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Author Topic: Rat racer's weekend getaways  (Read 3414 times)

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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2020, 02:06:21 pm »
Oh, this will go in next time Xpat - it'll sound like a wuss but game seems to like that more.
Sorry  :P

Yeah, that will help  8)

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2020, 09:21:07 pm »
Day 2 - Moselasela lodge to Thabazimbi to GP

Still a bit tired from long prior day, we were up for slow morning and late start. We managed to set off only at about 10:00 which wasn't ideal as we had still quite a bit of distance to cover.

The original plan was to gun it on dirt & tar to Thabazimbi, then do a bit of rose sniffing around Waterberge and then gun it south to GP via Rooiberg and Lethalibe / Ga Rasai. I hoped we will be able to squeeze in bush tracks running south from Ga Rankuwa that we frequent on the weekends, but the late start and the fact that these would be right at the end of dense 1000 km weekend, made that highly unlikely.

We gunned it on dirt highways to Dwaalboom, where we filled up, I toped up oil in my clutch that seemed to be disappearing, and then we pushed on on tar to Thabazimbi. We didn't linger ther but rather pushed to to Waterberg and Marakale NP and rode up the Baker's pass for a bit of scenery. From there we continued on the high plain east to Rankin pass, after which we turned back west and reconnected to the main Thabazimbi - Rooiberg dirt highway.

The pub at Rooiberg was closed (does that place actually still operate - haven't seen it open ever), so I filled up again at the garage and after quick burger at the supermarket we pushed on south to Leewpoort and Asen. Past Asen I tried to lure Bart into the bush tracks heading in the direction of Jericho, but after a km of sand he wasn't having any of that so we backtracked and headed home on the dirt highway via Brits and Harties.

All in all, very good weekend, but next time I will start Friday afternoon for sleepover in Koster or Zeerust, that would allow to hit the good track along border right in the morning and will leave more time for exploring.

Moselasela lodge:























« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 09:22:24 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2020, 09:26:35 pm »
Waterberge and Baker's pass:





























« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 09:27:48 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2020, 09:35:50 pm »
Highlands at the back of Waterberge towards Rankin's pass:
























Giraffes near Rooiberg:







And the little bit of bush at the end:





« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 09:37:30 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline mtr89

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2020, 09:39:55 pm »
@Xpat , your ride reports are always good. thanks for sharing
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Offline BuRP

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2020, 12:33:28 am »
I actually never knew you write (rather nice!) RR's, it explains why you took many a photo.
Spent this evening browsing your Moz-one - awesome riding that, well written too.
Thanks for these, I should browse that forum area more!  :thumleft:
Sparta MC50, 46 other 50cc's, Garelli Tiger Cross, Jawa 250, Kreidler RS (plated), Kawasaki S1 250/3, S2 350/3, H1 500/3, H2 750/3, Suzuki GT380/3 - 10 year gap - KDX200, BMW 1150GS Adventure, Honda CBR600RR, Honda XR650R 2007 & 2003, Honda CRF230, Yamaha BWS100, BMW F800GS Adventure, Husqvarna 701 Enduro 2018, KTM 790 Adv R 2019, KTM 2020 XC-W TPI 300 Six Days, KTM 2014 500 EXC-W Six Days, KTM 790 Adv R Rally 2020
 

Offline Noneking

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2020, 07:46:14 am »
Lekker report! ........ as always :thumleft:
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NONEKING'S RIDE REPORTS - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=226099.0
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2020, 07:58:52 am »
Lekker report! ........ as always :thumleft:

Thank you  :thumleft:

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2020, 10:58:28 am »
You guys not on the road yet ?
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien

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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2020, 11:28:39 am »
You guys not on the road yet ?

Definitely not - I still have to work to eat. But we will be tomorrow...

Offline DR BIG 750

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2020, 05:56:32 am »
nice RR , like your info on the big bike side of it as against using the 500, I have a similar predicament the 950Adv S is sitting a lot now , think I am getting soft since hitting sixO, still ride mx track most weekends, but 200+ kg at a 6foot seat height, has me waning, a bit, i did a trip a while back got caught in rain on very clay type roads down fouriesburg way, scared the shit out of me, used to ride thick sand on  it rocks etc, but that mud put off big bikes in the dirt,  also nursing  broken ribs at the moment, from the 450 but thats another story, lekker ride  :thumleft my presently retired beastie
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2020, 08:09:05 pm »
Legklameetse & Wolkberg - August 2020

Last weekend Bart (@BuRP) and I did bush ride along the Bots border, so for this past weekend I prescribed mountains to get a bit of the change in scenery. With Lesotho and Swaziland still being off the limits due to Covid nonsense, I went for the closest equivalent within GP weekend reach - Lekglameetse and Wolkberg mountains south of Tzaneen. Bart was keen to tag along and we opted for 690 / 701 instead of the last week's 990 / 790 combo. I was actually keen to take 990 but it was in a desparate need for maintenance, which proved to be very lucky for me.

The plan was simple:
- Day 1 - ride up the Penge pass to Legkalameetse and onwards to Tzaneen for overnighter.
- Day 2 - ride down from Tzaneen through Wolkberg reserve trail (that brings one down to bottom of the Orrie Baragwanath pass) and from there back home.

I have spent few weekends riding some of those tracks pre-Covid and knew, that it is just too far to get there and back plus ride those tracks in two days, so decided to set-up closer base camp in Tonteldoos in Highside Tavern - an establishment well known and frequented by GP riders. The plan was to meet up there on Friday evening - Bart will be trailering his bike on bakkie, while I will slab it there after work on Friday - for an early start on Saturday. Similarly, we would sleep over there after return on Sunday and then I will slab it early in the morning to be back home in time for the rat race kick-off.

That is more or less how it played out - we met at the Tavern and after hearty dinner and beer or 5 in the bar, retreated to the farm house for an early start on Saturday.





« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 08:10:28 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2020, 08:31:48 pm »
Day 1 - Tonteldoos to Penge pass to Legklameetse to Tzaneen


In the morning we packed up and set-off around half past 8. First we still had to commute to the Burgersfort - set-off point for Penge (well more like set-off point still about 40 km away from Penge) - which was about 120 km away. Peter - owner of Highside Tavern recommended to go via Lydenburg, as the tar road between Lydenburg and Burgersfort is very scenic.

Which is what we did, until about 10 - 15 km before Lydenburg, when I noticed a shortcut through the mountains. We would miss the scenic pass, but it was dirt which takes preference so we turned on and headed into the mountains. This turned out to be a cracker of a pass - gnarly and remote with great scenery. Unfortunatelly at the end it turned out to be on private property - or at least on property owned by community of owners with locked security gate. It was an honest mistake on our side - we did come across a gate with sign No visitors Private Property or some such, but when we stopped at the gate some people who were about just opened the gate and waved us through as well as through another gate on the same compound about 100 meters further on, so we just assumed that the signs were for the compound itself.

The track past this compound got gradually more gnarly and we had great ride over very scenic pass untill we descended into valley on the other side. There we came across number of empty but maintained houses - probably holiday houses of people locked up at home to avoid the flu - this was clearly white man's territory unlike the other side of the mountain which looked more like tribal land.

When we were withing km or two of rejoing tar south for Burgersfort, we came upon big gate locked with the combination lock. There was noone around and no way to get through (we weren't going to try 10000 combination on the lock) so we backtracked stopping at individual houses hoping somebody can help us through as it was long way to backtrack all the way back and we would loose too much of time. Most of the houses were empty, but eventually we came upon house of an alternative couple who lived there permanently by the look of things and they nicely gave us the code for the lock so we could make it out of the valley and back on track to Penge without massive detour.

Here are some pics from that unexpected beauty of a valley:



























































« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 08:33:31 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2020, 09:03:53 pm »
We made it to Burgersfort with all the delays only at about noon and stopped for petrol. Bart also had to eat - he is older gentleman with old timey ways: he still thinks that eating multiple times a day is a way to go, not knowing that this archaic habit makes one fat, diabetic, low on energy and - most importantly - eats into ones riding time  :pot: >:D.

To be fair, he has been quick about it, inhaling two rolls of something over garbage can in Engen garage and we were off again. Which couldn't be  second too early, as the place was hive of activity with gridlocked traffic and people milling everywhere in the typical African chaotic manner. It took us good 15 - 20 minutes to get ourself disentangled from the gridlock - and that was us overtaking whichever way was available (mostly on shoulder), pushing oncoming traffic off the road and the usual stuff upstanding biking citizens do when riled up by masses of caged civilians. I was really glad when we finally made it to to quieter sideroad where we could open up and gun it for Penge town deep inside the surrounding mountains.

Once there we hit the track up the mountain straight away and almost got overrun again but about 10 4x4s - mostly Wranglers - which just came down the pass. After that the pass was ours and were pushing hard as we were a bit late. I have done the pass about a year ago on 690 and was keen to come and do it on 990 - purely for the bragging rights of course. My 990 was very tired after months of doing whoops in DeWildt and such, and I was relegated to 690, which turned out to be a strike of good luck. The pass was way more gnarly then I remembered it and I would be extremely lucky to make it up with one clutch (but then I do carry spare on 990 anyway...). It would have been very hard work and we would probably not make it to the Legkalameetse gate on the other side on time before they close for the day.

Here some imagery of going up the pass:























































« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 09:05:27 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2020, 09:32:52 pm »
Once at the top, one gets a nice view of the Legkalameetse massive across the valley. It is at this point that Penge has a way to catch you and not let go. The ride up is gnarly and steep enough (much more technical than Orrie B pass for example), but I would probably give it a try on 990 as if I couldn't make it I would just turn and ride back down. However past the highest point the route descents very steeply through series of sharp switchbacks running on loose small rocks down to the valley below. And the only way out of that vally is either back up the slope, or on the other side with equally gnarly and steep sections. If one cannot make it up one of those slopes, it is long walk home.






























Going up the other side of the valley, Bart was feeling the strain and took it slowly. The trickiest bit is at the top of the vallye and I cleared with a bit of luck in one go. Bart was taking his time so I walked down to check what is up. He eventually arrived quite knackered and I offered to take his bike up the steep bit, which he agreed to. As soon as I start going I understood what Bart's problem was. He had TKC 80 that came with the bike on - a tyre that BMW riders consider an 'offroad' tyre while espousing its many benefits on tar (hint hint). That thing wasn't providing any traction, and I had my work cut out for me. I have manged to get it up, but it wasn't pretty with plenty of clutch slip and leg waving all over.

Which was a big relief as Bart was out of water and I knew that the next sections will take us down to river and be much more manageable.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 09:42:34 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline BuRP

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2020, 10:07:23 pm »
Bart also had to eat - this archaic habit makes one fat

Me, fat?
Nooit ek se!
It's the jacket plus Xpat's fish-eye lens Girls, don't believe a word he says!  :P


The good news is though, with this type of (grrrrrreat, more!) workout I am destined to loose a few grams, so here's to hoping!  :thumleft:
Sparta MC50, 46 other 50cc's, Garelli Tiger Cross, Jawa 250, Kreidler RS (plated), Kawasaki S1 250/3, S2 350/3, H1 500/3, H2 750/3, Suzuki GT380/3 - 10 year gap - KDX200, BMW 1150GS Adventure, Honda CBR600RR, Honda XR650R 2007 & 2003, Honda CRF230, Yamaha BWS100, BMW F800GS Adventure, Husqvarna 701 Enduro 2018, KTM 790 Adv R 2019, KTM 2020 XC-W TPI 300 Six Days, KTM 2014 500 EXC-W Six Days, KTM 790 Adv R Rally 2020
 

Offline BuRP

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2020, 10:08:25 pm »



Going up the other side of the valley, Bart was feeling the strain and took it slowly. The trickiest bit is at the top of the vallye and I cleared with a bit of luck in one go. Bart was taking his time so I walked down to check what is up. He eventually arrived quite knackered and I offered to take his bike up the steep bit, which he agreed to. As soon as I start going I understood what Bart's problem was. He had TKC 80 that came with the bike on - a tyre that BMW riders consider an 'offroad' tyre while espousing its many benefits on tar (hint hint). That thing wasn't providing any traction, and I had my work cut out for me. I have manged to get it up, but it wasn't pretty with plenty of clutch slip and leg waving all over.

And my sweaty thanks for that, I genuinely needed it!
Yes, I bought the 701 Enduro, and it came with these tyres, now (I checked lol) 4232 km's old, so they must be as good as the bike right?
Bit worn now though.... so tomorrow a nice spanking new fresh Mitas CO2 will go on - did you know @Runner still sells this no-longer-produced tyre?
Dunno who's arm he twists but he's got quite a few of them, made to his order or something, and one's mine!
Sparta MC50, 46 other 50cc's, Garelli Tiger Cross, Jawa 250, Kreidler RS (plated), Kawasaki S1 250/3, S2 350/3, H1 500/3, H2 750/3, Suzuki GT380/3 - 10 year gap - KDX200, BMW 1150GS Adventure, Honda CBR600RR, Honda XR650R 2007 & 2003, Honda CRF230, Yamaha BWS100, BMW F800GS Adventure, Husqvarna 701 Enduro 2018, KTM 790 Adv R 2019, KTM 2020 XC-W TPI 300 Six Days, KTM 2014 500 EXC-W Six Days, KTM 790 Adv R Rally 2020
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2020, 07:53:27 am »
Pffft Penge is a walk in the park
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 09:19:00 am by sidetrack »
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2020, 09:08:24 am »
Great reporting as always! Thanks for sharing.

With you becoming more normal and getting about on the 990, I would also love to join sometime, maybe meet up at Koster or such.

You have a knack of planning/stumbling upon great riding!
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Offline Xpat

Re: Rat racer's weekend getaways
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2020, 09:28:58 am »
Once we were out of the valley we still had about 15 km to the gate to do, first descending down the steep valley to the river and then through the forrest along the river. This forrest section is my favourite on this ride as it is the proper old original forrest, not a tree farm that most often passes for 'forrest' in SA.

It was quite late so we didn't linger and pushed on as we wanted to get to Tzaneen before dark. It was also overcast so the colors in the forrest were not what I was used to from my prior visits.



















We have made it to the gate in good time, I have paid the entrance fees (more like exit), while Bart filled up his camel back and then it was just a mad dash 40 or so km to Tzaneen, where we booked into local lodge. For the evening Bart took us to visit his friend and her family who are farming in the area and who made lovely braai for us.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 09:29:55 am by Xpat »