Your Host: Mark Beaumont (BEM)
Having smashed the circumnavigation cycling World Record twice in his career, Mark now holds this 18,000 mile title in a time of 78 days and 14 hours, averaging 240 miles a day. His epic documentaries have taken viewers to over 100 countries, into the Arctic, the length of Africa, the high mountains and around the Commonwealth, also surviving capsize in the mid-Atlantic. Mark lives in Edinburgh with his wife Nicci and two daughters, having grown up in Perthshire and studied at Glasgow University. Mark is also Honorary President of Scottish Student Sport, Patron for Entrepreneurial Scotland and Orkidstudio, as well a Director for the EOS Investment Fund which supports Scottish start-ups.
Mark and Orbis Expeditions are organising this inaugural Orbis Cycling Challenge and can’t wait to put an amazing team together.
‘I’ve often said that if I could explore one continent more at the speed of a bicycle, it would be Africa - such is the lasting impression from my Cairo to Cape Town ride. Malawi is right at the top of my bucket list, having received such a wonderful welcome when I filmed athletes ahead of the Commonwealth Games. I am so excited to join the Orbis team in April 2020 for a cycle through southern Malawi and to create the legacy of a BMX track, which will help transform how the humble bicycle is seen - from a mode of transport, to a sport and a skillset. The track will also become a meeting point for families, friends and clubs.’
Join adventurer, and British Cycling inspiration, Mark Beaumont (BEM) as he takes on the inaugural Orbis Cycling Challenge. A 7 day Cycling Adventure through Malawi, raising awareness for youth sport and education in Malawi. Mark has teamed up with The Orbis Expeditions team to put together an incredible route through Southern Malawi, taking in some of the countries most stunning, and diverse, landscapes, including the tea estates, trails of Mulanje Mountain, Zomba Plateau and finishing on the shores of Lake Malawi. As with every Sport with a Purpose challenge we have worked in time to visit local communities, take in some of Malawi’s best highlights and spend time with local youth groups passionate about sport.
Tea Estates and Mulanje Mountain. Day 2/3
Tarmac/Dirt 60km, Tarmac/Dirt 120km
Begin your expedition in the stunning tea estates of Southern Malawi. Your first two days you will be cycling on a mix of compact dirt and tarmac through the rolling tea and coffee plantations and around the foothills of Mulanje Mountain. Expect beautiful views of the mountain and ever decreasing traffic as you head off the beaten track through rural villages nestled into the mountain side. The route is generally quite flat with a few steep ascents to your lodge accommodation in the foothills of Mulanje Mountain.
The Zomba Ascent Challenge. Day 4.
Tarmac/Dirt110km. Tarmac 9km Challenge
The first half of event day 3 is a good tarmac road heading away from Mulanje Mountain and out towards Zomba Plateau. Arrive in Zomba Town and head off road for a visit to a rural community - expect a lot of the village to join you as you bike past, lots of dust, lots of singing too! After a visit to a youth education centre you will be back in the saddle and ready to take on The Zomba Plateau Challenge- a 9km gruelling 1km ascent to your hotel which sits up high near the plateau summit.
Liwonde and Lake Malawi. Day 5/6/7
Tarmac 69km. Tarmac/Dirt 84km and 51km.
A beautiful ride starts event day 4 with good tarmac roads leading their way down to the Shire River and the plains of Liwonde National Park. Teeming with wildlife this will be your treat and rest day before getting back in the saddle for your final ride to the shores of Lake Malawi. The roads become busier as cars are replaced by people and large stretches of open road to get into a good pace and soak up the sights, sounds and smells of Lake Malawi life. The final stretch of the event takes you to Cape Maclear and could be ideal for a sprint challenge to finish the week off!