Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had  (Read 2710 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BrandsiekBrak

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,061
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Formerly known as Lycan
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2018, 04:15:38 pm »
Lundean’s wartrail….only for Volunteers
It is Day 5 of our Ben 10 Eco Challenge timeline, and we have some work to do

2 of our Expedition members are out of the challenge, FrancoisTz and Natasha.
They will spend the day relaxing, and getting their things ready for the lass road back home.
Natasha is walking straight again, though with some difficulty.

It is Rynard’s first long bike trip, but the Young man is doing exceptionally well. He is struggling to stay awake at night, and the morning awakenings are slightly slower than the previous days.
He has started listening to our advice, but you do find some time to still let him realize that he doesn’t know everything as of yet…

But the advantage of inexperience, is that he doesn’t know what might go wrong….only that his dad, Aaklige Attie, recommends LOOK UP AND THROTTLE OUT of most problems

Plan for the day:
•   Leave Rhode toward Barkly East
•   Roughly 30km down this road, take the Lundean’s / Wartrail turn off (At Moshesh’s Ford)
•   Follow this road up to Lundean’s Pass
•   Track back to the 4 way crossing
•   Turn towards Volunteershoek Pass / Tiffendale
•   Complete Voluteershoek Pass
•   Glass of Courage at Tiffendale Resort
•   Track back to Rhodes via Carlisleshoek Pass

Now Aaklige Attie and myself realized early this morning that we were not getting into our riding zone, our MOJO was not kicking in this morning. Thus, it will be an easy ride and we should be able to complete this route by early afternoon….


Rhodes Roads….
The road out of Rhodes was till a pleasure to ride, and the road surface is hard…2 days ago a guy in a big machine remodelled the road surface around 10km outside Rhodes…so we had nice loose earth and pebbles to play with for a few kilometres.

After the second metal bridge on this road, we reached the turn off to Lundean’s, and this short pass went nice and easy.

We encountered a farmers and his pack of dogs on the back of his bakkie, one of these dogs was a Horse of a Great Dane….who did not appreciate the deep rumble that is the 1200 GSA…
As I was ridding behind the bakkie, this Greatness Dane was minding his own business…When I passed the bakkie…all of a sudden a whales head moved into my peripheral vision displaying his large dagger teeth and showing off the inside of his throat….luckily the cattle rails were high enough to keep me out of his reach….the same scenario apparently played off later when Aaklige Attie went past the bakkie


Lundean’s Pass….
The first portion of Lundean’s Pass is fairly nice riding, up to about 4km from the summit.
This point is marked by a small streamed, and then the technical portion starts…I did mentioned that Attie and My own riding MOJO was lacking today?

Seeing that I was already picking crap lines, I decided to sharpen my slow technical riding skills and continue on with the crappie lines till the top.

2km from the summit we asked the guard station if we may proceeded  to the summit, they agreed and up we went. The road continues with its rutted nature, but it is still fairly ridable.
Close to the summit we initially passed the challenge board, and took some pictures with the original pass board that was lying on the ground.

On our way down, we did find the challenge board, and documented it as well.
Back to the cross road, and of to Volunteers pass.


Wartrail and Volunteershoek Pass…
A day or two ago, someone told FrancoisTZ that Volunteershoek Pass is a very Beautiful pass….and he was not lying…

Approaching Volunteershek Pass from the bottom, we were treated by spectacular trees and small streams, a couple of time I just stopped to take in the scenery.
We found a beautiful spot under some big trees where a table and chairs were cut out of big logs, and had a sat down and admired our surroundings.

Then we passed through a farm gate and the war trail started to climb the towering mountain, steadily at first…and at a bend we met the farm owner coming down the trail, very polite guy and adamant that his farm is not for sale…so we should not try to buy pieces of it with Ass-to-ground approach that some bikers take

He however did not inform us about how drastically this steady climb is about to change…a few switch backs from our meeting site….and we found ourselves in the middle of a war with this trail

The trail suddenly and violently increased its angle of ascend, with some loose rocks and earth…..and sections of tyres placed over very bad spots on the road….

Now in the 50 meters from seeing the tyres, we first had to believe in what our eyes revealed about the road ahead (this was a short interval of time, as you do not dare stop due to fear not being able to pull away again due to the steep angle of climb)…and then lots of videos started flashing through our minds where we saw people riding over tyres, though we never took in the finer details of this skill and those tyres were always on level ground…..what the hell is to be done?....shit, I am on top of them already………

Tyre Talk session
These tyres are intended to give added traction to 4x4’s when crossing these rutted or loose surface.
They are all fastened together, and filled with dirt in order to aid the 4x4’s wheels over them, with the added benefit of weight pushing the wheels on to the tyres…

Currently though, most of the tyre did not have dirt in them due to being washed away during the rains. And this makes them crumple in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways…
Added to this; even though the 1200 GSA is a heavy machine, the weight is not enough to aid in gaining traction on these tyres while moving over them…thus the back wheel once more travels much further than the odometer would like you to believe…



Trail wars continue…
Both Attie and Myself decided to open the throttle and see what happens, and after much back wheel movement and placing the front wheel in the tyres with the least amount of dirt in order the anchor the bike better…we made it through this section of tyre road…  notes made and lesions learnt

These lesions were hammered home with many more tyre sections on our way up, this road climbs sharply for a short section…. At the start it is roughly 1900 meters above sea level, and at the top you end up at roughly 2500 meters… this give your fore arms a very good work out

Do to the slow strong climb in 1st gear, my Air cooled GSA needed a few minutes of rest and cool down period at the top

This road is maintained by the local farmers, and at the top of the road is a donation spot to aid in the road maintenance … and the views are stunning from the top.

This is notably not the summit point, and we needed to follow the road further, and do a few short climbs to reach the summit point which is marked by another Challenge board that has not yet blown away.



On the a fresh High altitude Captain Morgan..
We followed the Volunteershoek road till it brought us to Tiffendale once again, and a cold one was much appreciated.

After a few laughs and thirst quencher, we head once more down Carllisleshoek pass… got Rynard his challenge photo, and headed down to Rhodes for the last time this week

Back in Rhodes, we tapped FrancoisTz and Nastasha’s fuel for our bikes, and made our way to our accommodation… good day of riding done and dusted
If you are packed for adventure, you can never be lost or late

Previously know as Lycan after getting bitten...
but then became infected
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline BrandsiekBrak

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,061
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Formerly known as Lycan
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2018, 04:43:55 pm »
Last night in Rhodes…
All the local passes done, and only 3 left to complete the Ben 10 Eco Challenge… we decided that it is time to move on, and frankly we were tired of the road between Barkly East and Rhodes…

So this last night will be spent Braainng and laughing together, FrancoisTz and Natasha would start heading home in the morning

Shortly after getting to our Rhodes Accommodation, Rynard informed us that for some or other reason the Rum was once again gone, and that there was only 2 drinks left for Both Aaklige Attie and myself…. thus the Rum hunt started

Now this hunt revealed some good information to us:
 - If you run out of rum, you will only find it at the open bars at a steep price
 - The best shop to buy some essentials in town, is not actually in town. In the next door township there is a shop called “Mamas Shop”, at the top of the hill.
    The prices are very good, and their variety is worlds apart from the I town shop that everyone advised us to visit.
 - Secondly, “Mamas Shop” has a liquor store / department as well. If whisky and Brandy are you poisons of choice, you will find a wide variety of choices here as well… there was even a Johnny Walker gift box with tumbler glasses.
 - Mamas shop is also the warehouse for Beers in all of its forms

Beers in hand, and some other essentials, we departed from the friendly township and tackled the 1.5km trip home… by working sparingly our driving juice made the whole trip home.


Star light and wood fire
We had lots of laughs and enjoyed the last night in Rhodes.
The stars are amazing, and the night is quite… unless you were our neighbours

The plan for the next day was set forth...
•   Head to Barkly East for the last time
•   Head down to Eliot via Barkly Pass
•   Take the road through Eliot and conquer Otto Du Plessis pass.
•   At the tar road, head to Lady Grey
•   Before entering Lady Grey, shoot over Joubert’s Pass to complete the Challenge
•   Find a place to stay in Lady Grey

Last riding day of the challenge to follow

Apparently it was also decided, naturally by an open, honest and fair elective process, that my forum name shall be changed from "Lycan" to... BrandsiekBrak.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 07:50:33 pm by BrandsiekBrak »
If you are packed for adventure, you can never be lost or late

Previously know as Lycan after getting bitten...
but then became infected
 
The following users thanked this post: >Herman<, wilfwalk

Offline Highsider

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 439
  • Thanked: 41 times
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing - Darth Vadar
    • YouTube Channel
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2018, 04:51:21 pm »
Keep it coming....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's not what you ride, it's how you ride...
KTM 990 Adventure '08
BMW R850R '95
KTM 525 EXC '04
 

Offline BrandsiekBrak

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,061
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Formerly known as Lycan
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2018, 07:49:42 pm »
From Rhodes to Reaches…
Thus the last day of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge has arrived, and we woke up early and packed up all our things in order to leave Rhodes in our dust.
The youngster Rynard has had a tough but good week, we needed to apply some speed today and it is going to be long stretch…so we load his bike on the trailer with the plan that he will ride the passes and commute in the Pajero in between…. The SWAMBO’s are also getting to their breaking point with the corrugations…. But they are up for the last haul

Route plan:
•   Head from Rhodes to Barkly East with the 396
•   Take the tar through Barkly pass to Eliot, using the R58
•   Turn onto the R56 to the access road for Otto du Plessis
•   Ride Otto du Plessis pass towards Barkly East
•   Then turn onto the R58 towards (tar) towards Lady Grey
•   Roughly 20km before Lady Grey, turn onto Jouber’s pass
•   Ride Jouber’s Pass, complete the challenge, and over night in Lady Grey

We contacted Miller’s Wooden Cabins in Lady Grey, and they provided us with accommodation for the night (very nice place, will post details later on)

This route ended up being 300km for the day, with slightly more than half being gravel


Rhodes to Barkly East…
What can I say about this road, mostly the same than previous travels. Thus we will skip this…
It took around 1hour to cover this 60km stretch, and we sad to leave Rhodes but glad that we did ot have to ride it again today


Barkly East to Eliot…
This is a 65km piece of good tar, and the Barkly Pass is apparently a high accident zone. No accidents were had, not even the bowel type.
We stopped at the official Barkly pass board with the elevation indicated, officially took a photo. We had unofficially done this pass around 3 times this week, but never took a picture.
We did not see the Challenge board, but these things have a funny way of findings new purposes in these regions.

The R56 from Eliot felt like it kept on for ever, though it only lasted around 30 – 40km, before we turned off on to the gravel heading to Otto du Plessis



Otto du Plessis Pass…
There is a long easy gravel road running through farms and along planted farm lands. This road is travelled by anything from tractors to normal cars. The intermittent sheep or cow makes life enjoyable.

After the first mountain range bends, there is a split in the road. Here well camouflaged by a tree growing around it, you will find the official traffic board indicating that in order to travel to Barkly East via Otto du Plessis Pass – you need to keep left.

If you fly past this overzealous tree-board combination, you will have a second chance later when you find yourself in Eliot again.

Luckily we did see this indication, and we did take the left sided road…. Thus Otto du Plessis agreed to our date in the bush, and we glad to be given the opportunity to ride her. The Pajero followed suite, with trailer in tow.

A few more farms to pass through, and the mountain forest opens for us, beautiful streams and over growing trees made this a fun ride up to the maintain head.
This is not a technical ride, and most cars and bikers will scale it easily and quickly…. This is however until it rains a lot, then it will be a more interesting ride / slide.

Once again the views from the top of the pass is utterly amazing.  And this Challenge board is still present at its post.

A little descent from the summit, and we found ourselves amongst the farms once more. These roads are official regional roads, and are well maintained.
Thus a little wheel spin when you go over the ‘middel mannetjie’, but other than that it is 5th or 6th gear road surface. Just look out for the occasional aspirant rally farmer or taxi racer.

We made it to the tar, and turn towards Lady Grey



Joubert’s Pass to Lady Grey…
Our fuel was low-ish, but we did not want to turn to Barkly East first, and then ride back and past our current location…. Thus we took a chance and hoped for the best with regards to Fuel consumption and climbing angles.

The tar road towards Lady Grey is pleasant, the winds towards all other directions are not pleasant.
40km of pointing one direction in order to go another direction, and we found ourselves on the gravel for Joubert’s pass.

Joubert’s Pass road surface is a hard gravel surface with occasional “wake-up” loose sections, it takes around 10km of gravel ravel to get to the foot of Joubert’s pass.

Somewhere along this road, I made a little miscalculation and found myself going straight over a turn and ended up in the bush next to the road… but at least I was awake once again…and I realised that being a Bush pilot is not my future career.

The Pass itself is a narrow single road criss-crossing up and over the mountain, you need to keep an eye out for other vehicles on the pass as there is no real passing points on this road other than a few switch back plateaus.

Summit made, named ‘Hemel op Aarde”, documentation was made of the challenge board still standing proud on its designated position. Ben 10 Eco challenge was officially completed within the stipulated time period.

The track down the mountain towards Lady Grey is similar to the one with which we climbed the mountain, and it levels out around 5km before Lady Grey.



The Lady is a tramp..
Lady Grey has a few more tar roads compared to the other town we have visited in the past week.
And with new fresh Rum, we went on to our overnight accommodation at Miller wooden cabins.

Miller’s wooden cabins is a relatively new set up in Lady Grey, and our host were very friendly and made sure that we had everything we needed for a good night rest.
There are a few newly built log cabins, with all the essentials needed.

The one designated for us, had a wonderful hot tube that is heated with a wooden fire in a stainless steel oven set in the water, now real danger of being burn – unless you wilfully try.
The hot water and new rum made us relax fully, and a wooden fire was made in order to have a great event closing braai.

The people in the neighbouring township were also elated that we finished the Challenge, not sure how they knew or who they were. But their music and party could be hear faintly in the distance throughout the night and even through sunrise.

The next day will find us in the road back to Bloemfontein, and a few days later the Post Adventure blue will set in
Given the week we had, we did some planning in order to not accidentally end up on another pass going home



Miller’s wooden Cabins are owned and run be Felicia and Jan Miller
Felicia 076 897 9116 / Jan 072 658 9242
e-mail: millerwoodcabin@gmail.com
They are very well priced, and for what they provide you will be pressed to find better.
Both have a love for bikes, and will go out of their way to accommodate you... even on extremely short notice.


If you are packed for adventure, you can never be lost or late

Previously know as Lycan after getting bitten...
but then became infected
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline mike gs

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 682
  • Thanked: 20 times
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2018, 08:21:39 pm »
Lekker RR meneer. Spent a week in Rhodes last Xmas riding some of those passes, it is a must visit place.

Sent from my SM-T561 using Tapatalk

Love life!
 

Offline JMOL

  • The Mayor of Mopani
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 4,127
  • Thanked: 30 times
  • East London
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2018, 08:09:34 am »
Soos Spoed se - Bucket List trip.

Het nie eens geweet van so 'n challenge nie.
Life is hard - even harder if you are stupid.
 

Offline Ri

  • Stray DR Collector
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Suzuki DR650
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,846
  • Thanked: 449 times
  • DR650 Admirer
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2018, 08:47:15 am »

Very enjoyable writing and lovely photo's - thank you for the effort! Much appreciated  :biggrin: :thumleft:
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase
 

Offline Aaklige Attie

Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2018, 08:03:40 am »
Ek het sommer nou weer lekker saam gery! Dankie Brandsiek!!
 

Offline BrandsiekBrak

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,061
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Formerly known as Lycan
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2018, 11:34:45 am »
Ek het sommer nou weer lekker saam gery! Dankie Brandsiek!!

Vir jou is dit BrandsiekBRAK....jy mag maar die "meneer" uit laat
If you are packed for adventure, you can never be lost or late

Previously know as Lycan after getting bitten...
but then became infected
 

Offline Spokey

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Bike: Kawasaki KLR 650
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 11
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2018, 06:58:10 pm »
Such a lekker trip and story, thank you for the read. This is a bucket list trip of mine, my little KLR wants to do this, I am happy to tag along! The intention is to get another motorcycle and do this with my son.
 

Offline BrandsiekBrak

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,061
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Formerly known as Lycan
Re: Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Challenges were had
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2018, 06:25:33 pm »
It is a good bucket list item

And with good riding experience, it is not a week long event.
But there is a lot of things in the surrounds to be seen and done, would recommend spending the time and traveling around the area as well

Due to our problems, we missed out on some of these things
If you are packed for adventure, you can never be lost or late

Previously know as Lycan after getting bitten...
but then became infected