December 30, 2009

The Epic Unsupported Tour : Prologue

I thought to give a bit of background to the camp, and the idea, and what I had hoped for before we set out on what was already a mad idea, just in concept. Here were the rules:

1. Carry everything in a small backpack that you would need for the week.
2. Book accommodation in advance.
3. Avoid franchises at all costs.
4. Bring a dose of humility and humor.
5. Ride as smart as possible.

We had a route planned, with a 2 day MTB race in George, followed by the route of;

Day 1: George to Prince Albert
Day 2: Prince Albert to Ladismith
Day 3: Ladismith to Barrydale
Day 4: Barrydale to Kleinhoekkloof
Day 5: Kleinhoekkloof to Kleinhoekkloof
Day 6: Rawsonville to Cape Town

But why trek 700km unsupported through the semi desert and call it “holiday” ???

Couple reasons:

1. To switch off totally. Cellphone use was limited to about 10min a day for me.
2. To gain a base fitness for a crazy 2010 which includes 19 days of racing in the first 4 months of the year alone.
3. To get away, and really away, from what was a very rough last 6 weeks to the year.
4. To have a boys adventure and talk boys rubbish for a few days.
5. Because.

The last point may be the best one and it resounds with me most clearly since we have been back. Cape Town will always be Cape Town. Big parties, fuzzy heads, attitudes, crazy Joburgers in December, etc etc. The idea was to challenge that and to do something which not only scared the living bejezzzzus out of the 3 of us on paper, but threw us in the deep end and tested what we were made of.

Each guy got something different out of the trip. We were each given specific challenges – physical, emotional, spiritual, etc – to clear in the week, very randomly at times.

It was to be unceremonious and harsh, but I believe we all came out better for it.

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