Cape to Cape (Film)
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Cape to Cape is a new feature-length documentary that chronicles Jonas Deichmann’s record-setting 18,000-kilometer journey across 14 countries, from North Cape, Norway, to Cape Town, South Africa. Find the trailer, photos, an interview with Jonas, and a link to rent or purchase the film here…
Photos by Cycled Media, Philipp Hympendahl, and Pal Laukli
Back in 2019, German ultra-endurance athlete Jonas Deichmann and his riding partner, Philipp Hympendahl, set off from North Cape, Norway, on a self-supported 18,000-kilometer ride to Cape Town, South Africa. Their goal was the beat the existing speed record of 102 days, which they did by more than a month, finishing in an incredible 72 days and traveling an average of 250 kilometers per day. See our original coverage of the record-breaking ride here.
Released this morning, Cape to Cape is an hour-long documentary that covers the entire journey across 14 countries on two continents. It offers insights into the physical and personal challenges both riders faced along the way, from sickness, to extreme temperatures, to personal tensions, and more. It’s available for rental for €4.99 ($6) or purchase for €9.99 ($12). Watch the trailer below, along with a few still images from the trip and a short interview with Jonas, who is now midway into another record-setting challenge.
What attracted you to riding from Norway to South Africa?
There are three big continental crossings: Eurasia, Panamerica, and the distance from Cape to Cape. I had already set the record for two of them, so it felt logical that this would be my next project to complete. And of course what ultra-distance cyclist doesn’t dream of Africa? It’s a journey from the Arctic through all climate zones, landscapes, and many cultures. Everything for an incredible adventure and big challenge.
Your time of just over 72 days was astouding. Beyond fitness, what do you think were the most important factors that allowed you to achieve such a time?
Fitness is of course important but the longer and more difficult it gets, the more it becomes a matter of mindset. It’s all about being optimistic and believing that you will make it despite all the hardships and problems along the way.
Looking back at the experience, what are you most proud of?
That I didn’t crack mentally. In Africa, I had three weeks in a row where every day a new nightmare emerged. My partner quit, I slept in a prison cell, got food poisoning three times, and faced cultural turmoil and unrest. But giving up was never an option.
Can you share one high point and one low point from your trip?
My personal highlight was seeing all the wildlife in Botswana. There were beautiful elephants, giraffes, and zebras crossing the road in front of me, as well as a visit from a lion in camp one night. After such encounters, you can’t help but smile on the bike for the next few hours. The lowest I felt was in the Sahara. Temperatures reached 50°C (122°F) and I was on an empty road through the middle of the desert with 1,500km to go until the next city. The food poisoning struck me and I struggled to keep distances above 200km per day.
Having set a variety of speed records, are you still able to slow down and enjoy touring at a more casual pace?
I like the adrenaline of a record challenge and working towards a big goal, but also slow adventures with time to enjoy a campfire in the evening. Doing one fast challenge a year and some more relaxed ones the remaining time is the perfect balance for me.
Lastly, where are you and what are you up to now?
I’m currently right in the middle of the first triathlon around the world, covering a distance of 120 Ironman events. I set off from Munich in September and cycled to Croatia, where I swam 460km along the coast. I then continued cycling and I’m now in Turkey. I am waiting for a permit to enter Russia to make it to the Pacific and jump on a sailboat. The final leg will be a run across the United States before sailing back to Europe. I expect to be back in Germany by the end of the year.
Head to Vimeo to learn more or rent/purchase Cape to Cape.