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Author Topic: Overberg to Cederberg and back  (Read 582 times)

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Offline Challa

Overberg to Cederberg and back
« on: August 12, 2021, 05:34:58 pm »
It had been almost three months since my Baviaans excursion and the only riding I managed to do was the occasional dirt roads around Wellington and Malmesbury. A longer trip was due to get away from the city and smell the flowers, so to speak. @Vulcan recently acquired a DR250 Djebel and after some much-needed TLC (forks, tires, and a not so pretty luggage rack mod  :-) ), we decided it was time for an Overberg and Cederberg jaunt.

Thursday was filled with the usual humdrum of work and things to do around the house before I set off to Struisbaai at 16:30. Daylight was not on my side as I head out the Nothern Suburbs towards Sir Lowrey’s and Peregrine farmstall for some coffee to fill up my “tank”. I hit Napier at dusk and the road from Bredasdorp to Struisbaai is ridden in the dark. This is not a fun exercise, there are tons of visible roadkill and plenty of nocturnal animals scurrying about.

I manage to arrive in Struisbaai without incident and welcomed by the Vulcans with food and drink. We go over our planned route for Friday and Saturday with some assistance from team Speyside. Vulcan is slightly nervous about the trip as the shakedown run for the Djebel was only 40 km. Time will tell if his nervousness is warranted.

The next morning we prep the “recovery” vehicle, by removing the bakkie’s canopy just in case we need to bring the little Djebel back. We fill up the bikes and head out towards Protem and Stormsvlei via the dirt roads just outside of Bredasdorp. The Overberg canola is in full bloom and we are treated to some spectacular views of the canola fields.

80km into our trip I discover that I don’t have my backpack with me… What a dumbass! We phone back home and true as nuts, the backpack is on the patio table next to where I parked my bike the previous evening. The backpack stores my water bladder, rain suit, and first aid kit. After a quick deliberation, I decide against turning back. Onward!!!!!

From Stormsvlei we hit tar via Bonnievale to Montagu and hit the dirt via Ouberg pass to Touwsrivier. The landscape sits in stark contrast with the pretty Overberg canola. It is a different kind of beauty altogether, but still a worthy mistress. At Touwsrivier we take a break to fill up on fuel and food. We head out towards the R355 and Tankwa Padstal. The road is very dusty, dustier than I remember, but the open road is good for the soul. The occasional maniacal 4x4 speeding down the R355 provides even more dust. A beer would be so good right about now, I keep on thinking. We rode at a very relaxed pace with the Djebel taking the lead, but we are chasing daylight and decide against a cold one at Padstal and head straight for Oasis.

We reach Oasis without incident and Vulcan is immediately greeted by another fellow Djebel rider from the neighbouring tent. The evening is filled with the usual strontpraat as I listen to “die manne se army stories”. Ek was nie in die army nie, so ek hou my bek.

Saturday morning I am rudely awoken, by the sound of bikes starting up. It’s time to get up as we have planned to ride to Eselbank and Wupperthal. Eselbank and Wupperthal might be old hat to the seasoned adventure riders, but it would be my first time there on a bike. (Rode it many moons ago with a 4x4). The road to Eselbank is a helluva lot of fun, with plenty of water after some seemingly good rains. At Eselbank we meet up again with our neighbours with the Djebel and KTM 690. The setting is plain, but the coffee is good. From Eselbank it’s onward to Wupperthal. The dreaded sandy section before Wupperthal provides a nice little challenge for Vulcan’s Djebel. The little bike handles it with ease. No duck walking, no spills, no fuss for the little mighty mouse! From Wupperthal, we head out via the Biedouw valley and Pakhuis pass.

Just before the exit out of Biedouw we bear witness to a nasty accident. A bakkie landed up in the left-hand ditch, the canopy popped off and there seem to be some injuries to a couple of youngsters. On Pakhuis pass we pass a number of oncoming rescue vehicles; a grim reminder to take it easy when in remote areas. Help is often miles away.

We reach Clanwilliam, fill up the bikes where Vulcan vents his frustration with an idiot parking in the disabled bay. It is apparently one of his pet peeves. The idiot decides to leave after the tongue lashing, but another idiot soon takes his place, his only disability being the oncoming type 2 diabetes from the 2 ice creams he is scoffing down. I mention something about witnessing a miracle as the man can walk again. My attempt at humour is wasted on the folks in the queue… Tough crowd.

We head back to Oasis via Clanwilliam and Algeria, feeling quite accomplished about the days riding. A very enjoyable day, with great views of the Cederberg area, and some much-needed distraction from city life. We settle in at the bar to watch the final match of the Lions tour finish up our drinks and head back to bed relatively early as the next day will be another long day in the saddle.

On Sunday morning, we settle our bill, say our goodbyes, and take the shortest route back to Struisbaai. The wind is terrible as we slab it almost all the way from Ceres to Struisbaai. After battling the wind for several hours we reach home. Vulcan parks the little Djebel with a huge smile on his face. The little mighty mouse performed flawlessly. Not a single hiccup. Plenty of thrills with no spills.


Final thoughts. Although my F800GS performed flawlessly and I had zero issues with the pebbles, rocky bits, water, and sand as with a lot of German engineering, it is devoid of personality whilst the little 250 was a hoot barring the lack of speed on the open road.

Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal? I hear a lighter Japanese dual sport calling my name…
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 05:37:08 pm by Challa »
Dagdrome in suburbia. Ek het jou gesien. Ek hou nog my oë oop.
 
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Offline DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2021, 05:42:05 pm »
Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal?

So what were you cruising at on the open road?
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Offline ravingDIODE

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2021, 05:45:47 pm »
Very nice! I am new to the scene, starting on a f800gs and am already contemplating a lighter bike :-P
 

Offline Rooies

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2021, 06:15:39 pm »
Lekker Challa :thumleft:
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Offline stcomza

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2021, 07:39:49 am »

Nice, thank you for sharing  :thumleft:

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Offline Vulcan

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2021, 08:25:28 am »
Lekka RR @Challa   :thumleft:

The last time that I was in Cederberg was with a F800GS and I did not enjoy it at all. I almost dreaded the return trip...which turned out to be a wet, cold affair. It was so bad that I started having visions of selling the F800GS, which I evetually did. Not sure if it was a combination of things - the big screen, the new Mitas E10, the high seat, the weight or my own incomptence.

We moved to Struisbaai and I wanted something to puddle around with here. I bought a nice little Djebel and started sorting her out. I fitted some Pirelli MT21's, had the forks serviced and sorted out some carb issues. The little bike was running sweet but I never imagined a 800km Tankwa trip. I listened to Challa's tales about the EC Bash and somewhere in the back of my mind the adventure riding light started blinking faintly.

As the Thumper Bash drew closer the blinking turned into a bright pulse and we started talking about it. The bash got moved as a result of lockdown etc and we started making our plans. 

The ride was on.  :ricky:

As mentioned, Challa arrived Thursday, we made sure whisky is still good and we saved the world. Friday we left early as I was a bit nervous about the little bike and we planned for some extra time.  Going was slow at first as the little bike runs best at 95km/h - at that speed there are some reserve power but due to myself having mechanical sympathy that is the speed we stuck to. The little bike got into its own on gravel and it was a jol.

Soon Ouberg passed, Touwsriver passed, R355 passed and then came Skittery and Katbakkies. Oh my goodness, the little bike felt like an enduro. We got to Oasis and chilled. Saturday we did Eselbank, Wuppertal, Clanwilliam and back to Oasis. I would not have attempted this on a bigger bike.  Mighty Mouse made her rider look like a hero. The Pirelli MT21's are the best offroad tires I ever tried and saved me and Mighty Mouse on a few occasions.

So, for noobs like me wondering what bike to get, start small. A big flashy bike WILL knock you confidence if you are not ready for it. I have tried a few and will pick MightyMouse's keys anytime for a trip like this.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
 

Offline Grunder

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2021, 08:51:10 am »

Final thoughts. Although my F800GS performed flawlessly and I had zero issues with the pebbles, rocky bits, water, and sand as with a lot of German engineering, it is devoid of personality whilst the little 250 was a hoot barring the lack of speed on the open road.

Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal? I hear a lighter Japanese dual sport calling my name…

I also went down from a 800gs to a 650gs all the way down to a xr250 Tornado.

Top speed is not the be all and end all.

Thx for the Ride Report  :ricky:
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Offline Vulcan

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2021, 08:52:35 am »
Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal?

So what were you cruising at on the open road?

Open road speed is not that important at all. Slowing down makes you see the beauty there is to offer.
We were cruising at about 95km/h - this is as a result of a slighlier bigger rear tire, extra heavy duty tubes and the fat assed rider.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
 

Offline Grunder

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2021, 08:54:42 am »
Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal?

So what were you cruising at on the open road?

Open road speed is not that important at all. Slowing down makes you see the beauty there is to offer.
We were cruising at about 95km/h - this is as a result of a slighlier bigger rear tire, extra heavy duty tubes and the fat assed rider.

Nah, your being too hard on yourself  :biggrin:
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Offline Dwerg

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2021, 08:56:46 am »
Lekker we did your route in the opposite direction on Sunday. I still commented that you don't see much mentioned about Oubergspas. It's a beautiful pass going down

Now to go do Katbakkies and Eselbank in the opposite direction
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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2021, 09:00:09 am »
That Djebel  :drif:
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline Vulcan

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2021, 09:04:08 am »
Some more piccies:

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
 

Offline Challa

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2021, 09:11:31 am »
Lekker we did your route in the opposite direction on Sunday. I still commented that you don't see much mentioned about Oubergspas. It's a beautiful pass going down

Now to go do Katbakkies and Eselbank in the opposite direction

We did Katbakkies from the other side, a year or so ago (if I remember correctly). The descend into the Tankwa karoo is probably my favourite view of all time.
Dagdrome in suburbia. Ek het jou gesien. Ek hou nog my oë oop.
 
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Offline skydiver

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2021, 09:15:56 am »
Final thoughts. Although my F800GS performed flawlessly and I had zero issues with the pebbles, rocky bits, water, and sand as with a lot of German engineering, it is devoid of personality whilst the little 250 was a hoot barring the lack of speed on the open road.
Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal? I hear a lighter Japanese dual sport calling my name…
I've owned an F800 for a few years and although it was ultra reliable and great on tar, I did not enjoy the bike when gravel roads became rutted, sandy, wet or technical.
It was just too heavy for my liking and I was always afraid of the repair bill should I drop it.
The CRF250L that I ride now made biking enjoyable for me again as I can turn off and explore any road I come across as I know the bike can handle it
 
 

Offline Vulcan

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2021, 09:22:38 am »
Final thoughts. Although my F800GS performed flawlessly and I had zero issues with the pebbles, rocky bits, water, and sand as with a lot of German engineering, it is devoid of personality whilst the little 250 was a hoot barring the lack of speed on the open road.
Is open road flat-out speed such a big deal? I hear a lighter Japanese dual sport calling my name…
I've owned an F800 for a few years and although it was ultra reliable and great on tar, I did not enjoy the bike when gravel roads became rutted, sandy, wet or technical.
It was just too heavy for my liking and I was always afraid of the repair bill should I drop it.
The CRF250L that I ride now made biking enjoyable for me again as I can turn off and explore any road I come across as I know the bike can handle it

I agree, allthough the F800GS is a great bike for some, I couldn't gel with it.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
 

Offline Dwerg

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2021, 09:28:34 am »
I sold my 800GS and bought a 690 for the same reason. Bonus being a 690 will stay with a 800GS up to 170km/h  :ricky:

I did love my 800 though and we went all over the country but you do tend to shy away from rougher stuff especially when riding solo.

I am really itching for something light again but it would have to be substantially lower than a 690
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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2021, 02:49:15 pm »
I sold my 800GS and bought a 690 for the same reason. Bonus being a 690 will stay with a 800GS up to 170km/h  :ricky:

I did love my 800 though and we went all over the country but you do tend to shy away from rougher stuff especially when riding solo.

I am really itching for something light again but it would have to be substantially lower than a 690
Ek en jy sukkel met dieselfde probleem, die dokters het te kort ysters in ons gemount en nou sukkel ons met hoë bikes!! ;) ;D :( :lol8:
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Offline Dwerg

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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2021, 04:43:54 pm »
I sold my 800GS and bought a 690 for the same reason. Bonus being a 690 will stay with a 800GS up to 170km/h  :ricky:

I did love my 800 though and we went all over the country but you do tend to shy away from rougher stuff especially when riding solo.

I am really itching for something light again but it would have to be substantially lower than a 690
Ek en jy sukkel met dieselfde probleem, die dokters het te kort ysters in ons gemount en nou sukkel ons met hoë bikes!! ;) ;D :( :lol8:
Die dokters het my bene langer gemaak en ek sukkel nogsteeds
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Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2021, 08:09:32 pm »
Well-written and lovely photos - thanks for sharing! Katbakkies will always be one of my favourite passes to ride, the views both ways are just amazing.

@Vulcan Geniet die groot glimlag maar jy maak die arme girl swaar dra... Struisbaai lewe is duidelik 'n goeie lewe :imaposer:

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Offline Vulcan

Re: Overberg to Cederberg and back
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2021, 08:31:55 am »
Well-written and lovely photos - thanks for sharing! Katbakkies will always be one of my favourite passes to ride, the views both ways are just amazing.

@Vulcan Geniet die groot glimlag maar jy maak die arme girl swaar dra... Struisbaai lewe is duidelik 'n goeie lewe :imaposer:

Sien ons julle op die Thumper Bash?

Dis ekstra padding onder die padding  :imaposer:
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can