Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on  (Read 5722 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,180
  • Thanked: 269 times
A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« on: July 02, 2012, 08:14:44 pm »
It all began about two months ago when Gareth - a good friend of mine - casually mentioned to me he was considering getting a Wave Runner. I was horrified at the news and suggested to Gareth that a dirt bike would be a lot more fun and he could do more with it.  >:D

He seemed unsure initially, but after an inspiring him with a rendition of the "glamour of riding"  :patch:  :imaposer: he went out and bought this:


I must be a good salesman because within a month he also had bought a brand new kwat for his Mrs and a 2 stroke for his lightie. This was going to be a family thing, and I must say that the enthusiasm he has exuded in the whole debacle is an example to us all.
 :thumleft:  :ricky:

Nothing like a new bike smile:


I spend a couple of hours taking Gareth through the basics. There were the usual elements of determination, delight, concern, fear, panic and then elation as he picked up very quickly on the basics. To witness this is for me one of the best things about helping others into things. Anyway he has been practicing over the last few weeks and coming along nicely.

Now a month later he is ready for his first serious riding trip. The plan is for him to ride 5 minutes to my house, and then from there  Lima through to San Bartolo, which is 48km south of Lima. Our route would take us about 75km through mountains and open desert to the south east of Lima.  It is by no means a walk in the park and is in fact quite a workout. The plan was to meet the girls (Mrs BB and Gareths wife) and his son at San Bartolo. They would trailer their bikes and then we would all go riding together.

This trip was also to be a first in thick sand for Mrs BB, who had finally decided to address her allergy to sand after two gigantic face plants in the stuff at Country tracks Amersfoort back in 2008 on her big BMW. The mental challenge of this was huge for her but she found comfort having a friend new to biking there as well.

We set off at 07h00 from my house on our bikes, me on my 2009 KTM 450 and Gareth on his brand new one. After a quick refuel stop and 15 minute tar "liaison", we stop for a camera check


and then the fun stuff starts almost immediately.


The initial part of the route is frequented by large trucks mixed in with little three-wheeled moto taxis.


Gareth stops because he thinks he has a flat.

The roads are nice and loose - Powerslide heaven. Surprisingly I find myself behaving, not wanting to not wanting to scare off my new protegé. In all fairness, he is still new to the bike and riding and sliding is still a concerning feeling that needs some getting used to.  

As it turns out I also thought it has been a bit squirrely, and when I check mine Im surprised and disappointed both my wheels are flat too!  :scratch:

Nevermind, we can fix them when we get to the village of Pachacamac (try saying that after a few beers), so we press on.

The route takes us along this beautiful, fertile valley in the desert, fed by a river coming down from the Andes. Its winter time here so we get foggy weather with no rain, similar to Swakopmund.




On the way back into the village we find a little bit of single track to make it more interesting.


As it turns out getting out of the rocks is not as easy as it looks at first.  ;)


Pachacamac is a sleepy little place famous for its Sunday lunches, which are magnificent.



True to form every village in Peru takes pride in its "Plaza las Armas" or central square. Despite being a poor, dusty place, people keep everything clean and well kept. Pleasant.



To save time I decide just to fix the back wheel and pump the front one. :rolleyes: Why is it that sometimes we never seem to learn?


We set off for the mountains and its single tracks, knowing little about what will befall us in the wet mist....  :komet:  :whip2:
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 08:18:16 pm by BlueBull2007 »
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline Crossed-up

  • Pangaman
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: NER-A-CAR
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,377
  • Thanked: 47 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 09:14:24 pm »
This should be good.  Look forward to some more.  Peru is certainly one very different place.
 

Offline Would I?

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure S
    Location: New Zealand
  • Posts: 699
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 09:35:32 pm »
OK........ And?????????????  more????
You either make dust or you eat dust.
KLR 650
KTM 950 Adventure S
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,180
  • Thanked: 269 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 11:01:41 pm »
OK........ And?????????????  more????

Working on it, will have something for you in the morning.
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline Bring It On

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,648
  • Thanked: 31 times
  • Shaun
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 11:13:25 pm »
OK........ And?????????????  more????

Working on it, will have something for you in the morning.

Shooooeei Neil,... you alone my dear friend are to blame, for receiving comments like that,....  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

You make truly "Riverting RR's" ;) :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Alway Gr8 to read ;) ;D Thanks Buddy for that.
"Always Believe In Yourself"

Quote: "Riding a Bike feeds something inside us, that Nothing else can"
Quote: "I Ride because it can turn the Worst Day into the BEST"
 

Offline Malibu

  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 10,934
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Just a girl on a bike!
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 08:02:49 am »
sub...
They call me Judy or Judes...

You need chaos in your soul to birth a shining star!
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,180
  • Thanked: 269 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 08:15:56 am »
Before I go on, one more shot of Pachacamac Main Avenida.


And the tyre place.  :lol8:


Actually they are pretty good. They take the tyre off and patch it in less than 20 minutes, charging just R7.00 for the job. I love this country.  :thumleft:


This road quickly leads us to one of my favorite single tracks.



I stop to give Gary a couple of tips, like don't target fixate. If you target fixate here you can fall down a mountain :eek:
Not a good result to have, okay? Okay. No pressure.   ;D

 
Then he points out that my front tyre is flat again.


Oh well...no turning back now :bluduh: I'll just have to ride more carefully too.  :P





Off we go with me leading the way and very quickly we rise above the flood plain.


























Gary does very well. Remember this is his first proper outride...  :thumleft:













I guess technically its not that hard, but the exposure more than makes up for it.








What we had not accounted for was the damp weather which changed the conditions quite dramatically since the last time I came along here and make it as slippery as weasel snot.

We get to a long, sloping, slicked-out section and things get decidedly trickier. Whoops!!   :eek7:




Gary does surprisingly well in these awful conditions, making to the the corner (about 50m in front of me in the above photo) before he slides out in the slick mud.


I have my own problems to deal with. I can't stop or turn around so I press on, making it to the end at a neck without mishap. Its on a  neck and there is space to park my bike and watch Gary wrestling his bike. He has gotten it up but the slope it is simply too steep and slippery to get it moving again. Eventually he goes down again, and the bike slides a further down the slope making the next attempt even more difficult. I walk back and have a go but lose my balance and to my embarrassment manage to high side the bike even further down the mountain.  

Hmm... Given my recent history with this type of thing I hope this is not becoming a personal trend for me... :xxbah:  :lol8:

We pause briefly and take stock of the situation. Gary has done fantastically well to get this far, but we are not even half way to our destination. From where the bike is lying now on a steeper section of the slope, there is no way of getting back to the single track. Knowing full well that I should never have come here in the first place I give him time to recover and take his bike down the mountain into a valley filled with large rocks. He bravely objects to me recovering his bike, and apologizes for the situation I have gotten him into, but its the least I can do for him, especially given he is pumped from fighting the bike.  The trip down the mountain turns out to be quite epic in its own right but I get it down okay and loop around again on the original track to bring it past the slippery section and to the top of the neck. No problem from here, just two more even longer slippery sections and we will be through. ::)

Gary looks at me with somewhat skeptically, but says nothing. I think he might be praying for deliverance.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:18:11 am by BlueBull2007 »
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,180
  • Thanked: 269 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 09:32:09 am »
Now we are both quite hot and sucking hard on our camelbacks, so we decide to ride up and and down this section of the ridge before continuing our traverse. A nice introduction to front braking control for Gary, and an opportunity to get some more wind.  :ricky:











I look at Gary.
Gary looks back.
"Boet are you ready for the next section?"
"I hope so!" He laughs
"It's not as bad as it looks. Just weight your balance all the way on the outside, on the high side, but not like I did back there." I try to say as positively as I can.
There is a long pause. "Okay."
"Okay just watch how I do it and do exactly the same as me."

I boldly ride off. Its very squirrely and just I am thinking "This is deceptively treacherous," I find myself lying on my ass sliding down the hill.  :biggrin:

 :imaposer:  :imaposer:


That decides it. We both bail straight down the hill and pick up a 2 track couple of hundred meters further on. Good thing its not as steep here and we practiced the front braking on steep downhills.



We make it down without further drama and ride the long way around the mountain along some farm roads.




We go past this






To get to this








Time to play in the dunes.



Its easy to fall if because your weight and speed needs to change all the time and your line can never be straight. It is so easy to lose momentum and if you're not careful you can end up in a hole of fighting the bike out of deep sand.




In the Atacama desert you get these soft patches of sand that loves to swallow your front wheel and send you unceremoniously over the bars. Virtually impossible to predict, so its best to be on the back wheel as much as possible at all times.



Both of us get caught in the same place!  :lol8:



Gary grinding on full-gas up a slope, he is getting in the swing of things nicely now.













Another thing about dunes is the "sand blindness" that gets you, especially when the sun is directly overhead or on an overcast day like today. It is so easy to hit a dune at speed but its just as easy to blast off an unseen crest with disastrous and painful consequences.
Have a look at how deep this trough looks and then really becomes.








I will try and do the next update later tonight, there is also some lekker video to come.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 09:40:50 am by BlueBull2007 »
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline WP

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 1,854
  • Thanked: 1 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 10:50:30 am »
 :thumleft: :sip: :drif:
 

Offline Takashi

Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 11:01:53 am »
 :drif:
 

Offline Carrots

  • KTSSSSK!
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 5,484
  • Thanked: 22 times
  • What a SUPER-loss....DAMMIT man!
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 11:17:31 am »
Bliksem dit lyk lekker!!! Gooi nog!!  :thumleft:
Vorige skoeters: XT660E, TL1000R, 2006 R1200GSA, 2010 R1200GSA 30 Years Anniversary, CRF450R, CRF450X, DRZ400SM, 950 Adventure, 990 SuperDuke (ISM) 2012 R1200GS Triple Black, F800GS, Wolskoeter!

Kaapse Jelly Tot!
 

Offline Bashplate

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 674
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 11:45:05 am »
Awesomw,  :thumleft: More plzzz
 

Offline Bring It On

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,648
  • Thanked: 31 times
  • Shaun
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 10:18:08 pm »
Damn,... you guys sure were having a hell of a Gr8 time there :thumleft:
"Always Believe In Yourself"

Quote: "Riding a Bike feeds something inside us, that Nothing else can"
Quote: "I Ride because it can turn the Worst Day into the BEST"
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,180
  • Thanked: 269 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 06:26:40 am »
Having gotten ourselves over the first set of dunes (maybe 50-80m high) we can see where we need to go for the next 30km or so.

First down into the valley where I am pointing and then over the hills in followed by the hills a little to the right on the horizon.



Looks good so we set off. It hard to show you how steep a downhill this is...It certainly would be an easy dune to roll or fall down this dune face.


In the distance up the other side, is a place where the fence has fallen down. We go through that gap and then tuck into the little valley on the left.





I almost lose it in the fesh-fesh (fine, baby powder-like sand)on the sides of the valley, chasing Gary



Congratulating myself on my riding prowess having saved it proves to be a little premature because almost immediately I proceed to lose it on a couple of whoops in deep sand.



We continue out of the valley up a very steep dune


and make it out into a wide open plain broken with washes and small dunes. On the far side there is another steep rocky climb up to the crest of a ridge which proves to be quite a challenge for Gary.



Clutch control was there but losing momentum on this stuff makes it harder to keep your balance.



He flies up it the second time, but somehow I miss filming him doing it on the back wheel - all unintentional of course!  :lol8:

I saw the whites of his eyes as he came past but he tells me it feels awesome and has a good laugh. Gary's attitude in the face of adversity is fantastic. No swearing and cursing, no fretting. He sees something that is scary, takes a deep breath and launches himself into it with gusto and full commitment. If he carries on like this he will soon be a much better rider than me.

As is always the case near big cities, development is encroaching on our riding terrain. All the walls and fences are relatively new, and now they have started planting and irrigating sections of desert. These trees are less than a year old. I expect that soon enough we will have our own woods to ride through  :)


A nice little sandy slope, on the angle of repose,






not nearly as intimidating from the bottom of course.



We are lucky to have such a nice playground to ride in.



Here Gary inspects the ground after crossing over the rocks from right to left in 2nd gear, to my cheering and applause.  :o ;D


He shouts "I was NOT going to fall on those rocks so I just went for it and fell afterwards." ;D





Another steep downhill



We eat the miles, the riding continues to impress.












Splat!



But all is well :thumleft:












Finally we make it to the last set of hills before our refuel at San Bartolo in the distance.



The sun comes out, its going to be a nice day after all.



One last little ramp



And then my camera went on the blink.  :-[ Batteries were flat.
We arrived about an hour before the girls so we took another ride into an area I have not been to before where we found some really huge dunes about 250m high. Fortunately we got to the top of them from the easy side, but that will be a challenge we will not be able to leave alone for long. We will have to go back and take more pictures. Seriously they are awesome.

Returning to meet Gary's family and my Mrs, we ended up doing some training for all in thick sand. They are all getting a lot more confidence, and I was delighted that Mrs Bluebull's confidence returned to her in sand. This means we can finally start planning some longer camping trips through the Atacama desert. I cant wait.

I will see if i can post some video in a couple of days, as its hard to see from the pics what the terrain was really like.

Thanks for following.

Neil :paw:
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline Malibu

  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: KTM 640 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 10,934
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Just a girl on a bike!
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 01:21:26 pm »
Wow!  What a play-ground!  Thanks for sharing... ;D
They call me Judy or Judes...

You need chaos in your soul to birth a shining star!
 

Geotraveller

  • Guest
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2012, 01:37:08 pm »
Subscribed!
 

Offline Dirt Junkie

  • I talk less and ride more than a
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Kawasaki KLR 650
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 2,181
  • Thanked: 19 times
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2012, 02:54:21 pm »
nice riding spot  :thumleft:
Something to think about...
When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept your it. All else is madness.

KTM 640 adv,  Aprilia RS 250, Yamaha YZ450F, 2014 KTM 690, 2010 KTM 690R, 2011 BMW F800GS, Yamaha XT600E , 2012 KTM 250 SX-F , KTM 400 EXC, Kawasaki  KLR650, Honda 125 estorm
 

Offline Bring It On

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,648
  • Thanked: 31 times
  • Shaun
Re: A Desert Virgin Tackles Riding Head-on
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2012, 11:09:58 pm »
Shooooooo.... Sure looks like there is a "never-ending" amount of pure FUN, out there in that huge "Sand Box" :thumleft: :thumleft:
"Always Believe In Yourself"

Quote: "Riding a Bike feeds something inside us, that Nothing else can"
Quote: "I Ride because it can turn the Worst Day into the BEST"