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Offline JC

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2013, 10:05:02 am »
nice RR  :thumleft:

can't wait for the rest
 

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 10:13:25 am »
Couple of kilometers north of Penge lies a pass tucked away in the mountains, rarely used and difficult to find (although not escaping Beserker's keen eye  :thumleft:). This would be the start of a fantastic ride as we traversed two peaks to eventually rejoin the R35 heading towards Tzaneen. We only started the the ride at 4pm and lost another 20 mins fixing a puncture. No way we would be out of here before nightfall and so we ended up doing some night riding too. The start, a ds riders dream come true !





View over the countryside while making our way to the top.





At the summit of the first climb the sun was just about to duck. TIA





I had to stop and try an capture the beauty of nature even though it meant getting my feet wet.



Now with nightfall we found ourselves navigating through the valley, not one of the bikes having a very good headlight. I came to a stop behind Swartskaap and promptly tipped over after having no place to put my foot down, my fender caught his rear tyre and my bike became an instant motard. Now we encountered some water crossings combined with no real light and worn rubber on my bike at least made for some very interesting riding :)



Although visibilty was poor you could just tell we were riding through some beautifull countryside. Trees, creeks and an overdose of green were abound. We stopped and just switched off, you could barely see the front wheel it was surreal. HK and myself shared the last of my water and the going was tough, eventually I just drank straight from the river. The origin were definetly from fountains in the hills and it had plenty of time to filter as it flowed down, water never tasted that good ! I tried to remember Bear Grylls advise but was so thirsty I could not give a crap.



That night we only got to Tzaneen at 10 pm after starting our ride 8am that morning. After 14 hours of riding everyone dived into their tents and slept like a log

































































« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 07:46:48 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 10:40:21 am »
Day 3, last day for myself as I headed home. I would take the tar straight to Polokwane and then onto PTA oh the horror. Swartskaap and HK had more riding planned for the day.



The tar from Tzaneen to Polokwane (Pietersburg) is a good one, nice twisty passes through some beautifull countryside. The 610 as kicking it's feet and had a ball. I covered 103.5km and used 3.7 L when filling up in Polokwane, that is 28km/l !



Beautifull Azaelia's growing next to the road, wish the ones in my garden was that big !



Ebaneezer dam.



Some road works allowed me time to snap some random pics, quaint looking restaurant on the way to Heanertsburg.





Arrived home just after 12 and must say the 610 impressed me immensly, did the route with not much fuss and dealt with the tar back home no problem. Over to the other two for their day 3 report.



Thanks for reading
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 10:41:44 am by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2013, 11:29:17 am »
Lovely trip. Great read. Tell me... you think this class of bike could potentially handle a longer trip - say Angola or Kaokoveld - carrying 30 plus litres of fuel and enough kit for a rough 2-3 week trip? I'm guessing the 610 is probably better than the other two, but what about if they were kitted with oil cooler etc.?

I'm increasingly drawn to the light weight and 'smallness' but so far have chickened out and settled in 690 land. The 20kg advantage seems to be wiped out when loaded up anyway. You guys seem extremely lightly packed, even for a weekend trip. I think I'm more a Coyote than Mojavi kind of guy...

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2013, 11:40:13 am »
Lovely trip. Great read. Tell me... you think this class of bike could potentially handle a longer trip - say Angola or Kaokoveld - carrying 30 plus litres of fuel and enough kit for a rough 2-3 week trip? I'm guessing the 610 is probably better than the other two, but what about if they were kitted with oil cooler etc.?

I'm increasingly drawn to the light weight and 'smallness' but so far have chickened out and settled in 690 land. The 20kg advantage seems to be wiped out when loaded up anyway. You guys seem extremely lightly packed, even for a weekend trip. I think I'm more a Coyote than Mojavi kind of guy...
The smaller bikes will go the distance but you are going to be doing a lot of servicing, roughly 1000km of technical riding is going to be 15 - 20 hours of running time. So you will need to to change oil at those intervals. You can push this who knows. You are right with that kit you will not be able to do more than 4 days or so unless you have a rest and wash day. For that the Coyote is superior to the Mojavi. I actually found the 610 more forgiving than my 450 in those rocks up that pass, it held a line and climbed it just fine. I would not go heavier than it's 140kg weight though. For me where I am now the 610 is just perfect, still the great 6th gear to do some distance on tar and light and nimble enough to do some difficult terrain. See Xpat's 630 in the Kaokoveld  :thumleft:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/8A91M4uqiqY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/8A91M4uqiqY</a>
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 11:43:18 am by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2013, 11:46:51 am »
Thanks Jacques.

Those pics of Penge's pass don't convey the full story of what it's about. Due to the nature of the track and the fact that we were running out of time and water, it's understandable that not many pictures were taken.
I can only say that it reminded me of coconut alley at De wiltd, only it continues for much longer.

My GPS (Gpsmap 60cs) started to get funky with me on day 1. It would switch off at random times when cradled, and by day 2 it was really bad. I had it cable tied to my jacket and navigating the mountains that way was a challenge.
We were running low on energy during penge and so did the GPS' batteries. I had to stop at times to reconnect the auxiliary power, so that its backlight would illuminate the path ahead.. was rather frustrating.

The track marked in green is Penge's pass. To the left is one of my other 2 alternatives (in case Penge was an abomination) In hind sight, had it been, we would have slept in the mountains. It is thus quite important to know how long a route might take and the repercussions if it has to be aborted. In our case it would have extended our trip by another day.

Also, eventhough I knew that we were going remote, I did not think about packing energy bars  :patch:

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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2013, 11:47:27 am »
Thanks. Yeah... pretty much the same thinking for me. I haven't ridden a 610/630 but the 690 is definitely lighter than the BMX (with big tank) I had previously...

Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2013, 11:54:05 am »
I actually found the 610 more forgiving than my 450 in those rocks up that pass, it held a line and climbed it just fine.
Your 450 was poorly setup (clutch releasing way too late and 15T front sprocket)
610 is closer to a 690 than a 450 IMO.

It depends, for me, the 450 is the ultimate.
I can go ANYWHERE with that thing (watch this space) and you would not have made it through yesterday with that 610.

My point is just that with my kind of trips, things can go pear shaped quick and like yesterday, we would have been stuck had we been on anything other than plastics.

For Angola and so, the 610 would be fine (if you don't go far off the beaten track)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 11:56:07 am by swart skaap »

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2013, 11:58:21 am »
I actually found the 610 more forgiving than my 450 in those rocks up that pass, it held a line and climbed it just fine.
Your 450 was poorly setup (clutch releasing way too late and 15T front sprocket)
610 is closer to a 690 than a 450 IMO.

It depends, for me, the 450 is the ultimate.
I can go ANYWHERE with that thing (watch this space) and you would not have made it through yesterday with that 610.

My point is just that with my kind of trips, things can go pear shaped quick and like yesterday, we would have been stuck had we been on anything other than plastics.
I might have surprised you  >:D My CRF's suspension was ridiculous, one days ride and I could barely move my body parts. Had that been fixed it could have worked. I'll keep my current bike, it is schweet ! Gooi those pics !
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:01:48 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2013, 12:25:10 pm »
The unexpected poor performance of my GPS and the excessive amount of punctures meant that I had to adjust the route after Penge's pass  >:(
This little gem had to be skipped as well as a plethora of plantation shredding:



So we spent the night at Tzaneen dam (for free)  :thumleft: and myself and Henko headed down to Haenertsburg.

We had a nice breakfast at my favorite pit stop where I decided to remove a piece of my thumb  :eek7:
Idea was to remove the GPS, now cable-tied to the broken cradle with my knife. Knife slipped and blood and bandages followed  :xxbah:
This did not deter me from attempting "bewaar kloof": http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=124390.0

Orange path shows the pretty basic route taken to Heanertsburg and the blue path passes through Bewaar kloof.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:26:50 pm by swart skaap »

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Offline Kenisis

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2013, 12:32:58 pm »
Awesome RR!
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Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2013, 12:35:59 pm »
Riding Bewaar kloof, now christened "Call a copter" was pretty insane to be honest.
Tips for riding this:
 1) You need to be fit
 2) Take a strong guy with
 3) Bikes must not weigh more than 120KG (you carry them.. a lot)
 4) Water is drinkable
 5) Go down stream (N to S)
     - you would have spotted the corpse of a dead animal in the water by the time that you need to drink it.
     - it is easier carrying a bike down the rocks than up
The bad thing about going down stream is that once you have committed, there is no turning back (it is much harder going up these slippery rocks), hence the name "call a copter"

We arrived at its entrance an 11:30. It was hot.



These bikes are astonishing. They can do hundreds of kilometers of tar in one go (if you need to) and traverse places where cattle cant go!


Examining what lies ahead..


It became evident that once wet, the wheels have very little grip on these rock slabs.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:37:48 pm by swart skaap »

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2013, 12:47:03 pm »
Hierdie is die sh*t !
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2013, 12:47:50 pm »
I examined the path ahead on my GPS and determined that we need to cover about 2KM's before hitting the 4x4 track.
I also noticed that cattle's hoof prints were scattered about everywhere and this is normally a good sign; where cattle can go, so can we :)

This picture shows an almost 2m tall, 114KG dude, dwarfed by the 1st obstacle. The thing to note is that as stated, these rocks are slippery and sloped at angles which makes man and machine battle to find any grip.


We had to carry the bikes through this part. Between myself and Henko, we would have managed your 610 here, Jacques.
The question is, what lies ahead over the next 2KM?

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Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2013, 12:55:03 pm »
50m in and we are finding ourselves battling the sun just as much as the kloof.
Taking a much deserved breather.


I got alarmed at the fact that I have consumed 50% of my water during the first 2% of the uncharted route. I also realized how much more difficult it would be to go back but decided to take baby steps and see how it goes..

The good and ugly thing about riding this kloof was that after each impossible looking obstacle, you are presented with this view:


..and it's like you are being sucked into it, deeper and deeper.. and before you know it, you are in the kak when you realize that there is no going back and God only knows what lies ahead.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:58:24 pm by swart skaap »

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Offline Dwerg

Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2013, 12:57:30 pm »
Fark dis goeies die, bring die res  :thumleft:

Eks baie bly oor my besluit om nie saam te kom nie want my arm sou daai defnitief nie gemaak het nie
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Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2013, 01:14:07 pm »
~ 200m in and we are going strong, feeling like we are up for the fight but starting to take things a bit slower, now that we are conserving energy and water.
Henko looked like he was battling the heat at this stage and I suggested that he removes his jacket. The problem was that he had no where to put it, as the added baggage on the rear fender would make it impossible to mount the bike in the usual way (swinging your leg over it)


Looks like something might be lurking in the distance and I got a bit nervous again..


As expected; it started to become more and more technical the further we went.


Still, there were scattered hoof prints about and I took that as a good sign.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 01:17:42 pm by swart skaap »

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Offline 10Klr

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2013, 01:36:45 pm »
What an awesome RR!
Love the one you are with
 

Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2013, 01:52:51 pm »
The bad sign however was that each technical section became closer spaced as we progressed and the heat felt like it was continuously increasing.

Henko was finding the heat a bit much and settled to fixing his jacket to the already "large" amount of baggage carried.


I tried to scout as much of the route as possible by foot, before venturing in there, but this became very tiring too. The sandy section where the river flows, is saturated to the point where it consumes a lot of energy to walk there (almost like walking in mud, in a way) Climbing over the rocks is even worse, and I decided that we simply worked too hard to give up.

By this time we have only covered 500m and I started shitting myself slowly but surely when being presented with this, over and over and over:


We ran out of water by now and a headache of note indicated dehydration..
At this point the only sign of animal tracks were those of baboons, yelling from the cliff side at the crazy white men and I got a bit worried to be honest.

I ended up drinking straight from the river and that was bliss.There are sections were the river disappears under the sand and surfaces again 50m later. This is the perfect spot to drink it.
Nice and cold  :dousing:
After filling my camelback, I had new life breathed into me but Henko was looking a bit down. He refused to drink the water and this concerned me a bit as I needed his strength to get us through this.


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Offline swart skaap

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Re: Penge's pass and the Old Forest
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2013, 02:08:06 pm »
I got too tired to even think about taking pictures from 500m to 2000m.
I had visions of choppers airlifting our bikes to safety, the embarrassment of having to pay 20 locals to help us carry our bikes out of Bewaar kloof.
I finally deduced that it was named that because bewaar jou siel as jy hier wil deur

After 4 hours of battling we were presented with a clearing and I knew that we were victorious judging from the fact that the 4x4 track lays ahead:


Henko in good form:  :biggrin:


Hy't hande-4-voet daar rond gekruip in die water, soos 'n baba wat pas gedoop is.
Ek't dit nogals toepaslik gevind, seinde dit sy virgin ride saam met ons was.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 02:56:33 pm by swart skaap »

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