The ‘Epic’ Bike Race That Never Was

This is two riders’ story of Cape Epic — a grueling 8-day challenge of endurance, technical skill, and, above all, teamwork.

In 2019, global education company Education First (EF) teamed up with cycling brand Rapha to establish the Alternative Calendar. Devised to disrupt the status quo in cycling, the Alternative Calendar takes teams of riders across the world, where they participate in everything from mountain excursions to weeklong ultras.

Think Dirty Kanza, GBDuro, Leadville 100, and Cape Epic. In EF’s Gone Racing series, we get a glimpse of the action.

In this 2020 series premiere, we hear the race story of two riders, Lachlan Morton and Alex Howe. Held in the Western Cape region, Cape Epic pits participants against 8 days of rough terrain, constant climbing, and searing temperatures.

Riders compete in teams of two with no outside assistance — meaning before, during, and after each stage, it’s all about the teamwork.

“It’s just him and me out there,” said Howes. And it’s evident from this film that it’s not about being the most capable rider. It’s about having fun on a bike with a friend.

Slippery and Demonic: Riding 'Vertical' Black Diamond Bike Trails
Slippery and Demonic: Riding 'Vertical' Black Diamond Bike Trails
Singletrack woodwork and slippery rock slabs are what you get on this expert trail at Kicking Horse Mountain. That is, if you can stomach riding it. Read more…

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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