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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Some time ago my dad called me about selling an old coin. He called it a 'Kruger Pound' but it turned out to be even older and is in fact called a 'Burger Pond'. I tried to help but really wished to understand why now after so many years of locking it in a safe. Turns out he was diagnosed with cancer and needed money for treatment.

You may wonder why I start the story here. It's really simple, much happened over the past 18 months since that first phone call. The details are not that relevant. What is relevant is that the weekend, 22-25 November, I rode from Cape Town and my brother from Nelspruit to go see my dad, now near Ladybrand.

I returned his coin.

This was my first long distance solo ride on the new bike.



Meeting near Hobhouse, Lord Knormoer & Grondotter

Day 1

Stopped to stretch at Touwsriver.



Arrived in Laingsburg way too early :-) even thought for a moment to continue but decided otherwise. Had dinner, hit the sack planning to leave at 04:00 on Friday to do the remaining 800km.



Great value accommodation to be found at www.laingsburgaccomodation.co.za R350 per night with en-suite and DSTV.

This was my first trip using full panniers and top box. All OK up to 180km/h. Was not going to see what happens beyond that just yet :-)

Loved the time alone.

Day 2

I left Laingsburg at 04:00 on Friday morning and made it about 2 km's out of town before the cold got to me. Considering that I measured scorching temperatures during the day on the return trip, this was a bit of a surprise for me :-)



First stop & go, many to come!

The first stretch was fine and I made good progress until I hit the roadworks. I should have packed a picnic basket! After a while it felt like I am going nowhere but eventually made it to Colesberg for breakfast just after 09:00. 515km's in just over 5 hours including all the stops. Not too bad. By now I started to reconsider the use of the panniers. With a severe cross wind, and me not used to them on the bike it felt very unstable. At higher speeds, 160-180 the front felt very loose and I was not too impressed overall. I needed to make up my mind about staying on the N1 or taking the scenic route. 26km shorter to Ladybrand but includes some dirt which, considering the general feeling of discomfort about the panniers, should be avoided.

After breakfast, still parked in front of the Wimpy I was still undecided when a friendly stranger approached. The normal "Nice bike, where are you going?" followed. He insisted that I take the back road. Apparently very scenic so I obliged. Colesberg, Norvals Pont, Bethulie, Smithfield, Wepener, Hobhouse. This part is worth describing in more detail.



Breakfast in Colesburg.

The road from Colesberg to Smithfield is indeed more scenic that the straight and boring N1. Narrow tar with no shoulder and some scattered potholes that even a car could avoid was complimented by the odd sighting of wildlife and indeed some incredible scenery. Worth Considering if you have the time. Go up to Smithfield and then to Bloemfontein from there. I found a quint little coffee shop in Smithfield worth visiting. Maybe the Freestate dogs can confirm if this is one of your regular breakfast stops.



Just before Bethuli

Arriving in Smithfield, I needed to decide to either go around the 90km dirt road or continue straight through. I was still very unsure about the panniers on the bike and the fact that I fitted the Anakee IIIís for this trip did not inspire confidence. I decided to take some time out for a coffee and a chat with my wife. Supportive as she is, being alone on this ride she insisted on regular check-inís :-)

Fortified with some caffeine and more confident after a bit of rest, I hit the dirt and almost immediately regretted my decision. I could not let the tires down because the tar at the end of the dirt is riddled with potholes. I was also not sure about the condition of the dirt and decided to retain the tire pressure to save the rims, just in case. The combination of the unfamiliar luggage and the tyres scared me to the point of pulling over to regroup. On the loose gravel the bike felt like I was on sand/mud. Anything over 80-100km/h and I felt completely out of control. This may also partly be due to the fact that at this point I have been on the bike for more than 5 hours.



I took some pictures, got back on and pushed through. This was my worst dirt experience ever on the GS. To date I only ever rode dirt with the Karoo 3ís and soft luggage and I will never go on dirt again without them. The only way I felt in control was to assume the position, the attack position that is. This helped a bit but got me tired quickly.

The road did offer some interesting scenery and I intend to ride it again when I return to the area in December. This time I will trailer the GS to Bloem with the Karooís fitted and then go have fun. :-)

Near Wepener, while taking pictures of the dam wall, my brother phoned to inform me that he just passed Hobhouse on his way to meet me. He got tired of waiting on the farm and decided to increase the pace a bit. We passed each other somewhere between Wepener and Hobhouse.



After greeting we opened a Red Bull and started looking the bikes over. This was the first time we got together with them and it was great comparing and exchanging compliments. We set out for the farm located somewhere between Hobhouse and Ladybrand.



On the way we met up with a different kind of rider and had a chat while taking some pics. He said that our rides really scare him :-)



This road is not fun to ride. At anything above 120km/h it's difficult to avoid potholes even on the bike. Some stretches are being repaired using hard packed dirt and now not only do you dodge potholes, you need to look out for the left over gravel and stones lying all over the road. This road between Hobhouse and Ladybrand is dangerous to say the least.

Arriving on the farm I did something really silly and paid for it. After riding 900kmís, with 50/50 tyres pumped too hard for dirt and full luggage fitted on the GS, I decided to race the last 1 km to the farm house. 100m from the gate I lost the front wheel in a sandy corner.  Luckily, no damage to me or the bike apart from a severely bruised ego. However to make matters worse, upon arrival I was greeted by my retired uncle, a man who rode his entire life. He saw me, then he saw the telltale dirt on my clothes and burst out laughing exclaiming: ďI know exactly what you did and what went wrong!Ē

I felt like an idiot but at least I arrived.



Day 3

I left the farm at 13:00 on Sunday for Gariep via Bloemfontein. I was going to avoid dirt like the plague until I had had real tyres again  

In Bloemfontein I visited my cousin and her husband. After some great coffee and apple tart I left for Gariep at 17:00. Just outside Bloemfontein I got soaked in a thunderstorm. It happened so fast there was no time to stop and change inners without getting even wetter. It looked like I could get away from it and did so after about 50kmís. At 17:30 the wind was so warm that I dried in minutes. This was the first sign of what waited for me on the return trip. The sunset just outside Gariep was absolutely breath taking. I pulled over, took some more pictures and just breathed in the fresh air and waited for the sun to completely disappear. A Gauteng couple realised what I was looking and pulled over near me to start an impromptu picnic. I realised again how much we miss while racing from one destination to the next.



Arriving at Gariep, it was dark already. My host Jean came to drop keys for my room at A Dams View. This is a very special place where I imagine one could come unwind and get rid of the city's filth. Check out: http://www.adamsview.co.za/ luxurious units with a very special view that I would experience at sunrise the next day.

Day 4



After enjoying the sunrise it was a quick shower, loading the bike and a leisurely ride to Colesberg for breakfast.



The trip back to Cape Town was long, hot and very windy. Apart from fuel stops, I only stopped to enjoy scenery once. It was just too hot wearing all the gear so I resolved to riding as fast as the cross wind allowed. Anything over 180km/h and the wind threatened to push me off the road. Anything under 140km/h and the airflow reduced too much for comfort.



I measured 40 degrees between Beaufort West and Laingsburg. It took all my concentration to keep the bike upright and facing forward while trying not to overheat/dehydrate in the process.



Luck was on my side regarding the road works though. Each time I would pass all the cars on the left and within minutes, sometimes seconds, of getting in front the light would turn green and I could get moving again. I toyed with the idea of taking Du Toitís Kloof pass but given the wind and my ability to concentrate at this stage I opted for the tunnel.

The conditions only changed when I exited the tunnel and experienced cool air and no wind for the first time since Hanover. The GPS said 30 minutes to my destination and I pushed through but slowed down to join traffic. I was not going to tempt fate this close to home.

Upon arrival at home, I stripped off the gear and jumped in the pool. My son removed the luggage and parked the GS for me. My wife poured me an ice cold drink and mentioned that she arranged for a masseuse to visit at 18:00. It's great to be home!

My rear was numb from just behind my knees and my hands had stopped working altogether. I am clearly not used to riding long distance.

In summary, I got used to the panniers after 2400kmís but still do not like how they affect the handling. I know the speed limit for them is 180km/h and can now confirm that between 180 and 220 on the speedo it starts to feel very unstable. Almost as if the airflow is disrupted causing the front to lift and weave.

The Anakee IIIís are OK for tar and the odd dirt driveway to the nearest wine estate. I will never take them on dirt if I can avoid it.

The GS behaved exemplary. When taking it slow I could stretch a tank of fuel to 340km. When pushing hard I needed to refuel before 200km.



Will I do it again? In a heartbeat! I loved the ride but will plan a more 50/50 split next time.

PS: I since developed a very painful kidney infection, could be related or not, don't know.

The irrelevant details I originally omitted from the RR

Since being diagnosed with cancer of the bladder my dad received several iterations of chemo therapy and radiation. Unfortunately this merely slowed the cancer a bit. Like many of his generation he waited to long before consulting a doctor and the result is that he is terminally ill.

Oncology doctors did not believe he will see 2013, yet he did. Thank God for small miracles.

At present he takes morphine several times a day to make life bearable. This has a significant impact on his ability to function and sometimes cannot remember what happened five minutes ago. Drop the dosage and the pain is so severe that he never leaves his bed. He is scheduled for a complete bladder removal on 13 December of this year, if he wakes up from that he faces several months of recovery. The end result? He will still be terminally ill but in less pain.

Our visit this weekend was to have one last visit, just in case.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 09:47:58 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 

Offline WP

Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 05:07:15 pm »
Nice photo's and report. Thanks!
 

Offline arno

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 06:09:14 pm »
Lekker gelees dankie en mooi fotos .
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 06:15:20 pm »
Mooi foto's Lord Kmoer.
Aaaaah die kidney infection kan wees omdat jy te min gestop het om te pee. :deal:
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 06:35:08 pm »
Dis donders seer!
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 06:38:58 pm »
Dis donders seer!
My vrou het amper uitgepass van pyn na sy te veel geknyp het in NamibiŽ.
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Offline gwild

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 08:43:55 pm »
Nice pics thx for sharing  :thumleft: good to hear you only hurt your ego on the fall  :laughing4:
 

Offline COLES

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2013, 07:03:58 am »

Great report great photo,s   ride safe
 

Offline alwyn_gs

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2013, 08:15:57 am »
AWESOME!!!  :thumright:

Hope the kidneys are feeling beter. . .
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Offline Hanno @ Mad Macs

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2013, 09:38:01 am »
Daai Sunset silhouette pic is AWESOME !!!!

Nice RR
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 09:39:25 am »
Thx, ek dink om 'n poster te druk van hom.
 

Offline Hanno @ Mad Macs

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2013, 09:44:40 am »
Comment if I may.

I really liked your RR. The pics are stunning.

I do miss the human element with regards to your dad, the coin and the story behind it.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:45:34 am by Hando »
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Offline cheesy

Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 10:28:44 am »
L M, dis nou 'n lekker report en photos.
My experience, drink a lot of fluid while riding in hot weather, Pee at every fuel stop. It is a great releive.
Bum in the saddle, always.
 

Offline cheesy

Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 10:32:28 am »
Relief is the correct spelling, sorry guys.
Bum in the saddle, always.
 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 10:44:00 am »
Comment if I may.

I really liked your RR. The pics are stunning.

I do miss the human element with regards to your dad, the coin and the story behind it.

I will add when I find the words, that's a promise!
 

Offline Hanno @ Mad Macs

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2013, 11:00:47 am »
Comment if I may.

I really liked your RR. The pics are stunning.

I do miss the human element with regards to your dad, the coin and the story behind it.

I will add when I find the words, that's a promise!

Ok. I figured it might be a bit too personal.

Strongs.
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Offline Namakwalander

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2013, 11:53:11 am »
Knormoer

Verskriklike mooi foto's wat jy geneem het. Klink ook of jy geseen is met 'n oulike gesin (vrou wat vir jou 'n vrywe reel en alles).
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Offline hawkeye

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2013, 12:46:36 pm »

Great ride

did you manage to get a pic of the 'Burger Pond', that must have been worth a nice sum?
 ;D
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2013, 12:48:18 pm »
Will post later, have a picture somewhere.
 

Offline hayleyscomet

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Re: Going to see a man about a coin the RR
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2013, 05:53:53 pm »


Awesome Lukas , we missed you on the Klein Karoo trip , but this looked great

Next Time Boet

Well done

Wayne