X-Berg Day 0. Recce and Race Briefing.

Tuesday 28 April 2015. Time for X-Berg Challenge.

I woke up strangely relaxed yet nervous at the same time, an unknown adventure awaiting. It was time. We arrived at The Border Post on Tuesday 28 April just after lunch leaving enough time for a quick recce and familiarization with the first half of Day 1. It proved rather intimidating to say the least, the Drakensberg is a very big mountain range.

A highlight was meeting up with Simon from The Phat Chef, to settle my R18.00 bill from buying a remote beer for my mate Niven who did Dash2Durban the week before. It was great to meet the participants as they arrived one-by-one, these were hard core folks, they had signed up for one serious challenge and they looked the part.

The evening we had race briefing, the usual kind of race briefing except there was a picture of a very big mountain with very big cliffs. It was very clear what we were in for and that if the weather was favorable, the paragliders were going to have all the fun. The weather forecast was not good for flying though, a strong Westerly meant flying would be limited if at all possible on Day 1 and the gliders were going to have to hike if they wanted to make progress.

The field for X-Berg is still small, so a couple of changes were put up for vote, specifically the start time. It was agreed for 7h00 which suited me better as I had in mind to ride all the way to the evening cut-off at 23h00, allowing me 16 hours riding time. I calculated I’d be able to reach the start of the portage to TP5 but would make final decisions only later in the afternoon once the day and route had developed. I loaded a last minute route option onto my GPS and it was time to X-Sleep :-).

IMG_4955

Race briefing at The Border Post. Not good for the confidence when you ride a bicycle and see a picture of a big mountain.

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