Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: sidetrack on August 20, 2006, 03:33:12 pm

Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 20, 2006, 03:33:12 pm
I might be going back to Durban for a while so I decided to head out with the Z and look for some lekker new trails. It's still dry and dusty but this might be the last time in a couple of weeks I get to ride so it was now or never. Couple of days ago I paged through old Enduro World mags and came across an article on Kwamahlanga, it featured pics of guys on singletrack, gnarly hillclimbs and riding through rivers ..... looked interesting let's go  8)

It's quite a way to get there, past Roodeplaat, Moloto and through Kwamahlanga on to the small settlement of Klipfontein. I would not advise anyone to ride this trail alone like I did. It's pretty technical and if you should have a breakdown your nearest help would be some miles away in the form of three townships. On the trails itself I only saw three locals collecting some firewood, they were pretty friendly too.

The mag suggested parking at the Klipfontein cafe but I would not in fact I would not start the trail there either. I will give some directions at the end of the report if you want to ride there. The area is well suited to 650 and smaller bikes I would not suggest riding a twin there especially if you want to do the river route. My DRZ handled the terrain well, something like Shark's KDX would be an absolute dream in exploring the trails in this area.

I started the ride at Klipfontein cafe where the route winds it's way through some houses towards the mountains. Chickens were pecking around and a lady was busy cleaning her stoep with a "grasbesem", a quite Sunday afternoon but I got a sense that this was going to be a fun ride !

Before long I left the houses behind and the jiggy started in the form of a little rocky dip to navigate before heading towards the mountain.

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5968.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5967.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5969.jpg)

Pretty easy going as I stood on the pegs and had a look around. The trail made a left turn then right and dropped into a second valley, things started getting a bit more interesting !

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5971.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5970.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5973.jpg)

In the above pic you can clearly see the riverbed which in summer time has some water in it to add to the excitement ! In fact the whole valley looks completely different in summer time, can't wait to come back later in the year. If you feel really adventures you can ride the river bed all along the trail. The one I took next to it is easier and safer for when you ride alone but you still have to take care, it's really technical in some parts.

Here you can see a climb out of the second dip, loose rocks and an eroded riverbank make for some interesting first gear riding !

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5974.jpg)

Once out of the riverbed you will follow the trail into another valley which leads you to this small climb.

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5975.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5977.jpg)

From here on it turns to singletrack

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5980.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5981.jpg)

Looking down towards the right you can clearly see the riverbed trail down below, imagine riding there with some mossy covered rocks in summer  :shock:  8)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5978.jpg)

The singletrack leads into the riverbed which means you have no choice but to ride it, man was it fun  8)  :D If you stay in the riverbed you can expect to cover around 4 kilometers in 2 hours time and that's if you are Darryl Curtis  :roll:

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5982.jpg)

I made a small video clip with my camera crossing the riverbed you see in the above pic. This was an easier stretch, sorry I had no tripod but you get the idea ! (Click on the pic to load)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/th_Riverbed.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/?action=view&current=Riverbed.flv)

Gotta love rocks when you ride here (and a decent bashplate Welshman  :D )

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5985.jpg)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5983.jpg)

Self portrait

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5986.jpg)

From here on things really became intense, I decided to rather leave the really tough stuff for a future group ride. This is one of the climbs out of the riverbed, believe me it looks alot tougher in real life !

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5984.jpg)

I even managed to get a action shot using my self timer, man I had to really sprint to get to the bike in time !

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5991.jpg)

Enduro country at it's best

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j220/mordies/Kwamahlanga/DSCF5992.jpg)

All in all it was a great days riding, a really nice change from the normal dirt roads. I don't think I got above 20 km/h the entire time I was on the trail. It's on rides like these I really enjoy my bike. I can do the tar to the trails ans still do some pretty gnarly riding where guys usually take enduro bikes. As I've said I would not recommend anyone leaving their car and trailer at Klipfontein cafe.

To get there : Take the Zambezi offramp from Pretoria and turn right and go under the highway. After about two hundred meter turn right on the Moloto road R573 and continue on for 56 km until you get to the R568 crossing and turn left. Continue on for 7.5 k  and look for a dirt road to your right just before the bridge and continue on this trail. Just keep heading towards the mountains. I only rode a part of this offroad paradise there are plenty of smaller trails to explore including some vicious climbs I read about, maybe next time with some full body armour  :D
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 20, 2006, 04:37:21 pm
Quote from: "michnus"
Blerrie nifty DD :thumbright:  Your video clip is brilliant.

10/10
             Thanks, I think it's a ride report first  :)
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Scalpel on August 20, 2006, 04:37:26 pm
DigitalDan very nice report. Iam sure you meant turn left into Moloto and not right! Keep us posted when you are going out there again.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 20, 2006, 05:50:30 pm
Yep sorry left onto the Moloto road
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Tin-Tin on August 20, 2006, 06:25:03 pm
Briliant!!!
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: shark_za on August 20, 2006, 08:02:27 pm
Well done!

When you are back up here we must go explore this area properly.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Butch on August 20, 2006, 08:16:20 pm
Bluddy brilliant, dd. I like the video klip  :thumbup:
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 20, 2006, 08:16:47 pm
Will do, the riverbed alone is enough to keep one busy the whole day long. With some rain it will be trailriding nirvana.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Welsh on August 20, 2006, 08:52:14 pm
Quote from: "digitaldan"
Will do, the riverbed alone is enough to keep one busy the whole day long. With some rain it will be trailriding nirvana.


Thanks for the mention, I will try to get the pig up to speed (bash plate wise).

Welsh  :D
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: GIDEON on August 20, 2006, 09:00:58 pm
GREATE report thats a 12/10 GREATE work DD
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Grootseun on August 21, 2006, 02:04:35 pm
Well done DD.. looks intense for a 650...hard work... but  like you said.. a nice reprieve from the old dusty dirt highway...
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: BlouVark on August 21, 2006, 02:14:43 pm
Very nice report DD. That's some serious rocks there :shock:
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: X Banana Boy on August 21, 2006, 04:59:53 pm
very very cool. :headbang:  :hello1:  :wav:
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: mango on August 21, 2006, 07:23:44 pm
Good shots there DD...I don't think I will try that sort
of riding on my bike though...
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 21, 2006, 07:47:52 pm
Riding this type of terrain is good for building confidence, but I guess you have to accept that a fall is going to happen some time. Luckily my bikes plastics has so many scratches it's not that big a deal to me anymore. Once you have enough momentum (and ground clearance) the rocks are pretty easy to ride, it's just the really big ones that can catch you out.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Welsh on August 21, 2006, 08:11:16 pm
Quote from: "mango"
Good shots there DD...I don't think I will try that sort
of riding on my bike though...


Thought of shouting "Woess" but agree, each to our own level, I look at it, want it do it, try to work out "HOW" with e da PIG.

All I can say is, I might give it a try "before lunch".

Welsh  8)
Title: Durban
Post by: SGB on August 21, 2006, 08:32:18 pm
You should be looking forward to Durban DD - You make it sound sad that you are coming here.  Make contact and  will show you some of the best riding in SA!

Good work with the report, well done!  :D  Nice pics too!  I still need to get up there and see the De Wildt and all the other places we read about.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 21, 2006, 08:48:33 pm
Nothing against Durban, love the weather and sea etc. but I will be without my bike and working  :?
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: Welsh on August 21, 2006, 09:07:55 pm
Quote from: "digitaldan"
Nothing against Durban, love the weather and sea etc. but I will be without my bike and working  :?


Not a good combination, I have for a change been "working" beautiful weather OUTSIDE, me punching a keyboard indoors the bike 10m away "bad" distraction.
Welsh  :evil:  

"And when you kill a man you're a murderer, kill many and you're a conquerer, kill them all and you're a God"-Dave Mustaine
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: OX on August 24, 2006, 11:28:43 am
Hey DD good report , I wrote the articles in the Enduro World on KM , and know the area very well. Please let me know when you go again , I can also send you some Mapsource files on the routs there. However I would go on my 300 not the 640 !!!
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: sidetrack on August 24, 2006, 12:15:37 pm
Thanks, it was fun riding there. I do not use a gps but will still apreciate the mapsource files.
Title: Technical trails at Kwamhlanga
Post by: shark_za on August 24, 2006, 12:34:40 pm
OX, I'd like to see those tracks aswell.
Whats the parking like over there for trailers?
I would be more comfortable to face anything on the little bike.