Elephant Epic training loop

Overview

Yes, I know we should be tapering the week before the Elephant epic. I know it will do the race no good to do a long and hard training the week before. However, the people joining the training have no chance to win the epic anyway (hence no intention to try) and it is just great fun to do a long ride in the escarpment!! We all just go to bed really early for the rest of the week, wear our compression socks every day and pray for a quick recovery.

This loop is focused on making kilometers and is therefore a mixture of jeep tracks and single-tracks with only two long hills. Having said that, these hills named “That’s what she said” (long and steep) and “the creeper” (long and rocky) are very challenging. There’s only a few of us able to ride them all the way. The views from “That’s what she said” are very rewarding and it’s downhill is one of the better ones of the escarpment…

Guides
Craig, Martijn, Hubert

Stats
Length 72 km
Ascent 800m
Difficulty: moderate/tough (length!)
Starting point: Alain’s place ( 15°29’11 South,  28°26’25 East)
Type: Circuit

Track
Epic training (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Map

Epic_training

Photos
Eastward view from the top of “That’s what she said”

That’s what she said

View into Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Escarpment Map – key ascents and descents

Overview

We love to ride the escarpment terrain, south-east of Lusaka. There are so many de- and ascents in there that are worth exploring. There will always be somebody there to guide us, and Alain is generously providing a great place to park and sit down afterwards.

However, there are also riders that ride (mostly) on their own and / or start from the Lilayi area (make sure to leave a donation for the Orphanage if you park there). Self explorers are finding beautiful areas and hills, and slopes might be removed from the collective memory when they are less-used. We can also not count on the most knowledgeable guides to be around all the time.

To make sure:

  • that slopes are not forgotten,
  • that we are all able to find that extreme downhill,
  • that we use the same names,
  • that everybody can enjoy the fruits of the explorers
  • that everybody can plan their own routes

I started drawing a map of the escarpment. You can find it here: In the Escarpment. It is a living map, So please send us newly explored gems worth sharing, or things that I have missed.

Map

Escarpment map

Dos Rios (Pump Up Version)

Overview
This is a fantastic route that showcases the best of the escarpment rides, the great sweeping descent and single track to the two rivers (hence Dos Rios) and the gradual and very manageable re-ascent to the Pump with plenty of great track and views in between. It is not a hard ride, about 3 hours of pedal time, and plenty of options to reduce or extend as you go, this one started from a private house but anywhere along the Chifwema Road would be fine.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 46km
Elevation Gain: 453m
Difficulty: moderate
Starting point: Chifwema Road
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format (right click – save link as)

Map Image

Google Earth KML File

Click here

Independence Day 2012

Overview
This ride was followed on Zambia’s Independence Day 2012. It’s a great ride with two significant decents and accents with some plateau riding in the middle. If you go around this route in a clockwise direction, as we did, you will ride down the infamous ‘Profanity Hill’. I’ve walked up ‘Profanity Hill’ twice – pushing two bikes on one occasion – so doing it this way around was a great improvement. In the valleys it is very hot so start early and take plenty of water. We started at 7am and I got through 3 litres of water.

Guides
Matt Morely if you can get him! Matt knows this area very well and can advise on alternative routes along the way.

Stats
Length 47.8km
Ascent 620m
Descent: 620m
Difficulty: moderate/tough (as assessed by an inexperinced 56 year old!)
Starting point: Lat: -15.486265 Long: 28.440694
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format Independence Day 2012.gpx (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Photos

Independence Day Ride 2012

Independence Day Ride 2012 - the top of water pump hill

Taking a break at the top of water pump hill

Map

Independence Ride

Three Farms Loop

Overview
This a varied 40km ride. It is a true loop with very little of the trail ridden twice. After a gentle climb up to the entry point into the Forest Reserve there is gentle downhill single track section and a couple of nice gullies across streams. There is then a lot of dirt/gravel road with three good hills – cyclable but they will take your breath away.

You pass through three farms – but no one seems to mind!

You pass by the entrance to Monkey Pools and so you can pop in there for a bit of a break if you’d like to.

The last few kilometres are on tar which makes to a nice run to the end.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length 39km
Ascent 416m
Descent: 416m
Difficulty: easy/moderate
Starting point: Kilimanjaro Cafe/Lodge, Leopards Hill Road.
Lat -15.472164 Long 28.390483
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format: Three Farms Loop.gpx (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Photos
Three farms loop image

Three farms loop map

The Lasso

Overview
This is a favorite mountain bike ride from Kilimanjaro Lodge on Leopard’s Hill Road. It is varied terrain with nothing too technical. You come back on the same route that you go out on but don’t be put off by this, it is nice terrain and somehow feels different on the way back!

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 25km
Ascent: 345m
Descent: 345m
Difficulty: easy/moderate
Starting point: [put Lat/Long coordinates eg S 15 22.458, E 028 18.926]
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format: The Lasso.gpx (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Map

The Lasso

Elephant Epic to Lower Zambezi

Overview
This route was the inaugural Elephant Epic, a fundraising ride for Game Rangers International. The route starts at the junction to the Mikango Barracks down Leopard’s Hill Road and finishes at Kiambi Lodge on the Lower Zambezi. The track is a mix of dirt road and jeep track, occasionally quite rough in places but not too technical. We had 2 water points along the route and you must take ample food and water if doing this without backup, a chase vehicle is highly recommended. Whilst the overall route is a descent into the Zambezi valley, there is one tough climb approx 40km into the route with a steep descent on the far side into the sandy soils of the river valley. You will obviosuly need transprot back to Lusaka from Kiambi.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 76.5km
Ascent: 430m
Difficulty: tough
Starting point: Mikango Barracks Junction, Leopard’s Hill Road
Type: A to B

Track

Elephant Epic

Map

 

 

 

 

Photos 

Fruitcake Figure of Eight

Overview
This is a moderately easy, wooded ride. It starts and finishes at OxyGym on Leopards Hill Road. If you’re driving there you can park in their car park. The ride cuts across the south-west corner of the Forest Reserve but most of the rest of the figure of eight is also wooded although the pictures I took don’t have a lot of trees in them!

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length 25.4km
Ascent 400m
Descent: 400m
Difficulty: easy/moderate
Starting point: S15 27.709 E28 23.075 (OxyGym, Leopards Hill Road)
Type: Double figure of eight

Track
Fruitcake Figure of Eight 240612.gpx (Right-click, Save As…)

Photos
Fruitcake Figure of Eight Fruitcake Figure of Eight

Map
Fruitcake Figure of Eight OSM