Murphy’s law to rule the roads at the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge

Shaun Murphy had planned on riding on a bicycle built for three at the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, but will have to settle on a bicycle built for two on November 18. He was set to ride on a “Tridem”, a bicycle custom made to carry three people, but one of his crew cried off sick.

He has a collection of strange and wonderful bikes that that certainly catch the eye, and which need pictures toproperly describe them. The Back-2-Back tandem may be the most unique of them all, with the two riders facing in opposite directions on the bike.

In this year’s race we have a Tridem, Back-2 Back Tandem, Tall Bike and Unicycle competing. They have all been built by Emile at Whippet Cycles in Brixton. This year I was going to be on the Tridem with my Dad, our son Nicholas and myself on the Tridem. My Dad has pulled up with an injury so Nic and I have switched out to a tandem. I swear the Tridem is cursed.

Shaun Murphy

The Back-2 Back Tandem (L) and the Tridem (R). All pics courtesy Shaun Murphy

Murphy will be riding for his foundation – auSOMEtism – which raises funds for various autisim-specific projects. His son, Nicholas, is autistic and was the motivation behind his cycle of love. The Cycle Challenge has encouraged participants to Ride for a Purpose, to raise funds for worthy charities.

Shaun Murphy and his son, Nic, will ride a tandem at the Cycle Challenge.

“Our charity mantra is ‘Different not Less’. Each year we try and show people that you can achieve the same results as your counterparts by doing things differently and that it’s not a bad thing,” said Murphy. “We use events like the Telkom 947 Cycle challenge as a platform to raise awareness and funds for a particular project. This year we will behelping the Special Knead Café, which is an amazing coffee shop serving quality coffee and pastries, run and made by young adults on the autism spectrum. We began this charity seven years ago along with one of Nic’s teachers at a school he was attending in Jozi. It just snowballed from there.”

This will be Murphy’s seventh Cycle Challenge, although he didn’t have much of a cycling background. “When westarted, I was approached by one of Nic’s school teachers to help raise funds by riding through the Northern Cape from Jozi to Cape Town. That’s when I began cycling. Once we adopted the mantra ‘Different Not Less’ we started using different ways to complete the race. I’ve learnt to ride a unicycle, tall bike (seen below) and the tridem.”

To donate to the charity, contact Murphy on or visit the Facebook page (search for ausometism) and use the sponsor a rider tab on the page to choose a rider in this year’s team to sponsor an amount per kilometre. Donations can also deposited at: auSOMEtism NPC - Standard Bank. Account no: 372 840 175 Branch: Northgate (001 106).

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