Fabien Barel mt kenya challenge - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine



Fabien Barel mt kenya challenge

Freerider Darren Berrecloth just sent us this report from the Fabian Barel Mt Kenya Challenge.

After a grueling several days in Africa I am now home safe and well.

The Fabien Barel mt kenya challenge was a huge success, all 10 riders set out from Nairobi on a hot stinky bus way too overloaded, shortly afterward ascended up Mt Kenya over 16000 feet.

The experience was by far one of my best, getting to interact with the local people and get a first hand perspective on how they live their lives was a unbelievable experience. These were our porters gearing up before the hike.

The hike was a fairly difficult trail especially considering the altitude, it took us 3 days to reach the summit.
The 2nd night we camped at 13500 feet. Quite a few of us were suffering from the altitude with symptoms ranging to mild headache to absolute nausea.
The meals were prepared by our porters which consisted of some rather tasty items especially considering the conditions, I thought the food was rather good.
On the 3rd morning we woke up before dawn and started our hike which for myself was quite difficult due to the altitude.
Once at the top we gathered our breath (which was was not alot to be
had) and enjoyed the view while we all saddled up for the descent.

Being my first adventure race I didn’t expect much in terms of results for myself so I decided to ride as fast as I was comfortable with and be happy with whatever the result I got.

Because for myself it was more of a adventure and great opportunity to give something back to the African community.The proceeds went to a charity organization called accord, which helps bring water and political structure to undeveloped communities in kenya.
So my race run was good except for a little bit of a missagreement with my seatpost.
My cable for my pneumatic post got jammed so, as soon as I started my run my seat would spring up and then when I would sit down it would drop all the way to the bottom.

It was safe to say that I crashed a few times over the bars due to the raised seat, especially on the super steep sections.
As for the trail down, well let me tell you it was by far one of the raddest trails I’ve ever done. The trail varied from super steep technical rocky sections to beautiful buff single track through the Rubarri trees, it also consisted of 2 hike a bike sections of which were quite difficult to hike 15 mins up after 45 mins of pinning it down.
The bottom half of the trail was the best part, flowing double track which seemed effortless due to the addition of oxygen in my lungs since i was getting closer to sea level.

I ended up finishing in 1 hour 52 mins which I was super happy with especially since i stopped for 10 mins to fix my seatpost half way.
At the end of the day everyone made it down safely and it was nothing but smiles from everyone.
It seemed as everyone had as much fun on this adventure as I did.

In short I would like to thank Fabien and his crew for putting on a great event that only did it enrich the lives of many africans it enriched ours as well.

Darren “Bearclaw” Berrecloth’s report from the extreme Mt Kenya Challenge


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