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Offline Jerrycan

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One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« on: December 20, 2007, 01:55:23 am »

I've had this itch since Linda bought her TW two years ago as a first bike, riding behind her on the F650GS like a true gentleman at 90 kays an hour while she found her way on two wheels.  So in typical dog style I scratched where it itched, and it wasn't my balls, it was the simplicity of the mini thumper that intrigued me, and the fact that it was Yamaha.  I've had Mercury  and Mariner outboard motors until I discovered Yamaha, and besides, my very first bike was a Yam, only later did I switch to Boxer Beemers with Bing carbs, again because the simplicity and resulting reliability combined with ease of maintenance made biking a thing of relaxation rather than a thing of financial burden and grovelling in front of the bank manager when a BM water pump or even worse ECU needed replacement.  The TW is a rugged little machine, been in production for at least 15 years with only minor design changes through all those years, it has enough torque to warrant a 5 teeth drop in rear sprocket for a bit more tops and a major service gets done by self in under an hour and only cost 1.3 litres of oil, oil and air filters are re-useable.

For those of you who may think I'm farkin mad to go from R80GS and F650GS to a TW while there are 1200GS's and 950 Katooms available, I'll simply quote Chris Scott, one of the pioneers of adventure biking since these are exactly my sentiments after having been there, done it and getting the T-shirt: "The more you learn about overlanding biking the more you realise what you DON'T need; your bike becomes less of a "statement of your individuality and belief in personal freedom" and evolves into a functional and dispensable adventure tool.  Comfort comes as a result of function and freedom from worry; you may not turn heads, but in Asia or Africa, a few less heads turned will make your day."  Also read about the two ouks that criss-crossed Namibia on two Hyperama specials costing only about R16g'seach, 180 or 175cc jobs I think it was, the story is in this month's Bark Essay.

So I bought a TeeDub, cheap enough to be able to replace it should it one day disappear falling overboard a dug out canoe in the swamps or something like that, found a used one from a preacher-man who used it to visit his congregation members, (it was a holy TeeDub, all hell was ridden out of it, I found traces of a chain-snap and the barrel was about to disembark from the crankcase due to loose top bolts and it was pissing oil as a result) it had 7K kms on the clock, was same year model as Linda's which meant only one set of spares to take along on trip and I kitted it out fully, o-ring chain, sprockets, alu bars, GPS bracket, soft panniers, top box, tank bag, new tyres etc. and still had change left for a new Evo jacket and new boots after selling the Beemer.  This TeeDub is mine, not Wesbank's or ABSA's or any loan shark's.  That was two months ago, the next step was to see if as much fun could be had on the TeeDub as on the Beemer, this trip being the result...

The standard knobblies were replaced with dual sport tyres for a more vibration free ride (to Linda's disgust) and had to be taken for a test before the trip, so after some Gauteng rainstorms we went looking for mud and sand around town to get the feel for the new tyres, needless to say, with a bike weighing less than 130kg and a contact patch almost the size of a John Deere tractor tyre I could hardly feel a difference in the sand and mud.


Packing for the trip, we had to cater for sleeping and cooking in the bush and fuel for 300-400 kays so we could skip the towns.  We did over do the packing thing, this trip was a trial run for the luggage racks I built and I never used soft panniers before so wanted to see if all systems work for future long trips.  We only took extra fuel on board when leaving Bothaville, 10l each and 4l water each, the rest was more bulk than weight, tent and sleeping bags and sleeping mats which in the end did not prove to be worth a sh#t, next trip will see an inflatable mattress and 12v accessory plugs for an inflator.

 
As we passed the Grassmere tollgate it started pissing of course, but we had an ace up the sleeve, we packed our raingear including rubber over boots which proved a blessing before the day was out.. yeah, we looked like pharmacy delivery personnel rather than ADV riders but there was no bath or tumble dryer where we were going and there was a lady on trip with me.
   
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 09:33:56 pm by Jerrycan »
Have petrol will move
RIDE REPORTS:
One dog and a bitch, on trip to Kommandodrift http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13086.0
One dog and a bitch, TW's to the sea http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13333.0
 

Offline Jerrycan

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 02:06:46 am »
20 kays past Bothaville in the Freestate we crossed the Vaal river for the second time and it was time to leave the tar en route to our hide-out on the riverbank on a family farm, no running water, no electricity and a long drop toilet, we arrived just after a storm passed and the road was snot and the dips flooded.  After letting the tyres down we pushed on, slipping and sliding, speaking in tongues until eventually we reached the sandy road turnoff to the cabin just before sunset, the TeeDubs did not miss a beat and sorry, no "bike-on-side-bones-in-air" pics, (touch wood) these bikes are manageable and light and we could not have chosen better tools for the job of getting us to the cabin through that mud.





At the cabin we stripped off the raingear and our riding clobber was dry, mud free and clean, we slept like dogs, well, after we fell asleep, adrenalin is an aphrodisiac... 



There was more rain to come so I schemed about a Mariner/TW conversion to get through the flooded dips but there was only one Mariner outboard and two TeeDubs.

Sunday morning we caught a cuzzin of mine on his farm just before they left for church, I told him where we were aiming to go find the pans I saw on Google Earth and he happened to know the ouks that farm around there so after some negotiation at grassroots level as we spoke he made some calls to the ouks to let them know two bikes will be roaming the area looking for pans as seen on Google Earth.  Now reason why you don't just open farm gates and ride through around there is that most maize farmers switched to diamond farming, digging holes the likes of Kimberley gat since they discovered that there's an ancient riverbed under their mielielande containing diamonds and every foreigner around there is suspect of being a diamond thief and or government official of some sorts.  And most of these ouks are good shots since they all used to belong to the commandos during the years of communist threat to Safrica.  And most worrying to me was the fact that ATGATT  does not show much skin and with the raingear looking like delivery personnel and all, and the TW being delivery bike size an all, well, rather safe than sorry.  So after some phone calls were made we left to go find the first pan "as seen on Google Earth".  Some more snot roads and then we hit the sandy areas going through disused maize fields and zillions of rusted farm gates closed with wire and chains.  TeeDub tracks, Linda approaching and a giant mushroom with TeeDub behind, of course the mushroom looks bigger cause the bike is smaller than most of you ouks are used to but still the mushroom was moera-big, not like those organic jobs you see at Woollies.





It was overcast still, no rain and farkin hot and humid, we, actually Linda, spotted the most amazing veld flowers after the rains and we had to stop to do "tra-la-la" pics of the TeeDubs Heidi & Peter style in the flowers.  Linda is the most amazing chic, she can be rugged, tomboy-style when needed but yet she can be the daintiest most gentle lady and then again a super-flirt real biker's chic when she feels like it.  I am the luckiest dog in the world to have had her for seven years now as a bitch and riding partner and photographic model and sleeping partner and business associate and pal...



The first pan reached as planned, but a boring pan, not much vegetation around it, neither any interesting rock formations, but that I could not judge from Google Earth, but a kick-ass feeling never the less having gotten to it on bike.  The "look Ma, we were there pic."

Lunchtime, we saw an abandoned farmhouse in the distance and made our way there for some shade to make coffee and have lunch.  I have a total fascination with ruins and abandoned dwellings, always sitting there in a moment of quiet wondering who lived there, whom they loved, what their dreams were, I can almost hear them cry, laugh and live in the quiet abandonment.  Most times you will find their graves or those of their loved ones there, children, wives or parents, and only the trees they planted many years ago remain proud giant tokens of civilisation there, the wind whispering through their living leaves, then I wish; if only the trees could tell..







 
Some more snot and water, (when you hit the water hard enough the TeeDub's front wheel cut the spray wide enough so you and soft panniers stay dry) kind of a-la-Moses-split-the-lake style.  Then back onto the Harrisburg road taking the Koedoesdraai turnoff.  These tracks tell a tale of a cage almost losing it on the Koedoesdraai road-of-snot.



« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 10:10:15 pm by Jerrycan »
Have petrol will move
RIDE REPORTS:
One dog and a bitch, on trip to Kommandodrift http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13086.0
One dog and a bitch, TW's to the sea http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13333.0
 

Offline Jerrycan

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 02:09:09 am »
Now, I know Wild Dogs don't cry, but then again charred dogs can't ride, bit ashamed to tell, but you might have read my thread on what adventure is, and I grootbek tuned there of going to find a bridge I saw on the map.  What I did not know then was that there was going to be a mother-of-thunderstorms over the area where the bridge is and I read a thread on lightning and biking and did some more research on the subject in the meantime and man, I kaark myself for electrical storms and no, we did not go see that particular bridge but we saw the storm protecting it and the cloud formations around it.

Another ruin, this one from the 1800's, first farmers there according to the locals.



On to the next pan where we planned to overnight "as seen on Google E", and this one is a pleasant surprise since it cannot be seen until you basically ride into it.  In fact, it is so well hidden that according to James, the one legged farmer on who's property it is, it was earmarked as a secret emergency gathering point by PDub Botha & Sons in case of a communist/Russian/Cuban/alien invasion of Safrica.  You could hide an army there without anyone knowing, well, unless they have Google E and a GPS.  So after telling James who my cuzzin is and that my dad was school pals with him and that we plan to cold-camp with no fire and we won't leave plastic bags lying around for his cattle to constipate on and so on and Linda gave him "the smile" he agreed to let us camp at his pan for the night.  Some funny cactus growing in the rock plates and a smaller pan before the real thing.



One of the highlights of the trip, the pan that's the stuff National Geographic writes about.  We'll just call it James's pan.  A massive pre-historic sandstone plate gave way for the pan to form, surrounded by amazing sandstone formations and shade trees.  There's even a few flamingos around.


 
We scouted around and took some amazing pics as the sun set.  The ultra wide angle lens I schlepped along in the trekker camera backpack all the way proved itself worth every gram it weighs, it was indispensable to portray the expanse and solitude of the pan.







Our campsite, the dots around in the darkness are not stars nor dead camera pixels, it's creatures checking us out 'cause walking towards them with a torch made them duck.  We sat in total darkness in front of our little tent for hours watching the wide expanse of bright stars over the pan and the flashing thunderstorms far off on the horizon.  The jackal cried his lonely song. Sipping hot coffee, you cannot help but scheme just being there makes you remember why you seek out places and circumstances like this, riding miles of muddy roads, hanging around on forums like this, drooling over maps, readying bikes for trips..moments like these are the reward and not commercially available for any sum of money, it's about who you are that makes it possible to appreciate and experience it for what it is.

Next leg of the trip, on to Kommandodrift, hot as hell.  Passed through Makwassie, a small forgotten town, very clean and neat and then got off the tar again heading for the other bridge over the Vaal river, built in the 40's and still standing and used.  Smoke-break under a typical African Acasia tree and Linda in full kit sporting her new Arai helmet.







Filling water bottles fresh from earth and a two legged monkey checking us out along the way to Kommandodrift bridge.



The bridge, coffee boiling on the Armco barrier and a photo opportunity of note.  Did a shot for a poster for our wall.  Draped the ThinkBike vest over the top box of the rear TW while parked there after the second local farmer came round the corner fearlessly broad siding his bakkie to do so and then gunning it for the bridge when he sees there's no one on it. (It's a single track bridge & the TDub due to it's size might easily be mistaken for a local's bicycle parked there while said local is on ablution duties under the bridge)







Linda crossing.  Little did we know that we would fly over this exact spot 3 days later at 800kmh and 10 000 meters high on our way to Cape town, we could even see the bridge from the plane and have the GPS track to prove it.

Kommandodrif Winkel and reception for Kommandodrif Hengel oord.  Now this place is a gem for Adv riders, it has 7 odd bungalows at R80 pp, it's somewhat rundown but has breathtaking scenery and it's a stone throw from the bridge.  There's 3 different gravel roads leading to it and very important to most, it sports a bottle store.  It is run by auntie Hester and again after negotiating at grassroots level as we spoke I convinced her that the kinda ouks I'm going to tell about her spot are nature lovers on bikes.  She eventually declared that she will allow bikes but "DO NOT WANT BIKERS LIKE THOSE ON RALLIES DOING BROWNIES IN THE STREETS".  After some deep thought I concluded she meant throwing doughnuts in the streets rather than meaning kaarking in the streets.  But either way, don't kaark in her streets should you ever go there, you will nullify my lengthy laborious grassroots level discussions in the farking sweaty hot winkel with her.  (I could not take my jacket off during discussions since I was packing a CZ and that might have been interpreted as hostile barker attire resulting in a night in Bothaville hotel and there was another motherfarking electrical storm brooding outside.)  Meanwhile Linda was doing her Black Empowerment thing amongst the Black unempowered locals and I was just in time to catch one in mid air ungraciously abandoning bike to escape a moer-in mother cause she did not want to smile instead of cry for the camera.  Bookings: Hester (056)5153281 or 083 766 4141 and the spot: S27 29 08.2 E26 14 10.8 about 270kays from JHB.



Bungalow A1, the one with the best view on the river and the bridge and cover for the TeeDubs.



We settled in and grabbed some photo opportunities before dashing back to A1 when all hell broke loose and sat out the storm hoping it would leave us with some daylight for more riding on the property.  The storm approaching the bridge we crossed earlier.









After the storm we did some riding checking out the amazing rock formations and Linda did the typical "moer through water" adventure rider shot of me doing the GS stance on the TeeDub. The erdvark holes in the grass are treacherous, most big enough to swallow a front wheel and send you head over gat into the grass.









Reaching for dry jeans, caught in the act and a pic-in-mirror for an avatar for Linda whom by now have earned to be a Wild Dog bitch.



Linda enjoying her first hot bath since we left home, the bath the size of a plaas dam.


Last walk-about at Kommandodrif before hitting the road home.





Another old disused metal bridge over the Vals river at Bothaville.

High tailing it back home, had a flight to catch to Capetown the next day.

The stats: We did just over 700kms in total, had no breakdowns or flats even though we carried repair kit.  The luggage racks and soft panniers worked out nice and so did the dual sport tyres. 

After thoughts:  Inflateable mattress, 3 man tent instead of 2 man tent so the camera bags and clothes can be kept dry in case of rain, all biscuits to be packed in tupperware containers to avoid eating just crumbs with bullybeef.  Crate with lid instead of Givi top box for trips, cannot strap anything on top of top box and the camera backpack limits the height of luggage that can be strapped to the pillion seat.

Linda and my ex F650GS


And Linda and her TW200 about a year ago on trip to Northwest





   






 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 10:15:39 pm by Jerrycan »
Have petrol will move
RIDE REPORTS:
One dog and a bitch, on trip to Kommandodrift http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13086.0
One dog and a bitch, TW's to the sea http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=13333.0
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 06:12:19 am »
Reaching for dry jeans, caught in the act and a pic-in-mirror for an avatar for Linda whom by now have earned to be a Wild Dog bitch.

May I be the first to say what a wonderful butt you have Linda...

(As an old Wild dog I wanted to say something about sniffing, but I could not work out how to without getting in the,  sorry banned) etc)...

Welsh  :-[ :-[
 
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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 06:17:45 am »
Great photo's!

Lekker trip.

Nice bitch as well. :redface: :wink:

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Offline luke

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 06:45:00 am »
Great pictures,awsome trip, well done meneer
Grey haired riders don't get that way by pure luck ! !
 

Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 07:06:07 am »
Looks like you guys had a lekka trip. I like the creativeness in the photos, hmmmm also the last couple.

And there sure is a LOT of rubber on that TWs rear!

Thanks for a lekka report.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

 

Offline Beemer Man (RIP)

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 07:30:03 am »
I think this bout sums it up

Eeich!!
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Offline Tim

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 08:14:33 am »
Respect!  Great report, great photo's.
.. therefore sweet knights if you may doubt your strength or courage come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty pointy teeth.
 

Offline Briekmerk

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 08:28:40 am »
First time with camera?
 

Offline Excalibur

Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2007, 08:31:20 am »
Efferything just beeaurifull Jerrycan ;)
 

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2007, 08:42:05 am »
Well done Jerrycan. Thank's for sharing some great moments in your journey with us all. Special and private one's at that. Thank's
People DON'T Change --we just get to know them better
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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2007, 08:45:39 am »
Some AWEOME pics there Jerrycan!!!
Great report as well!!!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Madala

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2007, 09:21:06 am »
Thanks for posting. Bikes ok, report good, photos great, chick stunning ;)
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2007, 09:30:42 am »
Awesome report, awesome photos, awesome ride!

Wow.

Very cool.


You are blessed having a lady that you can share all of this with.



edit - she also looks like a real sport.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 09:33:54 am by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2007, 09:39:19 am »
Awesome stuff  ;D
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2007, 09:46:06 am »
Some people just know how to press the right buttons...on their cameras ;D Some really good pictures there :thumbsup:
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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2007, 09:54:25 am »
Very nice report awsome pictures
Great to see someone with a better halve both enjoyong this to the exstream



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Offline Beemer Man (RIP)

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007, 10:15:46 am »
First time with camera?

You noticed as well!! ;D
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Offline Toothpick

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Re: One dog and a bitch on trip to Kommandodrift and lotsa pics.
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007, 10:28:45 am »
This report is AWESOME!!!

You guys are very lucky to have each other to enjoy rides like this together.

GOOD, GOOD, GOOD !!!!!!

Pics are the BEST!!!
NAUGHTY! . . . . BUT NICE!!!