There is a mountain bike trail called Freedom. It is 2 300 kilometres long and runs from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl, but not in a straight line. Instead, it penetrates the heart of rural South Africa, off the beaten track, and leaves riders marvelling at the beauty of our land and the warmth of our people. Every winter since 2004 a few “hardcores” have braved the entire route. Carrying essentials, they spend 14 to 26 days doing the “Race Across South Africa”. Then there are the ultra-hardcores who do the Extreme Triathlon — Comrades, the Race Across South Africa and the four-day Berg River Canoe Marathon.