The Freedom Rider. Mountain biker in Sterling Silver.
This sculpture was created as a symbol of sincere gratitude for a good friend, Charl Van Der Spuy, who had helped me immensely in the 2 year long build up and training for the iconic mountain bike race, the Freedom Challenge, Race Across South Africa.
As a complete novice to mountain biking, I really had no idea what I was in for, and Charl played a huge role in painting a very clear picture of what lay ahead, and what was needed to do to get through it all.
Sterling Silver. Figurine 50mm (height measured head to foot when standing upright, bike in proportion). Mounted on rock.
Incidentally there is a book titled ‘Freedom Rider’, written by one of South Africa’s well known long distance cyclists, Kevin Davie. It is a brilliant and must-read account of some of his vast and long exploration rides, including the Freedom Challenge.
The Freedom Challenge is described on the website as:
The Race Across South Africa takes place in June/July each year. It is a 2300 km, non-stop, self-navigated mountain bike race starting in Pietermaritzburg KZN and ending in Wellington near Cape Town. Riders are allowed a maximum of 26 days to complete the ride.
It is a non-stop event, so riders are not required to stop every day/night as in other stage races. Riders are required to be self-sufficient and carry all their own personal belongings with them.
The route follows the Freedom Trail along a wide variety of off-road terrain – dirt roads, farm roads and tracks, footpaths and animal tracks. Many of the trails retrace old historic wagon routes which are no longer in regular use. Apart from the riding, there are numerous portage sections where riders will have to hike, push and even carry their bikes.
Since the route is not marked, riders need to navigate by means of maps, compass and narrative directions – the use of GPS devices for navigation during the race is not allowed and will lead to disqualification.
- The route traverses six terrestrial biomes and the geography ranges from coastal to mountainous to semi-desert. Anticipated temperatures during June/July can range from 32 degrees Celcius down to minus 15 degrees Celcius
- The total cumulative ascent is over 37 000 metres with the highest point along the route being 2700 metres above sea level.