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Author Topic: A day on the track(s)  (Read 1405 times)

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Offline Zanie

A day on the track(s)
« on: April 28, 2016, 09:30:50 pm »
The weather was great. Biking is great. Conclusion: go biking. Therefore: Lance and I went biking. Simple equation.

Below follows a short, largely photo-focused report of a day-ride along the railway service roads between Cape Town and Darling. You can have a ball of a time just trying to “connect the dots” of railway service roads and other random back-roads.

We had lunch at Brig’s Barn (located here). Yummy food and nice scenery. It has tables outdoors, where you can watch the birds at the bird feeders.

Route track:

So close to a major city and yet so far…

It’s steeper than it looks


The driver of this train gave us a friendly hoot. Perhaps he was wondering where we were going…

…considering the track came to a dead-end just a couple of 100 metres later.

Lance on a detour, chasing after blue cranes

A lonely blue crane

A lonely Lance

Back on track

Summer was not yet over. Shade was still at a premium.

For some reflection on this road, keep scrolling.

There is a story behind the picture of the road above. It stretches between the R45 and Darling. This particular road terrified me when Lance and I rode it in 2014, when I only had 5 months’ worth of riding experience. Why? Sand. Anything resembling loose stuff was sand. I was ecstatic to learn that my definition of sand appears to have narrowed somewhat. Where I had inched across sections of this road in first or second gear, I was now comfortably cruising in fifth. I can see what scared me, but it was no longer scary. I am definitely still scared of sand. Make no mistake about that. But I am now scared of deeper sand.

The sign below means business. It really was very corrugated.

So corrugated in fact that my number plate almost parted company with my bike. Only one cable tie still held out. Insulation tape sorted it out for the remainder of the trip (always travel with either this or duct tape – magical stuff).

Lance taking the road (puddle) less travelled. I, on the other hand, did not feel like a mud bath.


Abandoned train station?

There were some cows on the road, necessitating a complete stop. We did not want to get too close, because they would panic and run straight into the barbed-wire fence to the left, trying to get to their buddies. They eventually managed to get through to the other side, where the grass may have been greener.

Fortunately the gate was unlocked. Otherwise Lance would have suggested we ride over the logs on the right (there was no fence on that side).

This is one of the reasons I ride a bike: there was a massive queue of cars heading down the R27, back from their long weekend holiday (it was the 28th March).

A video of our trip:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pmwGnXzZjKk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pmwGnXzZjKk</a>

I stopped at Flying Brick (the bikers’ version of a sweetie shop) on my work to work the next day. I had finally decided to invest in one of the miniature compressors. I was tired of pumping up flat tyres with a travel-sized bicycle pump. I had a track record of 3 flats, all in the back tyre, with 2 of them occurring in the sticks, requiring substantial manual labour to fix. I was wary of getting a front flat, because it is apparently a mission to pull the valve of the new tube through the rim. It’s difficult enough with the rear tyre (small hands help, so this is usually my job).

I headed out of Flying Brick, chuffed with my new compressor and valve puller. I got onto my bike and moved the handlebars. Immediately I felt something was not right. Get back off the bike. A front flat! What?! Obviously a slow puncture. Chris helped me with one of their compressors (mine was not yet connected to my battery) and I popped in at Trac-Mac literally a block away. The cause of the puncture: devil thorns. Not camel thorns. Devil thorns. The little things that usually gives me, as a mountain biker, an absolute headache. These were big-ass devil thorn though and one managed to go straight through my tyre and into my tube.

So there you have it: 4 flat tyres in 6 months. Causes: nail, branch (!), wire and thorn. Murphy’s Law has thankfully not been a factor. Quite the opposite. Lance and I rode to Verneukpan on our own, no back-up and no tools, with no punctures. Since we obtained the tools, I have had 4 and Lance 2. Given this track record, we may have to brace ourselves for an increase in punctures, given the new compressor…
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 05:21:01 pm by Zanie »

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: A day on the track(s)
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 09:56:21 pm »
Nice ride. Touch wood I have only had 1 puncture ... but repaired many others!
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

Old bike: '82 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica.
Other bike: '05 Honda Varadero 1000
New bike: '16 Honda Africa Twin.

Offline Crab

Re: A day on the track(s)
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 10:30:41 pm »
Nice RR Zanie. Thanks.
Look for a shooting star and see Lynda's trail and remember all the great places you shared with her,she will never forget what she shared with you and will show you that in every starry night .

Offline walkaboutboertjie

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Re: A day on the track(s)
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 09:02:18 pm »
Lekker man ... sal defnitief bietjie daarde roetes moet gaan kyk, en wie kan nee see vir 'n bier in Darling?   :)
Dankie vir die RR.

Offline COLES

Re: A day on the track(s)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2016, 12:19:18 pm »
awesome thank u for sharing