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Author Topic: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)  (Read 12641 times)

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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2020, 12:42:59 pm »
Legadema, Weskus and I did Postal a few years ago, took us 45 minutes.

Once were warriors.

 :pot: :pot:

... on 250s? :ricky:

Nee, ek speel nie met klein goedjies nie, ek was op die magtige XT600E. :imaposer:

My eye was of course not drawn to any interesting rock formations. :'(

I ride like @lightcycle and his lovely wife: I go slow :ricky:

I have no concept of time when I ride. I never look at the cellphone except to take pictures or to check for reception. I don't wear a watch, and don't have one on the bike. I'll ask someone the time and forget it the next second. I don't mind riding at night so it's not a problem for me if I don't get there in the daytime. When I ride, time ceases to exist.

So maybe better not to let me set the pace on a potentially challenging route when there is a cut-off time to when dinner is served... ::)
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2020, 01:39:01 pm »
Legadema, Weskus and I did Postal a few years ago, took us 45 minutes.

Once were warriors.

 :pot: :pot:

... on 250s? :ricky:

Nee, ek speel nie met klein goedjies nie, ek was op die magtige XT600E. :imaposer:

My eye was of course not drawn to any interesting rock formations. :'(

I ride like @lightcycle and his lovely wife: I go slow :ricky:

I have no concept of time when I ride. I never look at the cellphone except to take pictures or to check for reception. I don't wear a watch, and don't have one on the bike. I'll ask someone the time and forget it the next second. I don't mind riding at night so it's not a problem for me if I don't get there in the daytime. When I ride, time ceases to exist.

So maybe better not to let me set the pace on a potentially challenging route when there is a cut-off time to when dinner is served... ::)

Ri you have got the perfect outlook, not even the impulsive me can free myself from the clock' s responsibilities  :-\
 

Offline tgg

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #82 on: January 19, 2020, 04:43:03 pm »
Legadema, Weskus and I did Postal a few years ago, took us 45 minutes.

Once were warriors.

 :pot: :pot:
ek jy , weskus en blinkes, die posroete self is pret dit was die voor se sand wat my amper laat vrek het , 4 biere en 2 liter water was ook nie reg vir 38 dag nie. Weskus wou mos oefen vir n amageza
 
 

Offline tgg

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2020, 04:47:09 pm »
ons het 425 km gery vir die dag en jy was op so blou fucked yamaha, nog later sirkels gery oppie vlak

45 minutes, ???? :) :imaposer:
 

Offline tgg

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #84 on: January 19, 2020, 04:53:03 pm »
en dit is RI se storie, sy is mos nie jy of weskus nie ou top.
Sleg van jou

Gaan donner weer in die pas neer
 
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Offline Crossed-up

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #85 on: January 19, 2020, 06:23:08 pm »
Move along, move along......


Great report Ri.

And all credit to the 3 of you testing your limits like that.
 
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Offline Wooly Bugger

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #86 on: January 22, 2020, 11:20:53 am »
Thanks for sharing.
This is not life or death. It is an internet forum.
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2020, 05:37:49 pm »
The wide riverbed feels never ending. Cement strips provide some relief, but the stone passages has Blue jumping about like a mountain goat. I attack, leaning over Blueís handlebars with the throttle wide open, waiting for the inevitable fall. Blue jumps and tilts at crazy angles, but forward momentum is my friend, and Blue delivers me safely to the next hazard.




I donít know how Gary manages the big KTM, but he is not far behind me, our Scottish Leader seemingly relishing anything that isn't sand.






My adrenaline spikes and Iím ready to storm the next hurdle, a path of stones laid through the Doring River, but I must come to a halt: Keith is carefully walking his bike over the rocky path. Iím disappointed: in my mindís eye I fearlessly (foolishly?) conquer the left track.




Very tranquil place to take a forced break







As the adrenaline dissipates, I wilt. Itís been a long day, and my legs are short. I ask Keith to paddle my bike over this last stretch, Iím not going to try and walk the bike across. With his longer legs, it is no problem for Keith, and Gary walks along to give a helping push now and then.













Then it itís Garyís turn to walk his behemoth across. Keith walks alongside for moral support, but basically talks him through it.










When he reaches the other side, Gary is an interesting shade of puce, properly knackered. Keeping control of the big bike while also pushing it across the big stones is hard work, and his forearms are pumped and his hands cramped and stiff.




Then, with a big Father Christmas-grin, Keith breaks the news: We've done it! We've completed the Old Postal Route.




We stare at him somewhat dumbstruck, not immediately taking in what he is saying. Then Gary whoops, and leaning forward like he is about to do the haka, he roars: "I can almost TASTE the brandeeeee".  After this there is no stopping Gary, and we roar off to Tankwa Padstal, arriving just before they close at 5p,


Leaving Old Postal




 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2020, 06:36:35 pm »
We turn right onto the R355, arrow straight towards Ceres, and gooi mielies. I don't know the time but the sky has that late afternoon metallic tint. Soon Keith and Gary are dusty specks on the horizon. Then, suddenly, Tankwa Padstal is on my left and I have to throw anchors before the turn-off. Thankfully the place is still open, and there are a few other visitors about.






When I walk through the court yard, a startling spectacle meets my eyes: a young boy is sitting holding his foot, manfully displaying a mangled and bleeding toenail. The boy and a girl were playing on the merry-go-round and he stepped off, misjudging the speed. To his delight, I have some plasters in my rucksack, and I give two to his playmate to stick on the dusty toe. A matronly lady steps closer as well, and asks in a concerned voice what happened, seeming unfussed at the sight of the broken toenail.

As the girl leans in to stick on the plaster, she asks whether she should rip off the broken half of the toenail. The boy's voice, until then rocksteady, starts the wobble a complaint at the painful prospect. The break is very close to the nail bed and I tell her to leave it on, it will fall off by itself eventually. Yes, the matronly lady agrees, leave it on. The boy's relief is palpable, and his grin is back as he proudly presents his war wounds for plastering. He'll be bragging about this for months!




When I step into the bar, Gary is already ordering a round of double brandy and coke, and Keith and I accept gratefully. I drink the refreshing beverage slightly too fast and feel the headrush coming on. Gary in the meantime is on a roll, and is already ordering another round, but I manage to head him off and ask for something unalcoholic to dilute the previous double. Unperturbed, he plows through his second B&C and then orders a third.



In the meantime, hearing that we still plan to trek back to Oasis tonight, the proprietors of the bar try to persuade us to rather stay over at Bike X Cape, 10 km down the road. I'm not against the idea, because dusk is falling fast now and our fuel is running a bit low, but Keith is adamant that we return to Oasis. I do some vague calculations and figure out that we should reach Oasis, 90km away, in about 2 hours from when we leave Padstal. I phone Oasis and place a substantial order for dinner, explaining that we'll be back late.

Finally we head off down the R355 again, turning right towards Skittery Pass, to ride straight into the sinking sun. Keith lets me lead again, and I silently vow that it will NOT take 2 hours to reach Oasis.

I have the foolish tendency to stop caring when I'm tired. Where others become more careful, and slow down as their concentration and energy wanes, I become reckless, intent only on reaching my destination. I slouch bonelessly in my seat and pin it as fast as my nerves can stand, barely lifting my bum over bumps and nonchalantly opening the throttle even more when the back wheel starts to slide.

The very short peak of the Shoei frustrates me as I twist my head at unnatural angles to avoid the stabbing sun, but the gravel road is bliss. It was scraped in the very recent past, and I find myself accelerating on the wide open straits towards the Cederberg. Suddenly the bike stutters, and I quickly bend down to turn the tap to reserve. Blue keeps his composure, and soon we reach the t-junction and turn-off towards Cederberg. Only about 50km still to go, but I've been on reserve for 20km already.

I tell the guys: I'm not going to slow down, but I don't know how long my reserve will last as I've never ridden the bike to a standstill. If they see my slowing down, one or the other had better be ready to pillion me to Oasis. Gary snorts and says, "They don't call it adventure riding for nothing! You take it as it comes. If you run out, you'd be'er start walking!"

I give him a calculated look, then open up and pull away to roar down the last stretch of gravel with complete disregard for my meagre fuel reserves, hoping to reach Oasis before all the light is gone. I've ridden to Oasis in the dark before, long ago when I had a showdown with a Jetta, and although it was fun in it's way, I'd like to avoid it if I can.

The ride continues, a feast of the senses with the cooling breezes and the dusk painting beautiful colours across the sky. My fuel continues to hold out, and finally we snore into the camp just after 8pm, about 90 minutes after we left Tankwa Padstal. Yessss! Mission accomplished.\o/








We don't even have time to strip off our gear before Jacques brings out our dinner of perfectly prepared steaks, and we attack it like starved wolves.






Stomache full, the hard day starts to take its toll and I quickly wash up and crawl into my tent to sleep the sleep of the dead, after acknowledging the friendly welcomes shouted by my neighbours.
 
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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2020, 08:04:07 pm »
Ri you got a way with words, I am enjoying the read  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #90 on: January 24, 2020, 10:59:21 pm »
Some of Gary's photo's of the day's ride, taken with his cell phone. They are not in order.




My flattering Matruska Doll-look










I look like Inspector Gadget, always with the camera in my hand















Everyone shunned my nuts :(




The thickness of the sand in the riverbeds is not exagerated




Recognise those interesting rock formations in the distance?




The End:

 
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Offline Offshore

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #91 on: January 24, 2020, 11:03:52 pm »
Great RR, Thank you, the Cape is very Dry and Hot hey?
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Offline Leo

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #92 on: January 25, 2020, 06:32:49 am »
Thanks for sharing. Great RR :ricky:
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Offline Rynet

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #93 on: January 25, 2020, 08:15:20 am »
Thank you Ri-Ri  :thumleft: :thumleft:

I really enjoyed this RR I don't think you are too wordy. You have a way of almost carelessly throwing words together in a sentence that just sound perfect, like RR poetry.  :drif: :drif:

Most of us I like your grit and your self deprecation and your humour.

BTW what are burglar bees ?  :lol8:

Thank you for caring to stop and taking beautiful photos. Brings back memories. The Postal Route is not easy and has tricked many a rider.

Look at how Tgg struggled on his last one a few years ago but then in West Coast fashion he packed in 4 liters of beer instead of water.   ::)   ( I still have a photo of him lying down resting in a shady spot , much worse for the wear than you guys  .)

Thank you and please don't stop :ricky: :ricky:
 

Offline Andyg

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #94 on: January 25, 2020, 09:46:23 am »
Awesome RR Ri. Really enjoyed it. Hats off for doing the route. If you ever up here in KZN give us shout and we can take you on some lekker rides.  :laughing4:
 
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Offline LouisL

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Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #95 on: January 25, 2020, 12:19:27 pm »
What a ride. Respect to you. Now I know to avoid this route :).
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Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #96 on: January 25, 2020, 12:41:54 pm »
What a ride. Respect to you. Now I know to avoid this route :).

What?! You don't plan to wheelie it from one end to the other in 30 minutes, like everyone else apparently did? :peepwall: :imaposer:

Thanks :thumleft:
 

Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #97 on: January 25, 2020, 12:45:49 pm »
Great RR, Thank you, the Cape is very Dry and Hot hey?

Yes it is generally the hot and dry season. Little rainfall means the river most likely won't be flooded and impassable, but becomes very hot that time of the year up to end of February. But it did rain in that area after we did the ride, if I'm not mistaken.

Karoo is one of the lowest rainfall areas on earth.
 

Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #98 on: January 25, 2020, 12:56:55 pm »
Thank you Ri-Ri  :thumleft: :thumleft:

I really enjoyed this RR I don't think you are too wordy. You have a way of almost carelessly throwing words together in a sentence that just sound perfect, like RR poetry.  :drif: :drif:

Most of us I like your grit and your self deprecation and your humour.

BTW what are burglar bees ?  :lol8:

Thank you for caring to stop and taking beautiful photos. Brings back memories. The Postal Route is not easy and has tricked many a rider.

Look at how Tgg struggled on his last one a few years ago but then in West Coast fashion he packed in 4 liters of beer instead of water.   ::)   ( I still have a photo of him lying down resting in a shady spot , much worse for the wear than you guys  .)

Thank you and please don't stop :ricky: :ricky:

Thanks so much, Rynet  :mwink:

The swarm of bees in my ceiling was attacked by burglar bees trying to steal their honey. Angry buzzing and carnage of bee bodies strewn everywhere. Who knew?!
 

Offline Ri

Re: Ri Ride: Old Postal At Last (20 - 22 December 2019) (Warning: Very Wordy)
« Reply #99 on: February 06, 2020, 03:10:04 pm »
On Saturday night I don’t actually go to bed early at all, come to think of it. I ask Scottish Leader whether he would mind sharing a celebratory bottle of red wine with me, and after downing his double brandy and coke, he happily complies. Keith also has a small glass, but heads off to bed early.

Gary and I eventually finish the bottle, chatting late into the night with @Gerrit@Oasis  Gerrit always keeps an eye on me and makes sure I get to my tent safe and sound, and this weekend is no exception.


Sunday

I stay in bed as late as I possibly can, trying to avoid light and sound with ear buds and a slightly uncomfortable sleeping mask, but the hot sun bakes me out of my tent the moment it brazenly sticks its head over the mountains. It is a beautiful blue-sky day, and I start to sort out my packing before heading to the restaurant for a cup of coffee and breakfast.

Breakfast is a lazy affair, as we are in no hurry to leave. We’ll make way our home by the simplest and most direct route, so there’s no need to rush. During breakfast, Keith asks Gary why he was coasting down the hills for the last part home. It turns out that Gary’s bike also went onto reserve on the way home yesterday, and he did this to preserve fuel.

Keith is the only one who didn’t have to go onto reserve. The reason is simple: he had calculated that his range was just about enough to do the 280 km circuit (plus the 65 km from Oppi-Berg), if he was careful with his fuel usage. For this reason, every time we came to a stop on our route, he immediately switched off his bike’s engine… and here I thought his bike had an idling problem.

I have no complaints about Blue. He brought me the entire almost 350 kms, of which about 70 km was on reserve, and this after I asked Keith to turn up the idling a bit, as Blue choked every time we came to a halt, and some spillage here and there after falls, and the high speed chase down the R355 to reach Tankwa, and then back to Oasis. By all accounts I should get about 20km to a litre, or 400km to a tank, but I only got that range once, at ruffian speeds during our June trip. Truthfully I don’t know the bike’s full range at my normal speeds, because I’ve never run out of fuel on a trip before.

After breakfast I finish packing up and then go pay my dues, chatting to Gerrit while I wait for Keith to sort out fuel and stuff. Indignantly I tell him about Scottish Leader’s heartless remark that it’s an adventure ride, I should walk when my bike runs out of fuel. “When a girl needs a lift and she’ll sit behind you and press her boobs against you, you don’t say no!”

Scottish Leader’s face, red from yesterday’s sun, turns incandescent. Gerrit’s face slackens. “… Ek sÍ niks…” he mutters while Gary shakes his head and barks a quick laugh.

Gary isn't joining us for the ride home. He has an extra day available, and plans to ride to Klawer and stay at Nama Bike Cape for the night. I ask him to give Wayne my regards. We say our good byes and head our separate ways.

When we reach the tar road, we stop and Keith re-inflates our tyres, and when we reach Oppi-berg we top up our fuel tanks.








Keith wants to walk through the AgriMark, but it is closed, and we carry on towards Ceres at a leisurely pace. My nerves tighten as always when I approach Gydo Pass, but there is little traffic and I can relax slightly as we swing through the curves.

We travel through Ceres without stopping, then turn left towards Worcester, and I become aware of an irritating rattle in my ear. Keith passes me by and flags me down to tell me that he saw something come loose on my helmet. It turns out to be a broken clip on the side of the helmet, causing the minuscule peak to flap in the wind. I remove the peak, and we continue, turning right into Bainskloof and stopping at Calabash for refreshments.

It is sweltering. We order chilli poppers which turn out to be quite good, and a beer and a glass of water to cool down. The place is quite busy, and foreign accents float about. Service is slow.










After the pitstop we meander through the beautiful Bainskloof. There isn’t much traffic about, but there are many cars parked at the side of the road, sometimes in the road, with people picnicking and swimming down below it seems. Just over the pass, Keith passes me to turn off the road for a last stop. We climb a little ridge to the left, and stand gazing down over the valley and Wellington. Keith points out and names the various mountains in view.

A couple suddenly joins us - they must have seen the bikes from the road, and on a whim turned to see what we are looking at. They are also local tourists, from Stellenbosch.  We turn our bikes around and after again adjusting Blue's front wheel, which is slightly skew again, we head up the rough little road and swing down towards and through Wellington.










On the R44, just past the Oude Windmeul, I turn off onto the Hoogstede Road, my last bit of gravel for this trip. Keith and I say our good byes, and I turn towards the Klipfontein Road, follow it for a bit, then turn left onto the Eenzaamheid Road.

The Eenzaamheid Road crosses the Animal Zone road that starts from the R44 just before it passes under the N1 bridge towards Stellenbosh, and goes all the way to past Sandringham Farm to Joostenberg Vlakte. On a whim, I turn away from Stellenbosch towards Joostenberg Vlakte to go say hi to @Dux . As usual, the helmet visor is up.

Suddenly a sharp dart hits my eyebrow and the stinging pain makes my eyes tear up. Barely able so see where I’m going, I quickly rub at the spot, hoping to disloge the stinger if it was a bee that flew into my face, and flip down the visor. I am a little dismayed at the thought of ending up with a swollen eye, Š la Xpat. Ah well.

At Donald’s place, the kids show me some veld mice they’d found and were managing to keep alive.






Donald regales me with stories of his Old Postal rides while I sip coffee. My helmet comes crashing down from it’s precarious perch and the other clip holding the visor on, breaks off. My brand new helmet is now completely visor less, destroyed after only two trips. Maybe I should stick to cheaper brands.

Because I love riding with my visor up, I also usually have goggles with me, and thankfully I find a pair in my rucksack. I’ll be able to ride home with more than safety glasses covering my eyes.

Without the peak and visor, the helmet looks very Darth Vader.




When I pass through Stellenbosch, I glance towards Casa del 2StrokeDan, but it’s probably a bit late for an unannounced visit. I quietly braap home over the last hills and dales into the setting sun, my head filled with dreams of rides past and plans of rides to come.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 03:23:07 pm by Ri »
 
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