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Too posh to push

Why are you walking? I thought this was a bike race?

My non Freedom Challenge riding friends are often amazed at the many photos they see of me pushing my bike along the trail.

“That looks flat Becky… why weren’t you riding?”

“Oh, there’s a few rocks, but honestly, I’ve seen you ride worse terrain than that.“

I can see them being particularly not impressed by my seemingly poor performance. The truth is that even when it is flat RASA has a way of hitting you with a curve ball. 

In 2022 when I did it, we began our 4th day on the trail heading to Tinana and interim stop with some expectations of maybe getting to Vuvu, the traditional stop on that leg. We had some hard days before that due to weather and navigation hiccups so it was a big expectation. With our backpacks weighing in at about 8kg and our bikes a bit heavier than normal with tool kits and extra stuff you need strapped to them, you’re already working a lot harder than usual. So.. as we got to the usually rideable stretch heading to Black Fountain we were frustrated to find a viscous headwind that literally blew us off of our bikes!! Pushing your bike at 4km/hr requires a tremendous amount of patience when you know you still have many kilometres to go to get to your destination.

Other challenges that force you to walk and push your bike include badly eroded roads… thick “Policiehond modder” , tired legs, mechanical failures, sense of humour failure and complete uncertainty that you are actually going in the right direction!! The boulders that you encounter on the many portages leave you questioning your sanity.

Anyway… this day, 2 years ago, found our RASA group walking a lot and wondering if we would ever make it to Wellington.

We did… it took me longer than I hoped but I cherish my blanket and my new understanding of “I’m not too posh to push”.

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