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

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Daily Report - 2nd July

With eight more riders arriving at the finish today, those that remain out on the trail are now officially in the minority.

The Sweepers have picked up the Honeymooners at Willowmore - Leon and Andries pulled off the big double through the Baviaanskloof today, with a  brief pitstop at Golden Crust for chocolate pudding. Waiting in Willowmore were Chris and Julia, who arrived earlier this morning but decided to stay: "We're having such a good time, we don't want it to end..!" they said. Tomorrow the four of them can form a nice little paceline across the desert to Prince Albert - the earlier you arrive, the more time for pampering at Dennehof.

The Fishers having fun on their way to Willowmore
Gaeren seems to be feeling the effects of yesterday's big ride, he moved slowly across to Prince Albert and kept the Koffie Korporaal waiting but no arrests were made and coffee was served in the end. He will be trying to double up again tomorrow, aiming to go through Gamkaskloof to Rouxpos.

Robbie left Prince Albert early this morning and made it to Gamkaskloof without incident. After brunch he went on to Rouxpos - the waffles and an afternoon beer seem to have kept him there, so the sandpits of Anysberg will have to wait until tomorrow.

Also at Rouxpos tonight is Solo Eric - he came through from a night in Gamkaskloof and after many photos and home brewed coffee stops along the way, eventually rolled into the support station by late afternoon.  Eric may not be solo for much longer, he knows the Anysberg area well, so Robbie would be wise to follow his lines through the sandpits tomorrow.

Eric's roadside coffee stop

Moving up the trail, there's quite a big gap until we find the next riders - all the way to Trouthaven in fact. Overnighting there we have Guy and the Adams Family as well as Philip. They came through from Montagu today, with a lunch stop at Kasra along the way. Andy and Peter are also there, having left Kasra this morning after a hearty breakfast. These guys will probably stick together up Stettynskloof tomorrow - unless Guy decides to drop the 'old guys.'

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