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Author Topic: Oasis-Sutherland on the Purple Hooligan: Better stick to gravel, dear...  (Read 5564 times)

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Offline Ri

Since the Hooligan's organ transplant surgery in July 2016, I've been grabbing any opportunity to ride it. There were some small rides on Saturdays and a longer ride here and there, but I was yearning for a more.

I mentioned this to Eikeboom, who was part of the group to Koedoeskloof Thumper Bash in August 2016. He said he was thinking of an overnighter to Oasis the weekend after the WC Bash. We looked for a few other riders and suddenly a road trip was born! The trip expanded from an overnighter to a weekender, taking in Oasis, Sutherland, Merweville, from I would head home, and for Eikeboom another day riding home along the West Coast. I would have loved to join him but I'm a contractor, and no work no pay  :-[

The third member of our group did enduro and cross country on his KDX200 before, and had only recently gotten a DRZ400. This would be his first long trip, and he had made up his own luggage plate and support struts for the DRZ. He would only be joining us as far as Sutherland, from where he planned to go home.

We would be 2 x DR650 and 1 x DRZ400. Our route was planned and our camping spaces booked. It would be a bit hectic - Bellville to Oasis on Friday afternoon, Oasis to Merweville on Saturday, and Merweville to Kuilsrivier on Sunday, around 400+ kms each the last two days. But as I’m fond of saying (and my co-riders fear hearing as they end up picking up the pieces), how bad can it be? … It can be bad :o

All images courtesy of the very nice "old" camera gifted me by Tom Van Brits when he got his superb new camera and took his photography to the next level :thumleft:
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:25:12 am by Ri »

Offline Ri

On Friday I planned to leave work at 14:00. We were having celebrations for reaching milestones, with a pat-on-the-back session in the morning and a snacks-and-"suip" session in the afternoon. I reckoned this time could be spent more productively on the Hooligan :ricky:  Mr Made-This-Myself said he could leave at any time, and we arranged to meet at The Hollow Tree in Bellville at 14:00.

At 14:00 it was hot, and I was all kitted out and ready to ride, my co-workers casting mildly curious (and in once instance very envious) glances. By 15:00 I was livid and on the verge of abandoning Mr Had-To-Turn-Back-I-Forgot-My-Cellphone-At-Home-And-Then-There-Was-This-Accident, when he came roaring into the parking area, complete with GoPro on top of his helmet. I jumped on the Hooligan, praying I wouldn’t drop it as I pushed it backwards, and we were off, roaring through late afternoon traffic towards Wellington, where Eikeboom waited with amazing patience.

At the nursery outside Wellington introductions were made, as Eikeboom hadn’t yet met Mr Lots-Of-Drag-On-This-GoPro-It-Hurts-My-Neck. I bragged about the leather patches on my riding pants that covered a hole made by the exhaust last time I fell (coming back from Oasis, nogal) and we discussed our route to Oasis (fastest) as time and light was running out.

Eikeboom’s good looking DR650

These patches are awesome :D

We hit the road, and a vicious wind, as we headed around the mountain, through Ceres and into Port Alfred Hamlet, where we filled up. The guys have puny fuel tanks, and the Hooligan is a thirsty bike.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:26:57 am by Ri »

Offline Ri

We continued into the waning light and biting wind. Eikeboom made the call to let me lead the way, probably reasoning that as the least experienced rider in the group, I would set a cautious pace. Hitting Gydo Pass, hooligan mode set in and I stormed onwards and upwards, barely scraping through the corners at a speed I almost couldn’t control, my hand frozen on the throttle, telling myself to slow the HECK DOWN.

On a tight corner, calamity struck.

I was drifting too close to the white line, telling myself to slow down and turn in, when I caught a glimpse of a Jetta approaching. Slow down! I chided myself, Turn IN! I was looking around the bend, and thought I’d scraped through, when suddenly I felt a long and solid impact on my right side, and then I was skidding across the tarmac under my bike, watching automotive parts scatter, apparently dramatically trailing sparks.

Swearing harshly at myself for buggering up the trip for everyone, and destroying my bike to boot, I skidded to a halt in the middle of the oncoming traffic lane. To my huge surprise, my destroyed bike was still idling, and I reached forward and hit the kill switch. I jumped up and ran to the Jetta to see if the occupants were OK, wondering how I was going to get back to Prince Alfred Hamlet to report the accident, and what about the rest of the trip.

Eikeboom quickly picked up my bike, pushed it to the side of the road, and started straightening things. Mr Surprising-Presence-Of-Mind flagged down a passing police car, and the two officers got out and sternly started taking details. I wouldn’t have to go back to Prince Alfred Hamlet after all.

After giving out details and taking photos, I walked back to my destroyed bike, only to find it wasn’t. The rear side luggage rack, handlebar, Baskbuster and even front brake lever, had deep gouges in them, but were still in good working order. The back brake lever was bent double and stuck on top of the footpeg, and the front triangle at the tip had sheared off cleanly, probably the source of the impressive sparks. It was foothandled off the peg and bent forward, and I was good to go. I was okay, bit of a bump on my leg and elbow, my newly patched suit leg torn and a small hole at the elbow.

Rips at elbow and knee downwards.

Survivor Bike Africa

Meanwhile, huge lorries came screaming down the pass, often well over the side or middle line of the road.

The parts I’d seen scattering had all come from the Jetta that now sported deep dents along the driver side of the car, front to back, and a destroyed side mirror.

DR650 1 - Jetta 0

I killed the rear view mirror. But I didn’t touch that read door handle!

I was suddenly overwhelmed by awe, love and gratitude for my awesome Father God who saved me. There had been a steady stream of traffic and trucks, but at the moment I impacted, there was only me and the Jetta. Except for the two bumps, I suffered no damage, and didn’t even feel any effects of adrenaline like nausea and shaking. I was loved and protected! My God is great! :lol8:
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 12:49:22 am by Ri »

Offline Ri

To Eikeboom’s surprise, I declared myself ready to continue. We stopped at the lookout at the top of Gydo Pass, and then raced the light to Oppieberg.

Eikeboom waiting patiently for the photographers ::)

Could one ever get tired of these views?

At the turn-off towards Cederberg Oasis, since Mr KTM-Headlight seemed to have the best light, Eikeboom asked him to ride in front and provide light, as DR headlights are quite pathetic.  But it turns out the LED spotlights I’d bought from AndyF were kickass and provided more than enough light for me and Eikeboom, who stuck close by, while Mr KTM-Headlight was soon swallowed up in the dark. As we neared Oasis, Eikeboom asked me to fall back and follow his pace, as he was concerned about dips and turns in the road in the dark. I crawled along behind Eikeboom, wishing we could exceed 30kph… I didn’t think the road was *that* bad! :imaposer: I appreciated the concern.

We trundled into Oasis in the dark, and quickly set up tent. Gerrit kindly offered us the use of some mattresses, and the 3-quarter filled up my 1-biker tent from edge to edge, with just enough space for gear alongside. It was awesome :lol8:

The we went to get some of Gerrit’s splendid ribs  :thumleft:  My leg was throbbing a bit by this time, so Eikeboom handed over 2 Myprodol and I washed it down with Dry Lemon. Well, mostly Dry Lemon.

Just a little bump  8)

Glow in the dark bike… for visibility :o

Snorers’ Corner ::)

Night sky over Oasis

Ribs for Ri and Eikeboom

Mr Braaimaster was a little jealous when he saw the size and quality of these ribs. Since I couldn’t possibly eat all of that, I shared some and packed the rest for padkos, but in the morning my padkos had mysteriously dwindled to two ribs :xxbah:

We crept into our tents, I plugged my ears, popped 2 more Myprodol, and slept the sleep of the dead…. not. Maybe it’s old age, but I’m finding it harder to sleep when I’m away from home. Whatever, that’s no reason to stay home. It was cold, and I put on everything I had, snuggled deep, and snoozed while listening to the others snoring.

To be continued :lamer:
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 10:56:36 am by Ri »

Offline katana

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Loving the report, but some photos are not showing. Off to Oasis Saturday. Will check you crash marks out...
If you want to haul ass, you gotta mix gas.

Offline Ri

Loving the report, but some photos are not showing. Off to Oasis Saturday. Will check you crash marks out...

Glad you loving it, I'm having such fun writing it  :deal:

If you don't mind, could you let me know which photos? I'll reload those. I'm trying the Google Photo thing and the sharing options might be wrong  :thumleft:

Offline BMWPE

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plenty pics not showing

Offline Big-G

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Great report so far
Pretty much all of your pics after your comment about the Lorries thundering down the pass

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Offline eikeboom

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All the photos up to "Survivor Bike Africa" show. Further on only your bruised leg shows.
Let's go into the mountains...there's likely to be peace and quiet

Offline Crossed-up

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Enjoying the ride tremendously. Thank you.

Offline eikeboom

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Daar wys die fotos nou...
Let's go into the mountains...there's likely to be peace and quiet

Offline woody1

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Sjoe. Close call daar Ri


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Offline BMWPE

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you lucky to be telling the story now
take it easy
want to keep reading your Ride reports  :deal:

Offline Tom van Brits

 :o Glad you are ok Ri - you are a real tough biker girl but let that be you last bike accident!  :deal:

Offline Sprocketbek

Sjoe. Close call daar Ri
I would have shat myself.......... ::)
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Offline Ri

Early on Saturday I was done snoozing. I crept out of the tent like a backwards caterpillar and went in search of coffee and nice photo opportunities. Everyone I saw asked how my leg was (a little sore, a lot swollen) and I basked in my 15 seconds of fame.

Dudes still snoring sleeping

The early morning views we are all familiar with

Another early riser I never met who, to my surprise, asked whether my leg was okay.

Later on, with his lovely wife. He asked me to send him the photos, but must have taken my number down wrong because I never heard from him again. Well, here you are!

At 08:00 I went looking for my companions, as Eikeboom said we should be up no later than 08:00. I found the snorers up and about, and on their way to find breakfast. I finished packing and went for a shower. When I came back, Eikeboom was finishing packing while Mr Convivial was chatting to the bikers at the next spot about their nice bikes.

Sexy bikes at the next camp.

Finally all our stuff was packed and kuier-kuier we made our way to the office to pay, and finally we were posed in front of the Oasis smiley for a photo, when we remembered that we should probably fill up again. We finally left Oasis around 13:00, by which time I’d given up all hope of reaching Merweville :o

Leaving Oasis.

My red buff makes me look like something that escaped a Matryoshka/Nesting Doll

We backtracked to the Kagga Kamma turn off, and hit Katbakkies. Just after the turn off, at the top of the hill, we stopped for photos and a quick bite. I warned Mr Convivial that there was no way he would reach Sutherland that day and still get home, and that he would have to stay over at Sutherland. He looked unhappy and called his wife to let her know of the change of plan. All things sorted, he was smiling again and we were off.

Swartruggens Conservancy

Mr Convivial

Eikeboom rode to my right and slightly behind me, while Mr Dust-Gives-Me-Hayfever insisted on riding in front. Eikeboom asked him to be polite and check which way the wind was blowing, and ride on that side of the road to minimalise the dust, and he nodded. After choking on Mr Convivial's dust for a few kilometers, I told him to push off ahead or fall behind, because he was kicking up huge amounts of dust which just hung in the air. With a slightly injured look he insisted that we also kicked up dust, but I pointed out his tread pattern (full off-road) as opposed to ours (Mitas E07) and he agreed.

Mr Dustmite roared off into the distance, and we followed after waiting a beat for the dust to settle, enjoying the day. The road was in good condition, I was getting better at holding my line, and the views were stupendous. At one point the guys stopped for whatever reason, possibly for a comport break, and waved me on. It was a beautiful day and the weather was gorgeous. I opened up and roared up Katbakkies Pass, stopping near the top to wait for the guys and to take photos.

Katbakkies Pass

Purple Hooligan - sexiest bike of all  8)

« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 10:59:50 am by Ri »

Offline Ri

True Karoo

Top of Katbakkies

Where Katbakkies joined the R355, we turned left and headed to Tankwa Padstal for some quick refreshments. By now it was sweltering, and poort Mr Overheated stripped off his jacket and top to dip his head in the chlorinated cement dam outside. I quickly ducked inside looking for an energy drink to revive me, and took some photos. This really is a treasure trove, and I love coming here. They even stock violin and banjo strings for the once-in-a-year wedding players.

A look back

Tankwa Padstal just up ahead

Ri arrives at Tankwa Padstal

Mr Convivial had a lekker chat with the Karretjiesmense. So sweet, he knows the names of the donkeys.

Karretjie ATGATT

Gates to Random

Chatting to another biker who was very interested in our soft luggage and wanted to know cost. I can't remember, was 2 years ago! He also loved Eikeboom's "giggelgeel" bag.

True old-style "negosiewinkel".

All those saws hanging from the rafters. Because so many trees in the Karoo...  ::)

Colour scheme makes me think: Heaven on the left, Hell on the right  :o

You could spend ages looking at all the stuff in the bar too

Eikeboom was very tickled with this "Barbie"

I found the last energy drink in the bar, and was ready to ride again.

Karoo Pocahontas

More to follow :deal:
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 11:01:11 am by Ri »

Offline >>Thump°C

Very nice read Ri
Glad your pics are working now.
Boys will be Boys.
And girls are darn thankful for that

Offline Tom van Brits

Karoo tour is on the bucket list.....mind you that bucket is a bit full now but the pictures want me to go there!

Offline Ri

Karoo tour is on the bucket list.....mind you that bucket is a bit full now but the pictures want me to go there!

How very fortunate for you that "visit to Karoo farm" encompasses this area. :deal:
Fair warning though: if you're running around Gough in shorts in winter, you are going to swelter in the Karoo heat, even in spring. :dousing: