Final registration deadline for the Standard Chartered Rift Valley Odyssey is on 16th August, only a few places remain available, please click here to register.

I have completed my provisional route survey for the 6th Standard Chartered Rift Valley Odyssey. It will be a stunning route in a format similar to last year, the provisional description is below:

Stage 1: 101 km: Tigoni to Naivasha
This is the Queen stage, the ever changing terrain and landscape of verdant tea farms, high altitude forest, an incredible descent into the Great Rift Valley, open savannah filled with trotting plains game and some lovely sand to “beach about” before reaching Lazy Bones bar & restaurant at Camp Carnelley’s, our destination for Race Camp 1. Many riders have proclaimed Stage 1 to be their best day ever on a mountain bike.

For 2015 there are two significant changes, I have found a brand new route through the indigenous Gatamaiyo Forest that includes a wet rocks crossing above a stunning waterfall. Unfortunately my favourite Kinale forest is currently being harvested, much of that dark, spooky canopy is no more, so Dr Rich Davis from Kijabe Mission Hospital will monitor forest activity while designing a new route from Gatamaiyo Forest to Mt. Longonot. Rich is (in)famous for discovering “Dead Drop”, that mad, slithering, off-camber, scary as shit descent to the rail track below Kijabe Hill. Three weeks ago he took me down a massively overgrown single track descent of 350m, from the very top down to the Lunatic Rail track; if he can mobilise the bush clearing, then this new Doctor’s Descent will be fantastic!

Stage 2: 88 km: Naivasha to Naivasha
The King Kong stage, as usual we will ride through Hell’s Gate National Park before ascending the western wall of the Great Rift Valley. The BIG NEWS is that Danny’s Descent is back in action, it’s now a severely eroded roadway (too eroded for cars) so we can have an absolute blast descending 460m in under 10 minutes! The BAD NEWS is that Danny’s Descent starts at 2800m elevation, so it might take three hours of slow steady ascent before riders can let rip with big grins or big puckers.

Stage 3: 96 km: Naivasha to Soysambu
This transition stage from Naivasha to Soysambu is also day 1 for the 3 Day riders. The stage opens through the magnificent private conservancies of Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary, Kongoni Game Valley, Mundui Estate and Crater Lake Conservancy. Thereafter 75% of Stage 3 is all new over the shoulder of Mt Eburru. Race Camp 2 is at Mbweha Camp within Soysambu Conservancy, bordering the fence line of Lake Nakuru National Park.

Stage 4: 79 km: Soysambu to Soysambu
The indigenous forest on top of Mt Eburru is surreal, this is home to the extremely endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo. Only 12-15 Bongo live in this unique forest, this isolated group constitute 10% of the world’s wild population that remain living in their natural habitat  This forested route peaks at 2600m, so the effort will be rewarded with a long drawn out descent into Elementaita Badlands, a waste land of lava rocks and stunted trees. These Badlands were made famous by Lara Croft when she filmed Tomb Raider in this very area.

Stage 5: 78 km : Soysambu to Soysambu
This is by far the easiest cycling day, the opportunity to cycle through Lake Nakuru National Park occurs only twice a year. This jewel of a National Park is home to the big 4, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo so riders will be batched into multiple peletons, escorted by outriders on motorcycles. Stage 5 is the Princess stage, all beauty plus ample pleasure; the combination of Lake Nakuru National Park and Soysambu Conservancy will provide superb wildlife experiences.

Final registration deadline for the Standard Chartered Rift Valley Odyssey is on 16th August, only a few places remain available, please click here to register.

Happy trails for 2015



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