Enduring 4 Echo

From the 6th-19th of December 2020, Taun, for Adventure Cycles, will be undertaking a 1000km+ Solo, unsupported MTB journey, starting at Cape st Francis, and ending at Cape Point. The ride will be done to raise awareness and funds for Echo Youth Development.

2020 has been a tough year for us all. Many people have lost their jobs, business and more. All around, people are worse off financially than they were a year ago. As we are all forced to tighten our belts and look for ways to save, It is also a time to think of those less fortunate. Organisations like Echo, rely on donations to keep up the great work they are doing, so as Taun endures this 1000km journey, we ask you to keep in mind that the youths that Echo supports, have endured far worse, and would still be if not for the great work of the organisation.

With Austerity measures all around, the smaller NPO’s working to take care of the truly vulnerable in society, as are hit the hardest. We would like to use this ride to draw attention one of these very organisations, Echo Youth Development, who in the face of crippling budget restrictions, has since 2006, worked tirelessly to care for and provide for vulnerable youth. Our aim is to raise R10.00 for every KM of this journey and ask you to please support us on Backabuddy.

What is Echo Youth Development?

Echo is a registered non-profit organization founded in 2001 to provide a support system for vulnerable youth in South-Africa. High School Youth and Young Adults from different cultures live together in 13 houses, called Echo Communities.

We are based in Pretoria but there are also smaller ECHO Communities in Johannesburg, Centurion and Cape Town. ECHO Youth Development hosts weekly youth programs and free counselling services at a number of schools.

To learn more about all of ECHO projects, click here

The Ride

The ride that will be undertaken is approximatelly 1000km (1033km in its current guise), unsupported, solo ride, that will begin at the lighthouse in Cape St Francis, and end at Cape Point, somewhere between 10 and 14 days later.

The route that has been chosen, is not the shortest, or the eaisest, or the most efficient, but rather, the one that promises to give the best experiences, the greatest views, and as far as possible, be a true MTB/gravel route.

Of the 1033km planned, only 242km (23%) will be along tarred or paved roads. Everything else is either jeep track, gravel roads or singletrack.

I will be travelling light, carrying basic bikepacking supplies, enabling myself to camp along the way as needed, and will also carry minimal food and drink, to sustain myself in emergencies. The objective however is to immerse myself into the areas I travel through, so for the most part, meals will be bought at local restuarants and shops, and where possible, as well as staying over on farms and guesthouses along the way, and learning about the areas from the locals themselves.

Route and elevation

The route will begin at the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St Francis, and then make way, via humansdorp into the Baviaanskloof, essentially following the route of the transbaviaans until just outside of Willowmore, where it will begin to head in a more southerly direction, heading through the karoo, via Uniondale, then descending the Montagu pass into George, where a night will be spend with family.

From George, the route tackles the longest singular tar road stretch, as it heads towards Hartenbos, Vleesbaai, Gouritsmond and then onwards to Stillbaai. From Stillbaai, it joins the route of our Hessequa/Overberg Cruise MTB tour. From Stillbaai, the riding gets better and better, as it snakes along gravel and sand tracks, through some amazing scenery, towards Witsand. Then crossing over the Breede River at Malgas, and then making way towards Arniston, turning off just before Arniston to go through to Ahgulus, for another spectacular lighthouse stop at the Southern tip of Africa.

From Aghulus, the route continues along the same route as the shorter version of the Hessqua/Overberg cruise, towards Elim, then on along the Papiesvlie road, to Stanford. From Stanford, the going gets tough again, with some serious mountains to climb, as it heads in the direction of Franshoek nad Stellenbosch, before finally making way into Cape Town, where the cities extensive network of bike paths and tracks will be exploited to reach the final destination at Cape Point.

We look forward to sharing this journey with you via the website, where a daily update will be provided, as well as through our social media channels. If you feel you can afford it, please also visit our Backabuddy page, and make a donation towards Echo. All funds donated via Backabuddy are paid directly to Echo Youth Development.