I somehow find myself in Cape Town, South Africa, about to embark on an 8 Day 830+ kilometer unsupported mountain bike journey with some very talented boys in the likes of Dan Hugo, runner up by 30 seconds in this years Xterra World Champs, Raoul De Jongh (of urban-ninja) and a few others I have yet to meet.  

I’m as excited as a 6 year old in a lolly shop but how is it I find myself being the first non South African invited along? I simply asked… But to back track, A friend and ex athlete of mine Josh Rix said if I happened to meet Dan in Maui (Xterra World Champs 2010) last year to say hi. Literally a couple hours after that email, I went riding with another friend Tyler Butterfield and low and behold the guy I end up pedaling beside was Dan… Small world. 

The day after Xterra world champs, Charlotte and I went to dinner with Tyler and there was this whole SA contingent with us and that is where I met Raoul and discovered his urban-ninja blog. 

Raoul’s blog quickly became one of my favorite and regular reads and I made contact with him about some guest blogs and we have been in contact ever since. A cheeky twitter message from me saying something along the lines of “I’d be more interested in coming along on your epic unsupported tour” ended in some back and forth Skype messages and getting an elusive invite. Stoked!

One of the cool things in life is how a person you meet can be a catalyst for some amazing life experiences. This is case in point and another life lesson I want to share is, you gotta ask! If you don’t ask you don’t get. The odds are always good. It’s 50/50 either yes or know, but it’s 100% no if you never ask. So if you want something, be willing to work hard for it but ask.

So I’m about to depart for a night in the famous training mecca of Stellenbosch before we all head of to George and the Rock pedal classic mtn bike race 100k which makes up day one.

From there the itinerary is: 
– George to Oudtshoorn 129km
– Oudtshoorn to Prince Albert 72km Via Swartberg Pass (includes an hour hike carrying bikes on some donkey trail. — Prince Albert to Sweweekspoort 93km Through de Hel (from accounts de hel is quite hellish)
– Sweweekspoort to Anysberg Nature Reserve 110k
– Anysberg Nature Reserve to Ashton 100km 
– Ashton to Franschhoek  124km
– Franschhoek to Cape Town, 24th December 96km Over Jonkershoek on new route to be planned.

824km of mtn biking plus some non planned running..

The epicness continues for me with packing up my gear as soon as we finish (hopefully having time for burgers and beers) and jumping on a flight to London a few hours after we finish. Getting into London at 6:30am on Christmas morning… Wouldn’t want to miss my son’s first Christmas!

The next 9 days are sure to give us some very memorable life experiences and lasting friendships. I’ll be capturing some of the adventure on the trusty little GoPro camera and will load that for you guys and have a report after Christmas. 

And for those of you racing Ironman NZ in March, I’ll be running a camp in Taupo over the course from Jan 27th to the 30th. More details to come but if you’re interested email me at info [at] trispecific.com and I’ll get back to you after Christmas.