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 - http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2010-02-04-extreme-endurance-the-freedom-challenge

Monday, 24 June 2013

Daily Report - 24 June

Race office in transit

Too many tea stops later and with bellies full of 'beskuit,' the race office has caught up with all the trail-side gossip and have found some elusive internet in Hofmeyr.

Meanwhile some people were riding their bikes - here's a quick recap of the day's action:

Batch A - Andy, Peter, Ansa, Sarel, Bruce, Charles, David, Pierre and Pete & Dave from Batch B all moved swiftly through the Baviaanskloof and arrived at the new Dam se Drif support station a.k.a Golden Crust by mid afternoon. They are planning an early departure for Willowmore in the morning.

Gavin and Henry followed a few hours later - they crawled out of the Grootrivier Poort sometime this morning after spending the night somewhere down there - brave men indeed!

The Dreyers are next in line, they are currently making their way down the same Grootrivier Poort section tonight and are headed for Cambria.

Just behind them, we have Scott, Charles and Christo, who left Toekomst this morning and got to the interim stop at Hadley, no promises of food there tonight but at least there are warm beds.

At Bucklands tonight, we have Anton, Martin and Avril. They rode comfortably through from Toekomst today and I'm sure Avril appreciated having some company for a change.

Just behind them and charging hard is the Lone Ranger, Marnitz. His day started at the foot of the Struishoek, (where he overnighted with local farmers Dave and Verity Hobson) and he's aiming for Buckland's tonight - still a few hours to go but he's on track and seems to be riding strongly.

Batch E: Dave, Doug, Janine and Philip have checked in at the lodge at Toekomst - where they reported temperatures above 30degC on arrival today! They had another good riding day, despite rumours of a tummy bug doing the rounds...

Guy 'Happy Feet' plus Eric and the Adams Family (Ted + Shaun) are also holed up at Toekomst tonight. Guy still has tummy troubles and had some punctures to deal with today but he's trucking on and determined to have fun.

And fighting for the last few beds at Toekomst are the remnants of Jack's Army: Coen, Colin and Andrew. Andrew hit an Angora goat today although there was no long term damage to report. Best he get out of that habit before he gets to the rhinos in the Baviaanskloof... 

Roy recovered well after a late night chasing trolls over the Aasvoelberg yesterday. He stopped in Hofmeyr to lick his wounds and then marched off to Stuttgart.

Not far behind are Robbie and Gaeren - they parted company after the Aasvoelberg today, with Gearen stopping in Hofmeyr after battling strong headwinds and Robbie going on to Elandsberg, just managing to sneak off the mountain after dark.

A way behind them are Chris and Julia, happily honeymooning their way across the countryside and still looking strong - they sleep in Kranskop tonight.

And bringing up the rear are Andries and Leon, who left a freezing cold Rhodes this morning and got through to Slaapkranz by late afternoon.

The weather's holding and the wheels are still turning, these riders are all going well and Diemersfontein is inching ever closer.


 

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