Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 06:37:23 pm

Title: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 06:37:23 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/cafa485a9cdc35f2ba316d1abb81ce37.jpg)

The story will follow...


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Oubones on August 14, 2018, 06:58:24 pm
Ok will wait as it seems you are still cold. :peepwall:
Saw some pics of guys in the snow last weekend, interesting!
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 07:47:41 pm
In 2016 myself and three mates planned a trip to Rhodes and did half of the passes on the Ben 10 list, without any knowledge of the list:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/2574105528505cda9fc744ed75d49289.png)
We did numbers 2,3,4,5 & 7 as well as Ongeluksnek on the way back to PMB. 

At the end of 2017 I did Ben MacDhui, the TTT & Otto DuPlessis Pass.  For me the challenge was to ascend Bustervoetslaan Pass (east to west) and also to do the evasive Joubert’s Pass which we had missed on our 2016 trip.

Our route plan:
Day 1:  PMB to Maclear via Hela Hela and Creighton, then the eastern side of the R56 from Matatiele to Maclear.
Day 2:  Maclear to a cottage on Joubert’s Pass, via Bastervoetslaan pass, Otto duPlessis Pass and Part of Joubert’s Pass.
Day 3:  To Rhodes via Joubert’s Pass, Londien’s Pass, Wartrail, Vounteershoek Pass, Ben MacDhui Pass and Carlisleshoekspruit Pass.
Day 4:  Back home via Tiffendell Tenahead Traverse, Naudesnek Pass, Matatiele.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/fc28015b70c93f21fea2eaaf3281c1a8.png)

This was the plan.  But Murphy had his own ideas and was about to rewrite the script.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 08:17:52 pm
Day 1.
We all meet on time at the Sasol garage in PMB.  It’s the usual suspects:  Rory on his KTM950, Mark on his XT660Z, Philip on his BMW 800, Graham on his GS1200 and me on my 990. 
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/4fe9f1617a08507719cf5aa93c066c20.jpg)
Soon we had a short stop at the bridge over the Umkomaas River at Hela Hela. 
Now we had all ignored the weather forecast since come hell or high-water, we were going on this ride.   
The first rains fell at Hela Hela.  Great.  We all put our basic rain protection on (All Orange!)


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 09:18:38 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/6c8ef17fc479671de505c76252871d47.jpg)
A quick stop in Creighton:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/c4b31f82731687bfbb37c886a423b66a.jpg)
By the time we had had a late breakfast in Matatiele it was time to hit the gravel again, in the back country between Matat and Maclear.
By now the temperature was dropping,  plummeting actually.  It became overcast and cold rain began to fall. 
It was at this time we had the mandatory puncture, the rear on Phil’s 800.  It was a sodding piece of rusty fencing wire stuck into his brand new Motoz Desert H/T.  Here we all are crowded around looking like a HazMat clean up crew.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/489575a62fa229448d09325989ab4815.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/2c6e96b52d2bc9d5c43e13d5a5458207.jpg)
Fortunately we had the amazing Desert Fox tyre-putter-onner tool which made it easy to re-seat the stiff Motoz tyre.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/e24e3f8c60e5c7550602133c62b30cb1.jpg)
I had a new Motoz Desert HT fitted to my bike and from the looks of it we were headed neither for desert nor Hard Terrain...
The next 6 hours went by in a blur of mud, clay,  slipping,  poor traction, icy cold, wet boots, wet gloves, a lot of colorful language and near hypothermia.  There are no photos of this section, it was all about surviving. 
This section of the journey would be sublime in good weather, it reminded me in some way of the backroads in Lesotho. 
By the time we reached the R56 it was dark and freezing.  We were soaked right through and my heated grips were giving “battery care” warnings.  We had managed a paltry 35km/hr average since Matatiele. 
We followed each other through the pelting cold rain down the Katkop Pass and directly to Tops for a bottle of OBS then to the Maclear KFC for supper and hot black coffee (they had run out of milk!!).
Finally we made it to our self-catering accommodation for the night - Cosy Cottages - where Andre was waiting with a fire going in a braai drum. 
Our bikes got to park under cover, and we got creative to get kit dry:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/3a984a1fb2703e593d87f043c6af1bcc.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/a45981263b8bb094d3ceca625f13ccff.jpg)
With five of us spread out between two big rooms, hot showers and electric blankets, life was looking up again.   We had stuck to our route and conquered the weather, right?  Wrong.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: eberhard on August 14, 2018, 09:29:30 pm
 :thumleft: :sip:
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 09:37:07 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/81017f14b315b8344faf76ebbcd2f08c.png)
This 180km of gravel was well worth it, but was slow going because of the weather.

Day 2:  The sun teased us early in the morning and gave us false hope. Our kit was 85% dry and  we were tearing to go. 
By the time we had reached Bastervoetslaan Pass near to Ugie the weather was looking ominous again.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/b734b70e26971cb7cd08671b18a3858a.jpg)
Deciding it would be a bad idea  to get stuck on Basters for the  night,  we proceeded to call it a day on Basters.  Just as well.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 14, 2018, 09:39:45 pm
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180814/e8fdb7483b795b2363ef4cf5cdca83a4.jpg)


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 15, 2018, 03:35:35 am
The decision was made to remove Bastervoetslaan Pass off the itinerary and instead to push on to Joubert’s Pass via Elliot and Barkley East. 
At Elliot we were hankering after a good coffee and after a long song & dance involving the interrogation of local town folk, it was Phillip who led us out of town on yet another muddy slippery farm road towards the coolest restaurant in the area - the Upstream Restaurant.   
Even shrouded in mist, the views were inspiring and the food & drinks both excellent and reasonable.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/bd1e4f764c2f4985947de72a17da61e3.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/febd3d52c838f4905d540055f5021033.jpg)
Since we were planning on Braaiing at our next destination on Joubert’s Pass, we headed back into Elliot after lunch and found ‘Andrews’ butchery.  I stood as car guard outside whilst the boys negotiated inside the butchery.   Out of nowhere the wind picked up and little balls of ice started swirling around and hitting me in the face. 
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/26bddce7f6439559282763a8dd37a986.jpg)
A very friendly lady who had come to the butchery jumped out of her car and ran over to us, enquiring where we were headed etc.  turns out she is invoked at the Mountain Shadow hotel at the top of Barkley Pass. She urged us to pop in and make some calls etc, and told us of a small group of bikers who were holed up at the hotel because of bad weather.
We set off up the Barkley Pass.  The little ice things were on replaced by light fluffy things - a snowstorm.  For the last few km up the pass I followed a car’s tracks through the snow up the Pass, and when the entrance to the hotel loomed through the mist on the left, we went in like homesick moles.
We found an undercover parking shed and took over.  We eventually checked in for the night along with a number of vehicles who could not go further up or down the Pass.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/946f9b4d9b4e9d132fae9161d3ee811e.jpg)
Within minutes the whole establishment was covered in crisp white snow.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/6ece668212f6bf9a8931f0a950669009.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/14ba776f755d2b5a40503325fb996465.jpg)
The pub was warm and dry.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/3a07ca2baac9ea035fb49591bb5e7666.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/7feafc367beeb7e5d18fc9118fade3cf.jpg)
There was also some wildlife which didn’t seem to mind how close we got to them...
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/91228c9326b41b9ff69b97a321130683.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/60df7535e670bd9ea148ecd87b0b95a2.jpg)


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 15, 2018, 03:39:31 am
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180815/86b3823abdc6c86063084f9dc8c22c28.jpg)
This one was particularly odd.  You need a nice high ceiling for this one. 


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: eberhard on August 15, 2018, 08:00:12 am
I enjoy.  :thumleft:

Keep posting.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Toothless on August 15, 2018, 08:28:32 am
Sub
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 15, 2018, 08:33:35 am
The folk at Mountain Shadow Hotel are just awesome.  Real salt of the earth types who are biker friendly.  Our stay included dinner, bed and breakfast.  We each had our own room (luxury for us bikers!) and the cost per person was around R730.00 which under the circumstances was very good value for money.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: >>Thump°C on August 15, 2018, 09:22:04 am
.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Ventana on August 15, 2018, 04:19:52 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 16, 2018, 05:24:56 am
In the morning the skies were blue and the sun was shining.  Our kit was dry from being strung over the oil heaters and things were looking up. 
Mark and Rory braved the sunrise:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/7a47deea1c792f5956bd176b290c58ac.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/e2af52b30414aa00251e64c2452b1a58.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/ed40d42792eefd56ec6ca163d389c6cd.jpg)
The owners of these three Beemers were very nice guys who had also been caught out by the conditions.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/2752c49aba497452f3499541b57efcdd.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/51145259cc4101de9ed4ea1beeb53ae8.jpg)
During breakfast we learned that heavy snow had fallen at Tiffendell and surrounds which meant our plans to do the passes in that area were in ruin.  We decided to press on to Rhodes since we had booked in at the backpackers for our third night.
Something on Rory’s bike didn’t agree with the cold and Graham, weighing in at 140kg plus, eventually jump started in on the driveway.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/e4443c9caac3c499caf818cae2e28cf8.jpg)
And this was when our snowman was created.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/a2d5ec32a70521ca024eec02be82298b.jpg)
We headed directly out of the hotel, crossed the road and hit the gravel towards Rhodes. 


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 16, 2018, 06:03:09 am
We only had 80km to cover to get to Rhodes.  It was a pleasure riding on gravel without dust, but in many spots there were signs of vehicles struggling in the mud over the last few days.  It was deeply rutted and wet and made for some close calls along the way.  An ideal line through a 50m patch of mud would be to ride inside a deep compacted car track, however this requires excellent balance otherwise the front wheel snatches on the sides.  Fun and games.  Still, to have the sun warming your face while traveling through chilly air is something special.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/c9ba86bf7abe612b70dc2974d6b6fc9e.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/1c83fa68ecc2701863cd3f4e0b35dca9.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/09302ab886d32493d5a1e683d3d9b198.jpg)
It wasn’t long and we arrived at Rhodes.  We checked in with the effervescent Margie at Rhodes Tourism and got our key to the backpackers.  After surprising two young lady guests at the backpackers (they were expecting four ‘young bikers’ - Margie must have forewarned them), we unpacked into our shoebox of a room and went to Sean’s lace for fuel. 
After showing the guys around Rhodes we ended up at Walkerbouts Pub where we learned that the TTT (Tiffendell Tenahead Traverse) was under 1m of snow.  There was a couple in the pub who had spent three hours stuck on the road out of Tenahead Lodge.  So there went our plans for the final day of the trip. 
After a good few we headed back to braai at the backpackers.
The (inappropriately named IMHO) Exodus Backpackers is a rather imposing looking establishment which hardly yells “welcome weary travelers!”
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/04c3fa76ac451b74f02513fe822f58bd.jpg)
Still, at R180pp one can’t be too fussy.  We had dragged our sleeping bags through the whole journey just for this place, since they do not supply bedding.
The braai was a merry affair:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/b1aedf998538cdc05e0dbe9acd5efbc8.jpg)
After the braai we retired to the common room where the three groups of guests occupying the place had a few laughs into the night.
Next day was the homeward journey, up and over Naudesnek then some interesting back roads to Matatiele.  Well this was the plan anyway. 


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: eberhard on August 16, 2018, 08:29:05 am
A very different ride report.  :thumleft:  Great pictures as well.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Kortbroek on August 16, 2018, 09:29:43 am
Nice report.

Regarding your backpackers in Rhodes, the biblical name would be due to that building actually being the old "Kerksaal". It has also for a number of years served as a school (there were about 20 of us in the school), interesting to see it now is a backpackers.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 16, 2018, 11:43:51 am
Nice report.

Regarding your backpackers in Rhodes, the biblical name would be due to that building actually being the old "Kerksaal". It has also for a number of years served as a school (there were about 20 of us in the school), interesting to see it now is a backpackers.
I understand the building belongs to the Dutch Reform Church, and thanks for shedding some fact on our speculation.  It is an odd building inside because of the incredibly high ceilings and windows.  Almost like it was designed for small giants. 


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: wilfwalk on August 16, 2018, 12:00:27 pm
Thanks for this interesting RR and the great photos. Even though you didn't to execute your planned conquering of the passes, I'm sure it still a great "adventure".
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 17, 2018, 05:40:49 am
Before I continue with the final day’s misadventures, a few observations for riding in these weather conditions:
1.   Don’t do it. But if you must then:
2.  Heated grips will help your state of mind;
3.  Waterproof luggage, or keep stuff dry in packets inside luggage.
4.  “Shower caps” over tank bags / tail bags;
5.  Pinlocks in Visors;
6.  Extra pairs of riding socks;
7.  Packets for in you boots (Worn like socks), especially for MX boots;
8.  Rain suit that fits over your jacket AND over your boots
9.  A pair of waterproof kitchen style gloves and glove liners because no matter how waterproof you think your riding gloves are, over time they will become waterlogged and freeze in the wind chill.

The air in the morning was very cold.  Not in a bad way, rather it was a bit like walking into a well stocked walk-in cold room at a bottle store but without the beer.   The sun was warm and the skies clear. 
After a hearty breakfast of instant oats and instant coffee, a far cry from the pampering at Mountain Shadow, we loaded up and ceremoniously pushed the 950 up and down the street till it roared into life.

Heading out of town towards Naudesnek, I felt a twinge if disappointment when we passed the Carlisleshoek pass sign, as this was meant to have been our route home via the Traverse.  Nevertheless the scenery was breathtaking as we continued up Naudesnek Pass.  There was no dust, no vehicles.  Our views of the snow covered hill sides was awesome, I could see that there was no way we could have ridden the traverse. 
The road was icy and wet in places, and the snow which started to appear kept off the road.
We came around a corner and the following bend in the road swept up a gentle slope to the left. 
Suddenly, without warning, we were on compacted ice tracks made by vehicles, the middle mannetjie and sides of the road were untouched snow!  I was in the front, and gingerly kept the throttle on to keep momentum but only got perhaps fifty meters up the ice before stopping.  The little XT with the least suitable tyre (Motoz GPS) was coming up behind me and I made him stop.  The other guys were in varying states of disarray in the ice. 
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/0cfe230b9744c898ee215d2020fa5e30.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/7aa7e30f42e611d5e5e0d8ef28688df3.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/209ff94251c98d1ede7426a4417c2694.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/c7afcf61155893ec10a693a43c0c922a.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/716a2352112b70c6947f6fb016a8f339.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/cfe09b39d1230c95e35b3e9fb3b4b051.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/a6ebdf2b194abf248740d399874952e4.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/8d8c1043d3c51a2c53b60aab0f068ccd.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/27c0e26986e02b13e6cf1178b9114eb3.jpg)
I estimated we had at least 12km to go before the top of Naudesnek, and who knew the state of the descent on the other side?
There were no vehicles on the Pass, so it seemed like a bad idea to continue, or to even attempt it.



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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: woody1 on August 17, 2018, 07:32:37 am
Brrrrrr...  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 17, 2018, 07:43:47 am
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/90381b0fb9eae7e5f90fae0febec06cb.jpg)Snowman was having the last laugh as he hummed to himself: “Ice Ice Baby”


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Nigel X on August 17, 2018, 08:14:46 am
Wow, beyond just cold!    That ice on the road, no no no no thanks.....

Lovely pictures and story.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Battlestar on August 17, 2018, 08:31:08 am
Gees and we thought the KZN Bash was cold  :P

Very lekker RR. Im sure you will never forget this one
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 17, 2018, 01:06:10 pm
Phil the masochist was keen to press on through the snow and ice, but the rest of us stood our ground and made the decision to put our tail between our legs and head back past Rhodes and take the long way round. 
Just turning the bikes around required quite a team effort, and we found that by getting the front wheel onto the ice and pushing on it a bit had the whole bike swinging into more or less the right direction. 
We wound back down into Rhodes, defeated for the time being once again by the elements.  How quickly things can go south,  conditions beyond one’s control. 

Graham decided to head back to PMB on his own at this point, wanting to get there before  sunset and having to attend to a distraught family after one of their dogs had passed away during the night, he headed off towards the N2.

The rest of us, now numbering four, retraced our tracks towards Mountain Shadow Hotel.  The roads had dried out considerably in the past 24hrs or so and it allowed faster speeds.  As we approached, for the third time on this trip, an entry to Bastervoetslaan Pass,  Rory suggested we do it.  He wasn’t being serious but I pretended he was.  We all stopped and a fair amount of debate and speculation over the condition of the Pass, time available for mishaps etc continued for ten minutes.  It was two against two but eventually I managed to cajole Rory into riding the Pass, even though every fiber of my being was screaming “Very Bad Idea!!”

The only consolation was that we had ridden this Pass in 2016, so we kind of knew what to expect...


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Title: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 17, 2018, 03:02:33 pm
I’m not sure how but Rory managed to pop one fork seal and his rear shock on the way up to the top.  “Dr Phil” noticed fork oil all over the 950’s front wheel on the way down the other side.  “The front feels kak and the back feels like a pogo stick” quipped Rory.
There was no snow, almost no ice and very little water on Basters in spite of the prophets’ of doom’s prediction.

The views from the top were particularly spectacular since the air was so clean.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/f0d5b7a16c2a66221175b70846243f27.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/796d337d33af2b2221bb5f24ab5834e3.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/77d99bdec8a7deeea10fd207d9d2b737.jpg)

Well the rocky sections near the top from both sides had definitely deteriorated (got better) since 2016 and the lower parts had been worked on by farmers and was a lot easier (so it had got worse).

Still an awesome long pass and a must do for adventure riders.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 17, 2018, 06:36:01 pm
Unfortunately we didn’t take any more photo’s on the Pass.  It was great to be able to salvage a decent pass from the Ben10,  and to have missed it would have been to miss out. 
We had to slab it all the way home after that, rolling into PMB at 7.30pm, 12hrs after we started.
Some random shots:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/eb20cbd45306432801dc03428999a818.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/f29a8faf3bf67cb3783775b97f86bd02.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/3919b6b5e58a3965ceaab384234b9057.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/386341de2c3f1e00fca0da6682697588.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/685d4262d47ead2885bc54c55ae06fd7.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/2bd94bf66a19308dd8aca1c9adba8548.jpg)
Finally after 1200km of which around 50% at a guess was tar, this is a pic of my Motoz Desert HT:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180817/089b0ad9909f4309933d79e6df50be69.jpg)


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: billy-joe on August 18, 2018, 11:23:03 pm
enjoyed that, thanks!  need to head that way too some time soon.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: m0lt3n on August 19, 2018, 01:12:03 am
Nice RR. I am yet to ride in snow but would lioe to experience it just once
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Oubones on August 19, 2018, 07:41:14 am
Nice RR. I am yet to ride in snow but would lioe to experience it just once
Cold,wet,slippery and awesome!
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: wilfwalk on August 21, 2018, 08:29:28 am
Great report and super photos. They alone make me feel very cold !" Well now you'll just have go back and do the passes you missed out this time. Thanks for telling your story. Very envious, but not for the cold !
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 21, 2018, 08:38:16 am
Thanks guys.  I hope we can find the time and good weather conditions in the near future.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: JonW on August 21, 2018, 08:43:45 am
Nice Ride Report Kevin, looks like you guys had fun
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: ABruigom on August 22, 2018, 08:38:40 pm
Awesome RR Highsider. Really enjoyed reading that. Next time you in the area pop in at Tenahead for a drink.

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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 22, 2018, 08:41:29 pm
Will do Ashley, thanks...  if I can reach Tenahead...


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on August 23, 2018, 08:08:41 pm
A short light-hearted video of bits of the ride... 

https://youtu.be/35toXDFagyQ


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: >>Thump°C on August 24, 2018, 10:20:08 am
not sure why but my feet got cold watching that video.

Very nice, Basters is definitely one of my favourite passes, always worth the detour
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: XRRX on August 24, 2018, 05:24:28 pm
Great RR and ride in crazy weather!!! Thx for sharing...  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: wilfwalk on August 30, 2018, 10:46:27 am
Thanks for the video Highsider, - that was great to watch.
My BIL and I did the Tiffendel Traverse and Bastervoetpad about 10 years ago, around Easter so the weather was a lot kinder. He on a Honda crf230F and I on a Honda 125. I had to push the Honda up parts of the CarlisleHoek Pass to Tiffendel ! Too much altitude and too steep for it !
Bastervoetpad was a lot less rocky then. I would like to do it again on my new Honda crf 250 Rally - hopefully no pushing this time.

The video shows how much of a hammering the front wheel / suspension takes in those conditions. Makes one appreciate the engineering that goes into making reliable suspension components. Thanks again for posting the video.
Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on September 11, 2018, 04:03:22 pm
Not to mention the poor tyres!  They take a proper beating for hours on end and then have to behave on the road home.  Repeat for thousands of km’s. It’s incredible.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: Highsider on September 11, 2018, 04:07:18 pm
not sure why but my feet got cold watching that video.

Very nice, Basters is definitely one of my favourite passes, always worth the detour
Funny you mention cold feet.  I couldn’t understand how quickly my feet seemed to freeze inside my boots while walking in the snow.  They weren’t particularly wet.  Then it occurred to me that my MX boots have a steel plate in the sole which conducts cold very efficiently... did kinda miss my old Forma Adventure boots right then.


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Title: Re: Ben 10 and the Abominable Snowman
Post by: stan1975 on September 20, 2018, 09:43:54 am
We only had 80km to cover to get to Rhodes.  It was a pleasure riding on gravel without dust, but in many spots there were signs of vehicles struggling in the mud over the last few days.  It was deeply rutted and wet and made for some close calls along the way.  An ideal line through a 50m patch of mud would be to ride inside a deep compacted car track, however this requires excellent balance otherwise the front wheel snatches on the sides.  Fun and games.  Still, to have the sun warming your face while traveling through chilly air is something special.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/c9ba86bf7abe612b70dc2974d6b6fc9e.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/1c83fa68ecc2701863cd3f4e0b35dca9.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/09302ab886d32493d5a1e683d3d9b198.jpg)
It wasn’t long and we arrived at Rhodes.  We checked in with the effervescent Margie at Rhodes Tourism and got our key to the backpackers.  After surprising two young lady guests at the backpackers (they were expecting four ‘young bikers’ - Margie must have forewarned them), we unpacked into our shoebox of a room and went to Sean’s lace for fuel. 
After showing the guys around Rhodes we ended up at Walkerbouts Pub where we learned that the TTT (Tiffendell Tenahead Traverse) was under 1m of snow.  There was a couple in the pub who had spent three hours stuck on the road out of Tenahead Lodge.  So there went our plans for the final day of the trip. 
After a good few we headed back to braai at the backpackers.
The (inappropriately named IMHO) Exodus Backpackers is a rather imposing looking establishment which hardly yells “welcome weary travelers!”
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/04c3fa76ac451b74f02513fe822f58bd.jpg)
Still, at R180pp one can’t be too fussy.  We had dragged our sleeping bags through the whole journey just for this place, since they do not supply bedding.
The braai was a merry affair:
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180816/b1aedf998538cdc05e0dbe9acd5efbc8.jpg)
After the braai we retired to the common room where the three groups of guests occupying the place had a few laughs into the night.
Next day was the homeward journey, up and over Naudesnek then some interesting back roads to Matatiele.  Well this was the plan anyway. 


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Next time you're in Rhodes rather stay at the Rubicon. Same price for bikers and way better value! Tip of the day right here people!