A long way ahead, but Im likely going to do a repeat of the Freedom Challenge/ Race across South Africa in 2024:
The Freedom Challenge is a truly unique 2300+km biking adventure riding across Southern Africa.
It is "Self supported" in that one needs to be able to manage ones own bike and do repairs. You carry your own clothing and equipment.
In distinction to other "Self Supported events" however, there are support stations every half a day which will provide you with food and lodging. Think of it as a bike trip between Air B n Bs. Some are hotels, some are rooms in huts.
The countryside is spectacular. The people wonderful. The adventure indescribable.
Whilst the majority of it is a "mountain bike" race, it can be done on a gravel bike-I did- so its not particularly technical. There is also a considerable amount of Hike a Bike.
Whilst the navigation is by map and compass, do not let this aspect put you off, it actually ADDS to the event and is easily learnt.
Finishing is well within the reach of any adventure minded B2 cyclist who can MTB and who is willing to do some extra training around carrying a bike. A B1/ A2 Gravel bike rider can complete it easily.
The cost is very reasonable in that it will likely be around $3500 (Full Board and support for however long it takes you as long as you finish within the cutoff of 26days( for reference, A B1 rider will easily finish in 21 if they were motivated) plus flights to South Africa (About $2000). A game park thrown in at the end and you have an incredible month long African adventure of a lifetime for the price of a new bike:)
It is in June 2024.
The reason Im posting here is because if there are any other tripleshotters (or other cyclists from these parts) who are interested, I would be happy to do a Q and A about preparation, getting there and approaching the various challenges of the event. For anyone who decides to do the event, I will also happily help with preparation and planning and ride with you for the first few days as you get used to the navigation and the event provided you are aiming for a finish between 13 and 21 days.
Its obviously a big commitment: You will need a month off work minimum, (5 weeks probably) for the event and one needs to start planning training and equipment etc. well in advance. Hence the reason for planting the seed now.
There are also shorter 1 week "parts" of the race that run concurrently and I would be happy to help with those too if you feel like you would prefer to do something less long, but equally adventurous.
Contact me via spond if you are interested in finding out more. We can either chat individually, or ,if more are interested, we can have a bigger meetup to discuss.
Attached my write up from the last one to whet your appetite.
Thanks for sharing (again), Craig! Here’s your photo album on our club site (password is “coffee”): https://tripleshotcyclingphotos.smugmug.com/Travel/2022-South-Africa-Freedom-Challenge-Craig-B-Oct/