Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Race Across South Africa
Last year I decided to do the Ride to Rhodes, a 600km mountain bike ride from Pietermaritsburg to Rhodes. See Ride to Rhodes 2008 This event was so amazing that I knew I had to do the complete Freedom Challenge (Race Across South Africa) this year. Fiona (who rode R2R with me) is also doing the full RASA this year. Below is the picture of Fiona and me finishing R2R last year.
This race is not something you do lightly, it is a 2300km ride from Pietermaritsburg to Paarl in the Western Cape. It is an individual race through some of the most remote places in South Africa, relying on your ability to navigate with maps, route narrative and a compass (no GPS). The organisers provide 26 support stations where you can get a bed for the night (or day depending on how bad your navigation is) as well as meals. We also have 26 two litre ice cream boxes which we can pre pack some essential items. These boxes will be distributed to the support stations befor the race starts..
All other kit, spares, clothing needs to be carried in a backpack. The race has a cut off time of 26 days. This year the start is staggered over 5 days (13 - 17 June). This is to limit the number of riders for the support stations. Each start group is about 15 riders of which half are doing the R2R and the other half are RASA riders. Fiona and I have a 20 day strategy to complete the race in, assuming there are no major problems.
This blog will cover the weeks of preparation and trepidation leading up to the start of the RASA, as well as some of the race its self. I will send or phone reports through to Aileen at home for her to add to keep interested followers up to date. If you are keen to follow this blog, link yourself as a follower and please feel free to add comments and suggestions.