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Author Topic: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice  (Read 628 times)

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Offline JonW

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Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« on: February 18, 2019, 11:10:55 am »
I have spent quite a few days riding in the greater Umvoti Valley and have always been blown away by the huge riding opportunities it offers, but I have really in the past only scratched the surface and never actually done it justice. It is an endless succession of mountains, valleys, views and passes, just waiting to be explored. So I got on Google Earth and after more than a few hours of searching I came up with a route that I thought would do it justice. Some of the tracks I have done before, but most were new to me.

The next challenge was finding a weekend to do the ride. Lately KZN has been cursed/blessed with copious amounts of rain, especially over weekends, making it really difficult to fit in any decent riding. The weather forecasts for the weekend of 15 to 17 Feb showed torrential rain throughout the weekend, so I assumed there would be no riding for another weekend. Then on Thursday the forecast for the next day suddenly changed to show a dry, clear day expected, so I called the most likely person i know to do a Friday ride at one day's notice, my mate and old forum member Outthere, who without hesitation said he was keen.

So we set off earliesh Friday morning, heading out towards Nagle Dam and Valley of a 1000 hills. My route took us quite close to the Umgeni River anyway, and seeing as Friday was day 2 of the Duzi, I decided to stop by for an hour or 2 to show some support for my brother who was doing the race and would be passing by at about the time we would be there.

Spent an hour or so on the side of the river watching paddlers come past until my bro showed up, shouted some encouragement and off we went on our ride.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 11:40:35 am by JonW »
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 11:55:17 am »
Some great riding followed, unfortunately not many stops for pictures. despite all the rain we have been having the rides were mostly pretty dry. The one or two slippery wet sections Kevin handled the big GS with ease.

Our next stop was Bhamshela where I needed to get some fuel, as I only have 8 litres on the 520 so my range isn't great. I had done some phoning ahead of time and I was assured that fuel was available, however when we pulled up to the noname brand petrol pump a chap wandered across to inform us that they had run out and didn't know when they would be getting.

Damn, this could be a problem, but luckily I had brought a siphon pipe and coke bottle with just in case something like this happened, Kevin's 1200 Adv is like a petrol bowser so I would be ok. off we set for Chibini, 15km down the road where we would drop down to the Umvoti River. At Chibini, in the middle of nowhere, amazingly enough there was a petrol pump, and they had fuel, so crisis averted.

During my google Earth research I had found what looked like a little track down the side of the mountain from Chibini, however it didn't really go where we wanted and it looked quite gnarly and had an elevation profile of -40%, so obviously I had to go have a look. kevin was happy to ride as far as he felt comfortable, but wasn't keen to take his new 1200 into any hairy situation, like he would have done with his now retired 1200. So off we set along the track, but like it showed on GE it got quite steep and rough, so we decided to turn back. I will have to come back here soon and see if I can get all the way down.

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 12:05:06 pm »
Back up to Chibini and down the Chibini pass road to the Umvoti river. What an awesome piece of track, steep, rocky with 6 or 7 switch-backs had us grinning from ear to ear.

Unfortunately the time spent exploring and sitting next to the river had cost us, as I had to be back in Hilton by 14h30, so we had to cut the ride short.

Headed out the valley through the sugar cane past Fawn Leas, then Wartburg and back to Pmb by 14h00

Awesome Friday on the bikes  :thumleft:

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 02:04:12 pm »
So the weekend arrived and I was surprised to see that none of the predicted rain arrived, but I was content, I had had a brilliant day in the saddle on Friday so i prepared myself for a weekend of relaxation and watching sport on TV.

That changed when I got a Whattsapp from Carey, a member of a riding group that I belong to, asking me if i am keen to take a group on a ride through Umvoti the following day. After a quick chat to my wife, I got the all clear and told Carey I was keen. I was particularly happy as i felt I had unfinished business from the day before, as kevin and i hadn't done a lot of our planned route.

We left the Engen service station on new England Road and headed out towards the valley a nice group of 9 of us on bikes ranging in size from my 520 to Keith's 1200. This time we didn't detour to the river, headed straight out towards Chibini, no hassles, just awesome riding.



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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 02:06:53 pm »
Some more pics:

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 02:14:53 pm »
Arrived at Chibini and headed straight for the petrol pump, which was open for business even on a Sunday morning, then next door to the Shebeen with a view to get something to eat and drink.
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 02:20:20 pm »
After re-fueling and replenishing fluids it was down the pass to the Umvoti river.

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 02:26:46 pm »
Some more pics, some taken by Highsider:

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 02:33:39 pm »
For the next hour or two there was no stopping, just an endless succession of mountains, valleys, rivers and tracks

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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 02:37:15 pm »
Some nice river crossings
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 02:43:50 pm »
And then home back up the Chibini Pass past Montebello Hospital, where I cost us some time by doubling back on the track on my GPS, which I was following, and then down the magnificent Mqueku Pass with great views of Eagle Falls.

Came across these two enthusiastic adventurers on the pass

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Offline Been

Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 02:45:29 pm »
Following this one, great pics, Jon and Highsider, and a superb days riding, valleys, rivers, passes and some of the best scenery I have ever seen. Thanks for the ride Jon.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 02:47:03 pm by Been »
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2019, 02:49:18 pm »
And a last few heading home through another endless valley, with more spectacular vistas

Arrived home at about 17h30, we covered about 350km, felt like a long day, but oh so worth it  :biggrin:

Awesome group of people to ride with  :thumleft:
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 03:01:55 pm »
Following this one, great pics, Jon and Highsider, and a superb days riding, valleys, rivers, passes and some of the best scenery I have ever seen. Thanks for the ride Jon.

Good to have you with Adrian  :thumleft:
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Offline andrew5336

Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 03:09:28 pm »
Aaaaghw I need to get a scoot again.

Hopefully in the next 3 months or so - just in time for prime riding conditions!

Amazing area - would love to join!
 

Offline Highsider

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2019, 06:57:34 am »
Thanks for the RR Jon.


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Offline Noneking

Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2019, 08:38:30 am »
Very nice!

Reminds me of the riding in Swaziland
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Offline wildside

Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2019, 08:58:55 pm »
That scenery is stunning!. I have no idea whereabouts that area is and find it hard to believe such beauty and interesting riding is on our doorstep. You have captured some awesome shots Jon. Thanks for sharing
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Offline CUZZY

Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2019, 09:28:16 am »
Green is the land of Natal !
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Offline JonW

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Re: Umvoti Awesomeness - Twice
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2019, 09:00:31 am »
That scenery is stunning!. I have no idea whereabouts that area is and find it hard to believe such beauty and interesting riding is on our doorstep. You have captured some awesome shots Jon. Thanks for sharing

Thanks Karen.

This area is fairly unknown and unexplored and really is great riding country and, as you said, right on our doorstep.

Give me a shout if you and Kingsley would like to join me on a ride here and I will take you with pleasure.
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