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Author Topic: Rat racer's weekend getaways  (Read 4279 times)

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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #140 on: October 20, 2020, 08:50:49 am »

Thanks for that explanation


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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #141 on: October 20, 2020, 09:03:39 am »
Keep it coming  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #142 on: October 20, 2020, 08:44:52 pm »
I continued further north following the dirt highway running on top of the mountain range through couple of villages:




















« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 08:45:30 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #143 on: October 20, 2020, 08:52:26 pm »
I came to a crossing where the main road descended west down the mountain, while much less frequented side road continued north. I too the road north pushing hard as it was getting late and I still hoped I can make it to the pass running east west across the range at about middle of its length. As this was the road less travelled it became more interesting and gnarly peppered with somewhat technical sections here and there.Much better than the dirt highway I was on for the past 20 or so km.






































« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 08:53:34 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #144 on: October 20, 2020, 09:01:45 pm »
Eventually the track ended in a little decreipt kraal, from which I could clearly see the road running over the pass I was aiming for to the north. But it was still about 6 km away as the crow flies and there was no obvious track heading that way. The two locals confirmed (I think, they spoke only Afrikaans, which I'm not fluent in) that there indeed is no way down to the pass. There was big boulder field that I might have even attempted if I would know that there is track further down the valley, but as I didn't know that and as it was past 4 pm now, I conceded the defeat for today and turned back to backtrack dozen or so km back to the dirt highway and run down the west side.























« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 09:02:45 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #145 on: October 20, 2020, 09:06:55 pm »
Heading back to the dirt road and down the west side of the mountains:


































Down in the first village I stopped for the cold Coke and then rode through uncontrolled village sprawl in the diminshing light 50 km back to Steelpoort for sleepover.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 09:07:59 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #146 on: October 20, 2020, 10:53:09 pm »
Any chance of taking the 690 to explore more of the obscure tracks in the near future ? This is good stuff !
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #147 on: October 21, 2020, 09:06:00 am »
Any chance of taking the 690 to explore more of the obscure tracks in the near future ? This is good stuff !

I will go again with 500. 690 is too heavy for some of the sections - at least solo.

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #148 on: October 21, 2020, 09:20:10 pm »
Next day I woke up to even hotter day. The plan was to gun it on main tar / dirt roads to that pass I failed to reach yesterday and just got glimpse from 6 km away and try to find connection back south to the roads I have ridden day before. Looking at the satellite images night before on my phone, I spotted track I missed at home and it looked promising, so I was keen to find out what is what.

I made it to the pass without glitch through the urban / village sprawl prevalent in these parts thanks to unregulated free for all construction approach. I found the track I have seen on the satellite and hit it straight away. I turned nasty straight away. Still fresh in the morning I cleared first two - three rough bits in one go, but then decided to take it easy, stopped and went to investigate on foot, as the gradients and terrain indicated that sooner or later I'm going to run into proper hurdle.

















« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 09:20:55 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #149 on: October 21, 2020, 09:26:24 pm »
And sure enough, right around the corner the things got interesting. I have walked two - three hundred meters up and the track was badly washed out. I would consider trying it on 990 being fresh with group of people willing to lend a hand. But I was pretty wasted from the day before, it was hot and solo, so decided to rather come back on 500 later on and returned back to the main road running up the pass.


























« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 09:27:12 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #150 on: October 21, 2020, 09:31:50 pm »
Riding up the pass, I went to check another candidate for the connection south km or two up the road in the sharp bend - the one I have seen yesterday from high above about 6 km away. Promisingly there was track going up the valley, but annoyingly it finished after about km or 2 in little clearing in the grass. Absolutely no idea of what the point of the tracks was.





























« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 09:32:59 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #151 on: October 21, 2020, 09:36:48 pm »
After the little detour I continued on the main road up the pass. In the upper reaches the pass got gnarly in places, but nothing that average guy who has done let's say Sani pass on big bike couldn't do. The views from the higher up are quite impressive.


























« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 09:37:39 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Clockwork Orange

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #152 on: October 22, 2020, 03:21:00 pm »
Brilliant!!! :thumleft:
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #153 on: October 23, 2020, 06:54:52 pm »
At the top of the pass I have turned to side track running noth towards couple of mines. Initially it was a mine road and soon I came to sign forbading entry of unauthorized vehicles, whatever that is. So I had to go off my plotted route - the dirt road contined down the mountain west so I pushed on until I came down to village, where I left the dirt road and went offpiste into the dry river bed in directinon of tracks I have plotted further north.

It was interesting how that pass divides the range into two quite different parts. The southern bit is higher and more rugged like Lesotho, while the northern part is series of lower koppies with flat bits in between, which reminded me of Kaokoland and of course much more rideable on big bike. I have explored around for a bit more, but roundabout 1 pm I called it a day as it was extremely hot and I had very long commute back to Joburg to still get done.

I will be back on smaller bike to finalize all the routes I wanted and figure out routes for big bikes as well as some more challenging routes for smaller bikes. Plenty of tracks and riverbeds still to explore.
























































« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 06:56:14 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #154 on: October 24, 2020, 08:39:46 pm »
After the little detour I continued on the main road up the pass. In the upper reaches the pass got gnarly in places, but nothing that average guy who has done let's say Sani pass on big bike couldn't do. The views from the higher up are quite impressive.


























Today, it was rougher than I seem to remember it from before. Some of those rocks have some car sump scars on them, you have to be desperate to drive normal car through there
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #155 on: October 24, 2020, 08:48:02 pm »
@sidetrack : Yes, it is getting rougher and rougher - I guess since the roads around the mountains were tarred, it is easier to go around for locals, rather than navigate this one.

Did you ride any of the sidetracks (pun intended)? On top of that pass you ran turn right - north on big dirt highway which will take you to mines and further north where the good riding (even on big hippo) awaits. South of that pass is IMO inpenetrable on big cow - for 500 (or possibly 690) I do have very promising track - the one shown in my thread).

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #156 on: October 24, 2020, 08:54:25 pm »
@sidetrack : you should have asked - I would have sent you GPS tracks I have ridden / plotted in that area. Would give you plenty to explore.

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #157 on: October 24, 2020, 09:07:27 pm »
@sidetrack : Yes, it is getting rougher and rougher - I guess since the roads around the mountains were tarred, it is easier to go around for locals, rather than navigate this one.

Did you ride any of the sidetracks (pun intended)? On top of that pass you ran turn right - north on big dirt highway which will take you to mines and further north where the good riding (even on big hippo) awaits. South of that pass is IMO inpenetrable on big cow - for 500 (or possibly 690) I do have very promising track - the one shown in my thread).
My plan was to take the Steelpoort mountain track towards R555 to join my next section but it was already 2pm, very hot, fully loaded bike and it was a bit more technical then I expected so sanity prevailed. I doubt it becomes easier ? Itís quite long just judging on the gps. Lost a lot of time in the morning getting lost on some single track and ending up at a fence. Rode some nice tracks next to the Olifants river though  :thumleft:  Had to cut my route short and take the dreaded tar. Tired from the village speed humps and stray animals
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #158 on: October 24, 2020, 09:12:58 pm »
@sidetrack : Yes, it is getting rougher and rougher - I guess since the roads around the mountains were tarred, it is easier to go around for locals, rather than navigate this one.

Did you ride any of the sidetracks (pun intended)? On top of that pass you ran turn right - north on big dirt highway which will take you to mines and further north where the good riding (even on big hippo) awaits. South of that pass is IMO inpenetrable on big cow - for 500 (or possibly 690) I do have very promising track - the one shown in my thread).
My plan was to take the Steelpoort mountain track towards R555 to join my next section but it was already 2pm, very hot, fully loaded bike and it was a bit more technical then I expected so sanity prevailed. I doubt it becomes easier ? Itís quite long just judging on the gps. Lost a lot of time in the morning getting lost on some single track and ending up at a fence. Rode some nice tracks next to the Olifants river though  :thumleft:  Had to cut my route short and take the dreaded tar. Tired from the village speed humps and stray animals

Well as said, next time just ask. No point running into the same dead ends I already did. I have no problem sending the tracks I have ridden / plotted and warn you about the dead ends I encountered. There was only one on that river track, but I started further up where R579 crosses the river.

And yes - it gets beastly hot there. I took this weekend off and still felt a bit womitty in the sun - I believe remnants of the heatstroke I scored there last week. I am not going to explore it there again in summer on hippo - will bring 500 next time, which will make it breeze. And second yes - once you descent into the villages, it gets tedious really fasts.

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #159 on: October 24, 2020, 09:23:08 pm »
@sidetrack : Yes, it is getting rougher and rougher - I guess since the roads around the mountains were tarred, it is easier to go around for locals, rather than navigate this one.

Did you ride any of the sidetracks (pun intended)? On top of that pass you ran turn right - north on big dirt highway which will take you to mines and further north where the good riding (even on big hippo) awaits. South of that pass is IMO inpenetrable on big cow - for 500 (or possibly 690) I do have very promising track - the one shown in my thread).
My plan was to take the Steelpoort mountain track towards R555 to join my next section but it was already 2pm, very hot, fully loaded bike and it was a bit more technical then I expected so sanity prevailed. I doubt it becomes easier ? Itís quite long just judging on the gps. Lost a lot of time in the morning getting lost on some single track and ending up at a fence. Rode some nice tracks next to the Olifants river though  :thumleft:  Had to cut my route short and take the dreaded tar. Tired from the village speed humps and stray animals

When you say you wanted to take the Steelpoort mountain track to R555, you mean the one that runs south of the pass? That one is quite doable but you cannot connect to it diretly from the pass (well I believe you can but on 500, not hippo). You need to get over the pass you did to the western side and then climb back up on the range in the village just to the south of the park (I did that last weeked on day 1 in the opposite direction). That route is quite doable as it runs through many villages and settlements on top and is being used extensivley - I would say it is an equivalent of dirt road on Lesotho.