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Offline OomD

Ashes tour
« on: June 25, 2018, 01:49:44 pm »
With my mom's recent passing, and the rest of the family down in Dbn, I decided it might be a good time to do that solo trip. Needed to get her ashes down to the family, and I was in need of some riding therapy.

The route was simple, I had a few mountain passes on my bucket list that I thought I'd tick off, being Joubert's pass, Naude's neck, Lundean's neck, and Pitseng. I wouldn't make Lundean's with this trip, not having enough time in a day forces one to choose between that one and Joubert pass and I wanted to stay over in Lady Grey.

I was a bit hesitant about doing these passes solo, I supppose with maturity comes a bit of a sense of responsibility, and better risk management. After a brief post here on the forum I decided, "screw it, do it!" and started packing. Part of the prep was to have better tyres fitted, and all Bavarian had at the time was Anakee Wilds. I would've preferred Karoo 3's, only ever had pleasure with those, but alas they were sold out. I've heard a bit about Wilds before, and a while ago there was some serious anticipation for them, if I recall. It seems, though, there's a reason that Bavarian had them in stock while the Karoo 3's were all out.

In retrospect it is probably not a good idea to fit a tyre I have never used before, the day before embarking on a solo trip of few thousand km's.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 01:58:07 pm by OomD »
 
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Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 01:52:57 pm »
Day 1 - A leisurely ride down to Lady Grey.
For this I hit a section of the N1, and then from about Winburg I grabbed some gravel to see how the Wilds do before the serious passes the following day. One thing I realized about these Wilds, they are not for tar riding. Even with my very limited hearing I was blasted by front tyre noise so loud it started echoing inside my head. What's more, as soon as I got to 130 km/h the bike would start weaving, starting with a gentle headshake that makes me think I'm riding on marbles. I've never experienced this with any other tyres. I don't know if they were just not properly balanced, or just crappy tyres to begin with, but I developed an instant dislike to them. I am by no means a hooligan rider, but not being able to pass cars that sit on the speed limit due to this headshake is not something I am pleased with. I'll be removing these tyres this afternoon and putting my Battlax road tyres back on.

With all the weaving it took me a little longer to get to Lady Grey than I had hoped, but still with enough time to spare to take a ride and check out the dam wall. I was in school in Lady Grey some 42-ish years ago, back when we called it "Standerd een" and not "Graad 3", so I was keen so revisit some parts of my memories while I still had them. Having booked into the Mountain View inn I headed out to the dam, to be met with signs that the road was closed. This was also the start of Joubert Pass, but luckily the road signs pertained to the section that leads off to the dam only. Ignoring the signs I  rode to the dam wall, or should I rather say the damn road to the wall. I could see why they had closed the road, it fluctuated between states of partial repair and complete disrepair. The dam wall was, off course, much smaller than I had remembered it, although still quite high. The swimming pool, as we used to call it, at the bottom brought back fond memories of jumping off the cliffs and generally having fun the way only "Standerd een" laaities could. Then it was back to the town, and a quick visit to the old school and "koshuis". Between the hostel and the school is a rugby field, now proudly hosting a few sheep. I have no idea what the hostel is used for nowadays, but it seems to be occupied. The school is now tha Lady Grey Arts Academy, and seems to be in good use.

Back at the hotel I saw a poster indicating that Matthys Roets (Afrikaans artist) was going to sing at the school that evening, so I thought it a good idea to go and watch and get the opportunity to see the school from the inside again. I got rid of my riding clothes, put my jeans on and when taking out my sneakers from the topbox bag realised it may have been a mistake to put my mom's ashes in the same bag. I though the urn would be sealed, alas it is not. My sneakers were now a grey-ish color, as well as the inside of my bag. Luckily it was only a bit of ash. Ai tog. The only thing I could do was to empty out the bag in the hotel's garden and dust out my sneakers. Sorry, ma, but you are now scattered partly in Lady Grey. I could not help but be slightly amused by the turn of events, but knowing her she would've seen the humor in it as well, I'm sure.

Anyway, had some supper, and though I'd lie down an watch a bit of telly before heading to the school for Matthys' show. I woke up much later the night, completely missed the show and just continued sleeping.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:01:06 pm by OomD »
 

Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 01:53:47 pm »
Day 2 - The passes
I had some coffee and phoned wifey while waiting for the shower water to heat up. It took forever, but I suppose I'm not surprised, given that the water runs so slowly. I may have finished sooner had I just poured cups of water over me. But, I had time as the breakfast was only going to be served at 7. Packed everything, had breakfast, and then headed out to Joubert Pass.

I was also looking for a bag in which to wrap the urn, to prevent further distribution of my dear old mom along tha passes. Not finding anything I took the space blanket from my medical aid kit, wrapped the urn in that, and finished off with a very generous layer of elastoplast. There we go, there was no way the ashes was getting out of there.

Reading up on https://mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/ about Joubert pass I noticed the sentence which mentioned that it's probably better to tackle the pass after 11. It must be for traffic, I assumed. Anyway, heading up the pass I can assure you it is not for traffic, but for the sun.It was completely blinding over the mountain tops, and at some stretches I had to hang my head real low to have the helmet's peak shield the sun. So much so that my visibilty was limited to 1 or 2 meters ahead of me. If I opened the visor the dust made my eyes water. If I closed it the sun's glare made it almost impossible to see. This is a very risky way of crossing over the mountain, and some points I simply continued riding in the hope there was no oncoming traffic as I would've surely just ridden straight into it.

When I crossed over the neck of the pass I felt so exhilirated! Stopped for a quick photo or two, while giving the oncoming bakkie space to pass me. It was just about the only point on that pass where you would fit two vehicles next to each other. The rest is as wide as a tweespoor only. Road condition was great, a few ruts here and there, some exposed rocks, but nothing untoward or seriously risky. What a brilliant ride! From Joubert Pass its on to Barkley East by tar, where I had some oldschool moerkoffie en melktert. The coffee brewed on a coal stove in the corner of the shop. Very cool!

Filling up in Barkley East, and rode a beautiful gravel highway just about all the way to Rhodes. I had heard stories about Rhodes and fuel, so I opted to get there with a much petrol as possible. Not having to stop in Rhodes for petrol I simply rolled through town slowly, grabbing a few photos along the way. From here it was the turn of Naude's neck. This turned out to be another gem, wide enough for traffic to pass each other (more like a drie-spoor), and the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. But, heading down the other side was the most awful gravel and loose rocks and pebbles. For about 10 or 20 km I felt like I was doing highspeed tar again, the bike was weaving to and fro and generally slipping and sliding on the marbles. At some point I even started wondering why I didn't take the trip with my bakkie. It is very tiring, having to constantly battle the bike for (what felt like) kilometers on end.

About halfway through, heading downhill towards a built-up hairpin I noticed a chunk of glass in the middle of the road, about the size of my first. I stopped, picked it up, and inspected it. It was the most clear and beautiful piece of glass I had seen. For a fleeting moment my brain could not fanthom how such a piece of glass would get there, but I dusted it off and put it in my topbox. Wifey would surely like this as an ornament. Further down, afte the hairpin, I noticed how cold it was. One o' clock in the afternoon, and there was still ice on the rocks at the side of the road. I could feel the cold too, the heated grips did not do much to alleviate the pain in my finger tips. Much later I decided stop for a drink of water, and after opening the topbox I could only be puzzled by the amount of water soaking up my bag. That's when I noticed the (much smaller) piece of glass, and realized that just maybe it was ice. Eish, I felt a real poephol.

The loose marbly-like rocks and pebbles continued all the way to the point at Eands Height, where one would turn left to approach Pitseng pass. By now I was a little bit tired, but very relieve to immediately see a lack of rocks on this road. What a relief, I could get to 3rd gear! And even higher! Pitseng was a pleasure to ride, a mountain pass that felt more like a meandering gravel highway. An awesome stretch of road, all the way to the R56 where I turned northwards towards Mount Fletcher. Beautiful farms too, houses very close to the road with smoke rising from the chimneys. Made me want to check the local papers for any property available around there.

The R56 is tar, so it was a welcome smooth ride from there all the way to Kokstad. Arrived in Kokstad at about 5-ish, check into the first B&B I saw and I promptly headed out to find a piece of steak. I was a bit pooped, so hit the sack afterwards with a very satisfied feeling in my inner self, having covered the road I did. What a great feeling.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:02:50 pm by OomD »
 

Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 01:54:31 pm »
Day 2b
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:08:26 pm by OomD »
 

Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 01:56:32 pm »
Day 3 - It's Durbs for curry and all!
Kokstad was cold, bitterly cold. I woke up to an outside temp of -2, and the dew on the bike frozen over. Nonetheless I got on it and headed out to Durbs. I mistakenly thought the N2 was to the north of Kokstad, and wondered after a while why the "distance to next turn" on the GPS kept on increasing. Realizing my mistake I shot across the first gravel road I could find down to the N2 again. From there it was another comfortable ride to Port Shepstone, where I could grab some coffee. On to Durbs!

Seeing the family in Durbs felt good, they were simply shaking their heads at their "mal broer" who decides to ride down to Dbn via Eastern Cape, in the middle of winter! They just don't know, that's all. It's why a dog chases a ball, the dog knows. Nobody needs to question it. So after a bit of a family get together and a few drinks I head on out to my brother's house, only to miss his house and make a u-turn... and promtly drop the bike. One surfer-looking dude just stared at me curiously while I picked it up, telling hi its okay - I do this all the time for pratice.  Anyway, hading over the urn to my brother it was with strict instructions to cut open the elasoplast very very carefully. And not when there's a wind blowing.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:09:18 pm by OomD »
 

Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 01:57:09 pm »
Day 4 - Home
This was just some highway, I wanted to be home early to get some DIY stuff sorted out and also spend some time with the family. What a feeling it is to get home and your child is busy making an oxtail potjie to welcome you back. Maybe one day they will undertake a trip with my ashes too. But rather have some holes drilled in the urn and strapped to the topbox, to have the wind lay me to rest all along the route.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:09:43 pm by OomD »
 
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Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 02:05:06 pm »
 :deal:
watching
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Offline eberhard

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 09:03:44 pm »
Baie mooi foto's. Respek!  :thumleft:
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 09:28:09 pm »
OomD jy moet my asseblief verskoon, jou oorlę ma ook, maar ek het nou so lank en hard gelag oor jou arme ma se as in jou togsak ek sweer ek het ‘n seel geblaas.

Bliksem, dis een van die snaakste vertellings wat ek in ‘n lang tyd gelees het. Ai
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Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 07:42:24 am »
OomD jy moet my asseblief verskoon, jou oorlę ma ook, maar ek het nou so lank en hard gelag oor jou arme ma se as in jou togsak ek sweer ek het ‘n seel geblaas.

Bliksem, dis een van die snaakste vertellings wat ek in ‘n lang tyd gelees het. Ai
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Offline Slim Jim

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 07:53:34 am »
Awsome , doing those passes solo is food for the soul. done them 3 times. Sorry about your mom Dude.
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 08:02:48 am »

Part of the prep was to have better tyres fitted, and all Bavarian had at the time was Anakee Wilds. I would've preferred Karoo 3's, only ever had pleasure with those, but alas they were sold out. I've heard a bit about Wilds before, and a while ago there was some serious anticipation for them, if I recall. It seems, though, there's a reason that Bavarian had them in stock while the Karoo 3's were all out.

In retrospect it is probably not a good idea to fit a tyre I have never used before, the day before embarking on a solo trip of few thousand km's.

OomD,
I have used the Wilds and didn't have any issues, did you have problems?  :sip:
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Offline Oubones

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 08:16:00 am »
Die as is ander storie, ook lekker gelag daaroor.
Klink my jy en jou ma albei kan grap vat.
Jammer oor jou verlies maar jy het haar goed gedoen deur hoe jy haar as vir ry gevat het en deurdat jy haar goeie uitkyk op dinge voorentoe vat.
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Offline FrancoisTz

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 09:13:36 am »
'n Voorreg om hierdie te lees, baie dankie. Bly jou Ma kon weer 'n netjie saam met jou stap, dankie ook vir die humor.
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Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 09:29:34 am »

Part of the prep was to have better tyres fitted, and all Bavarian had at the time was Anakee Wilds. I would've preferred Karoo 3's, only ever had pleasure with those, but alas they were sold out. I've heard a bit about Wilds before, and a while ago there was some serious anticipation for them, if I recall. It seems, though, there's a reason that Bavarian had them in stock while the Karoo 3's were all out.

In retrospect it is probably not a good idea to fit a tyre I have never used before, the day before embarking on a solo trip of few thousand km's.

OomD,
I have used the Wilds and didn't have any issues, did you have problems?  :sip:
I'm sure the Wilds did their thing on the passes, the hallmark of a good tyre is when you don't even know they're there.

But on tar they were just horrible, with the bike weaving as if on marbles from about 130km/h onwards. Very unnerving. Off course I'm not expecting perfect performance from knobblies on tar, but with Karoo 3's I never had this type of thing.
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 10:24:02 am »

Part of the prep was to have better tyres fitted, and all Bavarian had at the time was Anakee Wilds. I would've preferred Karoo 3's, only ever had pleasure with those, but alas they were sold out. I've heard a bit about Wilds before, and a while ago there was some serious anticipation for them, if I recall. It seems, though, there's a reason that Bavarian had them in stock while the Karoo 3's were all out.

In retrospect it is probably not a good idea to fit a tyre I have never used before, the day before embarking on a solo trip of few thousand km's.

OomD,
I have used the Wilds and didn't have any issues, did you have problems?  :sip:
I'm sure the Wilds did their thing on the passes, the hallmark of a good tyre is when you don't even know they're there.

But on tar they were just horrible, with the bike weaving as if on marbles from about 130km/h onwards. Very unnerving. Off course I'm not expecting perfect performance from knobblies on tar, but with Karoo 3's I never had this type of thing.

Cool, just wonderred, my bike does feel a bit loose but i live with it.  :sip: 8)
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Offline Klein Torkar

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Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2018, 09:13:49 pm »
Dankie vir die deel, n trip met n besonderse doel.
 

Offline MRK Miller

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 08:46:11 am »

Part of the prep was to have better tyres fitted, and all Bavarian had at the time was Anakee Wilds. I would've preferred Karoo 3's, only ever had pleasure with those, but alas they were sold out. I've heard a bit about Wilds before, and a while ago there was some serious anticipation for them, if I recall. It seems, though, there's a reason that Bavarian had them in stock while the Karoo 3's were all out.

In retrospect it is probably not a good idea to fit a tyre I have never used before, the day before embarking on a solo trip of few thousand km's.



OomD,
I have used the Wilds and didn't have any issues, did you have problems?  :sip:
I'm sure the Wilds did their thing on the passes, the hallmark of a good tyre is when you don't even know they're there.

But on tar they were just horrible, with the bike weaving as if on marbles from about 130km/h onwards. Very unnerving. Off course I'm not expecting perfect performance from knobblies on tar, but with Karoo 3's I never had this type of thing.




If you are going to remove them when you return, i would gladly take them of your hands as the klr cannot do 130 km/h :imaposer:. Thank you for a very entertaining report. I have been through that area once before on the way to Sani, and missed a lot due to night riding. Would love to go back
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 08:50:26 am by MRK Miller »
Op God vertrou ons vir wysheid om Sy wil te aanvaar
 

Offline OomD

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2018, 09:51:59 am »
If you are going to remove them when you return, i would gladly take them of your hands as the klr cannot do 130 km/h :imaposer:. Thank you for a very entertaining report. I have been through that area once before on the way to Sani, and missed a lot due to night riding. Would love to go back
I've already removed them, they're lying at home waiting for a buyer, if you're still interested.

Price is negotiable, off course.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=225955.0
 

Offline MRK Miller

Re: Ashes tour
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2018, 05:10:51 pm »
What price are you looking at
Op God vertrou ons vir wysheid om Sy wil te aanvaar