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 -

Friday, 6 July 2012

Daily wrap - 6th July

With the arrival of four more riders at the finish in Diemersfontein today, the daily wrap up gets a bit shorter each day – but that’s no reason to forget about those still out riding the trail:

  • Stephen Kellerman has been fighting the good fight at the back of the field: first a night out at Koedoeskop, then a long day to Bucklands, followed by an even longer day to Cambria, hampered by mechanical issues which forced him to walk much of the way. He finally arrived at 02h00 and slept for a few hours. He then managed to sort out a makeshift repair with the help of a friendly farmer and continued on to Dam se Drif.
  • Roman and Katarina left Willowmore early this morning, heading for Prince Albert. They ended up on the touring route via Klaarstroom, turned around and went back, then continued along the touring route again – no matter, they got to Prince Albert in the early afternoon and settled in for the night.
  • Dino also left Willowmore and piloted his now famous ‘Alaskan Wolf’ across the steppes to Prince Albert. Johann Rissik was eagerly awaiting his arrival, with his welding machine warmed up and ready to go, in case the steel beast needed any attention. But in the end, it only needed a few new spokes, which were purchased from the ‘Lekker Bek Kaffee & Fietswinkel’ in downtown Prince Albert for the princely sum of R30. Dino and his ‘ysterperd’ are now spruced up and ready to go and that’s a good thing – as one of the entrants in the FC Extreme Triathlon, there’s a bit of pressure on him to get to the finish next Tuesday to make the start of the Berg River canoe marathon – go Dino!
  • Tim and Lize spent last night in the lap of luxury at Oestervanger guest house. They went on to Trouthaven today and will be getting ready to take on Stettynskloof in the morning – sleep well guys.
  • Travis and Burton (Pops and Son) also left Montagu this morning and also made steady progress to Trouthaven - they are also heading up Stettynskloof tomorrow.
  • Die Wyn Trein  (Gawie, Casper, Charl, Sean) stopped at Montagu station last night and were busy refuelling for the stretch to Trouthaven today – they passed through McGregor and Kasra, taking on refreshments and sustenance at both, before pushing on to Trouthaven.
So tonight we have 7 riders at Trouthaven, who will hike up a rather wet Stettynskloof in the rain tomorrow on their way to Diemersfontein.

The eighth rider, Gawie has deserted the Wyn Trein in the final hour and is taking on Stettynskloof tonight – maybe before the rain moves in tomorrow? His tracker still shows him going into Trouthaven this afternoon, so we can’t confirm it but we may still have a very late/early finisher to welcome home.  

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