November 2017

Durban2CapeTown - An adventurous ride to save the rhino

Author: Hugh Carthew | Rhino Rider

On the 1st October 2017, Rory Hopkinson and myself, Hugh Carthew, set off on bicycles from Warner Beach, Durban on our 2100km journey to Cape Town.

Under the watchful eye of Johan Evert, owner of YFISA, we headed into the stunning landscape of the Transkei. As two chaps with zero road cycling experience this was quite a shock to the system. Our biggest ride on just day three was 160km with an elevation gain of 3130m taking us a full nine and a half hours in up to thirty four degree heat.

Left to Right - Johan, Hugh and Rory

Much of the challenge was also undertaken on dirt roads, with our first being the most extreme, as we followed GPS coordinates on a hand drawn map to Coffee Bay. It took us through river crossings and areas that were so remote that the sight of two British blokes on bikes was enough to leave most locals looking quite bewildered – especially in the pouring rain!

Dirt Road

However the journey did not come without incident. Shortly after the half way point, when racing down Natures Valley, a sharp bend caught Rory off guard, flipping him over a concrete barrier and down a 10ft drop into the thorny undergrowth! This left him unable to cycle for a while as we continued into the well known Garden Route. After a physio appointment on our third and last rest day in Mossel Bay, Rory was able to get back on the bike and cycle for the last few days before our finish at Chapman’s Peak on the 24th October.

68 bends to go

As painful and exhausting as many of the days were, pushing through constant head winds, it was an incredible experience giving us the chance to see so much of a country that we have come to love, and in doing so raise money for two brilliant charities, Save The Rhino and the Army Benevolent Fund Soldier’s Charity. Any further support would be hugely appreciated. 

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Photo credit: Johan Evert

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