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Dave Bell - 2013

Dave Bell - 2013

Personal message

The Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa has developed a reputation as being the toughest endurance race in South Africa.  In 2013 it will again take place in the heart of the South African winter.

It is a nonstop, unsupported mountain bike race. Competitors need to navigate by using maps and a compass (no GPSs allowed!) along cattle tracks and dirt roads.  Riders have 26 days to complete the 2300km race which has a total ascent of 40 000m. Competitors can send a two litre container with food, maps and bike spares, to 24 check-in points along the way, prior to the start of the race. Everything else needs to be carried on the bike or on the competitor’s back. Riders in the last few years have faced extreme temperatures from -12 to 30+ degrees Celsius.

The Freedom Challenge, which starts in Pietermaritzburg, takes cyclists through some of South Africa’s most breath-taking scenery as it climbs up and over the escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountain Range, travelling along the plateau, before descending into the Little Karoo. It crosses every feasible mountain range until the competitors reach Paarl in the Western Cape. Many of these areas are hardly known and very seldom utilised because of their remoteness, even to 4x4 vehicles.

There is no prize money involved in this race. The rewards for completing the Freedom Challenge are entirely personal. I do, however, want to make a difference to some of the communities along the trail.

As many of you know, I have a passion for education. I believe it is one of the keys to our country’s future. By supporting my ride you will contribute to a better education and better opportunities for a few rural students.  The Freedom Challenge Scholarship Fund provides disadvantaged children with the opportunity of fulfilling their potential. I will be starting this journey on the 13th June and you will be able to follow me (when cell phone reception allows!) on Twitter  @Dave_Bell_ZA



  • Jun 20, 2013 - R 2 000.00
  • "Thanks for making R2R awesome." - Brad

  • May 29, 2013 - R 500.00
  • "All the best Dave!" - Kistan

  • May 27, 2013 - R 500.00
  • "We will be thinking of you all as you tackle the Challenge." - Ed & Jennifer Collett

  • May 27, 2013 - R 300.00
  • "Our love and prayers for a safe ride for all of you" - Da Old Folks At Home

  • May 27, 2013 - R 200.00
  • "All the best, Dave:)" - Lisa

  • May 27, 2013 - R 250.00
  • "Go well Dave!" - One pedal stroke at a time

  • May 26, 2013 - R 1 000.00
  • "Ook vir Toby" - Nutty Prof

  • May 26, 2013 - R 400.00
  • "Go Dave We will be thinking of you" - Adam Thewwe

  • May 26, 2013 - R 100.00
  • "In memory of Toby" - Dawn

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 5 550.00

Fundraising target

R 5 000.00

Funds raised offline

R 300.00

Freedom Challenge Scholarship Fund

Freedom Challenge Scholarship Fund Logo

Over the last number of years participants in the events arranged by the Freedom Challenge have expressed an interest in giving back something to the people along the route. After much consideration we have decided that a good starting point would be to establish an educational fund to benefit the scholars living along the Mehloding section of the trail. This section falls within the area formerly known as the Transkei and has been identified in various social development studies as one of the poorest parts of the South Africa.

The Fund offers a 3 year scholarships for promising students to attend the private school located at the Mariazell Mission just below the Malekhalonyane Chalets which is one of our support stations used for the Ride Across South Africa and Ride to Rhodes events.

We are now challenging the 2014 FC participants to let their mountain biking passion benefit the local communities that span the Freedom Trail. This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute directly to uplift the knowledge and lives of individuals and communities through education.

The Fund is run under the auspices of The Freedom Challenge’s annual, extreme and unsupported, mountain bike race extending from Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town This is a project of the Freedom Trail Foundation.