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About the event

The Thin Air Challenge started in 1998 as a four-day mountain biking event, which traverses the south eastern part of Lesotho in the areas between Qacha’s Nek, Sehlabathebe and Matebeng. 2011 will be the 14th annual event.

It is a personal challenge for a limited group of 40 cyclists per event, as well as an opportunity for mountain biking families to experience the breathtaking splendour and scale of the Maloti Drakensberg mountains, whilst camping and cycling through the area.

The event was inspired in the late 1990's out of many private trips into the southern Drakensberg. The basis for all of these expotitions was Nicky and Mark McLeod's passion for exploring Lesotho and finding remote new routes. The event has really developed from a group of family and friends sitting around campfires discussing great routes, rather than being a planned project.

Family is and always has been a part of the Thin Air. Liam and Angus McLeod, Mark & Nicky's kids have both been on the event within the first three months of their lives. Liam is showing signs of following in his folks' singletrack steps, and Angus is a hard act to follow up along hills. Both are enthusiastic radio operators.