk buying capabilities which gives them access to reduced rates. In turn, they provide these bulk bought flight seats from airlines such as Kulula, hotel rooms and rental cars to customers at a lower price than if they were to book it themselves.