The 29th Latitude Challenge was conceived and inaugural run undertaken by member Buks Neethling of Lydenburg (VO200), with approval granted by VOG founder/ administrator David V Davy on 23rd November 2013.
The fact that the 29th parallel spans the widest part of South Africa and passes through towns that are simply not on traditionally-travelled main routes, makes for a ride with a difference!
The 29th Latitude crosses the Southern African subcontinent, passing north of Port Nolloth on the West Coast, running through the Northern Cape, Free State, Lesotho and KZN where it exits close to Tugela Mouth on the East Coast. Total distance from the cold Atlantic Ocean to the warm Indian Ocean is approximately 1462 km. The best-fit ride covers a distance of 1846 km - according to Google maps. However, the contender may prepare his own route plan, which may be determined by current road conditions and localised security considerations.
The Challenge is a time related start-to-finish adventure, allowing for a maximum of 5 days to complete the 1800 plus km run. Alternative routes may take you south of Lesotho or even via Bethlehem to reach Bloemfontein. Both tarred and dirt roads would be acceptable.
The rules are simple:
The challenge is a 5 day maximum point-to-point run.
Start/ finish at Port Nolloth and Zinkwazi Beach.
Provide a photograph of you and your bike with the sea in the background at both ends.
Both start and finish points allow access by tar road down to a sea view.
Supply fuel slips and odometer reading at both start & finish towns.
There are no compulsory stops along the route, but the challenger should provide identification of accommodation each night.
Random photographs of towns visited with place-name signage are gladly accepted and may be used to assist future challengers.
Best-fit towns to the 29th Latitude that would be encountered - should you travel from Port Nolloth in the west to Zinkwazi Beach in the east - would be:
Port Nolloth = recognised end/ start
Zinkwazi = recognised end/ start