The Im’possible ride from Plett to Stellenbosch

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On the hottest ride of his life. (Photo: Max Sullivan)
On the hottest ride of his life. (Photo: Max Sullivan)

South African endurance rider, Grant Lottering, knows about suffering on the bike.

He has lapped the Alps on some terrific road bike rides for charity. Grant’s latest adventure was a non-stop ride from Plettenberg Bay to Stellenbosch.

That route might sound idyllic, but it proved to be a severe test in the oppressive summer heat. Average temperatures were 29-degrees Celsius, with many sections of the ride being far hotter.

Grant completed the route of 692km in only 38 hours, at an average speed of 11.4km/h. His strategy was to ride for three or four hours, before pausing for short breaks of only a few minutes. Throughout the 38-hour adventure, Grant napped for only 40 minutes in total.

warm ride
An extreme endurance ride during the South African summer. Can humble even the toughest riders. (Photo: Max Sullivan)

No easy endurance rides - in summer

The original goal was to climb over the iconic Swartbergpass, but flash flooding forced Grant to divert. Despite not riding the Swartberg, Grant still totalled 11 300m of climbing on his ride.

Commenting at the finish in Stellenbosch, Grant admitted the heat fatigue was real. "This was by no means my longest Im'possible Tour, but without doubt the hardest 700km I've ever cycled due to the conditions and terrain."

The most challenging portion of Grant’s ride experience was the initial 158km from Plettenberg Bay to the Prince Alfred Pass. It featured 3 000m of climbing and an average ride temperature of 39-degrees Celsius, resulting in severe cramping for most of his day on the bike.

Completing the ride saw Grant raise R60 000 for the Reach for a Dream Foundation. His next goal is the first North American Im’possible Tour, in June. 

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