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Author Topic: Rat racer's weekend getaways  (Read 4277 times)

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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #160 on: October 24, 2020, 09:35:20 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.
As you go up that pass (one I said is rougher now) right at the top there is a couple of houses and power lines. The track is on the left and starts right under the pylon. Red circle on map. I assume itís there for Eskom maintenance but itís not a proper road. I can only see Land Cruiser driving not normal cars that is for sure . I only did about 1km before turning back knowing I would be in over my head. I must have drank about 5L of water just today ?
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #161 on: October 24, 2020, 09:43:37 pm »
Oh yes, forgot about that connection. I have plotted it at home but didn't ride it. However it was only few km and then it connects to the dirt highway I was describing at the bottom of the mountains.

Edit: The bottom (southern most part) of your track, the sharp turn east and then down south where it connects to R555 - not a chance. I know it is a 'road' designated on googlemaps, but it is completely washed out - check my pictures from the first day and the most brutal sections are that 'road'. The only way from there is on the main road west and then down the pass to R555 on tar following the western side of the mountains (you can see that road on your map a bit) - I suspect that is the route you ended up taking if you were going to r555.

Well next time - if it is hot the hard work gets tedious on the big bike very quick.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 09:49:33 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #162 on: October 26, 2020, 05:34:36 pm »
What luggage do you take on your weekend trips ? I see mostly a top bag only. My tent rescued me from nasty mosquitoes Friday night even though I slept in an army style tent, note take some repellent next time.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 05:37:54 pm by sidetrack »
Little by little, one travels far
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #163 on: October 26, 2020, 06:20:48 pm »
What luggage do you take on your weekend trips ? I see mostly a top bag only. My tent rescued me from nasty mosquitoes Friday night even though I slept in an army style tent, note take some repellent next time.

I have GL Mojavi permanently on the bike (unless I'm taking the other bike - then it moves there) with all the tools spare tubes and crap. That stays on the bike even for day ride as obviously one needs to be able to fix stuff even on day ride.

If I go for weekend overnighter I just use 30 liter (never bigger) bag on top for clothes.

I do not carry camping gear unless I'm going to animal rich area where I would need shelter if I breakdown, or for longer trips as a back-up if I get unlucky with accommodation (I never book anything upfront). I'm gastro tourist - I camp only as a last resort or in the areas where there isn't alternative. If there is, I sleep in a bed like a gentleman.