Tuesday, 13 August 2013
This photo was taken by one of the riders of RASA 2013 and I think it just captures the race for me, plus it's a very good photo ! Which in some strange way leads me on to the Freedom Challenge Scholarship Fund. Part of riding the Freedom Challenge is the charity aspect and the riders giving back to the communities we ride through. The scholarship fund is a great vehicle to do this. All of the scholars come from the Eastern Cape area that we have the privilege to ride through, it has the best single track of the route. Lets clarify, the single track is cow paths, foot paths, and goat paths but they are great. The scholars come from homes that are really poor, mostly no electricity, (the government need more BMW's first) they carry water for miles to their homes, they walk miles to school, and their daily nutrition needs are not always met. It's not a sob story, it's a reality. These kids through the scholarship fund are placed into a boarding school, they then learn in an environment that allows them to succeed. It's a good thing !!!!
On the 5th of September 2013 the Scholarship Fund is holding a winners evening at the Design Quarter in Fourways Johannesburg. Martin and Jeannie Dreyer will be discussing their respective 2013 wins of the Ride Across South Africa with all proceeds going to the Scholarship Fund. Jeannie's win smashed the woman's record by 5 days and she has the 3rd fastest time overall, Jeannie is that quite legend that is an inspiration to all of us, it will be interesting to hear her story.
Tickets are available through me at a cost of R100.00 per person, this includes some grub, good company, and the chance to part with some money as the auction items are going to be good. Please email me for further details, and remember every penny goes to the Scholarship Fund, by the way all donations you can claim back from tax !! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org safe riding, and good luck to all riders at the World Masters Champs being held in PMB next week, the course is kick ass, Ben de Lange and I will remember the falls fondly !!
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Tim has finished the War Trail, one of the toughest multi sports events in South Africa, he ran 65 km across the mountains in 15:30 hours, he cycled 140 km on horrendous winds in 11:30 hours and then paddled down the Orange river to finish at Aliwal North. Tim was smiling his head off as normal when he arrived, although he will admit he left some of his sense of humor on the mountains and along the roads of the trail!! Well done you Old Fart !!!
Tim arrived, slept, ate and took of again for the paddle leg of the War Trail. It was not as cold last night as we were expecting and we were treated to a fine feast at Mklogomabane and everyone went to bed early, we were only woken by the clang of the bell around a goats neck that was being chased by something. We all walked down to the Orange river and a sedate start saw all the paddlers speed of in a very low river. The race has taken its toll on the athletes and only 19 out of 40 are left to finish the race, now we await their arrival at Aliwal North.
Day 1 has been a toughie, Tim arrived just short of 15:30 hours for the day, he had good company for the excursion across the mountain and 5 of them came in together, and in good spirits. His first words to me were " don't even think about entering this one" Tim said its like doing 20 Lehana passes on the Freedom Challenge back to back. It's one of the toughest days he has had on his feet. Tim's hands are swollen and all beat up, but his hamstring has held out. After getting some food he had a hot shower, and now it is time for bedi byes !! Tommorow is a 140 km mountain bike ride up some more big hills, and down a couple as well. The weather looks good, all he's got to do is get up in the morning.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
The briefing for the 2013 War Trail is complete and the participants are busy checking their GPS's and packing their compulsory kit into their back packs. Tim is a bit nervous, the most I have ever seen, but you can see the determination in his eyes. His hamstring seems ok, he has a little tear, nothing much ! The race starts at 04h00 with the 65 km run across the top of the mountains first. There is no doubt that this is one of the toughest multi day events in South Africa and being held in winter just adds to the toughness of the event. That the organizers are using Land Rovers makes it even harder !!! We will be in the middle of nowhere tommorow without a signal so we will only be able to update on day 2 the bike leg. The weather by the way is freezing but then I am a softie !!! I think the thermals may be compulsory in the morning.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Thursday, 4 July 2013
Well that was a hell of a day ! Left Trout Haven very nervous of what was to come for the day. Peter and I managed to get the navigation right until we got to the screed, then it all went wrong and we took over an hour to cover about 30 meters of bush, brambles and other stuff I have no names for. It was exhausting, silly mistake but maybe the Freedom Challenge was just having a bite back ! The rest of the climb was just hard work and emerging at the top of the mountain was a relief. Then it was off to the finish, just a couple of more hills then a downhill that made you forget all the up hills. And then the finish so glad to get there, my fourth attempt and success at last. So now I have a Blankie and lots of memories !! During the whole ride Peter Stephens has been a star and rock of our partnership for the ride, Peter you are the Man, thank you for every thing. I would also like to say thank you for everyone's support before and during the race, thank you ! Now off for some breakfast. As I said to David Waddilove yesterday at the finish, David I am a wanker but now I am a wanker with a blanket, it's time to enjoy it !!