The Freedom Challenge

The Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa is an "unsupported" non-stage mountain bike race of approximately 2,300 km across South Africa. While recent winners have won in around 11 days, the race cut-off is 26 days. The race starts in Pietermaritzburg in early-to-mid-June, and ends in Paarl near Cape Town. Temperatures are known to drop as low as minus-10 deg. Celsius. While there are periodic "support stations" which will feed and accommodate riders should they require, the race is unsupported in the sense that riders must carry their own clothing and equipment, are responsible for their own maintenance and navigation (without the aid of GPS), and there are no marshalls or safety officials on the course (Race monitoring is done by satellite tracking). Estimates of cumulative ascent are around 37,000 metres, and the highest point on the route is approximately 2,700 metres above sea level. See the following link for an introductory slideshow by Mike Roy -

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The daily wrap up - 27th June.

Another eventful day out on the trail:

  • Steven Kellerman checked in at midday - he left late on tired legs and was taking a bit of strain, so was aiming for Moordenaarspoort for the night.
  • Roman and Katarina left from Kranskop, (together with Dino) and ended up stopping at Brosterlea, with Roman having some complaints of a sore stomach.
  • Dino was aiming for Romansfontein tonight and seemed to be on track to arrive there around sunset.
  • The Mega bus lost one of it's passengers today with the unfortunate departure of Ezanda from the race - she injured her knee 3 days ago and with matters not improving, decided not to continue after arriving in Hofmeyr today.
  • The rest of the bus (Gawie, Andre, Jody,Casper, Charl) all sliced through the headwinds in peleton formation towards Hofmeyr, where they then stopped for pies (naturally!). They dropped one member (Shaun) on the way to Elandsberg and arrived at 16h00. Shaun arrived about 90min later - maybe he got left behind and lost his way on Elandsberg or maybe he just stayed for an extra pie...
  • Travis and Burton left Elandsberg quite early and made good progress to Stuttgart and then enjoyed a leisurely lunch of almost 90min. They continued on over the Schurfteberg portage and then wandered off down the old Coetzerskloof technical route - after a phone call to David to establish which route was correct, they were pointed back to the main road and a long cycle around to Grootdam - they eventually arrived at 22h20.
  • Tim, Peter, Johan and Hugh all left Grootdam this morning. Tim went as far as Vandeventerskraal and stopped there. The other three first stopped in at Pearston post office to organise Johan's spare parts and then pushed on to Toekomst.
  • Allen and Rich left from VandeVenterskraal, pushed through Toekomst and ended up at Bucklands for the night - a good, solid day for them.
  • Mike, Tweet, Chris and Dawn left from Toekomst this morning and rounded the Darlington Dam without a hitch. Then Mike switched back to racing snake mode and left the others in the dust! he bolted off to Bucklands for lunch and carried on Hadley where he seems to have holed up for the night. Tweet followed the same route but at a more leisurely pace and arrived after 21h00. Chris and Dawn stopped at Bucklands, arriving comfortably before dark.
  • Leaving from Bucklands early this morning, we had Rory, Trevor and Theo. We got a call late afternoon call from a slightly concerned Rory somewhere deep in the Grootrivierpoort but he got back on track will sleep in a bed at Kudu Kaya tonight - well done Rory!
  • Trev and Theo were attempting to get to Dam se Drif today but neither of their trackers could confirm this. Having left early from Bucklands, they should have at least made it into Cambria before dark.
  • Brian was also headed for Dam se Drif today but as yet we don't have any confirmation of his arrival. It would have been a fairly straightforward day for him though.
  • Gerrit left from Dam se Drif just before 8am, heading for Willowmore. It's a relatively short stage so he would have had time to put his feet up this afternoon.
  • Alex also left from Dam se Drif and passed through Willowmore this morning, stopping in for breakfast because he was "really hungry". He pushed on to Prince Albert and arrived at 22h30, after a long day in the saddle.
  • Martin slept for just an hour in Willowmore, which wasn't enough as he had to resort to a few pre-dawn power naps on the way to Prince Albert, he eventually arrived at 14h00 and did the same thing, a short sleep, lot's of food, lot's of faffing and then off to Gamkaskloof. he will most likely take a short nap in Gamkaskloof too and continue with the same pattern from here to the finish.


  1. Thank you! these updates is what the FC needed. Now we can follow the riders!
    so some of the names are unfamiliar e.g. Kudy Kaya, Hadley. Can't find them on the FC SS checklist.

  2. Go and travel eg Baviaanskloof... Updates nice and short

  3. Kudu Kaya is at Cambria and Hadley is about halfway between Bucklands and Kudu Kaya just before the first crossing of Grootrivier, well before Osseberg Pass