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Offline sidetrack

Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« on: July 16, 2008, 12:14:51 am »
The day finally dawned where we could leave work behind and spend 6 days crossing the Karoo and meeting up with some Willdogs from the south. Our real dirt started near Colesberg on a chilly winters morning as we put on every single layer of clothing we could lay our hands on. The beautifull barren scenery soon made us forget about the cold.

Crossing the Gariep dam



The winding Karoo roads with the odd small river here and there.



The dirt roads are well maintained and can be ridden at speed, a perfect way to get into a groove for the upcoming days



Our visitor from the UK aka Shark za se baas was on a KLR and despite having some serious concerns about the bikes brakes or lack thereof really enjoyed his ride on the Karoo express he is also now totally hooked on bike trips  :ricky:



Runner was next up



Some farm dams scattered across the countryside some were frozen !



Just outside Colesberg the KLR ran out of juice , the huge 27 l Acerbis of the XR came to the rescue



We headed into Colesberg for a refuel and a well deserved breakfast at the local Wimpy before heading to Middelburg and then Niew Bethesda we would spend the night. There are hundreds of kilometers of dirt roads to be explored in this area, at this crossing we headed for Middelburg



Runner with a ADVrider saluut



Every now and then an old abadoned stone farmhouse or a trail lined with hundreds of trees will appear from nowhere, that's the nice thing about ds bikes they will take you to places that would otherwise be unknown to the outside world





We stopped at Middelburg for some lunch and had some droewors and biltong, what would a bike trip be without it ?



On our way again and not long before we found the turnoff to Nieu Bethesda. I had the oppertunity to ride the KLR and really enjoyed it, it was comfortable and perfect for these kind of trips. The brakes are plain dangerous though, Gronies brake upgrade would be a good idea. This particular bike was a 2006 model and the front suspension had some work done so no problems there.





Steve's take on the DRZ, felt like a motocross bike with good handling brakes and suspension but he was sure the seat would kill him, fair enough  ;D The Nieu Bethesda road was a very enjoyable ride, we decided to stay over at the Owlhouse backpackers. Highly recommended and they have an honesty fridge or something like that basicly a fridge filled to the brim with beer and food, we made use of it alot !





The little town of Nieu Bethesda reminded me alot of Wupperthal in the Cederberge which we visted on our last trip.





We slept like logs as the new day arrived with some frost clinging to the bikes but the cold would soon be forgotten as some great riding lay ahead.



We did a quick tour of the town before heading off, some interesting houses from yesteryear and a stop off at the famous owl house. I peaked through the fence and must admit there are some stange statues in that back yard  :eek7:





The idea was to do the Kompasberg loop but time was not on our side, the road leading from Nieu Bethesda to Graaf Reinette made up for that as it had some nice views and great riding. Looking back towards Nieu Bethesda and heading up the mountain.





I was going to have to spend a night in a tent with these two buggers  :o :biggrin:



The trails were now becoming more interesting as we left the Karoo highways behind, low level watercrossings and dry riverbeds along with some more dense vegetation started to appear. We were on our way to the Baviaans  :ricky:



Looking out over the pretty town of Graaf Reinette and the valley of desolation which we would follow as we headed for the coast



KLR coming through and miles of empty deserted tracks







The riding was so good even the KLR was standing on it's back wheel



There were some nice spots which would be ideal for camping in summertime, I would really like to come back and ride these roads again



We passed through another small town as we headed towards the mountains in the distance, the riding that lay ahead proved to be some of the best of the whole trip



Following the trail it eventually turned into a tweespoor with some enjoyable rocky sections and sweepers before heading into a valley with a river running down below us





The sun was setting though as we had to make it to Jeffreys for our next stop





Some interesting rock formations near Steytlerville as we made for the 4x4 trail that leads to Patensie



The sun was starting to set as we made our way up and down the mountain side. This section was alot of fun, not too difficult just the right mix of terrain to be entertaining.





Then the rocks turned nasty as the KLR sufferd a puncture just before the final gate that leads to the Elandsriver Patensie split. We had a 21 inch on hand and in near darkness took the KLR's back wheel of only to battle like crazy to get the darn tyre back on. Then Sidetrack stepped up to the plate and showed how it should be done  >:D Seriously I don't know how but it was the first time I ever put a tyre back on a rim and it went on perfectly.





At least this exercise gave the oppertunity for capturing the setting sun





We were now running late and only about 4 k's on the KLR had a flat again  >:( The tubes were finito so Runner decided to run it flat down the mountain and into town. The bike weaving all over the road was a sight to behold. It was now about nine pm and the only option was to get a trailer from Jbay. The next day we had to drive to PE to get some tubes as Jeffreys had nothing. Armed with a bagfull of tubes we were ready to hit the road, the KLR was up and running and our spirits lifted as we followed a nice little track towards Patensie on our way (finally) to the bash.



We arrived at Bruintjieskraal with Willdogs everywhere. LGF said hello at the gate and we soon met Watty, Trailrider, CS, Carnivore, Metaljockey, Michnus etc. Thanks Watty for a great event I'm sure I speak for Runner and Steve when I say we really enjoyed it. And a big thanks to Carnivore for helping me sort out the leaking tank on my bike, it's still leak free and going strong ! I only met Kaboef briefly on the way out and chatted with Bus about the best bike in the world  ;D Hope to meet up with everyone again sometime  :thumleft:

The campsite



And the next morning



Our route home took us through Baviaans which is always a treat





The watercrossing at Smitskraal which was not as deep as previous trips through here



At Uniondale we munched some burgers at the Crackling Rose and fuelled up for the next section through the Kamanassie road which Trailrider gave some info on. We would make for De Rust before heading back towards Colesberg and back on home



Kamanassie scenery



De Rust is nice stopover with good accomodation at reasonable prices and a shop that's open till half past eight at night, imagine that for a platteland dorpie.



When we awoke the next day the gardner at the self accomodation even took the liberty to wash our bikes for us !

We followed Meirings poort and then onto a loop that meandered through some farm lands and mountains some even had some snow left on the peaks





Aberdeen would be the next big town but the route took us through small towns such as Rietbron where they still write down everything in a book when you buy and the petrol pump still has old fashioned rolling digits



Fast open sweeping dirt roads were everywhere with the odd cattle grid running across the road





Just outside Aberdeen I ran into some trouble. Sitting at 120 the bike just cut out and refused to start. Stripping off everything I found spark, the carb came of next and I noticed the slide was not working. Closer inspection revealed the little screw that operates the slide and is attached to the throttle wheel came loose, what are the chances of that ! Anyway I guess you can fix a carbed bike next to the road  ;D



The trip home was uneventfull and plain boring but at least we had some good memories and riding to take with us to Gauteng.

Thanks again to Watty and co for everything  :thumleft:
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 Mark Hardy

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 12:35:43 am »
excellent RR and pics. :thumleft:

Do you have any GPS co-ordinates for your or can you show some map layout outs. You rode some really interesting tracks/roads that I would like to ride on my next trip.
 

Offline bushclown

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 07:07:59 am »

Damm What a great trip to the bash :drif:

Awesome pics

     :thumleft:



 

Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 07:19:15 am »
Good RR and pics.

 :thumleft:
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Offline Captain Zef

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 07:19:54 am »
Excellent report
Make it happen!!
 

Offline edgy

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 07:33:55 am »
Bet you dont have a single pic between Jo`burg and Colesburg >:D
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Offline Stofstreep

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 07:53:03 am »
:drif: :drif: :drif:

excellent RR and pics. :thumleft:

Do you have any GPS co-ordinates for your or can you show some map layout outs. You rode some really interesting tracks/roads that I would like to ride on my next trip.

+1

Awesome pics!!!!
Would be nice to see the roads traveled.
Thanks
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Offline Malibu

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008, 08:17:57 am »
Fantastic report and pics...  :thumleft:
They call me Judy or Judes...
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2008, 08:30:39 am »
Lekker report and pics;well done boys :biggrin:
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Offline Wolweseun

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2008, 08:43:10 am »
Bet you dont have a single pic between Jo`burg and Colesburg >:D
Edgy does not miss a trick  ;D

Nice to meet you guys just you came and went so quick, I got up in the morning to come talk Kark to Runner and you were gone.
Very nice trip though
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it's women who make it hard"

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Offline ROOI

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008, 09:15:35 am »
Ja vryf dit bietjie in julle absolute drolle dit lyk befok !! :ricky:
FTS
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2008, 09:17:18 am »
I REALLY like this pic...
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2008, 09:19:00 am »
Excellent report and pics Sidetrack! Was nice to meet you - respect to you guys for riding the distances you did to make it down to the bash!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Herms

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008, 09:28:14 am »
Great Report, Nice to have met you.
I really dig your bike, when I grow up, I want one too.

Post asb jou route as jy kan, ek sal graag julle trip wil doen
van die kant af.

Thanx

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2008, 09:36:18 am »
nice one  :thumleft:

 

Offline daveh

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 09:49:34 am »
Thanks, I enjoyed reading. Busy reading "long way down" and getting itchy to travel.
AT
 

Offline Runner

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008, 10:33:34 am »
excellent RR and pics. :thumleft:

Do you have any GPS co-ordinates for your or can you show some map layout outs. You rode some really interesting tracks/roads that I would like to ride on my next trip.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=18380.0
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Offline KT-emmer707

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008, 11:17:07 am »
Great report
Lyk of dit n awesome trip was. Well done! :thumleft:
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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2008, 11:41:41 am »
Great report! Very nice scrambler trip. That's what a DS ride is supposed to be about :biggrin: I definitely see a XR650 in my future (I'll have to get a bigger garage first).

It was good to finally meet you sidetrack and runner as well. :thumleft:
 

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Re: Karoo backroads to the bash (plenty of pictures)
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2008, 11:52:06 am »
excellent RR and pics. :thumleft:

Do you have any GPS co-ordinates for your or can you show some map layout outs. You rode some really interesting tracks/roads that I would like to ride on my next trip.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=18380.0


Understandable. :thumright:
Be careful of the words you say.
And keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know from day to day.
Which ones you'll have to eat.