The Epic gets more Active

Virgin Active has become the official health club partner of the Absa Cape Epic.

The 2017 Absa Cape Epic from 19-26 March will be the 14th edition of a race which has become known as the “Tour de France” of mountain biking.


Attached Image: Cape Epic and Virgin Active. Photo by Ewald Sadie.jpg
Photo by Ewald Sadie.


Virgin Active SA Managing Director, Ross Faragher-Thomas, says he’s “proud of, and very excited about, a long-term commitment to such a magnificent South African event with world stature”.


According to Faragher-Thomas, the country’s biggest health club group has experienced a massive surge in interest in cycling in all its forms in the past decade and the partnership with the Cape Epic was a natural extension of that phenomenon: “We run over 2,000 bike classes every week nationwide and have made significant investments in cycling technology, including the installation of Wattbikes which are described as the world’s most intelligent exercise bikes because of their unique monitoring capabilities.”


During the Cape Epic, Virgin Active will be setting up Club-V kid’s facilities and activities at every race village to provide a safe and active space for children between 3 and 15.


The company will also sponsor the Virgin Active Mixed Jersey which currently has 76 teams registered for the 2017 race. Many of these teams come from as far afield as Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia.


Cape Epic Founder Kevin Vermaak believes Virgin Active is a superb fit for the event as a headline sponsor and that the brand can “deliver a wealth of forward thinking and great synergies”.



CleatsnCleavage, Dec 05 2016 11:59

And here is my official response to this absolute junk above, as per my email to the Virgin Active MD this morning:


Dear Ross,


As a Virgin Active member and a keen cyclist (my husband is in fact riding Cape Epic next year), I noted with interest your partnership with SA’s premier MTB race.

I had to leave Cape Town and the lovely watt bike studio at Point and now live in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. I am writing to you because after putting up with the poor watt bike facilities here (just three bikes at this very large and popular gym), I think the partnership with the Epic is laughable. When I am in Port Elizabeth for work, not one of the city’s three Virgin Active’s has a watt bike!


Your press release says Virgin Active has over 2 000 cycling classes per week. I don’t know of many cyclists who train on spinning bikes, with the exception of those who do one 94.7 or Argus each year. In JHB, as far as I know only the Bryanston gym has watt bike “cycling classes”, these would be the only classes utilised by someone training for a serious race.


Bedfordview is a very wealthy area and as such has many cyclists and tri-athletes. I have grown tired of conversing with the manager Shelley at the gym about the bikes which have regular mechanical issues.  They also do not give consistent numbers.  Besides this, with only three bikes available and training durations averaging an hour, you can never be sure of getting a bike unless you go during the work day. I have suggested that signs are put up, requesting “members who are not training with data please consider using the spinning bikes instead of the watt bikes during peak times”, to no avail.


I have downgraded my membership from being able to use all gyms to just using one, because I now rather train at home using a Stages Power Meter, which gives my coach much more accurate data than the old watt bikes at the local gym. And my bicycle stands in the lounge, available at all times!


We live in hope that the new Virgin Active being built at East Gate shopping centre will have a flock of new technology watt bikes!




Baracuda, Dec 06 2016 08:17

I really don't care too much about Watt bikes, they a nice to have for me, but I do concur with most of Lauren's email above.


All the bikes at Bedfordview are in a terrible state. Last week I was late for a spinning class and therefore tried 4-5 bikes on the open floor and ALL of them were broken. I ended up doing the super-circuit.


There appears to be gyms in which VA places new equipment and others that are treated as retirement village for bikes, rowing machines etc. There are decent bikes at Claremont and Tokai, but then absolute rubbish at Bedfordview, Gardens and others. But even then, Claremont has decent watt bikes in the spinning class, but 30-50% of the bikes in the open area are broken.


Then one gets onto the timing of spinning classes... Bedfordview has a 05:15 class and then a 08:00. Nothing between 06:00 and 08:00.


All very odd