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 -

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tomorrow's Racing Snake Route - The ride from Chesneywold to Brosterly - Rain, Rain and More Rain

After Rhodes, the Freedom Trail gets a little less hilly, but in the few days after Rhodes there are some tricky portages that make night navigation risks significant. It is a stretch that present lengthy stretches of good riding road as well, but this may not be much of an advantage in the type of mud and rain described today.

The Eastern Cape "High Country", just after Rhodes, can be debilitatingly cold as well, until one drops down into the Karoo where it gets a few degress "less cold". The high point on the route profile above was Naude's Neck, passed today, so tomorrow the riders remain in what promises to be a cold Eastern Cape High Country, but thereafter begin to drop down to lower altitude.

The two pace setters, Martin Dreyer and Alex Harris are expected to ride to Brosterly tomorrow, a lengthy (and probably muddy) haul of 184km according to race narrative.

The weather forecasts:

The weather forecast at Kapokkraal near Chesneywold is for rain throughout the day, and cold temperature maximum of 7 degrees celsius

At Brosterly, it doesn't look much better, with temperature maximum of 8 degrees and rain throughout the day too.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about your bout of illness ...... next time. Thanks for the updates much appreciated .... Race Progress Sheet down. This is an interesting year for the race.