You may have heard of the Freedom Challenge – the Race Across South Africa or possibly the Race to Rhodes. You may have heard of some of the crazy adventures as riders follow the Freedom Trail for 2300km through some of the more remote parts of South Africa every winter… And you may have thought that this is something different but it’s definitely not for me – it just sounds nuts! Well despite what you may have heard and what you may think of it, the Freedom Challenge is a ride that anyone can sign up for and possibly more surprisingly, just about anyone can finish. It’s tough, make no mistake but with the right attitude and careful preparation, it’s achievable for most people who call themselves mountain bikers.
What you don’t need: You don’t need any superpowers like being able to see in the dark, you don’t need to have the latest and lightest carbon superbike; you don’t need to be an insomniac who can pedal for 20 hours between powernaps…
What you do need: you need to know what you’re signing up for, you need the right gear to handle the cold, need to know how to read a map and you also need to have done at least a bit of training, both on and off the bike, if you seriously want to attempt this thing – get those things right and you have every chance of getting to the end and collecting your coveted Finisher’s Blanket.
Where to from here? The best way is to learn from those who have gone before and you’ll be surprised to see how willing they are to share their hard earned wisdom with you. The way to do this is to attend one of the FC Info Sessions in a city near you – there you’ll meet riders who have ridden the Freedom Challenge and finished it, so when they speak, it will be from experience. (We’ll be sure to keep the racers, singlespeeders and other lunatics locked up for the night). They’ll tell you how they did it, what to do and what not to do and afterwards you’ll be able to pick their brains to satisfy your growing curiosity. This is an evening to help you decide if you’re even interested, so bring that curiosity and leave your preconceptions at the door – the Freedom Challenge will show you how to put the adventure back into your riding. Be warned though, when the bug bites, it does so hard, and you may want to keep your calendar open for next winter…
18 September – Pietermaritzburg
Venue: Essence Café & Deli, The Square, Chatterton Road, PMB (red face brick building)
Time: 18h00 for 18h30
11 November – Cape Town – venue to be confirmed.RSVP – please let us know if you’ll be joining us and which event you’ll be attending by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org