A brief history of “The Fast One”
The event was staged 23 years ago for the first time in January 1995 and was named the Pick ‘n Pay Hyper to Hyper Cycle Race. It was the brain child of Nigel Southern, an employee of the Bedworthpark Hypermarket. Nigel started the race in remembrance of a friend and colleague who was killed by a motor vehicle, on a part of the existing route, while he was training on his bike.
The first event was organized by a small committee consisting of club members of the Riverside Pedal Pals Cycling Club and the Hypermarket staff. The race was run over a 100 kilometre route, which at the time started at the Steeldale Hypermarket in Alberton and finished at the Bedworthpark Hypermarket in Vanderbijlpark (hence the name Hyper to Hyper). It became clear that this would become a very popular race because it was the first race of the year, the route was fast and flat, and the date was ideal for starting training for the Argus Cycle Race which is usually held in March.
It was agreed that the event would be community orientated. Funds raised would be re-distributed back into cycling by the cycling club, by the Hypermarket which ran community charity events from within the store and by the Riverside Rotary Club, which supported local charities and destitute people in their local community. This was therefore the permanent and prevalent character of the race.
The early predictions for the growth of the race did indeed materialise and by 2006 it had become the third largest cycle race in the country. In 1997, the Rotary Club of Riverside was invited to come on board to assist with entry administration and marshalling.
In 2000, the Rotary Club of Riverside decided to get the involvement of other Rotary Clubs to do the marshalling along the route. Rotary Clubs in the vicinity of the route were asked to marshal in the various sectors in which the route was divided and therefore solving this extremely important logistic problem. A total of eleven Rotary Clubs have since then been involved, for whom the event provides a donation from the proceeds of the race. All these Rotary Clubs use the donation money to further their community projects.
During all the years that the Hyper to Hyper took place, several changes and modifications had to be introduced to cope with several factors like route, demands, new technologies, improved services at the finish as well as along the route and many more. After many changes, for the 2011 race the Rotary Club of Riverside became the sole interested party in staging the race . The intention was that the newly named “New Fast One” would increase in numbers and hold on to several reputations it still has, namely to be the fastest race in the country, to become the fourth largest race (in entrant numbers in South Africa, after the Cape Town cycle race, the 94.7 and Amashowashowa), to continue to be the safest race and the best marshalled race in South Africa.
Increasing awareness amongst the cycling fraternity necessitated companies being approached to provide sponsorships for the race. In 2013, the race was renamed to the Value Logistics Fast One which it is still presently called. In order to encourage cycling amongst newcomers, prize monies were allocated to novice riders who came first, second and third in each starting open category.
The New Fast One route stretches through the countryside, it is not possible to have complete road closure as is the case of the Argus and the 94.7 races. This places a 10 000 limit on the entries for safety reasons. Excellent marshalling is necessary and this is still provided by the Rotary clubs who work the route. Rotary Club Meyerton/Henley on Klip administers all these clubs and trains all marshals while seeing to all the tasks that accompany this onerous responsibility. This year three Rotary clubs from Boksburg and Benoni and Round Table Vereeniging, were added to the team, namely Boksburg, Boksburg Lake and Benoni Aurora and their members were amongst the 120 marshals lining the route’s points.