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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #160 on: November 13, 2018, 05:04:05 am »
We left Oewerbos that morning, knowing that the contestants had an energy tapping previous day. Crossing the Namaqua eco trail on these big bikes, only to find yourself being dumped into a canoe, where you and your teammate have to row for seven kilometers was no joke.
I was worried about JT and Losper. JT had a few proper falls the previous day, and Losper had a stomach bug problem, which was tiring him out quickly. Knowing Losper's appetite for adventure and endurance riding, I knew that he was never going to come to us if the problem became bigger, which meant that we were monitoring him constantly.
Jana took a few falls and I could see from a distance that self doubt was making its way into her mind. Kobus called me over the radio about halfway into the trail and asked me to have a word with her.
I had a chat with her and her teammate Stephan (a saint, a gentleman and a seriously good rider) and realised that the route, together with the blazing sun was going to take its toll that day. Jana and Stephan rode like champions after our chat.
The sun was hitting hard from all directions and it was obvious that the energy levels started to drop fast. I had a quick word with the group just before they started the climb at the off camber koppie Jesse mentioned earlier. It seemed to have worked as the moral suddenly skyrocketed and the smiles returned.
Seeing the riders assisting one another up that climb is a sight to behold, and definitely made my day.
a Special mention goes out to the instructors. These guys were rock solid in their patience, fairness and their demeanor. Great job.
 
Jesse and Hannes was the team that impressed the instructors that day.



« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 05:05:14 am by Hardy de Kock »
 

Offline JesseH

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #161 on: November 13, 2018, 05:39:27 am »
Anyone got pics from that rocky climb we did?

No, but I do have a picture of your Rocky Ribs Pizza just before the climb...




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Hahaha! That was a tasty piece of sands stone! As you may have gathered by now, I was craving a pizza something bad out there in the sticks...

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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #162 on: November 13, 2018, 06:23:31 am »
I just realized that we forgot to mention something that is truly worth mentioning.

In a small little village called Gouda, just over an hour's drive out of Cape Town, you will find a butchery/deli called Gouda Slagtery
Now this business is owned and managed by a very special person, and someone that truly shows pride in his trade.
Vaalbaas - I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very special service to Quest.

Your sosaties, steak, t-bone, burger patties, chops, mince, bacon and boerewors was the best we have ever had.
Your patience when we changed orders late, and the way in which you packaged, and presented your products made us look forward to every evening around the camp fire. I suspect the Quest contestants and crew will never ever forget those sosaties.

Hats off Ludolph - you are a master.
 
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Offline JesseH

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #163 on: November 13, 2018, 06:28:05 am »
Agreed Hardy. The meat was real good. We were very spoilt with the food we ate. Those sosaties were like a party in my mouth!

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Online Kobus Myburgh

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #164 on: November 13, 2018, 07:47:14 am »
I just realized that we forgot to mention something that is truly worth mentioning.

In a small little village called Gouda, just over an hour's drive out of Cape Town, you will find a butchery/deli called Gouda Slagtery
Now this business is owned and managed by a very special person, and someone that truly shows pride in his trade.
Vaalbaas - I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very special service to Quest.

Your sosaties, steak, t-bone, burger patties, chops, mince, bacon and boerewors was the best we have ever had.
Your patience when we changed orders late, and the way in which you packaged, and presented your products made us look forward to every evening around the camp fire. I suspect the Quest contestants and crew will never ever forget those sosaties.

Hats off Ludolph - you are a master.

Dr. Peter J D’Amo says the following about O blood groups:

“Because type O is the oldest blood type, D'Adamo claims you thrive best on a hunter-gatherer diet which is high in protein and low in carbohydrat.”

“As someone with type O blood, you're an inherent meat eater .....”

Being O negative, thriving on meat therefore comes naturally.   ;)

My late stepdad, who loved his meat as well, taught me early in life that:  “Jy kan nie slegte vleis lekker braai nie, maar jy kan goeie vleis opf@$”.

This meat fell in the latter category, but I have my doubts that you can manage to stuff it up.  Thanks to Gary and Mark for their superior braaiing skills, this was however never tested. 

We had the privilege to also enjoy Gouda Slagtery meat during our recce of the route and it never disappointed!  It is evident from the packaging that it is delivered by someone who takes extreme pride in his work.

@VaalBaas , jy is ‘n man so na my ..... bloed groep. I am looking for reasons to visit Gouda before the December holidays.  :biggrin:

"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

-David Livingstone-
 
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Online Kobus Myburgh

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #165 on: November 13, 2018, 09:23:03 am »
Day 3 was by no account an easy one.  :3some:

During the recce, this was the one day that I was really concerned about. 

The combination of sand, rock and twisties was no easy feat for the big adventure bikes.  Despite a number of offs, everyone managed it better than expected, I was suitably impressed.  :thumleft:

By the time we got to the big climb, I had very little concern that the group will manage this without too much hassle.  When we did this on the recce, all 5 bikes got out with relative ease.  The one thing you can not predict though, is the effect of 18 bikes, on effectively a single track, due to the suggestion to start and follow through on the 'bloed kant'.  By the time half of the group went through, the track was certainly different to what it started out to be.

Eventually when me and Charl brought up the rear, we couldn't believe it was the same track we did on the recce.  This made the achievement of the group so much more special and we could understand the high fives and good moral at the top.  Either that, or the fact that myself and Charl couldn't make it to the top due to excessive wheel spin on the last little steep climb.  :lol8:  I certainly was very happy to be on a DCT that day, it made things a lot easier.

It was also one of the most difficult days for me on a personal level and the rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur with my mind not always there:

Dit is Sondag, 21 Oktober 2018.  Ons ry vanaf Oewerbos buite Vioolsdrift na Modderfontein buite Springbok, dag 3 van die jaar se Honda Quest.

Ons eerste stop vir die dag is by die bekende Stone piles, ook bekend as die balancing stones in die Richtersveld.  Ons gesels oor die betekenis van die plek met ‘n emosionele groep deelnemers voor ons.  Ek probeer hard om die knop in my keel gesluk te kry en om my stem te beheer. 

In die paar minute wat volg voor ons weer weg trek, skraap ek moed bymekaar om my geliewe Oom At te begrawe, ten spyte van die feit dat hy nog lewe.  Hy het die wêreld goed geken.  Hy het groot geword en geboer vir baie jare in die Kalahari buite Noenieput.  Ek pak my klip stapeltjie en belowe dat ek eendag vir my 2 seuns dit sal kom wys.  Ek is bly om ‘n helmet op te sit sodat die trane nie wys nie.

‘n Paar uur later roep Hardy oor die radio en vra vir Gerrit om die konvooi te stop en dat ek, wat in die middel ry, gou om draai en by hom kom draai maak. 

Ek kan nie Hardy se presiese woorde onthou nie en ook nie my reaksie nie, maar om 13h01 op diè Sondag, het die Here ons Oom At uit sy swaar kry kom verlos.

Rus in vrede my Pa, jy sal vir altyd in ons harte en gedagtes voortleef.



That morning, at the stone piles, there were a number of contestants that also left something behind.  It was a rewarding experience shared with a great bunch of people.  I was privileged to be with good friends both on and off the bike that day.   :thumleft:
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 09:24:49 am by Kobus Myburgh »
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Offline Losper

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #166 on: November 13, 2018, 09:34:49 am »
Day 3, video  by: https://www.kalonfilms.com/ and story by Kamanya:
 
Here are some insights and highlights of Day 3 on the Honda Quest 2018.

It isn’t getting any easier. Barend Fouche, Head of Motorcycle Division, Southern Africa announced that in his opinion, this year’s Honda Quest was a lot more intense and challenging than 2017’s. He should know, he’s been in the vehicles following all the action on both.

The route today would be one used for the Amageza Rally, a Dakar type motorcycle event.

It runs through little used sections of the Western side of the Richtersveld and is arguably even more remote than the previous day.

Before the route proper, there was the opportunity to reflect on things and have a quiet moment in a balancing stone garden. A local take on the old tradition of cairn building where the contestants were invited to leave a rock in memory of something that needed to be left there.

Reflections over, the serious business of navigating the technical sandy riverbeds, long rocky tracks and steep off camber rutted climbs was the order of the day.

There many opportunities to test the sturdy Rumbux bashplates and engine guards. Many contestants, now over the adrenaline fueled beginnings of the contest, were drawing on deep reserves for both them and their partners.

Although technically all the teams are in competition against each other, there is a very firm greater team spirit building. Helping all to get through was the priority.

The last 80km was fast flowing jeep track, a welcome respite from the pace of the previous two days where the average overall speed was just over 20kph.

Honda Quest is now 3 days in with 7 to go. The strain is showing, there were some tired bodies that fell instantly asleep once they’d finished the day.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 11:48:04 am by Losper »
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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #167 on: November 13, 2018, 11:00:32 am »
I was worried about JT and Losper. JT had a few proper falls the previous day, and Losper had a stomach bug problem, which was tiring him out quickly. Knowing Losper's appetite for adventure and endurance riding, I knew that he was never going to come to us if the problem became bigger, which meant that we were monitoring him constantly.

Five days before the start of Quest I developed a serious stomach bug, I lost 3 kg that day and ended up in Hospital. By the time Quest started I was almost back to normal but still not 100% healthy. By then I thought that the bug was something of the past but low and behold by the end of day 1 it was back again in full force. I was really sick but by day 3 it was over and I was myself again. Big thanks to @ockiemedic for sorting me out.
 
Day 3 was the most "enjoyable" day for me, it had a number of rocky climbs and 2 spoor sand paths. This was my kind of riding and I had a good time.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 11:53:55 am by Losper »
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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #168 on: November 13, 2018, 03:56:33 pm »
Dag 3:

Ek het wakker geword net soos ek gaan slaap het die vorige aand: moeg, seer, tevrede en of ek enigiets kan regkry.  Ek was opgewonde om nog n harde dag deur te gaan, te leer, die natuur te geniet en te kon motorfiets ry.

Die eerste deel langs die Oranjerivier was bitter mooi – die dor wêreld het ‘n mooi aan hom wat mens nie kan beskryf of afneem nie – jy kan dit net waardeer.  Ek het lekker gery – ek en bike 12 het “gejel”.  Die ry het vansself gekom – iets wat later in die dag baie werd geword het.

Ek is heel moontlik een van die ouens wat as ek nou op skool moes wees, bietjie Ritalin sou moes gebruik.  Ek is effens besig, en dan glo ek ook nog vas dat mens baie meer kan doen/regkry as wat jy besef.  Ek glo dit nie net nie, ek probeer my bes om dit te bewys ook.

Ek en iemand het eendag diep gesels oor wat belangrik is in die lewe. Hy het dit so aan my verduidelik:  jou lewe is soos om n klomp balle te “juggle”.  Van die balle is glasballe en jy kan dit nie laat val nie. Dis balle soos jou familie, gesondheid, geloof en so aan.  Die ander balle, soos jou werk, stokperdjies, mooi huise, karre, motorfietse en so aan is rubber balle. Dis okay om hulle nou en dan te laat val.

Ek het ‘n redelike vermoë om te kan “juggle”.  Hoe beter ek word, hoe meer balle vat ek in.  En ek het nog nooit n bal laat val nie.  En ek het ‘n moerse klomp balle in die lug.

By Stone Piles gekom kon mens aanvoel hierdie plek het ‘n vreemde gevoel.  ‘n Atmosfeer wat jy kan voel.  Weird.  Soos ’n begrafplaas, net nog ‘n groter “presence” wat respek inboesem.  Heilige grond, ongeag jou geloof.  ‘n Respek vir almal wat voor jou daar was, en almal wat na jou daar gaan kom. 

Ons het bietjie rondgeloop, gesels oor wat ons van die plek dink en so paar klippe te pak.  Toe kry ons so 5 minute om te doen wat ons wil.  Fok.

A lot happened in this 5 minutes.  I’m still not sure exactly what.  I cried for the first time in years.  Nie net tranerige ogies nie – n snot en trane snik huil.  In this 5 minutes I realised what a twatwaffle I am.  I was not good at juggling balls, I just kept the glass ones in my pocket, juggled the rubber ones and whenever one of the glass balls asked me to be juggled, I “gooi-ed” them up in the air, caught them again and put them safely back in my pocket not to let it fall.

Die res van die dag was baie dinge.  Die ry was tegnies en moeilik, en behalwe vir n ligte omval hier en daar het dit sonder probleme geloop.  Ek was op auto-pilot.  Ek was op die bike, maar het hom nie gery nie.  By die "off-camber klip klim" deel moes ek my eendjies in ‘n ry kry en heelwat konsentreer om lewendig bo te kom en vir eers die klipstapels in my gedagtes neersit.  Ek het in een stuk bo uitgekom. Moertoe.  Die Quest het ontaard in ‘n fisiese en emosionele roller coaster ride vir my.  Dit was taai – veral vir iemand wat nog altyd my emosies goed kon onderdruk.

Bo gekom was dit high fives en paar groot slukke water.  Ek het afgestap tot waar Hardy hulle gestaan het om die laaste deel van die klim te kan sien as die ander ouens opkom.  Daar gekom was daar ‘n roep oor die tweerigting radio, my spanmaat, Jodan, is by die berg af.

Ek was voorheen op ‘n trip af Hel toe en ‘n vrou is by een van die afgronde af.  Die helikopter het haar gaan uithaal.  Dit was een van daai events wat vassteek en waaraan mens elke keer dink as iemand praat oor hoe gevaarlik dit is om bike te ry.  Een van daai waar jy jouself afvra of is dit die moeite werd om bike te ry.

Ek het my koud geskrik.  Ons is gesê om af te stap om te gaan help, en toe ek om die draai kom en ek sien waar lê Jodan en die bike tussen moerse groot klippe het ek geweet:  vandag gaan Ockie moet uithaal en wys – hier is nou regte moeilikheid.  Daar gekom was die man in pyn, maar hy het nie genoeg seergekry om minder hardegat te wees nie  :biggrin: . Hy was okay!!!  Ek was verlig, baie.  Maar ek dink nie mens is veronderstel om soveel emosies in een dag te beleef nie!

Ons het die bike opgetel en Superman (of Spiderman vanweë sy lang bene) Denzil het die fiets uitgery.  Die fiets het net paar krappe gehad.  Ek glo die klippe is moer bang vir die Rumbux.  Ons het onsself Team Rumbux gedoop – ons het die Rumbux in vele gevalle tot die uiterste beproef – en ek moet bieg – ons kon hulle nie gebreek kry nie!

Ek was terug in my oorlog.  In my helmet was allerhande veldslae aan die gang. 
Dat ek my gesin nie tot hul reg laat kom nie
nie genoeg tyd spandeer nie,
is Jodan nog okay?
te veel werk,
ander issues by die werk wat my gesin kos,
is Jodan nog okay?
gebruik ek my tyd en talente reg,
wat moet verander, hoe moet dit verander,
as jy die sandmonster in die bek kan skop, hoekom nie ander probleme of uitdagings ook so uitsort nie?

Hier en daar kon ek die mooi van die roete waardeer, nou en dan die bike geniet en ook voel hoe warm dit is – plekke meer as 36 grade.

Die aand was my beurt vir my presentation – met al die gespook in my kop het ek paar dinge vergeet, maar die belangrikste dinge en dele darem onthou.  Jodan was flou – verstaanbaar na sy rowwe dag en die feit dat hy meer slaap gewoond is as wat sover op die trip die geval was.  Ons kon eerste patrollie loop sodat hy genoeg rus kan kry die aand.  @Losper  het vir hom ‘n slaappil gegee en ek en @Hollywood  het sommer twee patrollies diens gedoen en kon bietjie dieper dinge gesels.  Ons het by die grootpad gaan sein soek – en op n vreeslike gesig afgekom.... @Kamanya  was besig om te werk.  Gewoonlik doen mense wat daai tyd van die nag naby ‘n grootpad sit met min klere aan ander tipe werk as op n laptop...

Ek is later tent toe (ons het besluit op die tent sodat Jodan goed kan slaap en nie oor die skerpioene te worry nie), maar het geweet die slaap gaan min wees.  Die oorlog het aangegaan.  En hys vandag nogsteeds nie verby nie, maar daar was al paar oorwinnings.

Ek het seker 2 ure geslaap daai aand, maar het heelwat dinge vir myself uitgesort – ek het geweet wat moes gebeur.  Dit kan tog nie moeiliker of meer intimiderend wees as die sandmonster nie, en ek kon hom op sy moer gee ;)

Die dag was taai.  Dit het gevoel of ek my tweede Comrades gehol het.  In twee dae.  Maar ek het baie meer bereik as ooit vantevore.  Ek was moeg, maar dit was ‘n tevrede moeg.  Die engelse praat van ‘n sense of accomplishment.  It all made sense ;)
 
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Online Sandban(g)k

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #169 on: November 13, 2018, 04:01:41 pm »











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Offline GRyPH

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #170 on: November 13, 2018, 08:27:42 pm »
I just realized that we forgot to mention something that is truly worth mentioning.

In a small little village called Gouda, just over an hour's drive out of Cape Town, you will find a butchery/deli called Gouda Slagtery
Now this business is owned and managed by a very special person, and someone that truly shows pride in his trade.
Vaalbaas - I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your very special service to Quest.

Your sosaties, steak, t-bone, burger patties, chops, mince, bacon and boerewors was the best we have ever had.
Your patience when we changed orders late, and the way in which you packaged, and presented your products made us look forward to every evening around the camp fire. I suspect the Quest contestants and crew will never ever forget those sosaties.

Hats off Ludolph - you are a master.

Dr. Peter J D’Amo says the following about O blood groups:

“Because type O is the oldest blood type, D'Adamo claims you thrive best on a hunter-gatherer diet which is high in protein and low in carbohydrat.”

“As someone with type O blood, you're an inherent meat eater .....”

Being O negative, thriving on meat therefore comes naturally.   ;)

My late stepdad, who loved his meat as well, taught me early in life that:  “Jy kan nie slegte vleis lekker braai nie, maar jy kan goeie vleis opf@$”.

This meat fell in the latter category, but I have my doubts that you can manage to stuff it up.  Thanks to Gary and Mark for their superior braaiing skills, this was however never tested. 

We had the privilege to also enjoy Gouda Slagtery meat during our recce of the route and it never disappointed!  It is evident from the packaging that it is delivered by someone who takes extreme pride in his work.

@VaalBaas , jy is ‘n man so na my ..... bloed groep. I am looking for reasons to visit Gouda before the December holidays.  :biggrin:


Aha!    dit verduidelik baie    :imaposer:       nou kan ek ook se vleis-eet is in my bloed





Lekker report sover  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:       ek kyk uit vir nog met afwagting.  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 08:28:45 pm by GRyPH »
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #171 on: November 14, 2018, 06:01:07 am »
@Sandban(g)k. Bliksem, my maat. Jy moet stadig. Jy weet mos ek huil maklik 😉
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Online teebag

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #172 on: November 14, 2018, 11:07:33 am »
Looking back (and reading above) you realise you never really know what others are dealing with, if i have one regret from Quest it is not making the time to spend more one on one time with all the other contestants, I mean we all spent time together in various combinations and we all had passing words in the few minutes grabbed between Quest tasks, but one feels it was maybe a missed opportunity to build even stronger bonds. Of course for each of us there is one contestant with whom we did have this opportunity and in my case I was Denzil "Hit It!" Lawrie - @Dipstick, self confessed adrenaline junkie, competition focused and driven individual, from Sabie - the opposite end of the country and motivational spectrum to me and my home town on the southern tip.

I am not sure there is an aspect of Denzil's life that is not lived at 110%, for one of his days job he cuts trees - big ones -  ones you have to cut in sections, which seems to entail climbing the tree you are felling, with ropes, harness, and a fairly large chainsaw to chop away at parts of the tree you happen to be tied to. For fun, fishing from a sea kayak in the shark infested waters of the east coast, extreme enduro, motorcycles, motorcycles, motorcycles, active member of the local security network, catches and relocates all things that slither from places were other people would rather not have things that slither - oh and he's father to a 4 year old son Dylan, who I am sure will give him a few grey hairs in the future.

As a teammate I know I had the best, no disrespect to any other competitors (and I am sure many of you would say the same of yours),  but Denzil you rocked, always there, always encouraging, always pushing ;)  Love you bud.

Day 3... After the beer and regular handful of pills and potions, I fell asleep the previous night not sure if I would have the energy to see the day through, but I woke up feeling stronger than expected, a cup of coffee, a bowl of pap, a few more pills and I was ready to go.

As the route meandered along between the river and the mountains the road became more of a 2 spoor track as it moved southwest away from the river. We came to a place I had passed through before, many moons ago, with other friends. The Stone Piles, only now there were more of them, everywhere, I remember thinking that 1st time, I wonder who 1st decided to stop here an build a pile of stones, a pile large enough to inspire others to stop and do the same as they pass by - now I wonder if they ever came back and see what they started.

We were given some time to stop and look around, encouraged to place a stone, to leave something, or remember something. Contestants wandered off in different directions to partake and contemplate the meaning of all this, rocks were placed and selfies were taken, but gradually I could see it was affecting some more than others, for me more specifically Denzil.  I knew from our talks he was carrying a very personal, recent and raw family issue and we discussed it briefly, but I could see the emotions building up inside him, and decided is was best to give him some space, to process.  I wandered off took a few arty pics and pics of some of the other contestants.

After a bit we were called over and a discussion ensued about the meaning of this place and the piles, it was clear that these random piles of rocks held deeper meaning for most.  We were then given a further few minutes and for me that is when the floodgates opened, it started innocently enough by placing a rock for my family, and then I started to really think about them and what each was doing in life, more specifically my children, and their futures here given my experience the day before Quest - here we are in this amazing place, travelling through our beautiful country, privileged to be on this journey, but the underlaying mood of the country is of fear and hate, greed and corruption - what does that offer the future generations?  I have 3 children, 1 my eldest daughter lives in South Korea (and has stated she will never come back), My son is emigrating to NZ this week (I spent this past weekend riding with him, out in nature, just doing what we love - together), and the youngest, well she has to stay with us for a few more years yet.  I placed a 3 rocks, one for each of them - It was heavy.

As @Sandban(g)k said I think we were all a little distracted inside the helmet for a while after that.  I practiced my dismounts a few more times, but overall I think I handled the sand sections a little better than the previous day, the rest was fun and technical, especially the challenge for the day the rocky climb, which I was happy with my performance on on the lower sections only to stuff it all up on the final section as I passed Hardy and co - I ran out of traction and forward momentum but eventually made it to the top.  It was an eventful climb for some more than others and running down to help recover Jodan's bike I fully expected to find both it and him broken and bent, but with help both made it to the top and managed to ride for the rest of the day #GoTeamRumbux.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 11:45:30 am by teebag »
 

Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #173 on: November 14, 2018, 11:33:36 am »
The mo(u)rning of day 3

You know that feeling… as jy wakker word met stywe spiere, and you know, its only going to get worse over the next couple of days. My hands were so stiff that I struggled to touch my pinky too my thumb. En DȎNNERS seer. But why? My hands are callused and riding fit… Aaah… now I remember… Windgat aspiring Duzi paddler yesterday late afternoon. It’s a totally different physiological action too hanging onto the bars of a bike. Nou, ja toe. Lesson learned.

I would ride with those acing hands for at least another 4 days. Struggling to hold onto the bars with even the lightest of grips. It turned out to be an opportunity to meet yet another new close friend… Mybulen… 2 tablets twice daily.  Don’t tell @ockiemedic . He still has no idea…. Shhhht…

But I guess it’s better than blisters! @teebag  and @Rikus  had their hands full, literally. Some other guys as well. Eina.

We attacked the now well-oiled morning rituals at speed. Sorting out riding kit. Packing up bedding, stretcher, chair and duffle bag. Grabbing a lekker brekkie. Taking the daily supplements of VitB, Cramp Blockers, hand full of minerals and other Vit’s. Shooting a satchel of Rehidrat powder. Filling concoctions into our Hydration bladders, then emptying our own. Packing the Iveco. Riders briefing. Systematically going through the Pre-Ride Inspection. And then… we hit the road.

The morning heat caught up with us, rather quickly.

The first part of the route was a picturesque winding riverside ride. I took the missus and kids on much the same ride 3 months back when we rode along the Orange on the C13 between Sendelingsdrift and Aussenkehr on the Namibia side.

Really pretty part of the world.

Soon we found our way into the rocky hills of the Richtersveld. The convoy came to a halt at the Rock Piles / Klipstapels. I’ve never been here. First time. I didn’t experience the sense of contentment or magic that some of my fellow-participant felt. Not at first.

At first I thought …”bliksemse Europese toeriste, stacking rocks on top of each other!” In my minds eye I could see a tour operators Quantum screeching to a halt, a herd of tourists pouring out, snapping away, stacking at their hearts content, leaving their stain on this pristine part of the Richtersveld, before getting back into the Quantum and racing away over the horizon to assault their next landscape/local. Etters.

But, as I stood amongst the piles for a while, I realised that I might have judged a little too quickly. This flat space of earth in between the hills was a water runoff area, and therefore mostly sandy. Its actually not a big deal. Exposing more earth wouldn’t do any cataclysmic-size erosion damage, The almost non-existent flora, or the fauna that roams the entire valley would'nt be entirely dissplaced. The Impact is very localised, and… there’s a bloody hard compacted gravel road running straight through it anyway! So. Live and let live… or let stack… or …whatever suits your fancy… or not.

Life lesson number 2 for the Quest… like a mother sometimes endure hardship for her children’s sake… mother earth endures the brunt of our existence, for our sake…and that has a hell of a lot of profound implications!

It’s up to us to realise this, accept her gifts and sacrifices with gratitude, accept all her children (European tourists included), to cherish her, commune with her, and let go of stubborn self-righteousness. Were all part of the same circle.So many other thoughts and practical implications, I can go on for another 2000 words, but...I wont.

On top of all this, @Rickus told us the story of the tannie he knew who had cancer, stacking one white rock on top of another every day. Day by day. As long as she could.

-deep breath-.

The group had a quick discussion about the different opinions people have regarding the site. I kept quiet. Later I walked some way off and stacked my own 5 rocks. It took me a while to clean my face afterwards. Sunglasses helped hide my red eyes.

The rest of the days ride was one of silence and introspection. As @Sandban(g)k wrote… we all had our own battles to fight inside our helmets. 

3 Mentionable experiences during that day’s sun scorched ride:

1.   -moertoe-

My aching hands were merely resting on the handle bars. Not really gripping. Good, right. Sure, until you hit a riverbed filled with sand, a 90 degree left turn, then packed loosely with moving cake tin size rocks, followed by another immediate 90 degree right turn and a steep rocky climb of about 2 vertical meters.

The sand needed speed, the turn needed brake, the rocks needed grip…

It bounced me off to the side of the track into the direct path of a square boulder, protruding about half a meter above the rocky bed. Time for a quick decision – gas it and jump the bastard (as per usual), or slam on brakes and stop, just to be carefull.…BRAKE! Bad decision. At a standstill, I put my right foot out. Only thing I stepped on was air. Daar moer ek die bike om binne in die klippe! Everything on the righthand side broke or bent. Brake pedal. Brake leaver, hand guard, mirror… While playing it safe!!! Standing Still!!!

Quick field repair skills came into its own. Cable ties, tape, tool, and brute force. The bike was ride-able again in no time, although I had to make constant tweaks to the repairs throughout the day. Finished the Quest with that bent lever and pedal, broken hand guard. Something else too, something BIG, but that would happen a couple days down the line…

2.   -“ry hom!”-

At some point @Hardy de Kock halted the convoy and told us that he noticed a change in our collective level of riding.

Jong, ja, for various obvious reasons. Almost everyone was adapting and changing their natural riding style and rhythm. It was boiling hot, no shade anywhere, we were physically exerting ourselves, mentally worried about damaging the bikes, and spiritually floating above the rocky Richterveld plains… 

Falls, drops, hesitation, slow approach, low morale. It all showed and disrupted the flow.

@Hardy de Kock said, “Ry die ding!” Like your bike at home. Ride with your own style. The Africa Twin can take it!
... Bliksem. Who would have thought? The Main Konyn Expedition Pappie telling us all to give it horns? With a brand new 240kg bike? On an Amageza route!? Well… OK…

Immediately, the pace picked up. The convoy rhythm was back! The riders had smiles again. The boulder strewn sandy crossings became little more than speed bumps. Everyone went through the rest of the day a little easier, and all the crashes disappeared. Well, almost all….

3.   -bloedkant-

At some point we had to ascend from the valley we spent most of the day in, onto a rocky plateau. The instructors stopped the convoy short of the little pass, and in their quietly exited way, briefed us on the loose rocks and off camber jeep track ahead. “No problem,” @Kobus Myburgh  said. Keep momentum and favour the ledge side of the track - the aptly named “bloedkant”. And so, we did. Riding up one at a time. I was standing at the ready, my turn, about to head up, when I per chance looked down at my bikes display to check the bike settings again. When I looked up again, Jodan / @PhantomCupcake disappeared off the track above us, into the ravine.

“Pierre, heres a radio, take it up to them!” @Kobus Myburgh  said, clipping a handheld onto the strap of my Hydration pack. I set off up the ridge. When I came to a stop at Jodan’s drop-spot it was a huge relief to see him standing upright in the rockfield. The bike was flipped on the rocks, pointing down the valley. “Nee man”, @KarooKid told me “take the radio up there”, as he pointed to the top of the climb. Oh. OK. Sorry. Off I went, glad to have stopped and seen Jodan walking about.

@Dipstick  would eventually (with some assistance) walk/ride that bike out of the valley back onto the track. That oke has long leavers!
By the time all 18 bikes (including Jodan) were safe and sound at the top of the hill, that innocent little Jekyll&Hyde track was a howling monster. Sense of achievement, tick.


Back at camp

That night we had a couple of lovely presentations to listen to at the camp fire. The Northern Cape Province by @Sandban(g)k , Namma Tradition by Jana, and we shared @JesseH  ‘s excitement at rediscovering the legend that was Thomas Bain.

Team 6 and 7 had to do the washing up duties that night. Right from the start @Sandban(g)k and I realized that both our team-mates were seriously exhausted. @PhantomCupcake from his eventfull day, and @Rickus from doing an infinite amount of elephant-turns, tracking back to help me pick up my bike. He’s a big, silent, strong, moerse good rider. I’m the small, noisy, average rider that keeps on plugging, frustratingly so. Much like an Indian Myna. Thus, the big diesel machine in team 7, and the flamboyant one in team number 6, were down and out.

@Sandban(g)k and I, asked them if they would rather like to turn inn for an early evening. It was already after 11pm, after all. The 2 of us finished up the chores and did the first sessions of security patrol for the evening. It gave them a chance to recharge. We knew that they would be carrying us again in the next couple of days when it would be our turn to take punches. That’s how Quest works. Even in inter-team dynamics, it’s about camaraderie, trust and self-sacrifice. It gave us an opportunity to walk and talk under the star-filled sky. It became a time for some deep reflection. Not only about the day we had, but also about the lives we lead, the people we love, the path we choose. We woke the next patrol team just after 1am.

I had a quick 4 hours to rest, before getting back up and doing it all over again. @Sandban(g)k apparently, had even less…
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 02:41:44 pm by Hollywood »
Addicted to riding big bikes in tricky places.
Rode most of Southern Africa.
Currently riding a slightly pimped black Africa Twin Manual, named Fezile
 

Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #174 on: November 14, 2018, 12:21:52 pm »
Addicted to riding big bikes in tricky places.
Rode most of Southern Africa.
Currently riding a slightly pimped black Africa Twin Manual, named Fezile
 
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #175 on: November 14, 2018, 12:22:34 pm »
Addicted to riding big bikes in tricky places.
Rode most of Southern Africa.
Currently riding a slightly pimped black Africa Twin Manual, named Fezile
 
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Offline PhantomCupcake

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #176 on: November 14, 2018, 02:12:33 pm »
“After 3 or 4 days, my body will adjust and getting up, packing up and saddling up will stop being a chore. Kyk noord, en...jy weet…”
I kept muttering to myself when the helmet came on. I’d never done a trip like this before - my usual trips last a weekend and they don’t end with, “Lekker slaap, manne. Julle gaan dit nodig he vir more as julle dink vandag was moeilik.”
Especially not when the previous day was a constant stream of soft sand and some loose rocks.

Before Quest I thought my strong area was sand. Most of my - limited - off-road experience came from riding sandy single tracks North of Pretoria, and at first I wasn’t worried about hitting the sand on Quest. But that changed rather quickly when I realised I wasn’t on the 153kg enduro bike (my G650 XChallenge) that I’m used to.
Day 2 was a proper “vuurdoop” for me and the big adventure bike. A baptism I might not have survived without the coaching I received from Andrew and @Hardy de Kock  the previous day. Not to mention the constant support of my teammate @Sandban(g)k .
Despite the help from teammates and instructors, I think we were all a bit knackered after day 2’s riding and the, beautiful, rowing that followed.

Day 3 started like most days before and after it: wake-up (at least enough to pack), pack up the stretcher, put on riding gear, have breakfast (including Rehidrate and magnesium supplements), pack up the rest of camp, check in with the teammate (although it was more the other way around), and finally put the helmet on to start the pep talking. The first couple of kilometers are always a bit challenging for me, but after that I usually relax and reality sets in. In this case, reality was that we were riding some of the most beautiful routes in the world, on a bike that I have been dreaming of riding since it was first announced - reality was incredible.

We rode next to the Orange River for a bit and then headed inland to Stone Piles. I had seen piles like these before on hikes, but never this many and such a large area. After riding past them and circling back to stop, Andre and I picked up some rocks to add to the pile. In fact, we started our own pile. I put down a rock to represent my fears and my worries that have been keeping me from just enjoying the trip thus far. I put down a rock for my family. It’s not easy to explain the feeling, but I can tell you that tears filled my eyes, and a sense of relief came over me. I knew that Andre had been wrestling with some thoughts and emotions - leaving his wife and children wasn’t easy, and to make things worse, they weren’t feeling well. I wasn’t sure how to help, but I hoped that the piles would give him some of the sense that I experienced.
We made a video to post on Facebook, but I’m sure the only thing anybody heard on that was the wind. It’s strange, looking back, I don’t think I understood the significance that stop held for each one of us, and I know it was completely lost in the video, but even if we’d tried, we could never have communicated the feeling.

Before we left Stone Piles, the instructors asked us what our feelings were around the landmark, whether we condone the moving of the rocks to build these piles. After each of our experiences there, I’m sure we would all agree that the reward was much greater than the cost.

The rest of the day’s riding was superb (maybe more so in retrospect). It wasn’t easy, but that wasn’t what we came for. Long sections of loose rocks were broken up with patches of sand and sharp turns around brush and trees. Slowly but surely I was regaining some confidence, and all at once it returned after Hardy told me to ride the bike like I would my own bike on the roads I’m used to. @Hollywood  did express some concern with my putting my leg out around corners like I was riding an MX bike, and I would tone that down, as we went, in favour of standing, but for a while I felt at home on the big AT. That was, when I wasn’t forgetting the parking break on through sandy patches. Jammer, Honda.  :angel5:

About halfway through the day we stopped at the foot of the dreaded off-camber hill-climb. Hardy called us together and asked what was going on, why we were riding so reserved, and why we just didn’t seem to be enjoying it. We were advised to “give it gas” so to speak and just let the bikes do the work that he knew they were capable of. This definitely lifted some spirits and we were ready for the next challenge. More of a challenge for some than other, as you’ll soon find out.

Andre and I were riding somewhere in the middle of the pack that day, and I would later wonder what conspiracy it was that placed us so perfectly towards the rear in the challenging bits. ;) Behind us was Rickus and Pierre - always willing to help calm my nerves by explaining to me that it really wasn’t as difficult as they were making it sound. Cool, sounds like I’ll be fine. “Just remember to look up, and keep a nice constant throttle.” I set off with all my traction control settings and everything the way I had liked throughout the day and everything seemed to be going fine - riding on the “bloedkant” as Kobus told us, and looking up. Just before reaching the final - loose rocks, off-camber, deadly - climb, I had crossed over to the other side of the road, but I quickly corrected the mistake and got my stance back. What happened next is a bit of a blur unfortunately. I began moving my gaze up to the crest of the climb, and eased into the throttle, but the next thing I knew, my front wheel wasn’t on the road anymore and my worst fear had just become a reality - I was shooting down the side of a mountain. And this wasn’t one of those hills you see in the green laning videos from Scotland or England - no soft landings here. I had a moment to collect my thought and decide what to do next before the bike would hit a wall of solid rock and I would likely break many, many, bones. And so, for the first time in the couple of years I’ve been riding, I jumped off of my bike. I don’t mean those dance moves we all have indulged in on occasion where we end with a beautiful landing and laugh it off. I mean I jumped backwards, away from the bike, knowing full well my landing would be anything but graceful or funny. At the time, I didn’t realise this, but right after I bailed, the bike hit a rock and flipped right over me. I was hurt, and I was pretty sure the bike was broken (thus ending my Quest), but by some miracle I hadn’t broken anything.

All the guys who had gone before me came streaming down the mountain to help, Willie the brilliant camera man, in front. I didn’t hear it during the crash, but he was apparently shouting for me to stop when I went over the side - I shouldv'e listened. Denzil “How does he do it?” Lawrie rode the bike out of those gigantic rocks and up to the top. I don’t remember if I thanked everyone properly for getting the bike to the top, but thank you. If it wasn’t for you guys, that bike might have ended up on the back of a Cruiser and me in front.

Our faithful guardian angel, Ockie, checked me out, gave me the thumbs up, and I was back on the bike. I was shaken pretty bad, and disappointed in myself that I couldn’t share the sense of accomplishment that the others had. I felt that Hardy and the team must see that they had made a mistake to choose me - my poor teammate didn’t deserve this. Negativity abounded, but I knew that the only way forward was to get back on that bike, and ride it until I could think of nothing else but the next turn, or my next line. Andre was incredible, and he just kept checking to see if I was okay to ride. I was okay to ride, but there wasn’t a quiet moment between myself and I in that helmet for a couple of days.

The rest of the ride was a bit painful for me as I had bruised a good portion of my left side (and my ego), but nothing I couldn’t ride through. Besides, the scenery soon became some of the most beautiful I had ever seen - in real life or on pictures. I did have to tell myself to not look down every now and then - there was more than enough “bloedkant” to keep me on my toes.

When we reached camp, Hardy called Andre and me closer and told me I looked tired and it’s getting me in trouble. I would have argued, but I was too tired. ;)
Pierre and Andre let me and Rickus take the first shift of the nightwatch to let us get to bed earlier. Ek is opreg baie dankbaar gewees om sulke manne om my te he. Dankie, julle.
After making sure there was wood in the “donkie” and fetching a sleeping pill from @Losper , I bedded down. The sleeping pill helped - the tent-breaking wind did not.

All in all, it was a challenging day to say the least. I still don’t know exactly why I went over the side of that mountain, and you can bet I’ll be back there to conquer it one day. But, as Hardy reminded me, it was a day I would remember for the rest of my life, and I spent it with incredible people.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 03:01:07 pm by PhantomCupcake »
 

Offline PhantomCupcake

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #177 on: November 14, 2018, 02:40:35 pm »




 
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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #178 on: November 14, 2018, 02:40:57 pm »
Jodan

Not for one second did I think we chose the wrong contestant. - Not once

I guarantee you that most riding gods would have given up after the fall you had. You went down that cliff a boy, and came back a man.
Your perseverance, guts, and your strong head made me more proud than anything I have ever experienced on Quest.
I thank you for being part of Quest, and I promise that I will never forget you. 

Hardy
 

Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #179 on: November 14, 2018, 02:44:26 pm »
Jodan

Not for one second did I think we chose the wrong contestant. - Not once

I guarantee you that most riding gods would have given up after the fall you had. You went down that cliff a boy, and came back a man.
Your perseverance, guts, and your strong head made me more proud than anything I have ever experienced on Quest.
I thank you for being part of Quest, and I promise that I will never forget you. 

Hardy

HOOR,HOOR!!!!!
Addicted to riding big bikes in tricky places.
Rode most of Southern Africa.
Currently riding a slightly pimped black Africa Twin Manual, named Fezile