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Offline Rokie

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“Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« on: June 14, 2013, 12:15:48 pm »
“Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
(weekend of 10 - 12 May 2013)

I didn’t really go where I was planning, at all – mostly because I didn’t really plan where I was going. I loaded the Dakkie on Thursday evening, so that I could leave directly after work on Friday.


<packed dakkie>

Some time and budget constraints made me deviate from my initial thoughts and rather than heading for the Northern parts of the West Coast (will do it one day . . .), I headed for Montagu, en route to Sutherland. I set off on Friday afternoon with not much of a plan other than to camp both nights and to be back on Sunday.

I chased over Sir Lowry’s Pass and swung left after Grabauw to head for Villiersdorp. The air was much cooler than I anticipated and I realised that I should have been wearing my jacket‘s inner. Autumn in the Cape can feel like summer, but the winter bite becomes evident in the evenings.

Campsite no. 1

Once through Villiersdorp and over the pass on the way to Worcester, the day had faded and I took a right onto a back-road that I knew from before. I got a bit lost in the dark and even had a close encounter with a cow! – all the time thinking, “I’m sure I’ll find a spot to camp, any minute now.” After about 30 minutes I was confident I was on the right road (a short-cut between Villiersdorp and Roberstson, bypassing Worcester completely) and spotted a lovely olive orchard. I darted into the middle of it, quickly killing the engine and the lights, in order not to attract any attention. Surely there’s a grumpy farmer close by, who wouldn’t take kindly to any old stranger camping on his land – or some rowdy locals, on their way home from a pay-day binge, ready to stir some trouble . . .

I quickly pitched my tent under the cover of darkness.


<tent on Fri>

There was a fair amount of wind and the steady ‘whoosh’ through the olive branches also gave me some cover of sound. However, by the time I had my instant dinner:


<mallow bar on bread>
Fine dining: marshmallow chocolate hot-dog

. . . and arranged my bed, the wind had died down completely. It felt like every little sound I made (from the crunch of dry leaves and pruned branches to the crinkle of my cheap Checkers sleeping bag) echoed through the valley and was bound to attract the attentions of that grumpy farmer or those rowdy locals . . . or something / someone . . .

I was not too far from the adjacent farm road, so the couple of farm bakkies (pick-ups) that passed by were, in my mind, also threats to my (not so) peaceful existence. The cold woke me up once or twice and inevitably I’d hear some sound or another and imagine either that someone is messing with my bike or that someone is creeping up on me, ready to chuck me off their land.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 02:07:25 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
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2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 12:19:10 pm »
Get up and go

I set my alarm for 6 am and packed up my wet tent as fast and as quietly as I could.


<packed up>

The cold and humid air had also left a layer of water on the seat of my bike. Having learnt my lesson, I was wearing my jacket with its inner as I pulled out of the orchard in a bit of a hurry. Of course, no one ever even knew I was there and the peaceful morning broke beautifully over the surrounding mountains.


<morning scenery>

I carried on further along the same road that led me to my orchard camping spot, only to find a dead end. Some locals told me I had missed a turn, so I back-tracked past my orchard and took the turnoff at Kniediep Boerdery (Knee Deep Farm) towards Robertson. I could feel my clutch cable creaking a bit and resolved to give it some lubrication when I stop.


<Villiers to Robertson 1>


<Villiers to Robertson 2>

I crossed the mighty Breede and rode through town, towards Aston. I was a bit irritated by the fact that I had to do this tarred stretch before I got to the gravel roads beyond Montagu, but it was such a fantastic, sunny autumn day that my irritation wouldn’t last long . . . or would it . . ?

 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 12:57:15 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
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2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 12:19:57 pm »
Bike trouble

Just as I was slowing down for the traffic circle on the way out of Robertson, I heard quite a concerning “krrrrrrrrr . . . “ sound. I slowed down a bit more and the sound disappeared. I decided to stop and check things out, but first had to negotiate the traffic circle. I geared down and halfway around it, I realised that I wasn’t getting any power out of the throttle. I thought the bike had perhaps slipped into a false neutral, but no amount of action on the gear lever could solve the problem – whether I pulled the clutch or let it go, the bike would just rev as if it was in neutral. “Oh crap!!” I thought. “Is this the end of my weekend?”

Worst case scenario, in my mind, was a gearbox issue – a serious one. In fact, in my mind all gear box issues are serious ones. Best case scenario would be that the counter sprocket came loose. I had a greater measure of panic about the worst case, but much greater suspicion of the best case – especially since the counter sprocket was replaced only a couple of days ago. What if the oke who did it, didn’t tighten in properly – or worse even – what if he didn’t really know what he was doing? ‘Who was this oke?’ you might ask. Well . . . ehm . . . it was me.

I pushed the bike back to a spot where I could work a bit and removed the counter sprocket cover. Sure enough, there it was: the chain still on the sprocket, and the sprocket hanging off the end of the drive shaft. “Thank goodness” it wasn’t the gearbox, but “oh no” about the missing nut and lock washer. Then, when I looked closer, I found the lock washer lying on a part of the frame. Now all I needed was to find that nut. I walked up and down the last 100m or so of where I rode, but couldn’t spot that friggen nut anywhere. Bastard!

I started to push the bike back toward town, where I was certain I’d seen a wheel and tyre workshop with open doors. My irritation was back in full force when, within 100m or so, I spotted a Hi-Q that was totally closed-up. Next to it was another workshop – also closed. Then came a bakkie, out of the blue, and stopped in front of the other workshop. I walked closer, pushing the bike, and as I got to the workshop, the oke that stopped there had de-activated the alarm and opened the door. “Is this your workshop?”, I asked in Afrikaans.

Unfortunately he was on his way to a rubgy match and in quite a hurry, but he referred me to a place nearby which he said is open on Saturdays and where “Oom Banie” would definitely be able to help me. Sure enough, a mere 200m further, Oom Banie Woluther was ready to help. His workhop had enough bolts, nuts and other engineering supplies to build a whole motorcycle with. “I’ve been in the trade for 45 years”, he said, after measuring the drive shaft with vernier calipers and grabbing the exact right nut from a box on one of his shelves. He checked out the lock washer, tightened the nut and bent over two of the sides of the washer by carefully tapping it with a screwdriver and then a steel punch. That was my mistake – I only bent over one side, which obviously wasn’t enough to hold the nut in place.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:48:55 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
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2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 12:23:36 pm »
Onward through Montagu

Yea! My weekend was revived!! I’d suffered a pretty bad delay, but a major disaster was averted and I was still able to head toward the wide open spaces of the Karoo. I decided to stop at the Wimpy in Montagu. Despite the fact that I’d already been delayed and despite the abundance of coffee shops, restaurants and farm stalls, I chose to have a good hearty breakfast at the Wimpy. The main reason was that some of the workers at that Wimpy helped me out big time when I had bike trouble during a previous ride. I also figured that if I had a good hearty breakfast, I could survive on the snacks that I packed until dinner-time and in doing so, I’d gain some time and distance. Plus, there is just something about a Wimpy breakfast, isn’t there?

While I was waiting for my order to be prepared, I did a quick lube-job on my chain and attracted the attentions of one of the locals. After a couple of compliments about the bike, he asked me where I was from and where I was going. “Satterlint Meneer? Dis mos skurwewereld Meneer – woestynwereld. Dis my wereld, Meneer. Ek kom van Satterlint” (“That’s course country, sir – desert country. That’s my area, sir. I am from Sutternint”). After a few more exchanges, I said good-bye, but not before he tried his luck in getting me to pay for his next bottle of something. “Broodgeld” (“bread money”) he called it.

With my mood recovered, I soon reached the Little Karoo’s Ouberg Pass. The sun was out and the air was fresh, but I realised that I forgot to lube the clutch cable . . . creak, creak, every time I changed gears. I cruised up the pass with a faint memory of some of the bends from when I rode this stretch (in the other direction) somewhere during 2010. The road was nothing spectacular, but the weather was incredible and every kilometre on gravel took me further and further from the madness and routine of the working week. It felt entirely appropriate that these Albert Hamond lyrics popped into my head:

City life was get’n us down,
so we spent the weekend out of town.
Pitched our tent on a patch of ground,
down by the river.”

 
<Ouberg Klein Karoo>

As I got closer to Touwsrivier, the scenery started to become a bit different. The Great Karoo is browner and flatter and the farm houses fewer and further between.


<closer to Touws>
Previously owned:
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Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 12:26:04 pm »
Touwsrivier and beyond

The rather sad Saturday crowd was all over the rather sad bottom end of town. I stopped at a chemist and bought some more of the remedies I used to nurse the left-overs of a mid-week flu.

Out on the sidewalk, a couple of locals gave me the usual treatment, but I refused to fund their habits. One of them really became my best friend during the couple of minutes it took to dissolve an effervescent tablet. “Satterlint Meneer? Wat gaan Meneer daar doen?” When it became clear that I wasn’t going to give him “broodgeld” he turned a bit nasty and I had to walk a tight rope between a polite request and a stern warning to leave me alone. He even started suggesting I’d better hang onto my stuff or I could get robbed by “some of the bad people that hang around here.” "Present company excluded?" I thought.

I asked for some route guidance at the fuel station and decided to fill up in Touws, just in case the fuel pump in Sutherland closed at 4, as local knowledge would suggest. The pump attendant was a bit shy, but very friendly. “Sitterlint Meneer?” he asked in a slight variation of the previous pronunciation. “Dis koud daar, Meneer,” (“It’s cold there, sir”).

“Not today”, I thought as I drove off into the plains of the Great Karoo, “not now.” Did I mention the weather? It was FAN-TAS-TIC! riding weather. Damn, I forgot to lube the clutch cable, again.


<onward from Touws>
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 01:02:29 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
3 x Suzuki DR 600 (1986-ish model)
2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 12:28:22 pm »
Grysbok

Not long onto the Northward straight, I saw a little bokkie (antelope – I think it was a Grysbok) sprinting for dear life between the road and the parallel fence. It was obviously terrified and really gave its all. I was a bit worried that it would cross onto the road, so I slowed down a bit and as soon as I was close, I opened up in an attempt to pass it as quickly as possible. Just as it looked like I was going to get past the little bugger – sure enough – it came from left field (literally) and did a Gio Aplon, right into the road. A split second of panic, when it went right into my line of travel, turned into relief when he went straight across my front wheel and to my right. By now I had come off the throttle and just as I was going to re-apply the power, the poor bugger did another Gio and – boom! – crashed into my foot and engine block.

Luckily (for me) it was small and caused no more than a wobble. My foot really felt it, but I was OK. I did a U-turn and parked behind the little fellow, where he (or she) lay unconscious on the edge of the road. I got off the bike, wondering what to do and to see if it was alive. It lifted its head and looked at me, seemingly calmly and I could even stroke it without it going into any kind of panic or reaction. It was obviously in shock and probably only half awake, but it was clear that it couldn’t get up and that its hind quarters were severely damaged.


<bokkie lying down>


<bokkie hind quarters>

Eish. What does one do? There was no way this little oke was going to recover by itself and there was no way I was taking it to a veterinarian (sorry to those who believe I should have). While I was contemplating putting the little guy out of his misery, I recalled the one time, working on a farm, when I assisted a friend in catching a sheep for the slaughter – including the slaughter itself. I knew that I could end it quickly by taking my Swiss Army knife, cutting through the throat and breaking the spinal cord, just under the head. That’s what I saw my friend do with that sheep. It only took a couple of seconds, but was I ready to do it myself? Did I have much of a choice?

“No. I don’t have a choice. I’ll just do it,” I thought. Then, over the rise in the road, came a big truck. I thought I’d let it pass before I do the deed. It may look a bit strange to passing traffic if I were doubled up over a little grysbok, cutting its throat. The truck, branded by a big equipment moving company, stopped and the co-driver enquired about the situation. I told him that it ran in front of me and offered him the meat. It seemed the obvious thing to do. He consulted with the driver, who jumped out and was ready to do the killing. Somehow I felt keen to do it myself and asked him for advice on where to cut. He was in a bit of a hurry and just took the knife and showed me . . .

He wrapped the carcass in a clear sheet of plastic, tied it in a knot and loaded the whole thing onto the back of the truck. Off they went as I stared over the blood stains at the dust cloud following them into the distance.


<truck leaving the scene>
Previously owned:
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2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 12:30:35 pm »
Sutherland and a chance encounter

I had a brief moment about life and death, but snapped out of profound-dom the moment the wheels started turning again. Unfortunately the gravel didn’t last too long, but fortunately the tarred road got me to Sutherland in time for a re-fuel. I had a quick conversation with the pump attendant and his next client:


<Sutherland locals>

who convinced me to go to Jupiter, which, I’m sure many of you know, sports the following sign at the entrance:


<bikers welcome>

The friendly bike-riding owners gave me a beer, a map book and some advice on route options. I soon opted for the Great Karoo version of Ouberg Pass, which interested me, in part, because I was told it does not get maintained by the roads authorities (which means it could make for interesting riding).


<eastward>

I memorised a couple of things from the map and headed Eastward. One of the things from the map was that, where the road splits, I should not take a right to Skurweberg. So, when I saw a sign, in the setting sun, saying “Skurweberg” to the right, I was a bit surprised at how soon it appeared. Nonetheless, I took the fork to the left and started to become a bit suspicious when I went through someone’s farmyard. There was no sign of life, so I kept going. After a few minutes I reached what seemed like a dead end and another farmyard. I aimed for the farmhouse, but some of the workers approached me saying that the owners weren’t there and that I should go and ask at “Baas Nicol se huis” (boss Nicol’s house).

I back-tracked a bit and took the turnoff to Nicol and Annamarie (or something similar) van der Merwe’s house. The main house looked empty, so I went around the side, past the “Reception” sign and towards what looked like a couple of self-catering rental units. I saw someone walking around and rode up to him. To my surprise, it was someone I know very well from Somerset West! “Charl!! What a coincidence!” I mean really!! In the middle of nowhere . . .

“What on earth are you doing here!!??” he responded and we had a quick exchange about his family weekend and my solo ride. “If you freeze out in the field, come back here. We’ll have a big fire going inside.”
Previously owned:
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Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:32:06 pm »
Jy weet natuurlik Kniediep is ektoknbike se tuiste?
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 12:32:52 pm »
Campsite no. 2

I back-tracked a bit more and by the time I reached the “Skurweberg” sign, the sun had set and I was in a hurry to find a camping spot. Then I noticed that there was also an “Ouberg” sign in the same direction, so I realised this was not the “Skurweberg” split I was weary of. I chased down the road, trying to get out of sight of any farmhouse, so that I could find my spot for a campfire and overnight stay. I took a right towards a ‘windpomp’ (what is a windpomp in English? Wind mill does not sound right), but there was a locked gate, so I had to turn back to the main road. “Just don’t drop the bike now!” I thought as I negotiated a three point turn, involving some round rocks. Experience has taught me that, in the fading light, after a long day of riding, these kinds of tight turns on loose terrain can easily cause mistakes.

As I reached the main road, I noticed a lovely riverbed on the other side. I rode into the veld to find an entry point and stopped for a moment to take aim at the small but rocky descent. As I put my feet out, the bike tipped to the right and I lost my footing over a rugby ball sized ‘Karooklip’ (rock). I just managed to save it, but because of a bit of an incline to the right, I was now at full stretch, with my foot planted a good meter and a half from the bike. I could barely hold the weight of the tilted, loaded bike and there was no way I could push it back up. My foot slid another inch and I knew I had no choice but to let the bike drop before recovering. I groaned and looked down at the nasty, rocky spot where the bike would have to fall. I somehow started to get ‘hardegat’ (hard headed / arsed) and with my jaw clenched, I growled, “no, no, no!” through my teeth.

It just about took super-human effort to push up onto the ball of my foot and fight gravity with all my strength. LUCKILY I managed what I thought was impossible and with a strained calf muscle I could take the drop into the riverbed.


<parked in the riverbed>

It was a perfect spot! Nice dry, soft sand to camp on, a large flat-ish rock for a table and a hidden hollow for making my campfire. First things first, so I gathered some dry sticks and branches for the fire, while I could still see. With the fire going, I pitched my tent, unpacked and got ready for the cooking. It was a perfect evening and surprisingly warm. Even as the darkness set in, I noticed how warm it was and hoped for a warmer night’s sleep, despite the warnings from Charl and the Montagu local.


<fire>

On the menu was some sausage rolls and instant (just add water) Swiss fondue cheese sauce. I got a sample from a friend in Zurich, who works for a company that owns “Trek ‘n Eat” and Optimus gas stoves. (Mine is the Optimus Crux – quite a funky little number.)


<food>

The cheese sauce was disgusting, but the sausage rolls were totally delicious. I kept half of the sausages for the next day’s lunch. There was some occasional commentary from a bunch of baboons hiding in the nearby ridge, but other than that, and after the last flight to Jo-burg, it was one of the quietest nights I have ever experienced. I sat under the stars for quite some time before finishing the evening off with a little Ritmeester cigar. I swear, it tasted EXACTLY like a big, fat Cuban!!
Previously owned:
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Offline Hando

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 12:33:11 pm »
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Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 12:35:48 pm »
Jy weet natuurlik Kniediep is ektoknbike se tuiste?

o hel! moenie vir hom se nie. dis dalk in sy olyfboord wat ek skelm gekamp het   :o
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Offline Lem

Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 12:37:29 pm »
ek love hierdie report, gooi nog!
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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 12:41:44 pm »
Getting up (out of bed) and going down (the Pass)

After a wholesome rest, I woke up to a gorgeous day!


<wake up>

Notice that the tent flaps are dry – no dew. “It must have been a warmer night,” I thought, “maybe some kind of berg wind conditions.” Not once did I wake up from feeling cold at night and now I wake up to a dry tent. Cool.

Actually, not just cool – freezing! The dry morning air stung my face as I emerged from my warm, happy hiding place. Sure enough, both the outside of the tent and the seat of the Dakkie were covered in fine sprinklings of ice.


<iced tent>


<iced seat>

I couldn’t believe it! My cheap Checkers sleeping bag was up to the challenge. I guess the tent and all the riding gear I was wearing, helped a lot. Maybe the frozen shell of the tent caused the igloo effect and trapped all my body heat. Either way, I was impressed that I could not only survive a sub-zero camping night, but do so without even the slightest discomfort!

The most awesome Karoo morning started to spread the light of day over my campsite and the wide, forsaken landscape.


<morning light>


<campsite>

I did a good bit of chain cleaning and lubricating before I set off. By the end of it (all of 5 minutes or so) I was seriously in the mood for riding and rather looking forward to Ouberg Pass. Just as I got going, the creak of the clutch cable reminded me that I forgot to lubricate it – again!!

Under the solid, blue sky, the road led me past the real Skurweberg turnoff.


<long road>

and up to the edge of the Ouberg Pass.


<ouberg info sign>


<the edge>

I thoroughly enjoyed the pass! The views are spectacular


<view from pass>

and the down-hills and hairpins kept the adrenalin at a slow steady supply. I kept wondering if I could do it with a pillion, so that I can bring the love of my life on a return trip – maybe going up will be easier than going down (??).
Previously owned:
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Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 12:42:41 pm »
ek love hierdie report, gooi nog!

 :)
thanks Lem . . . amper die einde . . .
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Offline Hando

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 12:45:45 pm »
Going up will be easer than down me thinks.

I did it up with full luggage a while back.  Still want to do it down

Ouberg pass is awesome !
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 12:46:47 pm »
After the Pass

At the bottom of the pass, the road opened up and it was notably warmer. I stopped quickly to remove a layer or two from under my jacket.


<layers off>

I also took a couple of short detours into riverbeds – one to face the sand monster and another onto a solid plate of rock.


<sandy river>


<rocky river>

Then, a stop at this well know landmark (unfortunately closed)


<skerm>

and when I pulled off at a random house to fill up my water supplies, I found a weird little garden where someone obviously expressed themselves during their getaway weekends.


<water stop>

I love these ‘plattelandse’ (rural / countryside) place names


<bordjie>

. . . found this one on the Ceres road.
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Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 12:48:31 pm »
Still want to do it down

laat net weet wanneer, dan join ek jou  :ricky:
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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 12:49:41 pm »
Chance encounter no. 2 (and some more bike trouble)

After quite a bit of riding, I saw a ‘bakkie’ (pick-up) at the top of a hill. It had just turned in at a farm gate and I presumed it was a local farmer doing his rounds. I looked at the time on my control panel and realised that his was only the second vehicle in more than 3 hours of riding!

As I came closer, I notice that the bakkie doors (and canopy) had opened and that a woman, a bunch of kids and a couple of dogs had emerged. The dad was closing the gate and I was just about ready to do a courtesy wave when I recognised him – one of my very good university friends who lives in Ceres!! As I pulled the clutch to stop, I could feel the cable snap. “Oh no. I’ll worry about that a bit later.”

How strange that, during the 4 hours or so of daylight I had from Sutherland to close to Touws, I saw only 3 vehicles and I knew the people in 2 of them!! I greeted my friends and their kids and had a merry old chat. I declined the offer to join them for their Mothers’ Day braai. I had been to their Karoo farm a few times before, but never from Sutherland, so I didn’t even realise that I was on that particular road. It was  a pleasant surprise and I got going with a push from my friend for a bit of pull-way movement and a “clunk” into first gear.

From then onward, I had to change gears without the clutch. I’ve had some practice of this on a trip with my previous bike. It is not too hard, but I guess it’s not great for the gearbox – no matter how smoothly you do it.

I stopped for a late lunch at the beginning of the Hottentotskloof.


<h-kloof>

The road was very flat and I forgot about my clutch situation, otherwise I would have tried to stop at the top of a bit of a downhill. To remedy the situation, I thought I’d push the bike, backwards, up a small mound. When I got it as high as I could, I pulled the front brake to keep it there while I try to get onto the bike. I felt the brake lever sinking in a bit too far and the bike slowly started to run forward. I realised immediately I had a leak on the front brake system and guided the bike back onto the flat surface. Upon inspection, I saw that the brake calliper was damp with brake fluid. Another “oh no!!”
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:36:26 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
3 x Suzuki DR 600 (1986-ish model)
2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline Rokie

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2013, 12:50:58 pm »
Homeward bound

After I started it in neutral, I had to push the bike for a few meters on the flat road to have enough speed to clunk into first gear without it stalling. This would become my standard routine with the clutch-less and now front brake-less Dakkie. As a result of these difficulties, I minimised the stops and hardly took any more pictures. I knew I would make it home, but with a bit of extra effort.

Between Touwsrivier and  Montagu I took a small detour via the Bloutoring road. It was a lovely variation to that portion of the route, but it did cost me a bit of time. By the time I got to Montagu, the afternoon light was beautiful; adding to the charm of the small town. I stopped at a farm stall and bought my mom a candle and one of those weird jams (I think it was Fig&Ginger) for Mothers’ Day.


<rambling rose>

From there it was mostly tar. First a fuel stop in Robertson, where I met some Dawgs on their way back from the Eastern Cape Bash, then the small back-road section towards Villiersdorp, where it seemed a car had overturned and a couple of motionless bodies lay next to the road under police presence. This time I didn’t get lost, at least, since there was still a bit of light left in the day.

By the time I got to Villiersdorp though, it was pitch dark. I dreaded having to do the last stretch in the dark and I was hardly out of town when I remembered why. The Dakkie’s headlight is quite weak, especially with the orange cover. Also, on-coming cars who forget to dim their lights on a narrow road with a couple of not-so-straight-walking pedestrians here and there – not the safest of riding conditions without a front brake. Then I scored a luck. I was going at about 100 km/h and a Jeep came up behind me, doing about 110. Once it passed me, I decided to do 110 as well and to stick behind the Jeep. This worked wonders! He would flash at all the cars that forgot to dim their lights and I could follow a clear set of red tail lights around all the curves. Every so often, I’d also get a bit of advance warning from its brake lights, of course.

For the last 2 km or so before Sir Lowry’s Pass, the traffic was slowed down to a snail’s pace. I could easily pass all the queue’s on the left hand side and slipped over the pass in no time at all. At about 7.30pm I stopped at my folks’ house to drop off the Mothers’ Day goodies and got rewarded with leftovers from the family lunch – three kinds of meat, four kinds of vegetable dishes, a salad and pudding!!!! Mmmmmmm . . . Ma se kos!!!

The perfect end to a fantastic riding weekend.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 12:56:19 pm by Rokie »
Previously owned:
3 x Suzuki DR 600 (1986-ish model)
2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)
 

Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: “Satterlint Meneer?” – A short solo into two Karoos
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2013, 12:56:19 pm »
Very nice thanks Rokie!
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)