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Author Topic: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!  (Read 7626 times)

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Offline Slim Jim

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #100 on: June 22, 2018, 04:14:31 pm »
been waiting for this RR for ages , going to leave it for the morning cup of coffee . Still got bikes to deliver this afternoon .  :sip:
The following users thanked this post: Ri

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #101 on: June 22, 2018, 08:43:50 pm »
On our way back from Smitskraal, we take a swim break at one of the river crossings, as the day has turned quite hot. I'm usually not fond of cold water at all, but I've decided not to pass any opportunity to swim. We strip down and some of us gingerly slide into the chilly water.

Notably the men are tardy to get in

Flip, but it is cold!!

... and then there's Kai, braving a heart attack  :lol8:

Then it's time to get dressed and carry on again back to Doornkloof, feeling very refreshed.

On the way back, we stop at a hilltop lookout spot we saw on the way down. The view in Baviaanskloof is truly spectacular. Now I understand why Boere says he'll ride this kloof every day of the week.

Face for radio

More beautiful scenery

Launching the drone again


Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #102 on: June 22, 2018, 09:04:28 pm »
Frikkie decided to skip the lookout post, as he thought Kai and Keith had carried on and it was only the girls meeting at the top. He chased them for quite some time and then gave up the ghost, waiting by the road side for us to come along. Then he takes off again towards the gate, while I wait for the rest to catch up and take the opportunity to photograph my handsome bike.

On the way to Smitskraal, on one of the steep downhills, as we went down a small 4x4 vehicle was crawling up, and we met near a hairpin bend. Because of the steepness and narrowness of the road, coupled with the steep drop next to me, I couldn't find space to come to a halt for them to pass me, and they just kept on crawling up. Then a water runoff ditch appeared in front of me when I was about 3m from the 4x4. I tried to swing inwards to miss it, and only managed to drop the Hooligan in front of the car. Fortunately they could stop in time. They jumped out to help me pick up the bike, and apologised for not seeing the ditch (!!!).

Normally I'm able to lift the bike myself, but the big fuel tank, though not full, made the bike too heavy. It's great to have such a big tank, but I regretfully realised it wouldn't do for anything other than highway gravel. It drew many admiring glances and comments though and people stopped me at fuel stations to chat about the bike. No damage to the bike, as the handlebar takes most of the brunt of the fall.

We get back to camp much later than we expect after the enjoyable ride. I'm nervously amped for the river crossing the following day, but realise that if I am to make the 08:00 deadline for leaving, I can't camp again as it would take me too long to pack. I organise to share a room with one of my compadres, and go pack up my stuff. Frikkie is friendly enough to lend a hand with the folding and forcing into the pannier bags, and soon we can join the spit braai again.

The evening's entertainment has started, and it is top notch.

The very friendly staff

Cocky in full voice, as usual

Expert removal of meat from the bones.

Eastern Cape Dogs

Flip, I really should take note of the names (or write my RRs sooner  ::)).

Experts at work. The meat was soft, tender and delicious, cooked to perfection. If there is only one reason to come to the EC Bash, this would be it  :drif: :drif: :drif:


Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #103 on: June 22, 2018, 09:12:48 pm »
Party people

The magpie Woody family in full chatter


Cool lady from Gauteng who was excited to check out Dusty's 650GS, as she's shopping for a slightly lower bike. I also pointed out the XT250 as well as the DR (of course)

Grant and Dunce


Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #104 on: June 22, 2018, 09:41:41 pm »
As sometimes happens at Bashes, I hand my camera over to other people for some different views and perspectives - usually to Andre 660. Seems he left it unattended on a table, causing a moon rise  ::)

Talk about butt ugly  :-[

My by now infamous red ear muffs. Best thing for warm ears, ever.

Kai enjoying the dinner and the show

Sonja enjoying the roosterkoek

Dieseldawie gooiing a mean look in the background, and the lovely Pebbles slightly resembling an owl.

After the most delicious dinner, I head off to bed early while the kite surfing starts up again on the dance floor. I regret not being able to join them, but tomorrow is going to be a tough day riding through Baviaanskloof with the Hooligan fully loaded. I manage a good night's sleep on a proper mattress after my deflating experience of the previous night.

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2018, 10:34:47 pm »
Lekker  :thumleft: :laughing4:

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #106 on: June 23, 2018, 02:30:14 pm »
The previous evening, Gérrard said the road from Smitskraal to Patensie isn't too bad, but we would need to stick to the cement tracks up Holgat Pass. I made a mental note and passed the information on to my new compadres before heading off to bed the previous night.

In the morning, I'm up early, being an intermittent sleeper at the best of times and worse when I'm away from home. I pack up my few things and head for the bike, hoping not to keep up my companions, who are almost ready to go. The camping terrain is already emptying fast.

Andy, king of tube changers, supervising a tire fixing. A skill I really, really need to pick up soon.

Kai's boots, wet from the previous day's river crossing, drying at the fire

Hooligan the hippo ready to rumble


Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #107 on: June 23, 2018, 04:56:50 pm »
We head off in the direction of Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, pay the gate fees, and reach Smitskraal without incident. I volunteer to cross first so that the worst can happen and be done.

Anwar decides to don his rain suit bottoms to keep the water out of his riding boots, and I decide to do the same, but my rain suit is at the bottom of my pannier and by the time I'm dressed, the others have crossed Smitskraal already. More guys arrive and pass through, then wade back into the water to help the nervous people like me through.

Keith rides through without any hassles, Kai hot on his heels. Edgy and friend stand on this side of Smitskraal, pointing out the exit point.

Having finally donned my radioactive yellow rain suit pants, much to the mirth of those around me, I head down the stoney run up to Smitskraal, and promptly drop my bike on the wet round stones in the right track, as there are already two bikers standing in the left track. Hooligan is fully loaded and I can't lift him. The nearby bikers, wearing ear buds and standing with their backs to me, miss the commotion. A bit of a farce ensues, with the riders on the other end of Smitskraal pointing in my direction like a small forest of trees, and the bikers on this side looking around uncomprehendingly. Suddenly they spot me, and come running to my aid.

Anwar had analysed the river crossing from all angles, filming it and talking about it endlessly the previous night, questioning what line to take and when to cross over from one side to another. Despite assurances that the line didn't matter and you didn't really have to cross, he wasn't convinced. This may be why he looses his footing and dips his bike slightly during the crossing. Thank you to the kind samaritans who comes to his aid!

Spot neon-coated me in the background loosing my footing:

Wasn't me


After the small embarrassment of the fall, I determinedly but cautiously head through Smitskraal, praying not to fall. Hooligan wallows a bit and I hop from side to side like a neon platanna.


We make it to the cement lip on the far side, where Hooligan promptly chokes. "Come one, you've made it!" shouts Edgy, "Just gun it!" I punch Hooligan's happy button and open the throttle in one smooth move, and Hooligan obligingly climbs up the cement lip. Somehow, amazingly, I'd hit exactly the right spot to exit Smitskraal with the minimum fuss. I'm elated!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 11:15:00 pm by Ri »

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #108 on: June 23, 2018, 05:04:13 pm »
Smitskraal from the far side, looking calm and innocuous

... and it isn't even full!!!

I'd hit the lowest part of the lip, on the left hand side

I join the line of bikes parked at the far end, take off the neon pants and walk back to spectate the other crossers, quietly pleased. The others are getting dressed after disrobing for the crossing.

We stop a while and watch other Smitskraal crossers. Next up is a KTM690 who cruises past us, swinging his one leg over the saddle to come to a stylish halt just beyond us. He changes his mind at the last minute, and swings into the road again, and swings right again just past a shrub in the road, where he loses balance and drops the 690 with a crash. We burst out laughing, and after righting the bike, he smilingly joins us.

Turns out they were camping next door to Doornkloof, and when our posse left that morning, someone in his group mentioned that one of the bikers is a girl. "No way!" he said, seeming pleased to find here is indeed a biker girl. I feel a bit self-conscious. I always wonder if guys expect something from the Girls with bikes! thread. When I read of guys talking about how sexy a biker girl in riding gear is, my cropped grey unPhotoshopped self in slightly oversized kit pops into my mind's eye, and I have to smile.

Some women do sexy. I do belligerent.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 11:20:56 pm by Ri »

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #109 on: June 23, 2018, 06:56:45 pm »
Next up are KTM690's friends, one of whom on a big bike apparently laughed and pointed when his compadres needed help in Smitskraal. Now he hits the cement at the wrong end and angle and gets stuck, and his friends stand around laughing at him while he churns up Smitskraal. Finally they go in to help him out.


The tired helpers return

Having had our sports at Smitskraal, we also suit up and head onwards towards Patensie.

Camera apparently playing with itself

The friendly bunch of KTMmers wave good bye and are gone

We also carry on towards Patensie.

I'm amazed at how Anwar rides. He is slightly shorter than I am, and rides a lowered BMW1200GS behemoth. He keeps a steady and unhurried pace no matter the terrain, which seems to mostly keep him out of trouble. I wonder whether he would like the DR650 if he ever bought one, as it is very low-tech after the BMW.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 11:07:41 pm by Ri »

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #110 on: June 23, 2018, 11:06:48 pm »
Anwar takes the lead as I'm a slow methodical dresser. I need to concentrate on what I'm doing, or I forget stuff like fastening the helmet or opening the petcock, which has caused many a heart-stopping moment when the bike chokes to a halt. And fastening that handy/stupid double zip on the jacket is a nightmare with my non-Bieber-like hips. My mind is an untrained puppy, jumping around, sniffing and licking everything and leaving a few droplets here and there, and needs to be guided with a firm rolled up newspaper hand to stay on the right path. How am I even a programmer? Grace of God, is all I can say. Bullheadedness also helps.

We round a corner and come across an unexpected sight: Anwar is standing in the middle of the paved road, Beemer lying on its side like a wounded beast. The culprit seems to have been the high uneven cement lip added to the paved path in order to guide water down the mountain. Anwar is fortunately unhurt, but his tankbag suffered some damage and needs to be packed elsewhere.

When I take my camera off Hooligan's handlebars, he unexpectedly attacks me ... the camber wasn't slanted enough for his lowered weight and he stood too upright, with the effect that I pulled him over onto his right side when I pulled at the bag. Kai obligingly practices his bike pick-up technique for the second time today.

Concerned passerby stops to enquire whether everything is OK.

Then we carry onwards and upwards.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 12:58:13 pm by Ri »

Offline JFE

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #111 on: June 24, 2018, 08:54:37 am »
Seems like it was a really fun bash and some exciting riding, nice RR. You're riding the world to a standstill lately, good going Ri.

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #112 on: June 24, 2018, 12:48:34 pm »
Was a great bash, I'm really glad I could attend. Best was that Keith, Kai and Anwar were happy to have me accompany them home the hard way round. I thought it was very generous of them, considering they don't know my riding level. And they were great to ride with, unobtrusively keeping an eye on me without making me feel nannyed. There was no hurry, and lots of stops and pointers and support.

Unfortunately I rode myself to a standstill - holed up in bed with a broken ankle for a few weeks. At least gives me opportunity to finish my RRs  :deal:

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #113 on: June 24, 2018, 08:02:36 pm »
I am somehow in the lead when we take off again, and I soon hit Holgat Pass' steep ascent and broken cement tracks. I stick to the inside lane, coming off the tracks every now and then but carefully getting back on again, keeping it nice and slow. The bits between the cement tracks aren't too bad, except here and there it is badly eroded, making it hard to climb on the track again.

A 4x4 vehicle approaches from above and I pull completely over onto the left and wait for them to pass. They hoot and wave appreciatively. I soon reach the lookout point on top of the hill, park the Hooligan and start taking photo's. The others however are nowhere in sight, and I wait.

Then Kai appears with the news that Anwar fell at the bottom of Holgat Pass. Keith is with him, but they are too far away for Kai to communicate with them and find out how things are going.

Kai admiring my Purple Turtle.

Loo with a view. These longdrops are both open to the front, with proper toilet seats albeit without any flushing mechanism. They are clean and well-maintained, and a blessing to such as I who absolutely hate bush toileting

Finally we hear vehicles approaching and assuming it is Keith and Anwar, I take up position to get a nice passing action shot. But it turns out to be the 4x4 vehicle I photographed coming through Smitskraal yesterday, on their way back to Patensie, and they have Anwar as passenger, followed by Keith.

Another vehicle on its way to Patensie.

It seems Anwar crashed the BWM1200GS properly, breaking the side cover and causing oil to leak everywhere. He also broke his collarbone. The kind people in the 4x4 took him all the way to PE, where he took an airplane home for X-rays and treatment. Seems he also has great insurance - by the time we were halfway to Groot Brak, his motorbike had already been recovered. He had an operation to plate the collarbone, and has reported that he is doing well and is mobile again already.  :thumleft:


Offline woody1

  • Bachelor Dog
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Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #114 on: June 24, 2018, 08:11:47 pm »
Ek gaan maar verby hou as ek julle party raakry... Lyk na 'n ongeluk wat plek soek om te gebeur.  :laughing4:

Mens WORRY nie so oor die ou Smitskraaltjie nie.
Jy donder een kant in en ry hom na die anderkant.

Hier is ek en mammie of die Starship Enterprise vol gelaai.  :ricky:


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #115 on: June 24, 2018, 08:37:14 pm »
Ja jong. Ek wou nie die Hooligan verdrink nie, maar buiten vir dit weet ek mos mens neuk maar net voort :)

Offline Kai

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Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #116 on: June 24, 2018, 08:38:44 pm »
Really awesome Ri amazing how you remember all the fine details Impressed Well Done  8) 8) Looking forward to readng the rest

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #117 on: June 24, 2018, 08:45:44 pm »
Really awesome Ri amazing how you remember all the fine details Impressed Well Done  8) 8) Looking forward to readng the rest

Thanks Kai. Photo's help with the recall and it was such a great and memorable trip! Looking forward to riding with you again :thumleft:

Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #118 on: June 24, 2018, 09:48:47 pm »
As we take a somber little break, more bikers appear and it turns into something of an EC Bash afterparty.

Fearless pillion :eek:

Keith's sneakers, wet from the Smitskraal crossing, drying on his bike

Then Vaalbaas and his companions rock up. They arrived so late at the spitbraai the previous evening, I didn't even know they were there. He stops, opens his bag and gestures me to come closer - his infamous Chili Bites! I smile a huge thank you and chow down on this unexpected treat.

After shooting the breeze full of holes, we all mount up and get going again. The beautiful views appear around very corner and over every hill. How blessed we are to ride in this beautiful country!


Offline Ri

Re: EC Bash 10 - 14 May 2018: Purple Hooligan Rides Again!
« Reply #119 on: June 24, 2018, 09:59:25 pm »
The ride carries on fairly uneventfully and ends in a steep twisty descent. Halfway down a turn, Hooligan suddenly starts coughing and stuttering, and then dies. Thank goodness I’m in a low gear as the back wheel immediately locks up into a small skid. I turn the petcock to Reserve and open the choke, but Hooligan wants none of this starting business. I can’t imagine that he should need reserve either, as the massive tank is still probably half full. I try again a few times and then stop, worried about flooding the carburettor and killing the battery. Keith stops next to me and makes a few suggestions, but nothing works. Finally he instructs me to get onto his KLR and see whether my feet can touch ground.

I gingerly swing onto his KLR and stand on tippy toe. This is apparently enough ground contact as far as Keith is concerned, and he tells me to ride the bike down. I’m terrified of dropping the bike, and confused by all the blinking lights - the KLR dashboard resembles a Boeing cockpit. Keith tells me how to start and stop the bike, and I nervously push off. The throttle is not as sticky as the Hooligan’s, and every tiny movement makes the bike twitch and jump. I crawl down the steep bends like a very newbie bike rider, with jerks and starts.

Suddenly Keith comes roaring along on the Hooligan and shows me to pull over, which I do with alacrity. Somehow he had gotten Hooligan going again, and I could continue on my stodgy way. Hooligan behaved himself well after this except when we reached the bottom, after a tight turn and river crossing he started to sputter again, but I just opened the choke and twisted the throttle, and the sputtering stopped. Later on Keith told me it might have been a blockage in the fuel pipe, but once it was cleared there were no more issues with the bike.

At Patensie I fill up the Hooligan's monstrous tank. Keith and Kai fill up at Hankey, so they can make the next stop. Keith also stops to take a photo of the biggest sun dial for Anwar.

Then, due to time constraints, we head for the N2 and gun it to George. The scenery is still beautiful, but it is windy and not too much fun. We stop at Stormsrivier to fill up on fuel and hot MacD chippies - one of the few things I'll eat there. A 4x4 pulls into the fuel station as well, and Keith speculates that it looks like Trygve Roberts, who films and maintains the Mountain Passes of SA website.

When I awkwardly paddle backwards to turn around to leave, two men walk up with admiring glances, exclaiming about the large tank on Hooligan and how this is the way a bike should be set up. We chat for a moment and I try not to rush, aware that Keith and Kai are waiting for me at the exit. Keith generously includes a small detour for us to ride a closed and unmaintained road, featured on Trygve's site. It is absolutely beautiful. Bloukrans?

Timed group selfie

No, I don't know what I'm doing either.

We carry on towards Groot Brak at a fast pace. When we reach Knysna, dusk starts to fall as we hit the 7 Passes Road. We carry on on it for a while, until Keith decides there's no point, as we can't admire the views, and we exit near George and fly towards Groot Brak. Along the way, we stop for Keith to deliver something to someone... talk about good service! We reach Groot Brak in the dark, and thankfully find our guest house for the night. Anwar apparently found the place on a Go Daddy deal or some such, and it is excellent. The rooms are huge and I turn up the aircon to the max, frozen to the bone.

Sonja stops by to say hallo and, too tired to go out for dinner, we order room service, a mixture of toasted sandwiches, calamari and chicken strips and other finger foods. It is delicious and barely touches sides. We visit deep into the night and then head off to sleep. I'm a little relieved to have the big double bed to myself. I was supposed to share a room with twin beds with Anwar, but there was a mix-up.

I sleep a log and probably snore like a banshee, and wake up early and refreshed. We have a fantastic breakfast and the owner of the establishment, a microlight pilot, comes to greet Keith who is also one.

Then we head off on the last leg of our journey.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 08:10:02 pm by Ri »