The 36ONE MTB Challenge offers participants a chance to participate in a 361km challenge, but adventure racer Martin Dreyer has decided to take it a step further.
Starting on Friday, the RMB Change a Life MTB Academy founder will ride the 36ONE route twice for a total 722km.
“I’m always up for something like this, it’s going to be fun and really beautiful,” said the Pietermaritzburg local.
Constantly looking for the next adventure, Dreyer said he continued to seek tough, adventure-filled challenges, but that fun was something he took into consideration when deciding what to tackle next.
“Now I’m always looking for something extreme that’s filled with adventure but also with a large element of enjoyment,” he said.
Not at all daunted by the prospect of riding more than 700km, Dreyer said he knew from past experience that the organisers made it “easy to complete a long-distance race such as this”.
“With all the TLC along the route all you need is the legs to complete the challenge; you really don’t need anything else.”
Although the 49-year-old made it sound like a walk in the park, he admitted it would be the farthest he had ridden in one go.
“I’ve done the Freedom Challenge, which is 2 300km long, but this will be the longest I’ve ridden without any real break.
“This is something fun for me. Yes, I’ll still stop and have a sleep here and there. I’ll enjoy some food and stop and smell the roses when I get a chance.
“For me this isn’t a race, it’s a challenge. So, if I’m not having fun, what’s the point?”
Logistically, he said he would be forced to complete the route once before the official race start in Oudtshoorn on Friday.
“Logistics and practicality dictated that I ride it this way around. I’ve already booked flights and everything else is already organised.
“If I only started when the race started I might have missed my flight back on Sunday,” he said.
Taking inspiration from his wife, who will be competing in the solo category, Dreyer said his attitude would play a large part in overcoming the challenge.
“Attitude is everything when it comes to things like this. The pain and the suffering you have to take on the chin, but, as my wife says, attitude is the one thing you can control.”