Grant Lottering’s 2020 Im’possible Tours message of encouragement & resilience

Photo credit: Max Sullivan

Since November 2019, Grant Lottering has been training and planning extensively to take his extreme brand of fundraising beyond what he or anyone has ever attempted.

Lottering will attempt three extreme and insanely difficult challenges: a 24 hour non-stop up and down record attempt on the famous Alpe d’Huez, the Mecca of the Tour de France; his 6th Im’possible Tour, a world-first where he will attempt to climb into the middle of the Stratosphere in one single ride through the Italian Dolomites and Alps, an elevation gain of 30 000m;  and another 24 hour up and down attempt, this time on the brutal Swartberg Pass, in aid of the Reach for a Dream Foundation.

“Every year, my Im’possible Tours involve mountains and climbing. To me, it resembles the mountains people, and especially children, face in life daily. Life is an uphill battle, and so many people give up, lose hope and faith. And this year, given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in with the global pandemic, there’ll be even more challenges for us to face. We all have plans and dreams we work towards. When unforeseen circumstances shatter that dream, it’s up to us how we respond,” says Lottering.

Lottering, together with his title sponsors Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Air Mauritius and CompCare Medical Scheme had the dates for his attempts set for June to September. However, given the outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, and 40% of the world being in lockdown, this seems more and more unlikely. Fortunately, Lottering had the foresight to start working on Plan B in February already, and he has the full support of his sponsors and partners.

Should international travel not be possible by July, Lottering will revert to attempting his 6th  Im’possible Tour back home in South Africa in November. In 2019 Lottering successfully pulled off his first local Im’possible Tour – the most brutal solo fundraising ride ever in South Africa. Riding from Patensie to Paarl on a mountain bike and road bike, climbing 12 200m in a total elapsed time of 74 hours, and a ride time of 66hrs 21min. It proved to be massively successful, with over 60 000 people following his attempt.

Lottering says, “Given what we as South Africans are going through with this pandemic, and will have gone through by then, particularly financially, I think it will be fitting that my attempt is representative of the huge challenges we will all be facing towards the end of 2020. I hope that what I will be attempting on the bike, and the extent to which I will be suffering, will give people a renewed inspiration to face their challenges head-on, to be resilient, to persevere, never to give up and overcome, and to have faith.”

His plan will be a simple one, starting in Howick, KZN, heading towards the Sani Pass and Lesotho before making his way down towards Port Elizabeth and the Baviaans Kloof to replicate the #xtremeSA2019 Im’possible Tour route. While the entire route has not been finalised, Lottering expects it to be no less than 1 800km and 92 hours ride time.

In October, Lottering will attempt his #swartberg4dreams on the infamous Swartberg Pass, the Rubicon of gravel road passes, in aid of the Reach for a Dream Foundation. He plans to ride up and down this brutal mountain as many times as possible in the 24 hours.