So, we’re doing it again!
After the 2017 event, we swore “never again”, mainly due to the freezing cold conditions. But the Freedom Challenge gets under your skin, and it’s hard to let go. So with the opportunity to do a Summer version of the event, we got drawn back in.
Summer brings many unknowns to the race. It’s only been done once before, so there’s not as much group knowledge to share. It’s going to be hotter, it could easily be windier, rivers could be flowing faster making crossings tricker and drinking water could be an issue. Yes, there will be more daylight hours, but can we ride through midday in 40deg in the Karoo? And even though temperatures will be higher, we need to be prepared for potential cold and wet weather, so we still need a certain amount of wintery weather gear in our packs.
Our 2022 race goals
First and foremost, to enjoy the journey across the country. Have a ‘holiday’, be offline and enjoy the sights, sounds and people around us. Finishing in one piece in Diemersfontein, adding to our blanket collection.
Then, fitness and weather permitting, possibly push ourselves and see what we can do. One drawback to doing the Summer RASA, is that you have to train during winter, and these last few months have not been enticing us out to train quite as much as we'd hoped.
There are personal records.
In 2015 we finished in 19d 11h30, and in 2017 we finished in 17d 09h46. So do we try to beat our previous time?
Then, there are event records.
These records show that the fastest ever female finisher was Jeannie Dreyer, finishing in 12d 05h55 in 2013. Second fastest is Ingrid Avidon, who finished in 16d 08h50 in 2018. Our 2017 time is currently the third fastest for a female rider. So a question would be if I (Inky) can take the 2nd fastest time - in which case I’d need to finish before 2pm on Saturday 5th November.
We’ve both told work we’ll be back by the 7th November, so either way we need to hustle (or call to book off extra leave!)
Race Across South Africa
2'150km, 33'000m ascent, self-supported, non-stop race
For the full info on the all the events and the Freedom Trail, visit their website on: freedomchallenge.org.za
Follow their social media
We also have a WhatsApp Group for our family, friends & colleagues to get updates from us in one place. We can't guarantee that we'll post very often, but when we have the energy and cellphone signal, we'll do our best to send a message.
(Ping either of us for the link to the group)
We'll post on Strava when possible, so you can see our efforts, but rather follow the offical tracker.
To give you an idea of where we are headed, this is a simplified map of the route.
This was put together for our 2015 Freedom Challenge, so some of the support stations have changed, but the overall route is much the same.
For the full detailed map you can follow the Live Tracker.
(Clicking on images will give you a larger view)
The Freedom Trail Scholarship Fund
"Riding the Freedom Trail has the potential to change lives.
The lives of those riding it and of those along the trail."
David Waddilove, founder of the Freedom Trail
Not only does the Freedom Trail support our ability to be outdoors and enjoy one of the best mountain biking adventures in South Africa, it also supports many young children from the area to be able to get a proper education. It changes their lives, and they in turn can further help change the lives of their communities.
If you feel at all inspired by what we are doing, we encourage you to please consider making a donation to the Freedom Trail Foundation.