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The soul of mountain biking

RICHARD SPRINGORUM talks to adventure-seeker, Pierre Singery

LOCAL adventure man Pierre Singery (53) recently completed the Race Across South Africa (RASA) section of the Freedom Challenge race, which made him the first Zululander to conquer this extreme event.

It all started when David Waddie Love ran the Two Oceans marathon in 2003, and then decided to run off-road back to Pietermaritzburg, realising what a beautiful and challenging route this would make for mountain biking.

Thus the following year after completing the Comrades Marathon, Love cycled to Cape Town the next day with his brother Rob and photographer Andrew King. This took 26 days to complete. He then competed in the Berg River canoe marathon after that.

From the whole experience the Freedom Challenge was born.

Richards Bay veterinarian Singery came across this challenging and gruelling race in a mountain biking magazine.

After doing thorough research, he completed the Race to Rhodes leg last year, before conquering the RASA this year.

Singery took up mountain biking as a hobble after wanting to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle through sport.

He started training six times a week, 17 hours per week whilst doing long rides on his bike.

Pilates and weight training at gym was also part of his training, which aided in preparing him to carry a 12kg backpack throughout the race.


The Freedom Challenge is a completely unsupported race between man and nature, with the theme of ‘The soul of mountain biking’.

The Race Across South Africa (RASA) starts in Maritzburg and ends in Paarl. This non-stop, unsupported race has a 26 day time limit where one covers 2 300 km in June.

Race to Rhodes is also unsupported and starts in Maritzburg and ends in Rhodes, following the same rules as RASA, but covering only 500km over a seven day time limit.

The Ride to Rhodes is a supported ride from Maritzburg to Rhodes done in September.

The touring trail can be done whenever one wants to with your own rules.

‘Finishing the race was exhilarating. I was physically and mentally drained, but felt a great sense of achievement,’ said Singery.

‘Next year I will not compete in the Freedom Race, but have my eye out on a race in Madagascar.

Anyone wanting to do this race or require more information or advice, can contact Pierre on 035 7531234.

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