Optional Prologue: Limuru to Limuru
Distance: 30 km Water & Spectators: 16 km
Start time: 09:00 Expected finish time: 12:30 to 13:00
Terrain: Single track through private tea farms and forests. Tarmac 2.6 km
Difficulty: The easy, happy, social day, riding gorgeous trails across verdant tea valleys close to race hotel. Navigationally very challenging.
The route: The Prologue is an optional orientation ride for all entrants including non-RVO entrants. Teams will start at 2 minute intervals from Race Hotel at Brackenhurst. The Prologue will acclimatize RVO entrants to the high altitude and orientate them to RVO GPS navigation; it ends with a relaxed farmhouse lunch at Kiambethu Farm, which is 2km away from Brackenhurst.
The prologue will demand precise GPS navigation; if teams are unprepared for GPS self navigation, this presents the last opportunity to learn before getting thoroughly lost in Kenya – do not blindly the follow riders ahead as they might lead you astray!
The Prologue will probably be the most beautiful ride ever for many entrants!!!
Prologue Start: 09:00
WP 1-1: 17 km leaders 10:00 last riders 10:30
Prologue lunch: leaders 12:30 last riders 13:00
Stage 1: Limuru to Naivasha
Distance: 101 km Water & Spectators: 32 / 46 / 76 km
Ascent: 2,080 m Descent: 2,380 m
Start time: 08:00 Expected finish time: 14:00 to 18:00
Terrain: Forested single-track, grass-track, jeep-track, sand-track. Tarmac 0.5km
Difficulty: The longest & toughest day. Navigationally very challenging. Crossing countless valleys at high altitude, through forest trails covered in a carpet of grass. The Rift Valley floor delivers 3km of soft sand for weary riders to “beach about”.
The route: Starting from Brackenhurst Hotel in Limuru. The first 50km is anaerobic, ridden at high altitude between 2200m â€“ 2700m, on leg-sapping grass tracks through a series of plantation, indigenous and bamboo forests. The route traverses the southernmost tip of the Aberdares Forest complex, through Gatamaiyo Forest past an age-old elephant calving nursery hidden deep within the bamboo forest. Kenya Forestry Service rangers will strictly control our access; if necessary, KFS rangers will divert riders if there is significant elephant activity.
At WP1-1 Gatamaiyo Forest entry gate (32km) there will be timed openings for passage with 4 batches entering at 10:00 / 10:20 / 10:40 / 11:00. The lead riders will chill for approx 20 minutes before the gate opens at 10:00; the last group will enter at 11:00. Riders arriving after 11:00 will be diverted to a faster tarmac road circumventing this challenging forest section.
The next section through Kinale Forest is a labyrinth of single-track that leads to a precipitous drop over the edge of the Great Rift Valley, down the sequential descents of â€œKenton Dropâ€ (250m) and â€œDead Dropâ€ (260m). A twisting, technical climb up Kijabe Hill yields stunning views across the Rift Valley to Mt. Suswa, Mt. Longonot and L. Naivasha; the dayâ€™s reward is the â€œLunatic Expressâ€, a thrilling, fast, slalom descent of 360m vertical to join the Lunatic Rail track into Longonot town. The northern flank of Mt Longonot serves up powder soft sand tracks in Kedong Ranch, through herds of wildlife into Hellâ€™s Gate National Park and Race Camp 1.
Stage 1 might be the toughest ride ever for many entrants!!!
Stage 1 Start: 08:00
WP 1-1: 32 km leaders 09:30 last riders 11:30
WP 1-2: 46 km leaders 11:00 last riders 14:30
WP 1-3: 76 km leaders 12:45 last riders 17:00
Race camp: 101 km leaders 14:00 last riders 18:00
Stage 2: Naivasha to Naivasha
Distance: 88 km Water & Spectator: 15 / 46 / 64 km
Ascent: 2,020 m Descent: 2,020 m
Start time: 07:00 Expected finish time: 12:00 to 17:00
Terrain: Open-track, single-track, spectacular views from the top, thrilling descents. Tarmac 5km
Difficulty: Unpack your climbing legs for 22km of unrelenting ascent THEN REJOICE with 20km of glorious descent.
The route: Stage 2 starts with early wildlife encounters through Hell’s Gate National Park, ascending Buffalo circuit will extract some gruff bellowing from riders; descending Poachers Pass (350 m) will extract wild screams of delight before the enormity of the day comes into view. The western wall of the Great Rift Valley will stare menacingly down at approaching riders, who armed with a puny granny gear, will chip away one corner at a time. Pedal by pedal, riders will deplete all their gears as they grind up a maze of trails until finally summiting the ridge after 23 km and 855 m of elevation gain.
The following descent will be over much too swiftly! Thereafter it’s easy riding past remote Maasai villages and billowing geothermal steam vents, returning to camp through the “gorge”ous Hellâ€™s Gate National Park.
Stage 2 might be the biggest single climb ever for some entrants!!!
Stage 2 Start: 07:00
WP 2-1: 15 km leaders 08:15 last riders 09:30
WP 2-2: 46 km leaders 10:00 last riders 13:00
WP 2-3: 64 km leaders 11:30 last riders 15:30
Race camp: 88 km leaders 12:00 last riders 17:00
Stage 3: Naivasha to Soysambu
Distance: 96 km Water & Spectators: 26 / 50 / 62 km
Ascent: 1,550 m Descent: 1,650 m
Start time: 08:00 Expected finish time: 13:00 to 17:30
Terrain: Open-tracks, farm trails, Tarmac 5 km
Difficulty: A tough day with big climbs into the clouds. Get off the mountain before it rains at 15:00.
The route: The day commences with an easy jaunt through Oserengoni Wildlife Sanctuary, Kongoni Lodge / Mundui Sanctuary, Crater Lake Sanctuary then across a network of small farms. WP 3-1 is at a historically interesting site, Lord Delamere’s cemetery. Thereafter the riding gets harder and scenic to WP 3-2 before the brute of the day, straight up Mt Eburu to WP 3-3. The final pitch ascending to WP 3-3 is a real â€œ*itchâ€. From this high point it is non-stop descent into Race Camp 2, nestled within Soysambu Conservancy, adjacent to Lake Nakuru National Park.
Stage 3 provides the unique opportunity to ride amongst wildlife scattered across 5 private wildlife sanctuaries.
Stage 3 Start: 08:00
WP 3-1: 26 km leaders 09:00 last riders 10:00
WP 3-2: 50 km leaders 10:30 last riders 12:30
WP 3-3: 62 km leaders 12:00 last riders 14:00
Race camp: 96 km leaders 13:00 last riders 16:30
Every finisher of the Rift Valley Odyssey will be justifiably proud; amazed by their personal achievement and by the outstanding terrain through which they will have ridden, covering 255km and 5,000m of climbing. Each day will be a challenge; each day will be amazing; the RVO 2013 will be an incredible ride.
Stage 4: Soysambu to Soysambu
Distance: 78 km Water & Spectators: 24 / 40 / 60 km
Ascent: 1,320 m Descent: 1,320 m
Start time: 07:00 Expected finish time: 12:00 to 16:00
Terrain: Open-tracks, farm trails, forest trails, tarmac 0km.
Difficulty: The enchanted forest day. Get off the mountain before it rains at 15:00 otherwise you will be miserable.
The route: Riders return to the high altitude of Mt Eburu, with a long never ending climb up into the ancient indigenous forest, WP 4-1 will be a relief to reach. The next 10 km through the enchanting forest is a circular trip around the mountain summit that comprises 50 volcanic craters. An immediately precipitous non-technical descent will induce either big grins or massive puckers! Regain your wits and breath at WP 4-2 then enjoy an extremely long, fast, descent, along the original Lunatic Railway alignment then through the rugged lava flow of Elementaita Badlands (Otutu Forest) into WP 4-3. The return to camp is across Soysambu Conservancy, enjoy the plains game as camp is still a long way ahead.
Some of the prominent peaks that will be viewed from high above then ridden past include â€œSleeping Warriorâ€, “Horseshoe Crater” and “Scout Hat Hill”. The movie Tomb Raider 3 was filmed in this location.
Stage 4 The indigenous forest of Mt Eburru is precious ecosystem threatened by human activity that completely encircles the mountain. It is home to 10% of the worldâ€™s surviving population of the critically endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo antelope, only 10 to 15 Bongo survive in this remote forest. Riding through this ancient forest is mesmerising, a precious opportunity to reflect upon the wonder of nature.
Stage 4 Start: 07:00
WP 4-1: 24 km leaders 08:30 last riders 09:30
WP 4-2: 40 km leaders 10:00 last riders 12:00
WP 4-3: 60 km leaders 11:00 last riders 14:00
Race camp: 78 km leaders 12:00 last riders 16:00
Stage 5: Soysambu to Soysambu
Distance: 78 km Water & Spectators: 28 / 48 / 60 km
Ascent: 800 m Descent: 800 m
Start time: 07:00 Expected finish time: 11:00 to 13:30
Terrain:Open-tracks, farm roads, tarmac 1 km
Difficulty: The easiest day.
The route: The final day leaves Soysambu Conservancy for the lower slopes of the Mau Escarpment, navigation will be challenging across a labyrinth of small farm roads before entering Lake Nakuru National Park. WP 5-1 at 29 km is stunning; â€œOut of Africaâ€ is a weak description!! The RVO concludes with idyllic riding through Lake Nakuru National Park and Soysambu Conservancy; this will be wildlife viewing at its very best. WP 5-3 is on the shore of Lake Elementaita.
Stage 5 will be remembered for â€œriding amongst pink flamingoesâ€, big skies, big views, big achievement, big party! The finish back at camp will be most relieving, where well-deserved ice-cold beer and lunch will be waiting.
Stage 5 The opportunity to ride amongst the wildlife of Lake Nakuru National Park is absolutely unique, keep your eyes sharp for rhino, buffalo and the odd lion, this might be the most enjoyable ride ever!!!
Stage 5 Start: 07:00
WP 5-1: 28 km leaders 08:30 last riders 09:30
WP 5-2: 48 km leaders 09:15 last riders 10:45
WP 5-3: 60 km leaders 10:00 last riders 12:00
Race camp: 78 km leaders 11:00 last riders 13:30
Awards ceremony 13:00