G!RO has teamed up with our mates at Curve & Benky Rides to offer you a once in a lifetime trip across the Kingdom of Lesotho!
The Trans-Lesotho Expedition is a ride, an adventure and a journey into a land barely touched by the modern world. A land where Shepherds tend their flocks, families grow their food, where the Mountains reign and the weather controls your every move. This is a land of beauty and freedom and one that is rarely explored, not least by bike, and is ready to be discovered.
The days are full of vistas, mountains and rural towns and we will spend the vast majority of our time in open mountain plains and farmlands away from towns and modern life. The penalty, or rewards, for that is many a climb but the views and freedom far exceed the effort expended to receive them.
We will encounter local life in its truest form, from Spaza shops to Shebeens and from seeing Khaya life to Shepherds tending their flocks of cattle, goats and sheep. This will be a journey back in time to a simpler, sustainable life that you can't help but yearn for. The roads and trails we will traverse vary from smooth to rough and technical but are always manageable and enjoyable, at least in hindsight. From the magnificent Sani Pass to the endless climbs in the Mountain Kingdom and the descents that come with you will be in awe of your surrounds and their beauty, which is both rugged and beautiful and inspires a sense of awe that is impossible to describe.
We are going to ride across Lesotho! The expedition will start in Nottingham Road, KZN and transit across the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho to Clarens, in the Free State, taking in 620km and 16,000 metres of climbing along the way. This is a rough and rugged route on dirt roads at high altitude, touching 3,300m of altitude and not often below 2,000m. Riders should be prepared for long days and big rides, surrounded by beautiful vistas and scenery from a forgotten time. You will work hard to earn the honour of wearing the Warrior's Mokhorotlo but that honour will be well worth earning we assure you!
Preparation and Gear Check rides: 1 (20 October, compulsory)
Total Expedition Days: 7 (21-27 October)
Travel Days: 2 (19 and 28 October)
Average Day: 6 hours of riding covering 100km and 2,500m of climbing
Hardest Day: 150km and 3,000m of elevation change (Around 10hrs on rough and hilly roads at high altitude)
Rest Days: There are no rest days on this expedition
Altitude Range: 1,500m - 3,300m
This is an expedition for fit riders who feel confident in their ability to ride long hours day after day. It will not be a race but fitness and endurance is still important. It is expected that pre-expedition training will be done and that you will prepare accordingly to make this expedition a memorable one.
Support: The tour will be guided by Benky himself along with Jesse Carlsson and Sarah Hammond. Jesse and Sarah need no introduction to those in the Adventure cycling community and Benky has been riding these roads for years, providing local knowledge and insight and the safety of 'been there, done that' on the routes bringing the ongoing fun will by Ryan 'Rhino' Flinn, another who needs no introduction, especially to the fans of microblogging Ultra-Distance races. There will be a back-up vehicle at all times with a mechanic onboard to ensure that your bike is in working order throughout what is a gruelling ride for both bike and body.
Transport: We will take care of all transport needs during the tour but we need you to get yourself to Durban. We will collect you from King Shaka Airport on the afternoon of 19 October and get you back there by 4pm on 28 October. Please ensure that you book your flights accordingly.
Accomodation: We will stay in Guest Houses along the way, the best available in each area will be chosen. Each room will be for 2 people sharing.
Meals: All of your meals for the duration of the tour will be provided for ensuring that you are well fed on and off the bike. Drinks will be for your own account but are very well priced.
Must have gravel experience or be comfortable on it.
Have a gravel bike or CX machine.
Must have experience in riding back to back multi day rides of 3-4 days with min 4-5 hrs a day on the bike
Minimum base fitness - can easily ride 150kms on road. 100kms off road
The cost for the whole expedition is £2200 + flights. This includes all transfers, accommodation, all meals & all the guiding plus necessary support. You will be required to source your own flights, and we can recommend flights and times of arrival to assist the process.
We would absolutely love to have you join on this once in a lifetime trip. To show your interest, or of you have any questions at all, simply use this contact form and we will get back to you asap!
Benky Rides was born from our belief that it's never just a bike ride, that there is always more to it than that. We believe in taking the unknown path, in finding new places, in new views, in new trails and in sharing that with the friends that we make along the way. The Benky Rides experience is one of fun, of new, of memories, of laughter and most of all about rediscovering the love of riding 'just because'. Join us for a weekend, a week or even just a day and we promise you will leave with a smile and a new sense of why you ride.
We’ve been seeing a big increase in the number of new cyclists out and about since the lockdown, which is absolutely fantastic. Here at G!RO, we believe the power of the bike to enable many things - a sustainable mode of transport, a freedom machine to let you see new places, through to the fast and furious sport of bike racing.
We teamed up with our good mate Francis Cade to create a video to highlight our Top 7 Tips for New Riders On The Road!