The Making of the Apocalypse Cow Suit

Each year I am bestowed with the honour of creating the suit for the esteemed and select group of cyclists called The Apocalypse Cows. The team trains for four months for one race: the 94.7 cycle challenge. It completes the first loop of 94.7k's in under 3 hours, and the second to help the main herd of Cows and help bring in ten ice cream bikes. It's a 200km day.

So what you wear for one day of the year needs to make an impression. It helps with the fundraising, contributes to the arduousness of the day and is good for morale. This year the theme was Cow Punk. Cow Punk is an underground movement which is a sub genre mixture of Country & Western and (have you guessed yet?) punk. Think harmonicas, electric banjos and the Sex Pistols.

 For many of the Cows, cancer is an adversary that - like it or not - stays close. Like a tattoo. The dude underneath with the collarbone tattoo is Craig. He passed away some years ago. His brother is my friend. And it made sense to commemorate Craig's spirit. So began the idea of a collarbone tattoo on the Apocalypse suit for 2016.

So we took a plain black suit and started throwing around a few designs.

Suit cowification is mandatory in our circles and therefore white and black is generally required.

A sprinkle of cow spots.

And then flames. Of course.

And the collarbone tattoo in honour of Craig. 

The design then goes to my fellow cow, Comrades runner and artist mate, Jess (aka Gerald from who whips the marshmellow ideas from my head into precisely what I was trying to get onto paper in the first place.

With the design done, cool people from Durbs help us finish the suits for race day. 


 And after lots of white knuckles and sweaty brows the suit package is sent with a day to spare.

So with 4 days to go, heads recently shorn and a ribbon bound on the last minute training, the Apocalypse Cows are invited to a dinner and suits, still smelling of fresh fabric and tight stitching, are handed out. 
The suit is revealed.
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There is only Plan A.

And, finally, Race Day. And to see if the suits are able to weave their magic into Johannesburg. 
From left to right: Brooksie, Matty, Kappies and De Wet (Captain)
The piece-de-resistance helmets were donated by Makro through the efforts of Doug, one of our fellow ACs.
The ACs ride again!
Lap 1 was completed by 17 of the 35 riders in 2h50m.

Group B
 Not everyone could handle the 2.50 pace of the main group. Group B finished in 3hrs flat. With a few stragglers splintered behind.
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RobbyRicc and Warmonger
After loop 1, the team refuelled, regrouped and headed out to help the main herd and ice cream bikes.
Scameltoe's squad
 An example of the team effort required to tug an ice cream bike up a bill.

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Those are two of my brothers ( I have three). Alb on the left. Mucky on the right. Mucky mushroomed on the mountains before the M1 and managed a 3.40-ish Billy-No-Mates ride to the finish. He will return next year to finish his quest for the sub-3 (and maybe a second loop). Alb was banished from the ACs by his wife a few years back and is forced to wear whatever attire the ACs decide until he returns to the team. This year Borat was the outfit selected. 
For 2016, The Cows managed to raise around R2.8m for CHOC who helps kids with cancer.

We must never confuse elegance with snobbery. Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. Fashions fade, style is eternal. (Yves Saint Laurent)

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