Last year I did the race with bags that was on back of the bike on a carrier . The benifits of this system is that you haven't got that weight on your back and therefor also not on you bum !! Getting the bike over fences and through difficult places was also easy enough since the bags could be taken of very easily and hook onto your water backback . But if made the bike very heavy and with all the portage sections it can make the going slow . This year we will try the backpack . 

I stuck with the flat pedals and the Hi-Tech hiking boots but had to get new warm first layer clothes as I detroyed most of mine last year . The First Ascent stuff worked very well and I got a new set of long sleeve vest and underwear . After a very wet raining ride I realized that my rain gear ws not really up to scratch . My search for a proper light weight rain jacket did not return many results and I decided to rather go to the experts at Hiking Paradise in Centurion to get some advice .