In 2013, Julia and I completed our first Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa (RASA). The 2300km Freedom Trail makes its way from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl along the route less traveled. The race is "non-stop" although there are 25 support stations in which riders can sleep, eat and shower. Riders will take anywhere from 11 to 26 days to complete the journey. Our 2013 race took us 20 days, 9 hours riding for an average of about 12 hours per day. In 2014 we plan to knock a few days off of this time but we are still planning to take time to enjoy the views and the whole experience.
The slogan for the race is "the soul of mountain biking" and this could not be more true as the event is all about soul!!!
The people organizing are full of soul, the hosts at the stop-overs have the kindest souls, the race takes you through the soul of South Africa, there are times when it tests you down to your soul and by the end of it all... your soul has been rejuvenated!!! I now understand why people return year after year to take part in this seemingly crazy event. The truth of it is that it gets into your soul, it becomes a part of who you are and once you have done the Freedom Trail... most other things in life become relatively bland!
There is no doubt that we will be back... hopefully many times over! Below are a few pictures from our journey. Please also see a video of our race in the next post.
Huge thanks must go out to those behind the scenes of the Freedom Trail for giving us what, has undoubtedly, been one of the best experiences of our lives!
We must also thank our sponsors; Capestorm, Osprey packs, Glider Sunglasses and Bridgedale Socks for their continued support and fantastic gear that helped us through the event!