The Pietermaritzburg based husband and wife duo summited the Uhuru Peak around dawn on Saturday morning, becoming the first mountain bikers to ride their bikes unassisted from Kilimanjaro Park gates to the summit and back.

Martin and Jeannie Dreyer celebrate reaching Uhuru Peak at top of Mount Kilimanjaro riding and carrying their mountain bikes, becoming the first people to complete the trip unaided from the entrance of the Kilimanjaro Mountain Park gates to the summit and back. Supplied/ Gameplan Media

An elated Dreyer said that he and his wife had been discouraged from completing the arduous task unassisted, but said that had made the challenge more attractive.

“What a sight as we stood on Uhuru Peak with our bikes!” said Dreyer. “It was spectacular, with the skyline painted orange.

“All the guides told us it was impossible to take bikes to the summit from the camp at Kibo, but that just made the challenge more worthwhile!

“It was so hard pushing and carrying our bikes up 1000 metres over four kilometres, but it was so worth it!” said Dreyer.

Dreyer said that the few previous MTB expeditions had involved porters carrying the bikes for the first two days.

“The hiking trail is a no-go for riding, but we insisted on carrying our own bikes to make this a proper epic adventure,” said Dreyer.

After arriving at Camp 2 at Horombo at an altitude of 3700m, The Dreyers hiked on past Zebra Rocks on foot to help with acclimatisation before they set off on a ride and hike of 1000m vertical climbing over 9 kilometres across the alpine desert to the Kibo camp at 4700m, where they arrived in a snowfall.

They were caught in a torrential downpour, and experienced plummeting temperatures and wind chill factors.

“That was a stark reminder of the unpredictability of high mountain weather,” said Dreyer.

“We left at around midnight for the final summit, and even though we had manhandled our bikes basically the whole way, we were both feeling surprisingly good.” Said Dreyer.

“What an experience,” said Dreyer. “Most of all we loved that it was so quiet on the mountain, zero noise pollution,” he said.