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Author Topic: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie  (Read 1113 times)

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Offline sidetrack

Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« on: March 23, 2020, 09:01:45 am »
I have never ridden the Free State much, normally one just passes through the well known areas like Golden Gate and Memel to get somewhere else. On my last work trip to Bfn I marked interesting service roads leading off the N1 and set about using Google Earth to plot a route to link them all and I must say I had a fantastic weekend of riding. Almost endless dirt with many more to explore at a later date. It's Covid 19 everywhere you turn with no telling how long we need to stay at home so I knew it was now or never. My route started in Kroonstad, getting there I had to ride from Pretoria via Parys adding a significant distance to the trip and bringing the total to 1070km for the weekend. Maar n Yamaha is nie bang nie, never touched a tool for the whole weekend not even a puncture for which I'm very thankful for. Some scenic roads and a bit of history, lets go.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 09:37:07 am »
I have done the Parys route about 3 times before and have never seen so much Cosmos around and the veld nice and green another good reason to do the trip now before the winter browns appear. Just after the Baragwanath air field road I pass four other dual sport riders checking out some tracks next to the mountain. It's a nice sunny day and little dust around, I'm making good progress but only left home at 7 and have no idea how long the route will take me. Only thing worse then serious muddy roads are those dried up ones with huge ruts you have to dodge. It can make a journey take a lot longer. Luckily whatever rain there was previously only removed the dust and I can make some good time. My overnight stop will either be camping at Aldam or a B&B at the small town of Winburg. I have not decided yet and made no booking, we will see how the wind blows.

Parys still has a lot of people stopping by for the day, Corona thankfully has not reached it yet ! I fuel up get something to drink and ten head for Kroonstad. This first part does not have a lot of dirt so that I can get to Kroonstad where the route starts with some time in hand. Kroonstad surprises with it's architecture. Lots of nice sandstone buildings abound with lots of history, I take a couple of quick photos. In front of the NG Church Sarel Cilliers is depicted delivering the Blood River Vow, the town it's said is named after his horse who drowned in the river nearby.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 09:37:57 am by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline RobC

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 09:48:39 am »
Lekker!
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 10:03:54 am »
Sien uit na die res!! :thumleft: :drif:
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Offline Offshore

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 10:13:09 am »
 :thumleft:
 

Offline Black_Hawk

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 10:15:15 am »
Hierdie tipe trippies is kos vir die siel.

Baie dankie vir die deel en ons sien uit om die res te sien.  :thumleft:
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Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 10:59:13 am »
I navigate from the N1 onto the R34 and then from there take a left onto dirt. I miss the service road turnoff but backtrack quickly. Ah yes this is more like it, lekker quiet back roads with quite a lot of shrub around this is sure to change as I head further south. After a couple of km's a notice a tall fence to my left and the next thing I spot a moerse lion ! Bit further I see some warning signs, seems to be a breeding farm for lions as I spot about 8 or so in an enclosure. I try to take some pictures but they are too far away. They are very aware of my presence and look on intently. When the bike starts one runs for cover. Beautiful animals, I hope they don't end up being shot. The track runs into a low lying area almost marsh like with plenty of water around. I stop for a quick break.Plenty of water bird species around, where is Neo_za now my bird watching friend !

The GPS says I must turn right but the service road sign says straight on, I double check on my phones app as well and I'm on the right path. I follow a nice little sandy twee spoor heading east. No fences or gates just some very enjoyable riding where I eventually rejoin the S1162. Just across from the S181 service road there is a railway crossing at Holfontein after which I turn right heading down into a very scenic tree lined perfect dirt road. The leaves are turning yellow, autumn is creeping up on us but it makes for perfect riding weather. Free State where have you been all these years  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 11:08:30 am by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline MonkeyNot

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 11:05:38 am »
Sub  :sip:
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Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 11:24:31 am »
The route now turns south west and I ride through a valley heading towards Henneman, just before the town I take a left onto the R70 for a short stretch before getting back on the dirt. The ensuing 40 odd km's is just bliss. it will eventually end up at the N1 on one of the waypoints I marked. Just shows you what could lay hidden just off the dreaded N1 ! The track comes off a mountain into a lush valley then turns into a  twee spoor before crossing the Sand Rivier. Roads hugging moutains always makes for nice riding. I make it up to the N1 and watch the suckers doing 140 km/h racing off to Jhb or wherever. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 11:26:35 am by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline Dorsland

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 11:48:30 am »
Ek lees eerder die covid freds 2x as om fotos van daai Teneré hier te sien.  Ek was waaragtig 'n poepol om myne te verkoop.  Die Vrystaat het lanklaas so mooi gelyk soos nou.  En herfs is verreweg die heel beste tyd van die jaar.  Pragtige fotos.
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Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2020, 11:51:15 am »
I was now approaching Aldam, one of the options to stay over night. They have a stand but being school holidays at R540 ! Heck travelling alone I cant share the stands cost so seems a bit steep for one person for one night, there is a B&B in Winburg with a family room avaliable for R370. I have never been good at math but the latter makes rands and sense. Also looking at some clouds forming who knows having a roof might be a better choice  :biggrin: I don't mind camping actually prefer it sometimes just makes you feel even more like you are on a bike trip.

From Aldam I take the S463 for a 23km dead straight heading to Winburg. See those mountains in the background, well the road starts even beyond that. The thumper is turning 4000rpm, it likes those revolutions. I look in the mirror and a reassuring dust tail streaks out from behind me. Winburg and a well deserved cool drink here I come.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 12:01:04 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2020, 12:02:11 pm »
Ek lees eerder die covid freds 2x as om fotos van daai Teneré hier te sien.  Ek was waaragtig 'n poepol om myne te verkoop.  Die Vrystaat het lanklaas so mooi gelyk soos nou.  En herfs is verreweg die heel beste tyd van die jaar.  Pragtige fotos.
Dankie Dorsland, daai skerm op my Tenere kom van joune af. Het my touring skerm geruil vir Tom se seun se gewone een.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline Offshore

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2020, 12:11:25 pm »
That Autumn Pic looks great and so does your Bike. What condition are those Towns in, I have not been there for 30 Years.
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2020, 12:24:51 pm »
Winburg sits just off the N1 most people will only know it for the informal settlement which you see from the road but just on the other side of the hill is the little town itself. I approach it from the eastern side. There are only two paved roads. It's a typical small town which time has forgot but I made this my stop as I have seen photos and read up on the impressive church in the center of town. I settle into the Danke Schon guesthouse. Brunhilde and her husband runs the accommodation. Well priced and neat all that is needed. I meet a family that's driving up from George and would continue all the way to Kruger, I briefly think about telling them that lions can be seen just outside Kroonstad which will significantly shorten their trip but decide to not be a smart ass  :lol8: I ride into town but everything except the OK is closed. I manage to get a couple of snacks, no beer after a hard days ride. When I get back to the guesthouse the Georgians are having a braai and enjoying some Castle Lite but I stay strong and enjoy my Coke  ::)

Late in the afternoon I decide to go for a walk about taking some pictures. Some houses are quaint others have been poorly neglected and quite a lot of them are for sale. They must surely all date from the early 1900's. The town is the oldest proclaimed in the Free State although I have seen this being disputed with Philippolis being older. There is no doubt just like many other small towns that things have definitely taken a turn for the worst. I cant imagine how the most people make a living here, social grants ? If only this little town can become a Parys or Dullstroom. It has the potential for sure but not likely to ever happen  :(
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 12:26:46 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2020, 12:25:33 pm »
That Autumn Pic looks great and so does your Bike. What condition are those Towns in, I have not been there for 30 Years.
Some Winburg info to follow
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline MonkeyNot

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2020, 12:31:41 pm »
Winburg sits just off the N1 most people will only know it for the informal settlement which you see from the road but just on the other side of the hill is the little town itself. I approach it from the eastern side. There are only two paved roads. It's a typical small town which time has forgot but I made this my stop as I have seen photos and read up on the impressive church in the center of town. I settle into the Danke Schon guesthouse. Brunhilde and her husband runs the accommodation. Well priced and neat all that is needed. I meet a family that's driving up from George and would continue all the way to Kruger, I briefly think about telling them that lions can be seen just outside Kroonstad which will significantly shorten their trip but decide to not be a smart ass  :lol8: I ride into town but everything except the OK is closed. I manage to get a couple of snacks, no beer after a hard days ride. When I get back to the guesthouse the Georgians are having a braai and enjoying some Castle Lite but I stay strong and enjoy my Coke  ::)

Late in the afternoon I decide to go for a walk about taking some pictures. Some houses are quaint others have been poorly neglected and quite a lot of them are for sale. They must surely all date from the early 1900's. The town is the oldest proclaimed in the Free State although I have seen this being disputed with Philippolis being older. There is no doubt just like many other small towns that things have definitely taken a turn for the worst. I cant imagine how the most people make a living here, social grants ? If only this little town can become a Parys or Dullstroom. It has the potential for sure but not likely to ever happen  :(

Ek ry nou lekker saam!
Was nog net eenkeer vinnig in Winburg se dorpie en toe na n wedding venue gaan kyk buite die dorp naby n rivier.
Nice plekkie
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Previous: KTM 950 Super Enduro R, KTM 990 Adv x2, BMW G650 X-Challenge x4,  Yamaha XT 660R,  Honda XR650L, BMW R1200GS
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2020, 01:03:36 pm »
By far the most beautiful building in town is the NG Church, construction started in 1899 it is an imposing sandstone building. The bell tower's roof is made completely of stone and not slate or tiles like one normally sees. Lots of detail on the stone work which as I understand is quite difficult to achieve with sandstone as it's hard on tools. I wonder how many people still attend services on a Sunday, must be a much smaller congregation than years past. Really wanted to go and have a look inside but the gates were all closed and only open on Sundays.

I spot a place marker on my maps "Concentration Camp", 10 minutes away and I start walking. I arrive at the grave site, it's eerily quiet like a place everyone has forgotten about. Both British and Boer's were buried here. Some dates predate the war. The place is unkempt and overgrown, what a sad site for those who gave their lives. I read the names and places of birth on the head stones - Holland, Scotland and Ireland to name of few. Would these people have known that one day they will come to rest in a small forgotten little town thousands of miles from their place of birth. Did they have a better life compared to the places they left, would they have made the same choices ?
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2020, 01:14:55 pm »
At 11pm I awoke to a thunderstorm and heavy rain. Thank goodness I did not opt to camp, my poor boney was outside though but never fear it wont let me down. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Tomorrow is another day to explore.
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline skydiver

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2020, 07:23:52 pm »
Ek ry saam  :ricky:
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Offline Neo_za

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Re: Pre lock down ride, die Vrystaat is nie boring nie
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2020, 07:53:59 pm »
Lekker report and great photos as ever :thumleft:

Will make a birder out of you yet  :biggrin: