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Offline Dustbiter

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1400 on: January 05, 2020, 11:21:37 am »
Thank you for all tthe photos of the Eastern Cape, Sardine  - they bring back many happy memories!

I worked in many of the estuaries along that coastline and travelled up and down the Kariega River with students on field trips.
The Hogsback photos are especially of interst to me, as we spent my father's annual two weeks of leave every year from 1964 (when I was seven) until 1978 (when I left UPE) up there. After that I would try to go up there every year to walk up the Hogsback I, parrking at the dam you thought about swimming in and walk up the front of the hill, reaching the beacon through a near verticle scramble up a steepish cleft. I did this until 2012 when we left South Africa to live in Europe.

Travelling from PE to Grahamstwon in the 1960s was on tar, but then it was mainly gravel roads and opening and closing farm gates to drive up the Hogsback road. At that time there was also no electricity up there. The taring of the Ecca Pass speeded up travelling time. We used to regularly drive up and down the Mitchells Pass to Katberg via Seymour in an ordinary passenger car, but the road seems to have deteriorated according to many WD RRs.
Bikeless at present
Previously: 1973 Honda SS50 - Port Elizabeth
                  1979 BMW R65 - East London
                   1996 BMW R1100GS - Grahamstown
 
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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1401 on: January 05, 2020, 03:17:46 pm »
Aw shucks, you two are making me blush  :lol8:

Ri, I still can’t flat-foot it though
For some reason I am quite comfortable with my right leg hanging over the seat in nothingness, i.e. left foot firmly planted, but I find getting my right foot sown a lot more unnatural. So I have to plan my stops carefully. And then I look at someone like Taye Perry who is around your height, on that massive Dakar bike... but, I can’t and shouldn’t compare myself to her.

That being said, once I got used used to the throttle response (zero to “I just ate the seat” in about 2 seconds) on this beast, I felt more comfortable on it than I did on the XR650.

Pshawwww, I can't even flatfoot my own bike and it's been lowered till the bash plate is almost scraping the ground - unless it's fully loaded, then the shocks sag and my feet comfortably touch ground. On higher bikes, I also prefer sliding to the left, for some reason. And even with a lowered seat I have to choose a side to put my foot down on the KTM790. I didn't even ask to attempt to ride it... thanks for mentioning the snatchy throttle, those hyper sensitive ones make my toes curl in fear.

As to Taye Perry, she is actually a tad smaller than I am. Watching her on that massive bike ...  :eek7: :eek7: :eek7:

Reviewing the Tankwa XC video though, I was surprised that she didn't seem to hang off one side as you would expect. I doubt they lowered the bike for her, maybe they just softened the shocks a bit?
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1402 on: January 07, 2020, 08:02:27 pm »

@Sardine


SNIP

@Trail Blazer  :o 

That should be @TrailBlazer ... Trail Blazer (2 words) is going to be as confused as can be, 'cos he's got a mention for something he doesn't know about  ??? ???  :imaposer: :imaposer:


I hope that is a joke?

Yep... very definitely a joke. Just pulling your leg... I must mention before I retired I  had a guy come in for an early shift, and he'd been giving it a bit of a knock the night before. He seriously looked green about the gills, and I suggested that to calm his stomach I give him a half cup of this mix... he made a bee-line for the gents and came back about 5 minutes later, looking a bit better. Clearly it works as a hangover cure  >:D  :biggrin:

I have never actually had sardines.

Many (read about 50) years back, I was forced to eat them... "You eat what is put in front of you," said my folks... and then I asked my old man why he didn't eat parsnips or pumpkin. Problem solved... I could leave sardines, pilchards and peas  :thumleft:


I made chicken liver for the first time recently. It wasn’t too bad - drowned it in curry powder!

Now THAT is something I will not, repeat, NOT eat! No afval of any sort... I believe the Boss put enough meat around the outside of the animal... there was no intention on His part that we should have to eat the inside as well  :(

By the way, you may recall I chatted about a flying position for a friend of mine, when you were still in Bots. She eventually managed to get the bucks together for a 1900 conversion, and has just returned to Tajikistan / Dushanbe for her 4th, or is it now 5th cycle. Loving it to bits...

Oh dear, thanks for the corrections, @TrailBlazer  ::)

That mix sounds vile. I can think of far better hang over cures!  :lol8:

The only tinned fish I have had is tuna.
Curry sounds pretty good though.
As for liver, I was looking for cheap protein sources. I haven't made it since. But I might try making liver paté at some point.

Eish, my memory. I can't recall now, but well done to her!
Who is she flying for?

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1403 on: January 07, 2020, 08:07:43 pm »
Aw shucks, you two are making me blush  :lol8:

Ri, I still can’t flat-foot it though
For some reason I am quite comfortable with my right leg hanging over the seat in nothingness, i.e. left foot firmly planted, but I find getting my right foot sown a lot more unnatural. So I have to plan my stops carefully. And then I look at someone like Taye Perry who is around your height, on that massive Dakar bike... but, I can’t and shouldn’t compare myself to her.

That being said, once I got used used to the throttle response (zero to “I just ate the seat” in about 2 seconds) on this beast, I felt more comfortable on it than I did on the XR650.

Pshawwww, I can't even flatfoot my own bike and it's been lowered till the bash plate is almost scraping the ground - unless it's fully loaded, then the shocks sag and my feet comfortably touch ground. On higher bikes, I also prefer sliding to the left, for some reason. And even with a lowered seat I have to choose a side to put my foot down on the KTM790. I didn't even ask to attempt to ride it... thanks for mentioning the snatchy throttle, those hyper sensitive ones make my toes curl in fear.

As to Taye Perry, she is actually a tad smaller than I am. Watching her on that massive bike ...  :eek7: :eek7: :eek7:

Reviewing the Tankwa XC video though, I was surprised that she didn't seem to hang off one side as you would expect. I doubt they lowered the bike for her, maybe they just softened the shocks a bit?

 :lol8:
I like your bikes  :thumleft:
Just watched that Dakar snippet on Taye. Wow, wow, wow!
She has been a lot more low-key than Kirsten, and I think she is going to do exceptionally well. I'd love to meet her one day.

Where is the Tankwa XC video?

@edgy asked me to give the 790 back today. Which I did, reluctantly. I haven't ridden it since the 1st, but it was just so nice oogling it in the garage.
Anyway, I took the scenic route. Sjoe. I was seriously tempted to find some dirt, but I the sensible part of me said "No... you have been watching too much Dakar. Calm down. Do not mess up the bike. Or yourself."
So I listened.

I still had a blast though.
The throttle is smooth, but I found at the low idle range it would "grab/snatch" a little. You just need to get it out that area and you'll be hitting triple digits in a flash!

And that clutch, oh my that clutch  :drif:

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1404 on: January 07, 2020, 08:16:10 pm »
Right, so there is good news. My photos are on my laptop!
Now I just need to commit to sorting through them.

What have I been up to?

I was at the sea, I rode a fat bike, I did a very tough trail run.
Cycling 60km, then doing a 9km trail run 48hrs later is not enough recovery time.  :-\
I was finished!

Fortunately Edgy and his family fed me very well, so I started to get some energy.

Days were spent reading, eating, chatting, eating, admiring the view.

Christmas was fantastic. I couldn't be with my family but I am so fortunate to have great friends who took me in.

Between Christmas and New Years, I did a bit of work.
And on 28 December took part in the Kariega Classic MTB race.
I was going to do the 50km route, but after the trail run I decided it wouldn't be a good idea. So I did the shorter, 20-something-kay one instead.

I borrowed a GoPro so I wouldn't need to stop and take my phone out for photos. The GoPro angle wasn't quite right, but hey. I have learnt for next time.

I got to spend New Year's in Kasouga.
Awesome!
I sang and danced my way out of 2019 and right into 2020.
I even went for a swim in the sea that morning.

Then I rode the KTM, and finished off my day with a tough but wonderfully head-clearing 7km solo trail run.
And back to work.

This past weekend I did a long walk on Saturday, and a pleasantly tough hike on Sunday.

Hopefully I can go camping this coming weekend!  :3some:

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1405 on: January 07, 2020, 08:20:24 pm »
Kariega Classic 2019
28 December 2019

You know it’s going to be a good day when you start the car and “I got a feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is on the radio, and the sun is rising dramatically from behind the clouds.

And what a good day it was.
Despite only getting about 4 hours’ sleep, I was excited when I hit the road a little after 5am, destination: Southwell.

The Kariega Class MTB and Trail event was on, and I was going to take part in the 29km MTB.
The drive from Grahamstown was beautiful (I time-lapsed it but unfortunately the camera focused on some arb point), and I arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Registration was quick and easy, and then it was a case of hurry up and wait for the briefing at 07:00, and start at 07:30.

The parking lot filled quickly, and I eyed all of the beautiful mountain bikes. From the latest and greatest Cannondale Lefty’s, to a classic Schwinn with V-Brakes.
The excitement was mounting.

The briefing was short and sweet, and the gold class (50km route) riders were off. There was meant to be a 15 minute gap, but the organizer could see we were getting anxious and let us go early. Wheeee!

I wore a GoPro on a chest mount, and my mindset was more “race mode” than “take it easy and take lots of photos” like the Hobbiton MTB event was.

The group spaced out nicely, and the initial portion was on a gravel road with plenty of room for us to vie for position.

I was feeling good.
The feel wasn’t quite like that of a running event, but there was still a good vibe.

The route varied between gravel road, single track, jeep tracks, and rolling hills and paths across farmland.

A few steep climbs saw at last two people fall, with many others stopping abruptly to dismount. You’d think that being a mountain biker, people would have better situational awareness. Nope. Many pushed their bikes to the top of the hills, and then stopped slap bang in the middle of the path, and turned their bikes perpendicular to the path. Huh?!

I managed to navigate my way through those huffing and puffing up the hills, and I was rewarded with a beautiful flowing downhill section.

Some of the climbs were a little more technical, with large rocks. I am very glad I am not a guy as on some sections the back of the bike kicked up violently, sending the seat rocketing upwards…

I impressed myself by tackling every section on the bike. From the rocky climbs, to very sandy sections, to some rough downhill sections. At one point I came whizzing down the hill and saw I would have to cross over about a 1 meter-wide section of loose rocks. Normally I would slow right down, for fear of falling. But this time, I didn’t slow down… I didn’t have a choice- all the bumps had caused my rear brake to fade, so slowing wasn’t an option!

As I approached I visualized what could go wrong. I shifted my weight back, relaxed, and whoosh, flew over the rocks without a problem.
Over the last few weeks I feel my riding has come a long way. I am a lot more comfortable on the bike, I feel stronger, and I find myself taking on challenges I normally would have walked, or done really slowly. It is really good to see how I am progressing.

The wind was picking up, but clouds had rolled in so at least it was cool. Some sections through open fields were painful as the cows had churned up the ground so it was very rough, and I longed for a rear shock. But, I managed to keep at it, and finished in 2h12, which I am VERY happy with.

Overall, a fun, well-organized event with clearly-marked trails.
Next year I will enter the gold class!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 08:23:22 pm by Sardine »
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1406 on: January 07, 2020, 08:28:31 pm »
We had some awesome flights that had us sitting just above the clouds. This gave the impression that we were going a LOT faster than 180kts, and it felt as if I could reach out and run my fingers through the clouds. Popping through a layer like that is one of my favourite feelings.

We also got to fly to Plett for a change.
And... we flew to Cape Town! So I got to see my family  :ricky:

Photos
1 - landing at Cape Town International
2 - Somerset West, returning to the Eastern Cape
3 - cloud blanket
4 - great sunset to end the last flight of 2019
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1407 on: January 07, 2020, 08:29:35 pm »
From Kwandwe to Port Elizabeth to Plett to Magic Hills (Jansenville area), the changing terrain is incredible.
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1408 on: January 07, 2020, 08:34:46 pm »
Last one for tonight.

The Right Gear
7 January 2020

Today was one of those really lazy days.
I was still sore from hiking on the weekend, and as I didn’t have time-critical stuff on my to do list, decided to have a lie-in.

Until my phone pinged and the Dakar app told me the first bikers had started stage 3. Go Ross, go!

Anyway, after procrastinating all day, I got going around 2pm.
Setting off on my bicycle, as my car was in PE.

Well, before that I returned the KTM790 to its rightful owner. It was difficult, but I took the scenic route and had an absolute blast!
I feel a lot more confident on that bike than I did when I rode the XR650, and I think it is largely due to all the time I have been spending on the mountain bike.

It was forecast to rain heavily, but when I left home on my bicycle, it looked like the clouds were lifting. (photos were from around 11:00. Rain, what rain?!)
Not 5 minutes later, the rain started!
Oh well, it pushed me to pedal faster to get to the shops where I could haul out the rain gear under cover of an afdakkie.

I carried on with my errands, and found myself really enjoying riding in the rain.
The streets were quiet, it wasn’t windy, it wasn’t too cold, and I had the patter of rain on nylon rain covers as company.

Yes, my shoes were soaked and my toes squidged in my socks, I discovered that what I thought was a water resistant layer is actually only wind-resistant, and water kept going in my eyes. But I was happy.

I realized that having the right gear makes such a difference. I often wonder about the sanity of people who exercise in extreme cold. I am very much a hot weather person, if it isn’t at least 25degC, I am not happy.

But I imagine having the correct layers for the conditions could make it almost pleasant. Sure, I didn’t quite have the correct gear for the rain today. But I wasn’t cold. And then it struck me that it isn’t just about the right physical gear, but also the mental gear.

Shift your mindset. See what I did there… cyclists…

My mind was in the right gear; I focused on the positives and as a result, I enjoyed myself. Had I focused on the negatives, I probably would have felt as wet, miserable and bedraggled as I must have looked.

Plus, it made me remember my run around Hartebeespoort with Tom, and how awesome it was to run in the rain. 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1409 on: January 07, 2020, 09:15:23 pm »
Welldone on the cycling Sardine!!

.....and I still think you have got the most awesome job!!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline immigrant

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1410 on: January 07, 2020, 09:34:22 pm »

.....and I still think you have got the most awesome job!!  :thumleft:
+1
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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1411 on: January 08, 2020, 08:22:27 am »

I like your bikes  :thumleft:
Just watched that Dakar snippet on Taye. Wow, wow, wow!
She has been a lot more low-key than Kirsten, and I think she is going to do exceptionally well. I'd love to meet her one day.

Where is the Tankwa XC video?

Thanks, I also like my bikes. I'm sad to let some of them go, but it is time.

Taye is very sweet and quiet, and avoids attention. She's only 22 now. I think in time, if she keeps competing, she'll rule the Dakar. My previous Dakar girl crush was Laia Sans but even though I still have huge admiration for her, now I'm rooting for Taye :ricky:

Here is a link to the three video's about the Tankwa XC. I really really would like to go there again this year. http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241638.msg4369487#msg4369487


@edgy asked me to give the 790 back today. Which I did, reluctantly. I haven't ridden it since the 1st, but it was just so nice oogling it in the garage.

And that clutch, oh my that clutch  :drif:

Hmmmmm maybe I should consider taking it for a test ride some time.
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Offline EssBee

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1412 on: January 08, 2020, 06:06:55 pm »
Plett airport...mmm...I have a VERY significant memory of that place, on the 1st January 2000 (!!!)....in the front seat of a Pitts, with none other than Dennis Spence in the rear seat. Somewhere I have a certificate for that and he'd handwritten at the bottom " first flight of the millenium"

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=129147.msg2495952#msg2495952

Thanks again, Heather.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 06:08:22 pm by EssBee »
 
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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1413 on: January 08, 2020, 11:35:56 pm »
I'm usually so tired after reading this fred, all this running,biking and walking tires me out!! ;) :lol8:
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Offline 0012

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1414 on: January 10, 2020, 09:55:25 am »
I'm usually so tired after reading this fred, all this running,biking and walking tires me out!! ;) :lol8:

 :laughing4:  +1

Thanks Sardine and well done staying so active over the festive time  :biggrin:


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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1415 on: January 22, 2020, 04:30:19 pm »
Thanks folks.

I was woman down last week. I don't get sick often, but when I do...
Took a serious knock in terms of motivation and discipline, but I am bouncing back.

Flying has been slow, and the weather dismal. But wow, what a transformation after all of the rain. Grahamstown is green!!!  :ricky:

Tomorrow I go to CT for a few days to see the family.
And this morning I got invited to ride a CRF230 on a farm.
Wow!
I have ridden the TTR230, and I had a blast. But this little bike was amazing. Low, light, torquey, does whatever you want it to in 3rd.
It was mostly jeep track with a few single track sections, and also a few short, steep, rocky climbs and descents. My cycling has really helped me gain confidence and I powered along without fear, or freezing. So. Much. Fun!  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:

Then I tried out the 250. A little taller, but the suspension is quite soft so I could still flat-foot it easily.
It doesn't sound as good as the throaty 230, but boy does it go. I can't even remember if I got to 4th, but at one point, on quite a rough grassy section, I found the happy medium between power and speed, got my weight back, and just flew.

The bike danced around beneath me, and I just focused on looking ahead and letting the bike do its thing.

Awesome!  :3some:

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1416 on: January 22, 2020, 05:45:36 pm »
Great scenery as well, glad you get to ride more often these days Sardine!

Hope you recoverd well and enjoy the time with the family!!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1417 on: January 23, 2020, 09:36:11 am »
Lekker,

Love the Giraffes pic.

Glad you feeling better.
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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1418 on: January 23, 2020, 02:21:02 pm »
Oh nice!!!! Ja, glad you're better. :thumleft:
 

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1419 on: January 23, 2020, 02:40:03 pm »
see a plane went down near mossel bay , took off from George this morning..hoping you okay and not any of your buds involved...must be a small community of pilots :'(
 
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