Tuesday, September 29, 2015


...And so we come to the mid end of the week and month of September. 

After the last post ‘Fingers Crossed’ I made the recovery after the last round of meds and still with a heavy sinus got going in week three as stated. The time spent on the bike at present is merely just that, time in the saddle even though there is a desired schedule to be implemented. With eight months to go there is still plenty time to pick up the tempo at the focal points in schedule. I need to remind myself in my eagerness; one doesn’t want to run the risk of over training, boredom and lack of focus which can consume one if starting too hard too early and in hindsight what happened to me somewhat from August 2013 amidst the excitement of having entered my first Freedom Challenge. Now having come out of that experience and pulling valuable insight from it, one is a little more the wiser when preparing, training, competing and ultimately completing this event. 

Misty September morning sunrise

To be honest with readers of my blog and followers of my impending adventure, it was just in this last week of September that I have realized how mentally drained I have been. After all the training and efforts from August 2013 and then onto a failed attempt at Freedom Challenge 2014 after my crash, being too hard on myself and grappling with the disappointment, then a close member of family diagnosed with cancer shortly after that and the battle lost in August this year, it’s been a trying year. I have said before and again what one pulls from all this is that we are stronger than we think we are. We can sometimes give ourselves less credit than we deserve. From 2009 it has always been a dream to take part in the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa. After 2014 failed attempt, it was never going to be an option to give up on that dream. Also, the idea and actions to get involved with the deaf community involving children has been a desire for a long time. When you can relate to an environment with those that are deaf whether totally or partly, I am most at ease. 

September blaze of glory

My quest to help Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town for deaf children, in raising funds for this facility that does wonderful and positive things for the deaf children that attend, has been somewhat slow in responses but realize that more exposure and more time is required and one just needs to persevere and keep spreading the news.

Any readers of this blog I encourage you to share my story and ask you to assist by spreading it far and wide. Ultimately, donations would be fantastic and a reminder can be done securely at:


 As we start October 2015, a long overdue short break will be taken with my family. As some fitness activities will be on the cards at this time, thereafter, the schedule and focus ahead will become more streamlined and spearheaded towards June 2016.

I am looking forward to reporting on this...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Courtesy of Andrew King who filmed a documentary on the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa in 2013, I thought to share this to give one some brief insight into this extreme event that I will take part in again in 2016.

Here is the video: (Be advised this video is 25min long, so grab the coffee, sit back and enjoy)

Click on the link:     https://vimeo.com/44227875

Sunday, September 13, 2015


After a positive 1st week of September in training so the continuous 2nd week was awaited with focused anticipation. This however was short lived with the arrival of a scratchy throat and sinus threatening to blow the top of my head off. Brushing it off with the belief that it would come to pass was met with disappointment, a doctors visit by the Friday and the recommendation to take a few days off from any form of exercise and indulge in a course of antibiotics and other flu remedies.

From a female perspective, it would seem "man flu" is not something to be "taken lightly" but I am sure I have been an exception and managing it quite well as well as dispensing the myth.

9 Months to go! Freedom Challenge race across South Africa can begin to consume the mind in all aspects as one moves through the days and weeks of training and preparation going forward. The ultimate aim is to get physically and mentally fit for such an extreme event. With the vastness of distance and terrain one would need to cover in this race, I believe it really comes down to applying what you already know (if you have done or attempted Freedom Challenge before), what you need to know and taking one moment at a time.

The frequent question answered. Freedom Challenge is different in that it is unsupported for the total duration of the 2300km other than the compulsory check-in support stations en-route. These stations can offer you a bed for the night and food. Other than that, in between, you carry everything with you by means of your own bike, backpack and spares. In between these stations, you are on your own and need to improvise for any situation you may be faced with. It is not unheard of to sleep under the stars. The route itself, managed with a map and compass, is all off the beaten track, far off district roads, animal tracks and every once in a while a cross over a main road route. There are also times, crossing mountain ranges where you will be required to carry your bike as well. The other elements to face is winter conditions such as snow,wind, rain and frost along with wild animals you may encounter crossing reserves and isolated wilderness areas. Without ignoring the facts for self, is the hearing impairment I have which one would use for detecting any warning sounds or signs. There is also the over 32 000m of climbing over the duration of the course.

The Freedom Challenge route map from start to finish:

I hope and wish with my adventure, others will see the challenge in it and support my initiative to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town that teaches deaf children to speak.

Illness happens. I hope to be back in the saddle by the weekend of week 3...... fingers crossed!

Monday, September 7, 2015


With the first week of September behind us I am looking forward to the weeks ahead. With the entry paid in full for the 2016 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa and confirmation received the platform is set for the months ahead.

Training started off effectively as of the 1st week of September after a varied abstract pattern of activity over the past month of August and earlier due to other important matters needing attention. The mornings have been pretty chilly and getting out of bed at 4am a grind the past week, yet the rewards of getting going and out there have been gratifying. For the moment and better part of next 3 months it will be purely just riding, with a plan and also effectively known as base miles to get accustomed to the endurance riding to come. The training aim is to get to an eventual 15-20hr week on the bike. With a full day job and family commitments, it can become quite a juggling act but is do-able. I must state however, that having a supportive family can go miles whilst you putting in the time to prepare for an adventure such as the Freedom Challenge. Throw in a mix of running, walking, hiking and some core exercise should also prepare one for what lies ahead. Then there is also not to forget, training with a weighted backpack to simulate the riding sensation and get use to the rear end pressure which must become accustomed to engaging the saddle with the extra weight for long periods of time. These months of training can also lead to some experimentation with gear to establish what works best, and what not.

The second part of this story is my quest to raise as much funds for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town as most will know by now. Maybe I am over eager, but so wish for more additional support and am hopeful in this. This is really something close to me and support would really make this venture special and worthwhile if it is all forthcoming.

To all all readers please support my initiative towards The Carel du Toit Centre going forward, please share share share!

And so the new journey begins - Photo captured 6.40am Sunday 6 September 2015 - end of the 1st training week



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