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  • What does "Community Supported" Backpacking mean?
    Freedom Challenge Events and Tours are classified as "Community Supported". Bike racing/touring that supports local communities, and is supported by those communities. We feel this term best describes the uniqueness of the Freedom Trail set-up. Riders are required to carry everything they need on the bike, including spares and trail nutrition but there are "Support Stations" every 50-70km along the trail where meals and accommodations are provided including bedding and towels. The ethos of the Freedom Trail is to give back to the the people of the trail who kindly allow us to traverse their lands by supporting the small business, farmstays, BnB's and guesthouses along the route.
  • Where can I find more information on how to prepare for Freedom Challenge Events?
    The best source of information is the Riders Preparation Manual It is also a good idea to talk to people who have done it before and get as much advice as possible from experienced Freedom Challenge riders.
  • Can I tour along the Freedom Trail outside of events?
    Yes, the trail is open year round for touring. Visit Tours Page for more info on how to book.
  • Will there ever be a GPS navigation version of the Freedom Challenge?
    Navigation is a large part of the Freedom Challenge and that is unlikely to ever change. The navigation element is undoubtedly something that puts many prospective riders off but the vast majority of riders who have completed the events will concur that it is something that adds to challenge and enhances the experience. Navigating by map and compass forces riders to connect with their surroundings in a much more engaged manner. We have introduced the Freedom Circuit 200/400/700km events to give riders a taste of the Freedom Trail with GPS guidence. Riders can also use GPS whilst touring the Freedom Trail (outside of events) and touring using maps with the GPS back-up is a great way to practice your navigation without the frustration of getting lost for lengthy periods.
  • What GPS enabled odometers are permitted in events?
    GPS devices capable of following a track or assisting navigation more than speed and distance are strictly prohibited. Please note we still recommend using a wheel odometer, even if you are also using one of the permitted devices below as these all require charging and you will find yourself in trouble if battery dies (sometimes due to charging malfunction). There are some GPS cycling computers and running watches do not have any navigation capabilities and are therefore permitted. Examples of some devices that are allowed include: Garmin Forerunner 45 running watch Garmin Forerunner 55 running watch Garmin Forerunner 245 running watch Garmin Vivo Running watches Suunto 9 G1 running watch XOSS G+ Cycling Computer Bryton Rider 15E Neo Cycling Computer Garmin Edge 500 (no longer in production) - no new Garmin Edge devices are permitted CYCPLUS M2 Bike Computer iGPSSport iGS50E Cycling Computer Cyclometer gps 100 If you are planning on using a device that is not on the above list then please double check this with Race Office as being caught with a navigation enabled device will result in instant disqualification, even if it has no tracks loaded on it. Examples of some devices that are STRICTLY PROHIBITED: Garmin Edge 100 series Garmin Edge 800 series Garmin Edge 1000 series All Wahoo Devices All Garmin Fenix watches All Garmin Instinct watches Garmin Forerunner 735 Garmin Forerunner 935 Most Suunto devices If you are planning on using a device that is not on the above permitted list then please double check with Race Office regarding whether or not your device is permitted. Being caught on the trail with a device capable of navigation will result in instant disqualification, even if doesn't have tracks loaded.
  • What gear is most commonly used for Freedom Challenge?
    Roger Nicholson compiled a Gear Survey from riders in 2021 which gives a good indication of commonly preferred gear choices among riders.
  • How do I get to Pietermaritzburg?
    There is an airport in Pietermaritzburg with daily flights from Johannesburg. You can then catch a taxi or Uber to the registration venue (15min drive) You can also fly to Durban international Airport and catch taxi or Uber to the registration venue (50 minute drive). Some challengers choose to rent a car from Durban airport to transport bikes and equipment then drop the rental car at Pietermaritzburg Airport. There are also daily buses to Pietermaritzburg from most other cities in SA. The PMB bus stop is 5km from the registration venue.
  • Can I have my car transferred from start to finish?
    We can arrange vehicle transfers for the four 6 day events ie. Race to Rhodes Race to Cradock Race to Willowmore Race to Paarl Vehicle transfers cost approximately R2400 per vehicle. Vehicle transfers are done by various service providers along the trail. Riders must book vehicle transfers via link in the information pack which is sent out a few months before the event. Unfortunately there are no vehicle transfer option for Race Across South Africa.
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