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Author Topic: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)  (Read 12644 times)

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Offline Bring It On

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2020, 05:16:18 pm »
As always Ri

Fantastic RR. Looking forward to the rest of it as you post.  :ricky: :ricky: ;)

Thanks and sorry about delay, I'm dealing with burglar bees and moving stuff for house renovations

No need for apologies  Ri,,,,, your RR's are always worth the wait.  ;D ;D
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2020, 09:22:47 am »
Amazing what constant wind and water can do to even the stronger rock
















Those holes are not due to wind and water, they are made by rock rabbits, under the critical eyes of the female.

:laughing4:
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 09:23:56 am by Ri »
 
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Online DavidMorrisXp

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2020, 10:40:40 am »
Lovely photos
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Offline punisher

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2020, 01:02:00 pm »
another great RR . fanx  :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline trevo

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2020, 01:17:29 pm »
Expected a "Wordy" one, it is 2nd nature  :biggrin: Nice RR
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2020, 02:05:21 pm »
another great RR . fanx  :thumleft:

Thanks punisher.

@trevo tsęk djy, jy weet mos ek is 'n stil, teruggetrokke, betaamlike dametjie :imaposer:
 
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Offline Coxwain

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2020, 09:00:05 pm »
A ride report always takes a lot of time and is a big effort....thanks Ri for your efforts so far....always great to read about your trips.
Im eagerly awaiting the next episode, let me tell you guys...this young lady is the pluckist Wild Dog I know. She takes the knocks and just bounces back.
All ways an honour to ride with you Ri......still got to do Kaaimansgat....I haven't forgotten.
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2020, 09:18:26 am »
A ride report always takes a lot of time and is a big effort....thanks Ri for your efforts so far....always great to read about your trips.
Im eagerly awaiting the next episode, let me tell you guys...this young lady is the pluckist Wild Dog I know. She takes the knocks and just bounces back.
All ways an honour to ride with you Ri......still got to do Kaaimansgat....I haven't forgotten.

Thanks for the kind words Cox. Looking forward to the ride, will keep reminding you. And also for calling me "young lady", seeing as how real youngsters like Jo Rust, Taye Perry and Kirsten Landman are making waves in the biking world :ricky:
 

Offline ButtSlider

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last - 20 - 22 December 2019 (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2020, 01:18:40 pm »
Thanks Ri.  :thumleft:
As always  :drif:
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2020, 10:40:32 pm »
After a leisurely break, we are off again to, and soon drop down to Wupperthal without any further mishap apart from the slowest little Nissan crawling down the hill ahead of us, refusing to give way.

The sandy stretches before the treacherous cement jeep tracks down to Wupperthal











The rebuilding of the town is carrying on slowly, and the cafe is closed. There seems to be a church service of some sort going on, a wedding or a funeral? More cars arrive from all directions.








I want to buy some top-up water, uncertain of how long or hot the day might become. When Gary hears this, he generously offers me some of his 1.5l of water. My look speaks volumes but fortunately the helmet mutes it. Is he daft, offering me some of what precious little water he took? As politely as possible, I decline.

We carry on through Wupperthal towards the Biedouw Valley, and turn right into the Biedouw Valley towards Uitspankraal, where I stop and take photo’s. My nerves are starting to fire up - soon it will be do-or-die time






A few metres later, we turn right again through an open farm gate. The road climbs upwards steeply and we stop at the top for a photo, comfort and water break. Keith tells me we are an hour behind schedule and I wonder why we lingered at the waterfall so long. He gives me the lead, and I try to hurry it a bit to not lose us more time.




Soon we leave the fluffy clouds and the cooling breezes behind us.








Impressive dry waterfall




Drop-off? What drop-off?






Top of the pass in the background




On top of the mountain








 
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Offline eberhard

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2020, 11:03:13 pm »
After a leisurely break, we are off again to, and soon drop down to Wupperthal without any further mishap apart from the slowest little Nissan crawling down the hill ahead of us, refusing to give way.

Uitstekende foto's :thumleft: en  :drif:
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Offline NoRush

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2020, 01:56:13 am »
Ri,  :thumleft:very nice photos as always and great reading, i always share your RR's with my betterhalf(also a biker) and also a bit short. 
With regards to biking in general, its the guys and girls who get up and ride after every fall and ride in spite of their fears that do it for me. Motivates me.  :ricky: 
 
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Offline Jacques650

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2020, 04:48:01 pm »
Thank for the RR Ri, can see pics now for some reason.

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Online DavidMorrisXp

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2020, 10:34:48 am »
Thanks Ri, so nice to see they are rebuilding the town albeit slowly
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2020, 06:17:53 pm »
The whole morning a cool breeze and fleecy clouds eased the heat, as predicted by Gerrit, but once we reach the top of the mountain, the clouds stop following us things and the breeze refuses to cross the “border”. Things start to heat up.

For most of the first half of the route, the gravel road is very similar Eselbank/Wupperthal, and to what I rode when I got lost on my September holiday - loose warm sand covered with skittish red-black marbles, an ever-moving surface, with here and there a short steep up- or downhill over loose sharp rocks or big embedded sharp rocks. Point the front wheel, and open up. Let the bike do the climbing, and hang on. Don’t lose your balance!

We pass through a farm yard surrounded by high fences, and I’m very glad to see both gates open. A black and white border collie keeps a watchful eye on us as we sedately saunter our bikes past the house. Around us are the remnants of failed rooibos plantations.

We carry on at my steady pace. Keith is the epitome of patience, and our Scottish Leader professes himself comfortable at this speed. He is on his feet most of time, and even I cautiously bop up now and then when the bike wiggles in the sand like a twerking carnival dancer.






Oh I forgot to mention…. there are a few closed gates on this road. Keith starts riding ahead to open them, and insists on also closing them, and Scottish Leader and I start racing to be the next to a closed gate, to return the favour. True gentlemen both, they refuse to let me open or close any gates, but I refuse to back down and insist on taking my turn.




Keith always lets me lead, but thinking that Gary might be champing at the bit for a bit more speed, I graciously secede pole position and motion him to go ahead. For a while he seems fine, but then he starts to ride slower until I’m almost riding on his back wheel. My graciousness evaporates and I start to earnestly look for opportunities to pass our Scottish Leader.

The surface squiggles never let up, and the bikes go waltzing sedately over the terrain, with a quickstep here and there to keep us on our toes.




My opportunity to overtake comes soon enough, when Gary’s undeveloped gravel eyes deceive him and he swoops to the left into another failed rooibos patch, where a sandy stretch soon halts his progress. I follow the actual road bending to the right and braap past with a touch of schadenfreude, checking in my rearview mirror to see Keith stopping near Gary.

The grim smugness is short lived when I face a sudden steep hill with tight zigzags. I can’t zig or zag for dear life, so I aim at the smallest of the rocks and urge Blue to hop it, which he admirably does. Darn I love this bike!! I sing odes to Blue in my head as I bring him to a standstill, somewhat ashamed at not waiting to check that Scottish Leader got out of the rooibos patch fine, even though I know Keith is ably assisting him.




I wait. And wait. And wait some more.

What a good-looking bike I have!




I finally throw in the towel and turn around to head back down the tricky hill, thinking I probably need to help push Gary’s behemoth out of the sand. Just as I start rolling back, Gary pops up on top of the hill, and I almost power slide the bike to turn it around to stay ahead of him. Later on he admitted that it was difficult to get out of that patch, and he’d laid the bike down for a little rest.

We pass some high point and I skid to a shaky halt for the obligatory pictures. Gary gooi’s a Bring It On pose in the background.




Yup, more marbly sand …




Hint of a valley in the heat-hazed, dusty distance




Same beautiful gravel road awaits…

« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 06:21:07 pm by Ri »
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2020, 07:30:31 pm »
I very conscientiously sip at my ice cold water bladder every time I remember, even when I’m not thirsty, and I start to feel the pressure on my own bladder. I storm ahead, for a limited value of “storm”, and come to a halt near the next gate, which I open up. The marbly sandy surface has turned into merely a sandy surface, thick with deep ruts. An even thicker patch of sand sits under the gate, and I stop well short of it. I look around for a suitable throne, and wait for the guys to pass through the gate so I can take my comfort break in solitude.






Neither Gary nor Keith makes an appearance behind me and time stretches out. Thinking of the sandy tracks I passed through, I decide that someone probably needs a hand by now, and start the slog back in full gear, to see if someone needs a push. It is hot, hard work, and I can’t decide whether it would have been easier to do it on Blue, but it was tricky to reach this point through the sand, I don’t want to ride it more than I have to.

Suddenly motorbikes sound in the distance, and Gary comes riding over the hill, followed by Keith.







I turn around and start walking back to my bike, and soon Gary and Keith pass by and head for the open gate. The next instant, Gary’s behemoth’s backside steps out in a spectacular fashion, throwing a wide arch of sand that follows Gary and his bike to the ground.

I gape, then quickly focus the camera. Keith stops to help as Gary jumps up, rubbing his groin. I finally reach them and accuse Gary jokingly of doing it for the camera. His smile is more of a grimace - the pulled groin was painful.



http://


The reason why Keith and Gary took so long to reach me, is that Gary bought another plot on the sandy road, out of sight. When he got going again, it was Keith’s turn to fall over, and then Gary, turning back to help Keith, fell again.

And now, he buys the gate with great showmanship so I can capture the action.

As soon as the ache in his groin eases, Gary and Keith are off again. I explain to Keith that I’m on a mission, and they promise to wait for me a bit further. I trek about 5kms through the sandy savannah in the sweltering heat to reach a promising throne, and quickly set about watering the parched grass while admiring the views.

OK not really 5kms but it certainly felt like it…!!




Puffy clouds taunt from afar.



« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 07:32:47 pm by Ri »
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2020, 07:33:41 pm »
Due to completely wrong geography in my head, I’m convinced that we’re near the area where I was lost before, and I keep encouraging Gary that the terrain will improve soon. Soon, however, doesn’t arrive and the track remains challenging.

A short steep downhill slants to the left and I’m on the pegs and the brakes and off the throttle to scrub as much speed as possible for the steep descent. Suddenly the earth on the left disappears in a vertical drop, and the road turns to the right. Rounding the bend, I’m faced with lots of loose rocks. Unable to choose a line, I head for the inner wall to avoid the outer drop, and Blue, unable to read my panicky signals, prudently lies down.

We fall very hard, and I remain lying on the ground, waiting for the guys to come pick me up. The cavalry fails to arrive. Eventually I pick myself up and start taking photo’s.




At least we got this far, Blue








Hot and bothered and a bit irritated with waiting, I finally lift up Blue by myself, thankful as always that I can manage it. Because of the steep rut he is in, I can’t get the side stand down, and a bit nervously I try swinging my leg over from the right side, unhappy with the prospect that I can pull Blue down on top of me. We both keep our balance though, and as I sit atop Blue shaking and puffing with adrenaline, the cavalry finally rounds the bend behind me. I motion Gary on, but ask Keith to stop and give me a hand - the front wheel alignment is waaaayyyy off and I can’t steer Blue for love or money. He grabs the front wheel and we quickly jerk the bike back into line. The gear lever is also bent into the casing, but a rock and a spanner sorts that out quickly enough. The right foot peg holder is bent, and the peg is stuck bent upwards, but some heavy heel work from me quickly sets it free-ish.

Gary in the meantime has spotted a cave like shadow in the rock a little way down, and has gone to park his bike there. I tell Keith he can also go down, I’ve lost my nerve completely and I plan to walk and push Blue down to the cave. Gary generously walks up again and hovers around to help me, in case I need a hand, but sweating and swearing I womanhandle Blue down to the cave, fighting to get him over the awkward shale.

Keith tells us this is the last shade for the rest of the journey (he wasn’t lying either), and we can take a bit of a break here. We throw down our clothes and stretch out in the meagre shadow which thankfully is enough to cover the three of us.








Gary plays cameraman for a bit.






Refugees from the heat and dust















« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 07:37:36 am by Ri »
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2020, 08:01:20 pm »
Keith cheerfully tells us that we are now exactly half way through Old Postal. We look at him glumly, hoping he is joking, but when Gary checks the route, we are indeed in the middle of the track laid out for the day. We deflate a little.

Scottish Leader is in agony. His back seems to be in spasm, maybe from the unaccustomed duration of meerkatting. He is grimly determined to carry on, but admits that he doesn’t know how long his back will hold out. He took some tablets but their effect so far is limited, so I spread out our riding jackets and instruct him to lie face down, and give him a bit of a back massage.

Perks of riding with Ri: back rubs in the back of beyond. And there is a happy ending - you can still move after I’ve pulverised your back.








We rested for almost 45 minutes, much longer than Keith anticipated, but we feel as refreshed as the merciless sun overhead allows. Slightly invigorated, Scottish Leader declares himself ready to carry on, and we head down Karretjies Pass.

A hint of water in the form of greenery in the very far distance.




At least Karretjies Pass eases up a little bit.




My recently acquired property. Needs a little irrigation, maybe…?








The road surface changes to merely sandy with jagged loose or embedded rock banks here and there. We soldier on in the sweltering heat, keeping our stops to a minimum and not talking much anymore.




We are head down into the valley where a flood plain seems to be waiting to be crossed, the Tra Tra river if I’m not mistaken.




A river (apparently) runs through it






These look like tyre munching rocks.



The road surface often changes very suddenly and can catch you unawares




My front wheel digs into the deep sand and I shudder to a standstill, but luckily the sand is so think it is hard to fall over. Trying to spin my bike out only digs the hole at the back, but with a shove from Gary, I’m soon on the go again.




Someone has very generously dug a hole in the middle of that path, spinning to get out




I manage not to fall into the trap, and jubilate when I reach the top of that little uphill




The lengthening shadows of the sinking sun plays tricks on the eyes and catches Keith out. Unable to see the height of the rocky ridge he is approaching, he miscalculates and buys a small plot. Scottish Leader rushes forward to help him but I grab his arm and tell him to wait while I take photo's.

"Sorry Keith", shouts Gary, "I want to come help but Ri won't let me, until she's taken photo's!" Cheeky young twerp. It is but a moments work to immortalise one of Keith's very rare falls, and then our eager Scotsman can go help pick up the bike.

Keith hurts his knee a bit in the fall, but thankfully no great damage is done and we can carry on.




He tried to stop the fall with his knee, he says…




« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 09:59:08 am by Ri »
 
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Online Offshore

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2020, 08:53:46 pm »
Enjoying the RR, That Scottish Leader is quiet a Silver Tongued Devil with his Back pain and all, I must try that sometime. >:D
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2020, 09:38:54 pm »
Enjoying the RR, That Scottish Leader is quiet a Silver Tongued Devil with his Back pain and all, I must try that sometime. >:D

 :laughing4:

Who are you going to try it on, though?  >:D