Sunday, 10 June 2007

A week to go

A week today we will all be getting ready for the start of the race that begins at 7 o'clock on Monday 18th June. In front of us 2200km of trail to be covered in the shortest possible time. Unassisted and without the benefit of GPS, clutching a fistful of 1:150 000 maps and a smattering of 1:50 000 "map inserts", a band of about 15 intrepid explorers will head out on the adventure of a lifetime.
This all started for me when late last year a work colleague mentioned he had read about an extreme MTB race in the Getaway magazine. He couldn’t remember the details but fixed that with a quick phone call. Within the hour I had put in my application to join the next race.
A month later I received notification of my successful application and then nothing for a few months while we all waited for the race site to come alive. (See the Freedom Challenge link on the side of the page to access the Freedom Challenge site)
The last few months have been characterised by restless nights, countless visits to the web site and pouring over the route details and maps.
Not sure all that has helped but I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Probably not the best race condition I have been in – currently weighing in 5kg more than my ABSA Cape Epic starting weight, but, given the task that lays ahead a little extra weight won’t go amiss.
Where a little extra weight will be a problem is in my back pack. We have to carry all our clothes and spares with us as well as nutrition between check points. Check points will provide meals and a bed ranging from luxury to rudimentary. We have sent 2 litre ice cream boxes ahead to the designated check points with refills of energy bars, chocolates, bike spares and anything else we think we might need. I have decided that I will be taking a small gas stove along and have sent extra gas canisters ahead. The other competitors have latched onto my plan to take a stove and have had endless digs about my skottel as they call it! Even as I was typing the last sentence I received an SMS from a fellow competitor (who shall remain anonymous except that his name begins with Kevin and ends with Davie) mentioning my skottel!
My backpack contents have undergone a few revisions and currently sits at 8kg which includes 3 litres of hydration. Will work on it during the week and see what changes are possible and/or necessary. I have added a few accessories in the way of bags and pouches to my bike to take a bit of weight off my back.


Andre said...

Mike, its beyond me how you get your pack to 8kg including water and the CADAC bottle. Are you sure you have everything you need?

When are you going to start taking orders for Boerie rolls at the top of Lehana, and what day can I expect to pick mine up?

The Sabie Experience Team said...

Hi Mike
All the best for your adventure from the Sabie Experience team.
Have a ball and keep safe.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike

Sorry I missed you and did not say goodbye and burst a tyre, or what ever one is meant to say. Right now, I am guessing that day one is under your belt, and you are probably alreaady wondering "Why the hell did I talk myself into this??" Anyway, if you do get to a computer and get to read this, best of luck and will keep reading updates as the time goes by. Regards, Dilbert