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Offline Ri

Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« on: January 28, 2021, 11:50:43 pm »
My COVID Credenza continues.

School starts again for my Northern Cape Matriculant nephew and, a month later, his 7th Grade sister.  Matriculant must be fetched every weekend and Niece attends school one week on, one week off. Fortunately, both schools are in Paarl, and school friend parents share the weekly commute, taking turns to fetch and drop off learners, a 2-hour round journey.

Even more fortunately, my sister is old school; even the Matriculant can rustle up a decent meal, given the right incentive: being allowed to have friends over, access to liquor cabinet and access to car (last two NOT concurrently).

Adoring Aunt complies without complaint. They are hardly any bother, but they are in my space, leaving their stuff lying around, leaving my stuff laying around, TV and mobile speakers blaring, breathing, causing OCDisgruntlement. I close my eyes, grit my teeth and tell myself: this too shall pass. Zombie-mode engage.

Early September, my sister brings my mom for her 6-week knee checkup, and it is declared a huge success. With the persistent knee infection cleared up, my mom becomes more sweet-natured but still feisty. The doctor is so impressed with this turnaround, he asks my mom whether she wants to walk again. Is she up for a third knee replacement?

My mom - almost literally - jumps on this offer. My sister stares at her, slack-jawed. What happened to the vow of, "Never again"? They talk of scheduling it for 6 weeks later, but when the doctor phones the surgeon, he has a cancellation the next Tuesday.

She phones me in consternation. It's not that we begrudge my mom a working knee - on the contrary, the spacer is not practical. But we would've appreciated a little breather. My world tilts again. I mutely bow acceptance in the face of this juggernaut. Care and conservation of my mother falls on my inept shoulders again. By this time I'm living in a smaller flat, with a flatlet outside. We park my mom in the granny (haha) flat where she complains bitterly of the cold, and my niece guards her from a mattres on the floor. The carers come and go.

I take her to the hospital where she is received with opened arms, an old and favoured guest. Considering her attitude the last time, I'm dumbfounded. She sits regally while everyone pops by to say "hi". When I visit, they allow me to stay long past the designated 15 minutes COVID visitors time. When I fetch her, they all come to say goodbye.

The surgery done, the hospital keeps her for barely a week before releasing her back into my tender care for fear she might contract COVID. This time I put her upstairs in my sunniest bedroom, and she blooms like a hothouse flower. Matriculant and 7th Grader go home for the holidays, and my sister leaves behind my eldest niece, a very high functioning Down Syndrome who cooks like an angel, to take care of Ouma.

Ouma goes from strength to strength but poor Niece is bored to tears. There's nothing to occupy her, and Auntie can't entertain her because Auntie has to work. She misses her beloved 7de Laan and Binnelanders, but the TV plays havoc with my concentration. She wanders around, a plump little ghost, talking to herself and playing out her fantasies, driving her poor distracted aunt up the wall. After a week I'm more frazzled by her antics than my mom's.

After my mom's 1-week post-surgery checkup, my sister takes them home. The doctor is again so impressed with my mom's progress, he is happy to skip the 6-week checkup and only see her again in 6 months. My sister manages to get my mom back into the prison old age home, with 3 meals a day and plenty of staff to care for her. My plump little ghost stops haunting the patio and the neigbours. School is in recess, my space is mine.

I half heartedly turn my mind to the 3 weeks of annual leave lying ahead. The leave was requested when there was a plan to tour sourthern Namibia, but things fall apart. I have however managed to book an appointment to pass out for my motorbike driver's licence, in the far off town of Moorreesburg. I decide to make that the starting point of my tour to who-knows-where.

All this time the foot I hurt at Kareedow complains quietly. I constantly wear my hiking boots, thinking a ligament or tendon stretched and just needs a rest. Thankfully the riding boot provides good support, it'll be fine.

I have my bikes serviced closer to home because I don't have time to trailer them to Dux's workshop. I had something small done there once, and wasn't unhappy, but their quote for the service makes my eyes water. Maybe I should've found some time...

I contact Billy de Beer for a motorbike pass out lesson, and with amazing foresight ask him to organise me a little bike to do the test on. And since Gouda is so close to Moorreesburg, and there are chilli bites to be had, I ask @VaalBaas whether I can stay over at their beautiful B&B. 

The vague plan is to visit Vaalbaas, then Oasis to say hi to Gerrit, as always, and then Kareekloof Conservancy, at the end of Droėlandskloof Pass, to see the dams and the veld after the rain. Then I have a yen to head to the Eastern Cape, because apart from Baviaanskloof I'd never really seen much. I did a riding course with @Die Malletjie a while ago, and want to visit Jumper's Place, and a WD @elandsrider has a farm at Elandsrivier, which has a guest cottage for rent.

I'll see where the wind blows me.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:34:33 pm by Ri »
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 02:38:03 am »
Always look forward to your RRs. And this trip is one you clearly deserved!
 
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Offline elandsrider

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2021, 06:13:38 am »
Excellent entry into the report , well written 👍
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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 07:00:53 am »
 :sip:... en nou wag ons :thumleft:
2006 Hp2 # 882 #1555 #1784 - 2008 R1200 GSA -  2009 R1200 S - 1998 R1200 C - 2020 RnineT Pure
2012 TW200
My eertse foutjie KTM RC8 en toe nog n 525 ook
Project Bikes - 2003 Yamaha 350 Banshee SE - 2006 Yamaha 200 Blaster SE - TW200
As ek nie gister gedoen wat ek gedoen het nie, het ek nie vandag geweet wat ek weet(en ek weet nog steeds nie wat ek doen)
 

Offline trevo

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 09:42:34 am »
As ek nie Ri geken het nie, het ek gedink sy stoei in plaas van motorfiets ry, elke event wen sy een of twee valle teen nul, lol  :imaposer:
DILLIGAF
 

Offline ClemS

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2021, 10:03:31 am »
 :sip:
The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2021, 10:04:59 am »
 :sip:
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2021, 10:52:36 am »
As ek nie Ri geken het nie, het ek gedink sy stoei in plaas van motorfiets ry, elke event wen sy een of twee valle teen nul, lol  :imaposer:

Ware verhaal  :imaposer:

Ek dink nie ek val meer as enige ander leerder motorfietsryer nie, ek pas net my vallery in 'n korter tyd in, want ek is haastig om op lekker plekke te gaan ry. Julle het julle vallery so lank terug gedoen, julle het al vergeet daarvan.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:35:01 pm by Ri »
 

Offline trevo

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2021, 11:04:53 am »
As ek nie Ri geken het nie, het ek gedink sy stoei in plaas van motorfiets ry, elke event wen sy een of twee valle teen nul, lol  :imaposer:

Ware verhaal  :imaposer:

Ek dink nie ek val meer as enige ander leerder motorfietsryer nie, ek pas net my vallery in 'n korter tyd in, want ek is haastig om op lekker plekke te gaan ry. Julle het julle vallery so lank terug gedoen, julle het al vergeet daarvan.

 :biggrin:
DILLIGAF
 

Offline Elkanah

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2021, 12:31:08 pm »
Wanneer kom jou boek uit? Jy skryf soos n spannende storieboek.   :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :sip: :sip: :sip:
Psychiatry's troubled search for the biology of mental illness.
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2021, 12:34:03 pm »
Tuesday 13/10/2020

Early on a Tuesday morning I'm dressed and ready to leave to be in Moorreesburg in good time, when a WhatsApp pops up from Vaalnooi, asking me to pick up some linen for her at Volpes, if I don't mind.

Who can refuse Vaalnooi? Certainly not me. I duly turn the bike towards Somerset Mall and stop at Volpes about a minute before they open, pacing and peering like a one-person Black Friday Sale mob. The helpful saleslady spies my slightly panicked haste and finds what I need in record time. I'm in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes, and securely tie down the precious package on the bike. Then I pop around to Mad Macs for some ear plugs. My Alpines have finally disintegrated and those foam bullets hurt my ears. Then I turn towards Malmesbury and gooi.

I burn rubber, and arrive at the Traffic Department about 30 minutes before my test, palms and forehead damp with nerves




Billy's friend Brent is waiting for me with a mint condition TW200, which he insists I take for a short spin to familiarise myself with the awesome little bike. When I return, he talks me through the course, as we aren't allowed to walk it.  I sumbit my forms and spend the remaining 5 minutes before my test circling the bike and mumbling to myself, trying to remember all the pre-ride checks.

Then it is time to ride. I crawl carefully around the course, not touching any white lines, neck swivelling like a bobblehead toy as I "observe".  The test officer speaks so quietly I barely hear his instructions, and I do what I remember Billy teaching us. When we come to the reaction test (swerve left, swerve right or stop), I again carefully crawl forward, eyes glued to the signalling board. The officer beckons me closer and tells me my speed is much too low, I need to go faster.

Knowing that there aren't any second changes for some tests, when it's time to repeat the test I gooi revs and almost wheelie from the starting line, racing like a demon towards the signal board. When the light flashes, I grab and stomp on everything to stop in time, coming to a standstill mere inches from the line I'm not allowed to touch. The officer leans around me to check, and then does two more tests. I suspect he gave me a freebie, as I distinctly remember this reaction test as one that couldn't be repeated. He directs me back to the office and I carefully park the bike, shaking with nerves and adrenaline. The next student sidles up to nervously paw the pristine little machine.

The officer takes his time with the paper work while I sit in the hallway, twitching and perspiring in nervous anticipation. Finally he calls me in and says something inaudible, then points for me to sign a form here and there. He gives me an illegible carbon copy of the form and mumbles, sotto voce,  "jy kan maar weer kom".

I assume I'd failed, and resignedly ask him what test I had failed. He gives me a blank look and walks out the door.

As I follow him down the short corridor, I mention that the last bit with the stop-or-swerve lights had been especially unnerving. He tells me it's because I was riding too fast. 
"But after my first attempt you said I was too slow?"
"Yes but when you did it again you were going much too fast!"

This is true. I'd sprinted at the lights like a Taye Perry-wannabe, worried of being too timid.

He takes me to the eye test lady and tells me to wait there. She soon beckons me in. I tell her that I'm from Somerset West; if I have to do an eye test to make another appointment for the licence, I'd rather do it at home. She looks at me for a long moment, then says carefully and kindly ,"but you passed," pointing to a faint mark on the form on her desk. "See where he made the cross."

I gape at her, then peer at the faint carbon copy longsightedly, and see nothing to confirm her words. In fact, an ominous 20/80 mark on one section catches my eye. But she points to where a faint cross is drawn, under the title "Passed". Quickly replaying events in my head, I realise the test officer had said "Jy kan maar deurkom". I start to laugh uproariously, giddy with relief and delight, and the lady joins in merrily.

She scans my fingerprints and takes a hideous photo of me with the PC camera. I pay at the till where they tell my my new driver's licence should be ready in about 3 weeks. I stumble outside into the light, dazed and grateful, and  sit down for a moment to plan my day further. It is too early to rock up at Vaalbaas' place, they're still working, and I decide to head towards Riebeeck Kasteel for coffee. Then I kit up and wave jauntily at the test officer who just then comes out of the building, escorting another nervous victim candidate to the test course.

I hop on my bike and confidently womanhandle it around, start up, and pull away over the high curb, turning right into the road. At the apex of the curb the bike abruptly stalls, then s-l-o-w-l-y topples; I can't get a foot down to stop it. The fall  traps my foot, and my suit's  elbow armourt connects with the tarmac and my elbow, hard. The  full fuel tank starts pouring out into the road.

Thankfully Brent sees my dilemma and rushes over to help lift the bike. I jump up, absolutely mortified, immediately checking whether the test officer saw my noob move. Surely he would revoke my newly acquired licence right then and there...?!! But they had moved away and he hadn't seen my disgraceful fall.

Much more subdued, I climb on the bike again,  start up, and overrevving hideously, I pull away carefully with a throbbing elbow, finally fully legal on the motorbike.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:35:43 pm by Ri »
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2021, 12:43:11 pm »
Wanneer kom jou boek uit? Jy skryf soos n spannende storieboek.   :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :sip: :sip: :sip:

Baie dankie vir die kompliment!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:36:04 pm by Ri »
 

Offline Sheepman

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2021, 01:15:14 pm »
What a way to start a trip  ;) Lekker with your ticket of compliance  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2021, 07:06:43 am »
I turn Blue towards Gouda, heart humming, and find this beautiful gravel road. I travel slowly as I have lots of time, looking around at the farms and the wildlife and the birds paddling in the dams along the road.












When I reach a turn-off to Riebeek West, I head in that direction and ride into a small, very clean little town.




Since the plan is to find coffee in Riebeek Kasteel, I follow the signs in that direction, but as I leave town I see a garden centre on my right and make an unscheduled u-turn to take a closer look.

It is hot, and in the coffee shop I take off my armoured jacket to find a hard bump the size of a quail's egg next to my elbow bone. I'm the only patron, and I make myself at home, ordering coffee and asking for a bit of ice. The friendly cashier brings me a whole tray of ice and a dishcloth to wrap it in, and I spend the next hour learning about my condition (apparently a haematoma, and not to be worried about) and sipping coffee with my elbow wrapped in ice.

When your armour's edge hurts you more than the fall did




For this trip I already decided to stop wearing armoured pants. I fell three times on my Kareedouw trip - the first fall broke my foot a little, and the third time I landed with my knee on a rock in the road, and the pants' suit armour assaulted the bone just below the knee. It was supremely painful, and I had the same type of fall again in the soft sand on the way to the cottage at Bucklands, the edge of the armour hitting the same spot on my knee again. I still have a hard, sensitive bump below my knee bone from these falls. Now I ride with jeans, with knee guards strapped over to stay in position. Added benefit is that bush pee has become much easier. Downside is I look like a tool with the humongous knee guards, with friends joking I should be careful not to hurt the road.

Another downside, I discover on this trip, is that knee guards don't offer hip protection, and ladies being generally hippier than men, this is an additional area are of impact. Ah well,

The place is magical and quiet, and I spend the another hour wandering around, eagerly eating everything with my eyes.  They also serve superb coffee and a delicious milk tart with ice cream covered in honey. The milk tart is also covered in honey for some reason, a bit too sweet but still lovely.
















This is a 21-yo Cremetart Tree. The mother of the owner of the establishment crocheted it this blanket to wear every winter to show that it shouldn't be watered.


















All the art is original, and for sale. The chandeliers were handwrought.





« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:36:28 pm by Ri »
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2021, 08:22:56 am »
After an hour on ice, the haematoma loses some of its "hardegat houding" and softens up a bit.




This is also a 21-yo cremetart tree, a bonsai sporting it's very own little orchid





The centre also houses a spa and a small art gallery with fascinating metal sculptures and beautiful semi-precious stones, along with the beautiful and evocative paintings hanging everywhere. I am eager to go visit again some day, and maybe buy one of their unique works.

Vaalbaas confirms they are ready to call it a day, and I ride the last little stretch towards Gouda and chilli bite heaven.














Visiting Vaalbaas is always a treat. There is alwasy some change or something new happening. They are setting up a hostel for the Western Cape Camino's, and Vaalbaas mentions testing some new recipe sosaties on me. No complaints! My room is huge and comfortable and I check on my throbbing elbow while getting ready for dinner.








I sit down to dinner with Vaalbaas, Vaalnooi, and the beautfiful and exquisitely behaved Vaalkleinbaas and Vaalkleinnooi. It is an absolute feast and we kuier deep into the night, talking about everything and anything. Eventually Vaalbaas bums a lovely bottle of red wine from his sister, and Vaalnooi falls asleep sitting on the couch, snoring in ladylike fashion, while we sort out the ways of the world.

Very close to the pumpkin hour I finally crawl into bed, content like a creamed up cat. I wake at my normal predawn hour, as my body apparently hates me, and snooze for a while before finally getting ready to gear up for the day.



« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:36:53 pm by Ri »
 

Offline petri oosthuizen

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2021, 09:13:22 am »
Nice Pics thanks :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2021, 11:35:10 am »
Your body hates you"  :spitcoffee:
 

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2021, 12:52:46 pm »
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Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2021, 06:10:50 pm »
Wednesday 14/10/2020

Vaalbaas' super cute dog dogs my every step, guarding Blue while I pack. Apparently her thing is herding motorbikes. Any motorbike that enters the yard is immediately gathered for herding. I find the thought hilarious. I can't fathom what made her choose the most recalcitrant of herd animal, but I admire her tenacity.




Vaalbaas' man cave is a feast for the eyes. I know I've seen all  the bikes before, but I always see one I didn't really notice a previous time.






Before I'm herded out the gate by the border collie, Vaalbaas takes a moment to bang into place Blue's right hand guard and straighten its eternally skew front wheel, and I take to the road with confidence. The plan is to ride to Oasis via Algeria, a road I've only ridden once before. It is again a glorious day for riding, if hot.




The tar road towards Citrusdal bores me to tears, and when I find a likely looking dirt road sloping off to the right, I check it out on MapOut before heading down it.




Along this gravel road, there suddenly appears a piece of tarred road and a fork leading up the mountain, and I decide to investigate. It turns out to be the access road to Beaverlac, and I take a moment to appreciate the stupendous views before turning back down and carrying on with the gravel road. Beaverlac and surrounds is still on my list of places to visit.










After the pass up to Beaverlac, the road becomes looser and sandier, and I have a few "gat"-swinging moments, thankfully not bad enough to lose control. I feel Blue swallowing lightly once or twice, as if he holds his breath, but when I open up it seems to disappear.

Breather in the shade. It is HOT.




Just a bit of hot, loose gravel, nothing to see here, move along, move along...




Eventually I reach another fork in the road, and take the more interesting looking rougher one. But MapOut isn't sure whether it leads all the way to the tar road or whether I'll run into a locked gate.






I wave down a farm worker in a deep blue bakkie, and he kindly confirms that it this lekker looking road leads into farmlands. The gates probably aren't locked, but there's a good chance a farmer will be unhappy with me for trespassing on his land. I'm torn between trying my luck with the farmers, and taking the dull gravel highway back to the tar road, but my dutiful nature wins out. The dull highway however has some surprises in store in terms of loose patches, and turns out to be entertaining enough, confirming my favourite private thought: even a bad gravel  road is better than a good tar road.






The N7 past Citrusdal is another  boring slog. Bikers, speed and adventure, pass me in both directions, seldom nodding a head or lifting a finger in greeting. The polite folk are on the quiet gravel roads, where help is more scarce. Trucks buffet me as they race past. Finally I reach the Algeria turn off to blissful silence and beautiful nature.






























Looking back, the small road joining from the left is the Truitjieskraal road.




Oasis is crawling with campers. It is sweltering. and I immediately go cool down in the pool, then don a dark little sun dress with bright patterns I bought right before the trip, and packed on a whim. I notice that every time I walk down the stairs into the sun, the eyes of the male contingent  of a bunch of people sitting outside swivel my way. Uneasy, I go into my tent to inspect and find a nightmare realised: the light sun dress is as substantial as a honeymoon negligeé. Despite the heat, I dress in denims and t-shirt again.

There is a huge mulberry tree covered in ripe fruit next to the restaurant near my tent, and I spend the late afternoon eating mulberries off the tree.

It is lovely to see Gerrit, Jacques and Chantel again. Gerrit and I have a lekker catchup about what went down during lockdown and his plans for the future. Later in the afternoon, an architect from East London joins us in the restaurant and invites himself to join me for dinner. He is on a touring holiday, camping at Oasis and cycling the Cederberg. The next day he is carrying on to the next camping spot on the West Coast.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:37:26 pm by Ri »
 

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 27/10/2020)
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2021, 06:18:02 pm »
Lekker report! :thumleft:
 
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