Mahmud Valley, a 69-year-old cyclist from Worcester, passed away on Sunday morning during the 45th Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Also read: Cape Town Cycle Tour fatality reported by event organisers
Although the cause of his death is still unknown, his family buried their relative on Monday, according to Muslim rites. Mahmud’s brother, Nazeem Valley, spoke to News24 of the family’s devastation.
“When I got the call to say my brother passed on, I was completely shocked because I just saw him on Saturday, and he never once mentioned he was going to take part in the cycle tour.”
“I think he didn’t want to tell me because he knew I would give him a hard time about going to cycle because, earlier in the week, he told me he was not feeling well,” Naseem explained.
Mahmud was a well-known track cyclist who had won various track cycling titles under the former South African Cycling Federation in the 1970s.
“I could see how he absolutely enjoyed being on his bike.”
Nazeem recalled the chaos of finding out the news of his brother’s passing, explaining: “There were so many calls coming through to me, all speculation about what happened.”
He came to find out that Mahmud was cycling with a group of friends, trailing just behind one of his close friends, as the two had promised to stay close together.
According to Nazeem, the friend turned back while they were near Misty Cliffs, and saw Mahmud lying on the ground next to his bike. They attempted to get medical assistance for more than 30 minutes, but Mahmud’s heart had stopped by the time the medics came.
Nazeem explained that when his family collected the body from the mortuary on Sunday evening, there was no cause of death on the forms.
The family is still awaiting information regarding this, and intend to return to the mortuary for more details, but they focused on first giving Mahmud a loving funeral.
Although the case is still under investigation, it seems as though he succumbed to natural causes.
“According to reports, the cyclist collapsed and succumbed to death at Misty Cliffs at around 11am in what is believed to be natural causes,” said police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut.
Mahmud retired from his job in retail to take care of his wife, Aziza, who is in a wheelchair. He drove a blue van that he converted to be wheelchair-friendly.
This van, which he drove to the cycle tour on Sunday, has since gone missing.
Mahmud is remembered by his brother, wife and two sons.
“He died doing the very thing he grew up doing. He loved his bicycle. It was one of many things in his life that made him very happy.”
Picture: Cape Town Cycle Tour