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  1. Right, there is this challenge called Parallels, go check it out. Basically it a see how far you can go in 24 hours type of deal. But the unique selling point is that your distance is measured as the crow flies. To illustrate, if you do a circle route of 200 km; your distance, according to the rules of this challenge, would be zero km. I think I found an excellent route. The N14 between Vryburg and Upington. It is straight and it is flat. It drops from about 1200m above sea level to about 900m above. And the route would be about 406 km on the road but as the crow flies it would
  2. In February 2021 I got to be part of small four-person team, led by race director Chris Fisher, that did a reconnaissance of the race route for the inaugural edition of the Freedom Circuit scheduled for April. This is that story. Words: Carlo Gonzaga Good photos: Llewellyn Loyd/Reblex Photography Bad photos: Riders “Kuphi isipaza? Kuphi isipaza!?” Warm greetings aside this will be the most often asked question of locals during the inaugural Freedom Circuit bike packing race scheduled for April 2021. This begs the question, ‘why do I need to know the whereabout of a shop for a bike ra
  3. I'm looking to get a frame bag (or half frame bag) made locally, specific to my bike's dimensions and having baulked at the price of 'ready-made' ones, was looking to get a recommendation for someone who is handy with a sewing machine that could make one to my design. Anyone been down this road before?
  4. Does anyone have some good contacts or advice on gravel bikepacking bags? Looking for some good quality bags for overnight or two night self sustained trips - We will get meals and drinks at pre booked accomadation so not much space needed apart from some after ride kit and fresh kit for the next day. Advice also welcome on what bag best to get ( bar bag or behind saddle ) Appreciate the help.
  5. This Friday we have a one day only sale that really is beyond value for money. Book today for the 2-8 Sept 2021 Hessequa/Overberg Cruise, and pay only R4375pp (Normal Price R8750.00), and we will include the 9-11 Sept Stanford Cheese and Wine Ride for free, as well as 1 nights accomodation in Stanford on the 8th to link the two trips together. That works out at R480pp/pn, for a full service, fully catered luxury MTBing holiday. This offer is limited to the first 6 persons to book, thereafter normal pricing applies. You absolutely wouldnt be able to find a better value for money MTB holi
  6. So, I have been doing a fair bit of research here on TBH, and see alot of devided opinions on the matter. One half are thinking its a consipiracy theory for bike manufacturers to keep taking our money. The other half sees it as a practical solution to alot of things, ie. Replace your road bike with a gravel bike, its more comfy, you can easily go off the road on dangerous sections of traffic or climb curbs, you can do road races with them, all be it not UCI races, but who is checking. In fact, I saw someone do a sub 3 hour in the CTCT with a gravel bike.... I for one believe this is the bi
  7. An appeal to the gravel gurus of the area... Does anyone have a route for a trip from St Francis to Uniondale using mostly gravel?Would be great to get pointers on camping etc as well. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  8. Hi All I'm planning on doing a 4 day bike-packing tour on my new gravel bike around the Klein Karoo area, specifically Riversdale - Oudtshoorn area, in a few weeks time. - I'd appreciate any suggestions with regards my proposed routes, places to stay, places to stop for lunch etc. Trying to include a few scenic passes where feasible. - I've kept the distances around 90km, it's going to be my first multi-day trip on my gravel bike so would rather be (relatively) conservative. Quiet gravel roads would be preferable to tar where possible. - I've used Google Maps as my primary route source, but
  9. There's something magical about riding your bike with a planned route and everything you'll need with you. Its simplicity is rich fodder for the soul. Over the last couple of months I've been drawn in more and more to this simplicity, and I've developed an ever growing hunger for biking adventures. I've found myself gravitating to ultra-long distances, and where the riding pushes me hard, not just physically, but mentally too. Maybe it's my age - searching for that personal next level - or the immensely satisfying feeling I get each time I reach my goal totally spent. I just love it!
  10. Words Carlo Gonzaga. Photos: Carlo Gonzaga/Alex Harris/Nic Louw/Chris Fisher/Llewellyn lloyd “Are you joking? Two hundred metres? Is that all we missed it by?” In a bike race that’s 475km long, with 13’000 metres of vertical ascent that’s what it came down to. Two. Hundred. Metres. If I could, I would have cried. But I couldn’t. The tears would have frozen my eyelids shut. Quite ridiculous really. ‘Ridiculous’ is probably the appropriate description of the Freedom Challenge in general and the Race to Rhodes specifically. The Freedom Challenge is a 2300km race across Sou
  11. When we let the family know that we planned to spend three months in Australia to visit them, my brother-in-law sent us an email – ‘something to do while you’re here’ he said, and added a link to a bike trail in Western Australia. Bikepacking has been on our ‘to do’ list for a while, so we thought – right: we’ll give it a go. Of course, being typically South African, we didn’t do a two or three-day trip to try things out, we went straight to the 20-day, 1000km trip. Deep end and all. We even persuaded our friend Hans, an ex-South African now living in Australia, to join us. Click here to vie
  12. The suggested trail was the Munda Biddi, a roughly 1000km off-road trail that runs between Perth in the north, and Albany in the south of Western Australia. The trail is divided into sections, and can be ridden in either direction, either as short sections, or as a complete ride, called an end-to-end. We chose to do an end-to-end, from north to south. The Munda Biddi provides a marked route which includes small sections of tarmac, but mostly gravel roads, fire roads, trails and single-track. Along the way are ‘huts’ - shelters for cyclists to overnight in – or small towns where you can find fo
  13. So we are a bunch of friends heading down to the Annual Knysna Oyster festival for the July Holiday with one simple rule - enter at least the half marathon run on the 7th. Great, we will all stay in Buffelsbaai for the weekend, I have 2 weeks of leave and has come up with this marvelous idea of getting to Buffelsbaai on my bicycle. I have 4 days so i have planned it as follows. Day 1 Robertson to Barrydale. Day 2 Barrydale to Riversdale. Day 3 Riversdale to Hartenbos (where some of my colleuges will stay)(backroades) Day 4 George to Buffelsbaai (via 7passes). All and all about 390km My i
  14. Event Name: Bikepacking | The Big 3 Route | 3 Days When: 9 November 2018 - 11 November 2018 Where: Vrede, Freestate Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 240km 3 days/2 nights The Big 3 Route is one of the routes where you will experience real bikepacking. The route has challenges in both climb and terrain and some bike trekking will be required. ​ Our destination will be an adventure farm near Volksrust: “The town was laid out in 1888 on the farms Boschpad Drift, Rooibult or Llanwarne, Verkyk and Zandfontein, and proclaimed in 1889. Municipal status was attained in 1904. It ha
  15. Event Name: Bikepacking | The Koepel Cruise Route | Overnight When: 13 October 2018 - 14 October 2018 Where: Potchefstroom Dam, North West Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 180km 2 days/1 night The Koepel Cruise Route - The ideal long weekend family adventure. Take the whole family on a bikepacking weekend or meet the wife and kids at an overnight destination. Enjoy a Saturday at the many overnight venues while engaging in river rafting or zip line through the tree tops. ​ The overnight route is 185 km without detours with mild first day gradients, the second day route will
  16. Event Name: Bikepacking | Silo Wonders Route | Overnight When: 11 August 2018 - 12 August 2018 Where: Val Hotel, Mpumulanga Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 230 km 2 days/1 night I often call the Silo Wonders Route a “connecting” route. Not because the route connects Val and the town of Vrede but rather as this route connects other routes to form a longer bikepacking route that can easily go as far as 600 km. ​ As a route on its own, the Silo Wonders is great. You will make your way from the Val to Vrede over a 100 km crossing the Vaal River. ​ Pay your own way: you will be
  17. Event Name: Bikepacking | The Scott Route | Overnight When: 7 July 2018 - 8 July 2018 Where: Greylingstad, Mpumulanga Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 270 km 2 days/1 night The Scott Route - Named after the Scottish Regiment markings on top of a peak at Greylingstad where you start your journey. This stage route connects Greylingstad with Vrede and as a weekend route loops past Val and back to Greylingstad. The 270 km is gravel roads that follow the "Rooi Klip" road past farmlands and game farms. On route, you pass through the town of Cornelia where small town means, small
  18. Event Name: Bikepacking | The Iron Line | Overnight When: 9 June 2018 - 10 June 2018 Where: Le Bonheur Guesthouse, Heidelberg, Gauteng Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 165 km 2 days/1 night The Iron Line is one of our first bikepacking routes. The route starts in Heidelberg 70 km from the Johannesburg international airport. The Iron Line Route is made for people new to bikepacking. Daily distance is 75-80 km with stops at Belfour and Greylingstad. Discover more about the route, view the ride report. ​ Pay your own way: you will be responsible to pay for your own meals an
  19. Event Name: Bikepacking | The Iron Line | Overnight When: 1 September 2018 - 2 September 2018 Where: Le Bonheur Guesthouse, Gauteng Category: MTB BIKEPACKING.AFRICA ABOUT THE ROUTE: 165 km 2 days/1 night The Iron Line is one of our first bikepacking routes. The route starts in Heidelberg 70 km from the Johannesburg international airport. The Iron Line Route is made for people new to bikepacking. Daily distance is 75-80 km with stops at Belfour and Greylingstad. Discover more about the route, view the ride report. ​ Pay your own way: you will be responsible to pay for your own meals an
  20. Hello from a very long time lurker on this forum. Over the last two years, I have been doing a lot of bikepacking type riding in ZA and in Lesotho, with my biggest trip being from PMB to Knysna, with numerous smaller trips in Lesotho. Last year December, while crossing Lesotho from Maseru to Himeville, I ran into an American guy bikepacking in the opposite direction, we talked and spent a rest day together....one thing led to another, and now I'm en route to Ecuador to ride rhe Trans-Ecuador Singletrack Route with him (http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/trans-ecuador-singletrack). I wil
  21. Planning a bike packing adventure from Pretoria to Knysna. The Missus is a little concerned about my safety so I am going to try and get a tracker but have also decided to see if I can find anyone to join me ........ for all or just parts of the route. Current thinking is to leave 04:00 from Pretoria on Sun 11 December. Route at this stage looks something like this: Day 1: Pretoria to Heilbron (182km - B&B accommodation)Day 2: Heilbron to Clocolan (211km - Camping on Ben Nevis Farm)Day 3: Clocolan to Smithfield (198km - B&B accommodation)Day 4: Smithfield to Hofmeyr (219km - B&a
  22. I've got 2 weeks off in February, and I thought I'd do some more bikepacking. My plan is to fly to George, then cycle up through the garden route all the way to PE. I'll catch either a train or a flight back from there. Is this route possible? I'm not sure what the rules say about using the N2, and I don't see too many alternatives that will let me stay along the coast. It has to be on road, as I'll be using my little brompton. Yes I know it's not the ideal choice, but I like it and have cycled from Munich to Vienna on it quite happily. I do try to keep the distances under 50km a day thoug
  23. DevelopmentThe inspiration for the Sherpa came from our lead product guy Alex Cogger, whose own rides were getting longer and weirder and more rugged. Through strategic cooperation with WTB we were the first to experiment with 27.5+ tires and rims, and over the last few years we prototyped several bikes to test the capabilities of the wheel size. It was immediately clear that the increased float and traction was a great match for overland bikepacking. The Sherpa debuted as a concept bike at Sea Otter 2014—complete with a custom Tibetan Snow Lion paint job. It generated an overwhelming respons
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