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Author Topic: Prins Alfred pass, Baviaans and Antoniesberg pass, one long COLD day!  (Read 6803 times)

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Offline m0lt3n

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Recently we were visiting in George, having toured the area before I knew my bike just had to go with. But after a few days of not getting much saddle time in I was getting desperate. Desperate, for me, meant making the one good day for riding I had, a VERY good day.

So I planned to do a scenic coastal ride and then come back via Baviaans and Prins Alfred. But that was before I heard mention of Kom se pad. SO I added that...and then I heard mention of Antoniesberg pass, it was super hyped up so I thought I just had to do it! So that was it, no scenic tar bits just make a long hard day of it and do it all!!

I dont think one person said it was doable in one go, everyone had something to say,,, it should be taken slow and enjoyed... Rain is predicted dont go... dont go alone...
Unfortunately/fortunately that only made me more certain that I want to do it, plus I felt it would be easy to chicken out on a piece if time or cold was to catch up with me.

I set my alarm for 4oçlock the morning, but was to excited to sleep much so got up at 3:30am and off I went!
Kom se pad was done in the dark, I have never done this route before, did not know about it. But must say I enjoyed it a lot. It had a very eerie feeling about it, its like riding in a tunnel in the forest with one expecting to find a Knysna elephant in the road at any time. Yes I know riding in the dark...I think I did not miss out on much but rather amplified the effect of this road by riding it in darkness.

Then came Prins Alfreds pass, the longest pass in South Africa at 68km. But it didnt feel that long. I was thoroughly enjoyning myself n the cold air of dawn and must say it was quite the experience seeing the son come up in the pass. I was making good time, weather was holding up perfectly and life was good!!! some pics....
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 08:12:12 am by m0lt3n »
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline Knucklhead

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Offline m0lt3n

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I passed Uniondale, go on the first gravel turnoff to Baviaans, deflated my tyres a bit as I knew the road would be a little more technical now and off I went again. I tried to maintain a good rythm, quick stops for photos and off I went again.

The first bit of the road was very good, I could ride 110kmph easily so was making good time, I even stopped at some padstal for a coffee. These coffee shops/padstal's are actually a catch 22...we want our coffee but we also love the unpopulated, uninhabitedness of the area. Anyhow, the coffee was good and of I went again.

I found many mountain bikers on the road, and a bit later also many adventure bikers. Actually some rather big groups. I think they were also keeping an eye out on the weather prediction as it wsa still rather early when I saw them coming from the front, meaning they must have started also very early to have gone through Baviaans already.

As for Baviaans itself, great fun. The road has deteriated a lot since last I did it 2 years ago. Especially on the inclines where big ruts have formed. But I enjoyed it, all the good road surfaces was becoming boring. Baviaans was a nice combo of good surfaces and technical surfaces, not much in-between like corrugation which I hate (Prins Alfred pass had to much corrugation actually for my liking).
I also saw some beautiful Eland and Giraffes, always a pleasure to see big game on a bike trip.

Well, I did the numerous water crossings. Did all the mini but awesome passes, got to see all the brilliant scenery and continued on. At one gnarly-ish bit I stopped to take a photo on the slight incline....MAN no momentum! I struggled to get going again there, but not much other incidences. Great fun but I got tired the last 20 or so km, it was starting to get a bit long, especially as it had started to rain a little.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 08:11:23 am by m0lt3n »
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline Lem

Liewe ouers!  :eek7:

Lang dag in die saal, maar well done  :thumleft:
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, it's knowing who holds the future
 

Offline m0lt3n

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First picture shows a very interesting rock formation, maybe some geologists can give the fancy name?

in the pictures you can see how the weather steadily turned from nice riding weather, clear and cool, then awesome riding weather where it was slightly overcast before it got unpleasant, cold and raining.

Also had to do the obligatory selfie!!!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 09:17:12 am by m0lt3n »
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline m0lt3n

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Liewe ouers!  :eek7:

Lang dag in die saal, maar well done  :thumleft:

haha jap dit was nogal n lang dag! maar ek sal dit weer doen! Een van daai trippies wat my altyd sal by bly.
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Offline Namakwalander

Baie mooi foto's daar. Ek ry saam in my stoel. Was dan nie genooi nie ;)
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Offline Crab

Well done, the phone is fixed.
Lekker RR thank you.
The rock formation is caused by folding and warping of the sedimentary rock.
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 m0lt3n

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Well done, the phone is fixed.
Lekker RR thank you.
The rock formation is caused by folding and warping of the sedimentary rock.

Haha nope. For some reason my T4A on the GPS did not work on the other side of Baviaans, so I had to use my phone maps, but the battery was running flat so I put it off to conserve it for later use...when I took it out of my pocket again later I saw I somehow managed to press the right buttons to start a firmware update. Well...low battery and no signal that could only end in failure.
At home phone was nuts, I tried doing a proper phone firmware update which failed, and now I have one very nice and expensive brick. I did find the pics on the SD card fortunately.
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Offline m0lt3n

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Baie mooi foto's daar. Ek ry saam in my stoel. Was dan nie genooi nie ;)


Next time, my trailer kan nog n bike vat! Ons kies enige plek met n mal pas, moet nou maller wees as die.... drop vrouens somewhere en gaan push die limits!!

My bike is klaar goed gekrap, wat van Van Zyls pas? :)
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Offline m0lt3n

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So I finished Baviaans in good time, just after 12, rode to Patensie for lunch and coffee and to find the Grooterivier poort turnoff. Eish I did not remember Patensie being so far from Baviaans but anyhow. After many stops to consult the map on my phone I managed to get on the gravel to the Grooterivierpoort turnoff. Nice good gravel road but I wasnt in to much of a happy space as the rain was making me rather miserable.

Yes I did carry a raincoat but I am hard headed and did not want to fit it as I was already wet. Stupid I know. Well then it happened, I must have been doing a good 80 on that good road wen my bike just decided to take a nap! Damn I really thought I was going to break something but somehow did not. I slid off the road into the ditch where I came to a rather hard stand still.

Now I was really not looking forward anymore to Antoniesberg pass with a rather extreme river crossing (everyone was warning me about) so with the rain and the fall I was seriously considering turning around as I would probably have to turn around later at the river in anyhow.

Well with some effort I got the bike up again, the mud was super slippery I had a mission to pick up the bike. I decided to just ride to the turn off and see what it looks like. On my way I quickly got in a better mood again as I actually have a motto...if I did not fall it was not much of a trip... maybe not a good motto to have but its mine and I am stuck with it, whether I want it or not. I decided to go for it!
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Offline dirtyXT

lekker trip, i like it when against all odds and advice you do it anyway. thats how memories are made! looks nice and cool and solo. im jealous.
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Offline m0lt3n

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I think if one does not do it solo, that Antoniesberg pass wont be much of a challenge. Granted it has some serious inclines with very rocky and tricky surfaces. But with no rain I would not rate it a lot more difficult than Baviaans. Maybe I took it from the easier side though as I met a group of guys that seemed to be struggling more, coming from Steytlerville.

Anyhow, I wasnt in a very happy place due to the rain and starting to get cold, added to being worried on what may still come. I realized I wasnt in a very good position doing a difficult pass alone in rainy conditions. But I soldiered on, really missing my GPS as I felt extra lost not knowing how far I still had to go or if I was even making decent progress.

Just when I felt on my gloomiest I met the other group. Strewn out on a difficult section. I was negotiating lots of rocks up to here but suddenly had to do with hard but slippery black mud, so I basically fell into the party. It was actually very funny, meeting new people while they help you pic up your bike.

Their first opinion was also that there was no way I could continue on alone, which I was happy to accept as I was worried. We chatted a little while they regrouped and then I asked again is he sure, with some rethinking I was told that I should be fine, I just had to stay out of some mud pit but otherwise I will be fine as I will be going downhill on tough stretches where they struggled. But the best news was....the river crossing is no concern, the water is low. That was a big relieve.

I stood back to take a photo just to see my bike had slipped and fell over. Sug

Well, off I went again, there was some challenging bits but I managed. I did hit the mud pit whcih I was warned against. Or rather my rear wheel slipped into it while the front was out, I just tried to keep momentum and only fell over after I was through. Pics shows I was very much sideways going through there.

The rain was really getting to me now though. It was very cold also. I go to the river, walked through and saw its fine and crossed with the bike. But the problem with water proof boots is that water also cant go out... and loads of water flowed over my boot checking the depth of the river.

After the river all the fun was over and I only had to manage cold. Unending relentless cold. I really struggled. I managed to reach Steytlerville where I finally got the heat draining water out of my boots and sommer sloshed in my socks over the road to the hotel for coffee. I felt better but ten minutes later the cold set in again.

I rode back to George then via tar, no pics, I can just say it was the toughest bit of the day and probably one of the toughest rides I ever had. There was more rain, my one heated grip wasnt working and my visor fogged up when the sun went down (around Uniondale). But I just continued and counted down every km until I got home at around 7pm. 15hours in the saddle but I made it.

Will I do it again?
Yes. (except maybe for the cold  :biggrin: )

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Offline Sprocketbek

Nice RR!
Brave of you to do it solo in that weather.  :thumleft:
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Offline PHILIPKUHN

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Dit lyk baie lekker!! Ek hou van nat, maar is nie a baie groot indie reen ry fan!!
EK sou dit love om ook daar te kon ry. lekker berg paaie!
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Offline Tony the Boney

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Very good report!!
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Offline COLES

awesome report such a great area to ride

thank u for the report
 

Offline Dirt Junkie

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Lekker saam gery in die gemak van my kantoor stoel,  :imaposer:

Dit is nogal 'n stukkie pad om te ry veral in die weer omstandighede waar in jy dit gedoen het, dankie vir die deel daar van. :thumleft:
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Offline Hans Ambulans

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That Antoniesberg pass is not your mate....especially not when its wet. I was reading your post now.....en ek dink by myself. Op so n dag gaan jy SEKERLIK omdraai by Patensie. Om daarna nog die pas te doen in daardie weer...RESPEK.