Latest in Freedom Challenger Blogs

  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 6: Pearston to Toekomst

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 21, 2021 | 09:20 am

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 6: Pearston to Toekomst Llewellyn Lloyd - Reblex PhotographyThe ride from Pearston to Toekomst on the banks of the Darlington dam is 80km. The first half, along district roads, was undemanding and was knocked off in just over 2 hours. The only minor hitch was when Roger started cramping which meant I had to ride on ahead all by myself  while he suffered through the leg spasms. As I made my way up the rocky ridge behind the Karoopoort farmhouse I saw Roger had recovered and was weaving through the outbuildings a short distance behind. From Karoopoort to the main entrance gate of Koedoeskop, which is[…]

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  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 5: Pressing Pause in Pearston

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 19, 2021 | 18:06 pm

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 5: Pressing Pause in Pearston The last time I was at the Pearston Hotel the vibe was very different. Last year I arrived well after dark. After knocking on what I assumed to be the main entrance I was directed to another door a few metres further down the veranda. Keys turned and door bolts clattered and the outer door swung open. If memory serves I entered through some batwing doors (saloon style swing doors) and found myself in a bar that was rocking. There was music blaring and the TV screen was playing something completely unrelated to the sound emanating from what seemed every[…]

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  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 4: Cradock to Pearston

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 19, 2021 | 05:31 am

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 4: Cradock to Pearston Llewellyn  Lloyd - Reblex PhotographyI lined up beside Roger Nicholson, Peter Roux and Ingrid Avidon. Roger's strategy was transparent, he would stick with me. At least that's what he said. Peter had a good race last year but did scribble a bit after leaving Bucklands so was back to get revenge. Facing off against revenge is like staring down a Cape Buffalo. Not that I've had to face off against a buffalo even though that was a possibility in the not so distant future - like the next day. I was fairly confident that I could make the 1 pm gate[…]

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  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 3: The Preparation

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 15, 2021 | 17:32 pm

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 3: The Preparation I'd been in Cradock for a few days before I started prepping my bike for the race which was starting the following morning. Llewellyn Lloyd, the official race photographer, was bemused by my lack of race prep. He asked, "I don't mean to be rude but why are you only getting your stuff ready now when you've had days to do it?" That's a fair question.My answer, "It's all part of the race ritual."There are a number of pivotal steps in the journey from 'what a nice looking event' to actually applying pressure on your pedals in said event.It's easy[…]

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  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 2: The Plan Evolves

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 13, 2021 | 04:33 am

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 2: The Plan Evolves Planning precedes execution. I need a plan. A reasonable plan. It can and must be flexible but it needs to be planted in reality. One of the hallmarks of my racing is the ability to execute to plan—not perfectly but normally very close.Over the last four yearsI have watched the record for Race to Willowmore (RTW) get faster. Each year I analysed the various times and wondered how long it would have taken me.Men's winners the last four years are: Tim James (2017), Bruce Hughes (2018), Casper and Casper-John Venter (2019) and Henry Angove and Pieter vd Westhuizen (2020), the[…]

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  • Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 1: Mordor Beckons

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Apr 8, 2021 | 08:10 am

    Race to Willowmore 2021 - Part 1: Mordor Beckons Llewellyn Lloyd - Reblex Photography As I lay on my back in the drainage ditch on the side of the road I became aware of the absolute stillness of the night. The sky above a myriad pinpricks of light. The full moon directly above a majestic heavenly chandelier. I heard sounds close by and popped my head up to see what it was. Over the years I'd had my fair share of nightly visitors in the form of bewildered sheep, curious cows or phlegmatic aardvarks. The flat Karoo that surrounded me was still. There wasn't so much as the the faintest[…]

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  • My Year in Sport Stats

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Dec 21, 2020 | 04:13 am

    My Year in Sport Stats Each December Strava sends its members an email extolling their sporting achievements for the year. It's pretty cool to see the number of kilometres ridden, accumulated vertical ascent, hours in the saddle, etc..I've got a few thousand kilometres, hundreds of hours in the saddle and a chunk of ascent missing. Most of that for the sections of the Freedom Trail that I rode this year. If you want to talk about your riding achievements then make it about what you did between pedal strokes and not about the stats. The stats are a blunt measure of achievement. They should be merely[…]

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  • Race to Cradock 2020

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Nov 17, 2020 | 14:15 pm

    Race to Cradock 2020 For those who like to crunch data I've listed my times for this years race. The time in brackets (...) are the times I posted before the race to indicated what it would take to achieve a sub-48 hour finish. It was close. At one point I thought I could have finished at least 2 hours faster but the wind on the second afternoon, particularly heading south along the Fish River near Cradock was brutal and then there was heavy fog coming off Schurfteberg that cost me at least another hour.I crested the Schurfteberg just before midnight which means I[…]

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  • RASA 2020 the Final Night

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Oct 25, 2020 | 18:38 pm

    RASA 2020 the Final Night I had finally made it out of Stettynskloof. It hadn't been easy. With only 13 minutes sleep in the last 42 hours my thinking had become clouded. I'd made a few bad route choices coming through the Kloof and it had cost me valuable time and energy. My final line out of the valley had me faced with an unscalable cliff face hemmed in by an impenetrable wall of Hakea — an invasive species of needlewood with the emphasis on needle. I sat on the mountainside for 10 minutes gathering my thoughts trying to figure out how to free myself[…]

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  • Ultra Endurance Cycling - The What, How and Why

    Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist Oct 9, 2020 | 13:59 pm

    Ultra Endurance Cycling - The What, How and Why The sleet stings my exposed fingers which is odd as I've lost most of the feeling in my hands. I crouch over the handlebars sheltering the brake lever from the wet as I wind the insulation tape around the twig. It'd be easier if I could get it dry. The effort of getting up the mountain has my inner layers soaked in sweat and then the storm front that pounced on me toward the top of the pass has finished the job. I've got the stick wedged in tightly and the tape is holding it in place. I twist my head[…]

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Freedom Challenge Blogs


2016 Freedom Challengers

Bruce Hughes - East of Adventure


2015 Freedom Challengers

Lee Fuller - Adventure Guaranteed

Clint le Roux - Afrivence

Carl Scholtz - Making Trackz

Mike Woolnough - Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist

Marnitz Nienaber - Omswervings en Ervarings van 'n Freedom Challenger

Lee Fuller - You can take your Freedom

 

2014 Freedom Challengers

Chris and Julia Fisher - The soul of mountain biking

Philip Erasmus - One Giant Challenge

Marnitz Nienaber - A Freedom Experience


2013 Freedom Challengers

Glenn Harrison - Life by bike

Doug Kennaugh - Freedom 4 Unity


2012 Freedom Challengers

Charles Mansfield - The Rhino Challenge

Gerrit Pretorius - Nog Steeds Flippin Mal

Gerda Milford - Spinning at Bullamakanka

Andy masters - Two Farts Two Bikes

Mike Woolnough - Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist

Casper Venter - Freedom Challenge 2012

August Carstens - Boskind Rides Kili to RASA

Jaco Strydom - Beit2Cape

 

2011 Freedom Challengers

Mike Woolnough - Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist

Glenn Harrison - Let's make it snappy

Anton Mayberry - Riding for Five

Philip Erasmus - One Giant Challenge

Marnitz Nienaber - Omswervings en Ervarings van 'n Freedom Challenger

Andy Masters  - Two farts two bikes

Team FNB - Off The Trail

 

Touring

Jaco Strydom - When the remote mountains call

Team Counterbalance riding the Freedom Trail on unicycles - Freedom Revolution Tour

Steve Thomas and Dave Bristow open up the People's Trail - Spine of the Dragon

Alex Butcher - Cape to Malawi on the Freedom Trail

 

2010 Freedom Challengers

Glenn Harrison riding a Giant 29er single speed - One Giant Ride

Boskind's - Hikeabike

Gerda Gruner - Spinning at Bullamakanka

 

2009 Freedom Challengers

Mike Woolnough - Adventures of an Ordinary Cyclist

Fiona Coward - Dash for Freedom

Derek Hall-Jones - Blanket Wearer: Freedom Challenger number 76

Doug Kennaugh - Freedom Challenge 2009

Carine Reynecke - Entranced

CONTACT | CONNECT

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FREEDOM CHALLENGE

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