Thursday, June 19, 2014

Freedom Challenge - Slaapkranz to Elandsberg

Things have been moving along reasonably well for Jill and Liehann for the past three days. Communication was pretty spotty, so another short update. 
Jill seems to have a lot of fun despite challenging conditions with headwinds, temperatures of 14F, long days, and dead arms. The group has picked up another racer, so they are five cyclists now. 
Liehann seems a little more unlucky. Not only were they unable to get a replacement fork, but he has shin splints from walking, some knee pains, can't open his hand for some odd reason (which doesn't seem to concern him) and, to top it off, a failing rear brake. I think he should pick up some sport where he can't break stuff, like bridge maybe? Those cards are awfully sharp though ...

The original plan was to double up on the next two checkpoints which aren't too far apart and seem to be easy enough to navigate. So far they're moving very well.

For reference, some messages Jill posted:

-10C this morning . Arms are dead. Wish i weight trained
Gorgeous sunrise. Making arraingements for liehanns broken fork. Long day ahead
Portage killed the arms. Hoping they come back. afternoon pedal through high desert was lovely. Shift from native villages to farm country
Yesterday 137Km. Two portages. Harsh headwind. Fun 15Km on sandstone rollers. Still worried about dead arms.
Rugged descent from stormberg mountains into karoo desert. Icy headwind and stunning winter light. Tricky night nav has left me mentally drained

And some exchanges I had with Liehann:

Rear brake is soft
Need to pump it before it engages
Will ship bleed kit somewhere
Left leg shin splint and knee tweek
Otherwise good
Jill seems perfect :-)
Tue, 3:28 AM
So much tougher
Tue, 3:32 AM
Oh man! Be careful. Check that the caliper isnt leaking!!!
Tue, 8:36 AM
Whats the latest bike drama?
Wed, 12:58 PM
Nothing for now. :-)
Will get bleed kit in two days. Ride fork to cape Town
Hard work on the hands
Have some numbness in left hand. Oh well
Wed, 8:53 PM


  1. Lov'n the updates and by the length of this could be another too.

    I was fortunate to mountain bike for two years in Sud de Afrique....tis a great journey they'll have.

    Be safe. Be well. Both of you can do this!!!


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