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Author Topic: Losing my Solo Virginity  (Read 3198 times)

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Offline Yefimovich²

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Losing my Solo Virginity
« on: October 13, 2008, 02:55:51 pm »
Ever since I bought my first bike (the XTZ125) and joined the forum, reading all the wonderfull reports I've wanted to get myself a piece of that action! Just me, my bike and this magnifent country.

Now I've been on a few fun and memorable rides, but none of real substance. So the seed was planted, the firelighter was when a guy walked into our store selling map books, I purchased the 'touring atlas' and duly made up my mind that I would do some mountain passes that weekend.

I had sort of settled on doing a tar only route over the Long Tom pass untill I started playing around on google earth and found a gravel route from Belfast to Lydenberg. This would be a +-50km dirt route which satisfied me as this would be my first solo ride, I don't as yet own a prosthetic sense of Direction(GPS) and I didn't want to tickle fate's arse because she may just decide to spank mine resulting In me ending up at the bottom of a canyon  :o

Then Last week smithey posted a passes index and I spotted a pass between Schoemanskloof and Lydenburg which looked, from google earth at least, to be a dirt pass. Wooohooo! This route looked to be +-80km's through the plantations and over the mountains!! So with my questionable planning done, I packed on Friday night to leave on Saturday morning.

My Riding Gear:

Fly Viper Boots, Thor MX socks, Thor Googgles, Scott Goggles(In case), Spare lenses, Baaiker jacket, Helmet(thanks Runner), fong kong riding pants and first aid kit.

The In case Kit:

Mini pump, tyre weld(whatever), 24/22 spanners, valve tool(thanks ADV MX), Screwdriver with many bits(allen keys etc), pliers, tool inna can (thanks TravelGravel), insulation tape, chainlube and two large screwdrivers.

The Steed:

Yamaha XT600E

The Rider:

Full of the exuberance of youth and in dire need of a haircut  :ricky:

The Resurected Tool Box:  8)


Lookit this Yamaha is Ready to Reis (as in travel  :mwink:) )

With two hours of work under the belt I left Pretoria at 09H30 taking the N4 towards Witbank/Middelburg and had my first stop at the Ultra Shitty at Middelburg chowing down on a Flamegrilled double delight (2 rave burgers for those not fluent in Steers speak)



The n4 is such a dreary road made worse by idiots not knowing where they're going or how fast they want to travel resulting in alot of muffled helmet swearing and dramatic, if inefective, hand gestures. The Yammie informed me of her thirst by demanding access to the reserve tank, I duly obliged by stopping at the 1-stop in belfast, which was only about 1km away, besides I had my little 5lt of glorious 95octane superjuice just in case. 



At the point where the N4 at Machadadorp(?) I took the left leg and entered my first joyous stretch of mountain pass. I naturally stopped for a Piccie!





After all the boringness I was pleased to say the least! O0


... To be Continued. :pot:





« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 04:47:49 pm by Yefimovich »
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Offline Big E

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 02:57:29 pm »
Lekker man
Nou kyk nou net waar het daai hond loop lê!
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 03:00:29 pm »
not a big fan of Brylcreem huh?

;D
looking forward to the rest - I like solo rides
 

Offline JABO

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 03:10:57 pm »
Just reserving myself to this tread as it seems it is going to get interesting,
Freedom is when you get to a T-junction and think to yourself.
AAAAAAAAAAAAGH I think I'll go left.

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Offline MrBig

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 03:19:02 pm »
GREAT start to what will surely be a thoroughly entertaining tale.

For a guy with lots of hair your hand's incredibly smooth as in hairless - almost alien like in a way.  :P
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Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 03:28:11 pm »
For a guy with lots of hair your hand's incredibly smooth as in hairless - almost alien like in a way.  :P

Well spotted. It's like he spied on us from afar but didn't get all the details right
At least he seems friendly ;D
 

Offline Kykdaar

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 03:49:41 pm »
For a guy with lots of hair your hand's incredibly smooth as in hairless - almost alien like in a way.  :P

Well spotted. It's like he spied on us from afar but didn't get all the details right
At least he seems friendly ;D

Must be an alien, even his hair does not suffer from "helmut hair syndrome". Looks like he just ran 220V through it  ;D
 

Offline Yefimovich²

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 03:59:14 pm »
So after a few kays of buggering about on the schoemanskloof pass, just after Uncle Joe's Kaya I turned of the N4 to be greated with this glorious sight:


The start of what I hoped would be my first dirt mountain pass as well as my first meaningfull solo meander off the main drag.



It certainly didn't dissapoint!

The first section of the road had a vary varried surface, for instance a fast hard packed sweep would suddenly tighten and the surface would became really loose making it quite difficult for me to find some sort of rythm (with me not wanting to fall of an 'all)



The climb had started, albeit quite gently, it was really amazing being so far removed from everything and everybody!
I crested I little hill and found this wonderfull spot for me to have a ciggy and a sip of water:
The Hill:

The Spot:


The road ahead:



My Yammie playing hide and seek:  :biggrin:




from behind:


I was truly amazed by this table-top like piece-of-mountain, all smooth looking, really nice!


A picture of the road surface as it had been thus far:


The road straightened out for a few Km's and passed through rather than around the forrest which was a totally new experience for my, the smell of the pine trees is simply magnificant!





At last! Lo and Behold! Cut out against the Mountain! The one and Only!!!!



Climbing this road was absolutely terrific! Hairpin after hairpin, resulting in me having to periodically remind myseld that I am riding alone and carrying the Xt up the moutain after i had binned wasn't something to look forward to!





From whence I came:


some more of the road:






i kept on climbing and smilling untill I reached a sort of Pine forrest grave yard! Quite a Shocker considering the surroundings! But these are plantations after all!


I tried to forget about it and kept following the route and was soon rewarded after cresting yet another hillock I was greetd with:


Wow! It was immensely gratifying looking back at the way I had come thus far!


Judging by the way this road looked there was more to come:


After following the road on yet another fun meander I reached a spot that had the most spectacular view, but had a wierd lawn like growth leading from the road to the cliff! I duly parked the XT there and parked of for another ciggy and water! However the Yammie was obviously tired and decided to take a little lie down right there. The side stand had sunk in to the earth and the bike duly fell over.
It took all my strength and a little borrowed from future endevours to get the bike upright again!







In the last Photo you can actually see the roads I had followed to the top! AMAZING!  :D

....more to follow


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Offline Trailrider

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 04:07:02 pm »
Good stuff!

Where is the rest? ;D
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 04:11:23 pm »
Nice fotos. Ek het slegte nuus vir jou.As jy eendag jou hare sny gaan jou helmet nie meer pas!!!!
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Offline Captain Zef

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 04:19:50 pm »
Very nice
 

Offline Hoofseun

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 04:22:56 pm »
Excellent and nicely supported with the photos...
"You are never to old to learn something new"


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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2008, 04:23:47 pm »
Great stuff  :thumleft:
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Yefimovich²

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 05:15:30 pm »
On descent I once more entered the treelined forestry roads all flat and shadowy!




This carried on for mile after mile and I started feeling comfortable enough to give it a little bit of stick and was having an absolute ball of a time untill a rounded a corner only to be face with a huge dust cloud and a Toyota Landcruiser shaped projectile belting toward me! Luckily once I had appropriately clamped myself onto the seat with my nether regions I found that the road was indeed wide enough for the both of us! What a relief!

I slowed down to unclamp myself from the seat and settled down a little knowing that the presence of traffic surely signified the end of my little track!





and indeed the end had come! Leaving me very sad and fighting an impulse to turn around and do it all again, but, alas I still had some ways to go to my overnight spot in graskop.



I then entered Lydenburg for XT to feed, and for me to feed my addiction.



At the garage I saw 5 Zephyrs, an old pullman merc and an e-type jaguar all headed for graskop:





And My new found friend on a R1200GS:


I left Lydenburg eagerly anticipating the Fabled Long Tom pass!

The Obligatory, cliched 'bike-sign' photo  ;D

another;


I would like to apologise for the lack of photos of the pass, but I was way too busy being 12years old to take photo's of the road! I had to constantly remind myself that the XT was not a supermotard or crotch rocket and had a Knobbly at the front!




The Yammie making friends with old Long Tom


At the cannon I saw a Steep walkway and decided to check it out and practise my hill descent on the way down:


I then Started arguably the best part of the pass toward Sabie! Oh Joy!! What fun I had! Smilling like a fool all the way down, almost overcooking it a couple of times! To paraphrase Jeremy Clarkson:
Yefimovich today married a KTM 690 SM and moved to the Long Tom Pass

When I reached Sabie I topped up with more feed and dicovered that I had managed to return a worst ever fuel consumption of 11km/litre! I would have to add fuel theft to my KTM Motard marriage!
I was also quite concerned at the heat of the tyres! The were on fire! As was I hehehe  :P >:D

Poser: :P


My kind of Chainsaw!


On the road between Sabie and Graskop(where I would be staying) I slowed down a little and took some on-the-go photies to show the beautifully sweeping roads of the area(I had to make up for Long TOm)





My Favourite:



Scaring a Cager (I would be so Lucky  >:D)


Through Graskop I rode toward the Berlin Falls (2km from Gods Window) and found the turnoff to the Guesthouse where I had booked a bed:






Louis and Linda welcomed me, and I was shown to my charming little room with en suite bathroom, and they also supplied me with a succulant supper and breakfast for the princely sum of R360.00! Including my one and only Zamalek.

Breakfast:






... More to Follow :pot:

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Offline Wolweseun

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 05:23:29 pm »
very nice
"Life is like a penis - simple, relaxed and hanging free...

it's women who make it hard"

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GreenMamba1974

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2008, 06:24:04 pm »
 :thumleft:

solo rides are the most 'spiritual', nicely done and well written, thanks!

 

Offline GO GIRL

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2008, 06:24:04 pm »
Yefimovich, there is something really schweeet .......when riding solo.....nice one :biggrin:
 

Offline Yefimovich²

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2008, 07:03:28 pm »
After the scrumptous breakfast I packed up and headed out to take a look at God's Window:



Although the view is spectacular I was quite dissapointed that the people, especially the german tourists got pissed off when I tried to ride the Yammie up the stairs and on to the walkway >:D
Its my country dammit! >:D

Seriously though, I was quite dissapointed at the commercial turn this place has taken and was alot more moved by the vantage point I had discovered the previous day enroute to Lydenburg where me AND my bike could enjoy the view :P, IMHO of course.



I had noticed after a quick glance at my touring atlas that the dirt route I had taken the previous day was clearly shown and surmized that a similarly key'd route from Bourke's Luck Potholes to Ohrigstad or Pilgrims Rest would also be dirt  >:D I decided to explore the route to Ohrigstad as this, according to the atlas would take me accross another Pass :pot:.

I then rode toward the Pot Holes, and while I was there decided to take a look, also very commercial but this time I felt it was well worth it,

Check the Coinage!





According to the book(or the way I understood it) the route to Ohrigstad starts Opposite the entrance to Bourkes Luck, however, there was an informal settlement here.  I thought nothing of it and saundered into the town, got myself horribly lost and was eventually redirected by some friendly locals. I had to trek accross a field to get to the main trek.  About 200m from the point where the fun would start the rear wheel violently siezed!!!!

I was mortified! My journey had come to an end! How would I get back? Who would help me!!??
After I had done all my panicing and playing worst case scenarios in my head I got of the bike to inspect what had happened, And I found this:


A piece of fencing had got wedged in between the Brake Disc and the Calliper!
The bike simply wouldn't move! I tried starting it, revving her up, dropping the clutch. But nothing it just stalled! So I tried pulling it out with my pliers also to no avail, I started worrying that I would break off and there would be no getting it out! I calmed down, stopped swearing for a second and suddenly remembered the Tool-inna-can that I had packed, got it out and sprayed it all over the disc, in under the calliper, everywhere basically!

I then tried my rrrreevvv, drrop clutch strategy, and this time the wire moved a little before the bike stalled, I repeated the process five times and Voila!!!



The Minefield:


No worries then! Of we go!! YAY!

I then hit this road


only to discover that I didn't have rear brakes anymore!! Woooohoooo!! What fun that pass was going to be Sans rear brakes! Oh well I was here now and I wasn't going to miss the opportunity of another gravel pass! :ricky:




I then found this amazingly green tree, the only one of its kind I had seen, all alone, just waiting to be used as a prop!




Some more pics of the road:



the pass itself( sorry no pics, i didnt want to try to stop suddendly with my front brake!) is magnificent, it runs along the side of one mountain, over another and on into a valley between the mountains ranges! Really Really worth it!





And then it was over! Really a sad moment knowing that I would have to tear myself away from this magestic world and come back to the land of blue painted cattle(pretoria >:D) and not knowing when I would come back!

As a going away gift I turned around and saw a rip-off table mountain(whatya think)



I then mounted the tar roads again, these were also quite entertaining roads, to Ohrigstad, Lydenburg and on to Dullstroom.  On route to Dullstroom I nearly totalled a Bobbejaan crossing the road(whatch out for these suicidal little beasts). This was the last excitement before hitting the dreary N4 once more, which oddly enough made me feel slightly suicidal!

I really loved the short time I spent in God's Country, and hope to go back soon! BTW there is an immense amount of little trails leading of almost all the roads that seem just perfect for exploration(maybe DRZ country  >:D) Anybody have some friends at SAPPI?

Final Stop at The Ultra Shitty: My last look at the mountains  :-[



The End  :D


« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 07:52:24 pm by Yefimovich »
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BigEd

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2008, 07:35:07 pm »
Very, very nice!  :thumleft:

One needs a solo once in a while - just to clear the mind a bit. iPod, Pink Floyd and the open road (Ramstein makes for very aggro riding - don't ask ::))
 

Offline tankgirl

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Re: Losing my Solo Virginity
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2008, 09:08:15 pm »
awesome!!  ;)

that picture of the thing with the old bearded man and the bird is incredible!