Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Naadus on October 31, 2011, 11:53:16 am

Title: Short exploratory trip - I missed the fork...
Post by: Naadus on October 31, 2011, 11:53:16 am
So, after a few exploratory views on Google Earth and Google Maps, I decided to give the gravel route between Rocklands (just outside Uitenhage for those who do not know) to Patensie a go. This was also partly due to a chat I had with an old school buddy the other day.

Saturday morning, 06:30, I left home. I needed to be back home at 09:30. I knew the road up to the Sand River dam well enough, so I pushed to get there. From the dam, however, the road was new to me. Seeing that I was on a deadline, I decided to push until I get to the fork that leads to Patensie (left) or Steytlerville (right). I would push to Patensie later when I had the time…

Initially the road was in such a good condition that could easily maintain a speed of 80 – 100kph. This is still within my bounds of “safe”, as my self-preservation switch still works OK. Dust in the rear view mirrors looks ubber cool. A couple of small, but deep gullies across the road kept me alert.

Eventually the road started going up. This was weird. I know there is a bit of a pass is just before Patensie, but I haven’t reached the fork yet. So I push on. The road goes higher and higher, with nice switchbacks which should be taken with care (I’m still within my bounds). The road narrowed quite a bit from here onwards, and the condition of the road also deteriorated significantly.  Deep ruts and loose rocks were the order of the day. The views, however, were spectacular.

I stopped at the peak of the pass. Cellphone reception couldn’t have been any better, as I was right underneath Vodacom’s cell tower. The 360˚ view from there was awesome!

The downhill from here was a little out of my comfort zone, but I was looking for a fork in the road. Blind corners galore with a road only one vehicle width wide. Reminded me of my Prince Alfred’s pass excursion with the Yaris. Eventually, to my surprise, at 08:45 I emerged on the R331 just outside Patensie. This meant one of two things: Either I missed the fork to Steytlerville, or there is not fork at all – I’m still not sure about this one...

What I was sure of at that stage, was that my 09:30 deadline was in a bit of a crisis. So I hit the R331 hard – dusty as hell. I didn’t feel like riding on the N2, so I took the Thornhill road, down the Van Stadens pass, back to Uitenhage and then on home. This road rewarded me with light rain, turning everything that was dusty into mud.

Riding hard on a tar road after my gravel ride was just so much fun!

Eventually I arrived home at 09:20 – just in time.

The route (distance: 80km, eta: 1 hour 38 minutes):

Some pics (was too concerned about the deadline to take more pics!)

Mental note to self: Never go ride with a deadline lurking…

Title: Re: Short exploratory trip - I missed the fork...
Post by: Kenisis on October 31, 2011, 12:31:12 pm
Beautiful part of the world, thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Short exploratory trip - I missed the fork...
Post by: Dirt Junkie on October 31, 2011, 08:35:12 pm
The route is called Elandsrivier
Title: Re: Short exploratory trip - I missed the fork...
Post by: Naadus on November 01, 2011, 07:55:16 am
Yes, I subsequently discovered that as well. ;) Oh, and I found the fork, but fark me, if you didn't know that was the fork, you'd think it's just a tweespoor road to a farm or something... :D