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Offline SGB

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« on: September 12, 2006, 08:49:36 pm »
I thought I'd start another thread for this tour, seeing that the trip ended up with quite a few variations.  You have seen the truth in the first thread, now here is the "other" side of the story:

A few months back, an idea was born on the Wilddogtours adventure riders forum, and I appointed myself to show a couple of Gauteng riders around the KZN / Lesotho scenery.  And Lesotho gave us a blood nose last time, you have seen our snow story, there was unfinished business.  In an attempt to kill 2 flies in one slap, a little plan came together.  This process was interesting, see the planning thread at http://wilddogtours.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2017  This thread has had 1100 views and 78 responses since it was born on 26 July?.
The thought crossed my mind whilst I was riding to Harrismith on Firday morning ? how fast time goes?  I went to sleep on Thursday night, having packed ? first thought I will take only the top box, but space got a little cramped with all the tools and spares and stuff I loaded, and the panniers came out and the top box stayed.  I left a little early and took a leisurely ride up on the 990 with a brand new TKC 80 rear.  There was quite a big of mist until Mooirivier, careful riding with the early morning traffic, 90% trucks.  



Found Stuart and his XT along the way a little further on.  The weather was great and I was just very happy to be alive and able to play this wonderful game.

At Harrismith, Stuart and I had breakfast together whilst waiting for the Gauteng bunch to arrive.  The 2 groups arrived in good time, Chris, Adam and Anthony offloaded their two 640?s and a 650 GS.  Their vehicles took the shortcut to Himeville on the tar.  The 2 KLR riders, Justin and Reinhard arrived, and we did some introductions, they had a quick breakfast and all did a bit of chatting before we hit the road.



Slow ride on the tar, direction Verkykerskop road and then headed for Normandien pass on the dirt.  The ververlatevlaktes of the Freestate were just as good as always, and we had a couple of Baboons spectatoring the ride just before we arrived at the viewpoint at the top of Normandien.  We stopped for a while, and took a few pics and some more wisdom was exchanged between the riders.  You would think that all these guys had known each other for years?.  





Headed down Normandien pass and took the turn at the bottom, after a little detour to make the GPS happy.  At this point, Stuart?s XT started playing up ? strange electrical problem.  (Daryl says his car also had an electrical problem ? the con-rod came through the engine block and broke off the alternator bracket?.).   We left Stuart with a friendly farmer who took him to Newcastle and he found a new battery there, which seemed to have fixed the bike and then rode to Himeville.  In the mean time we had a little mishap too when Chris had an MLOT on a corner and broke the fuel tap of the 640.  No injuries, no separation ? good!   We did some quick repairs and were back on the road in a flash.



The route then took us along an off-road track, which is great riding, through to Ladysmith where we fuelled and had a bite from Wimpy.  We took the tar to Winterton, only about 40 km away, cut out the dirt section here to make up some time.  From Winterton, we took the scenic route past White Mountain, Giant?s Castle, Kamberg, past Lotheni and on to Himeville.  The sun went down as we entered Himeville, and only Stuart had to do some night riding after his little stint with the Newcastle farmers.



In the mean time, the Durban guys (Gerry, Konrad, Craig, Peter, Vic and Audry) were on their own mission of fun through the valleys of KZN.  They were in Himeville slightly before us, and they did not need a GPS because they had Gerry and he knows the area backwards.  Alex and Bugs left work from Pinetown a little later and they took the tar to Himeville.  Jon came on his own from Maritzburg, so when Stuart eventually arrived, the group was full strength.  We all had a few drinks and then dinner together at Himeville Arms hotel, some went to bed and some did not.  The riders who pitched for the next morning?s ride to Ramatseliso seemed to be inversely proportional to their levels of wisdom the previous night in the pub. (With respect to the KLR?s?.).

Eleven bikes lined up in front of the hotel at 6:30 on Saturday morning, including Bruce and Hein who had an early start in Durban together with Dan who came along to drive our fuel supply truck.  We puttered along easily through Underberg and along to Swartberg on tar in the crisp morning air.  The scenery in the area is very pretty and one can quite easily sit all day just looking at the surroundings.  From Swartberg, which was not very busy at that time of the morning, we headed out on the dirt road towards the border.  About 45 km further, we made a stop where we filled up the bikes and had a quick bite from our breakfast packs made by the hotel.  



Dan went back to Himeville with the bakkie to re-fill the cans, drive up Sani and on to St James crossing to meet us there on our way from Taung.  The road to the Ramatseliso border post was one great piece of riding territory, we really enjoyed this stretch.  The conditions demanded some paying of attention, looking for the right lines through some rocky sections and just enough ?features? in the road to make sure that you do not admire the surroundings too much whilst riding.  Arrival at the border post was too soon, then found out that Hein had a puncture a few km?s back, which he was busy fixing with Bruce?s assistance.





At the border, our wheels and boots had to be sprayed with some unknown substance by a friendly Department of Agriculture fellow.  We then progressed through the border to the Lesotho side passport office, which does not have any of the luxuries like air conditioning, bar code scanning and computer, disease control and the like.  One official and his stamp is as good as it gets ? however he gave away a miniature Lesotho hat (which I tied to the bars for good luck?) to each one of us ? real friendly and made us feel very welcome.



The road from the border post had just been graded, and was very loose on the surface.  This improved after a few km?s and we made good time to the Sehlabathebe game reserve turnoff.  We stopped to wait for the group to catch up, and I heard Hein?s wheel loosing air again.  We quickly pulled over and removed the wheel to put in a new tube.  The second attempt worked.  Alex arrived whilst we were busy with the wheel, with bad news.  Gerry had a crash and seemed to have broken something in his shoulder.  Bugs stayed with Gerry to look after him.  We quickly finished the wheel and headed back.



Gerry was not a happy chappie, he took a big smack on the helmet and was a bit concussed and had severe pain in the shoulder.  He is a specialist in broken bones too, and immediately knew that it was his collarbone. This track and dirt and WFO guru has broken lots of bones over the years, 34 to be exact.  This was very unfortunate, seeing that Gerry is one of the most competent riders I know, but also a lesson.  Anyone can come down any second and we have to remember that!  Anyway, we made a sling with a tie-down strap, fed him some pain killers and Gerry hopped on the back of the 990 with me.  We took a slow ride back to the border, and Bruce took Gerry?s bike, then went back with Peter on the back of his 640 to fetch his bike, and eventually we were all back at the border.



The good thing was that we were now all out of Lesotho with enough time to get back to Himeville.  We were NOT going to sleep in Lesotho! The only remaining issue was to get Gerry and his bike back.  Some negotiation with our friend from Dept Agriculture resulted in a lift, all the way back to Swartberg.  In the mean time, we had left messages for Dan to turn around, no more need for fuel at St. James crossing.  A combination of cell phone calls and some welcome assistance from our Jhb brothers who were now at Sani Top helped and that part was sorted out in a flash.

The other up side was that we all now had the opportunity to ride that lovely piece of road back to Swartberg again, which we enjoyed again.  Gerry did not have a great trip back ? all the rocks and pot holes shook him around in the front seat, not good for the arm ? he was happy to get to the end.  Hein and Bruce and I stayed at Swarberg with Gerry, and Dan who was now back at Sani was on his way back.  The rest of the crew were back at Himeville in time for the rugby.

We made ourselves comfortable in the shade and waited about and hour and a half for Dan.  Bruce went on a recce of Swartberg, found a shop with some meat pies, Coke and TV Bars and we had a meal and a good chat.  Gerry had a few Myprodols with his pie, which kept him as reasonably comfortable as it could be.



Loaded the 3 bikes and I rode back to Himeville.  The bakkie left and Gerry was safely at the hospital, and with his wife (less safe?) by 19:00.



The evening at the hotel was good again, listened to all the good stories about war and bike racing and wives and a whole lot of other interesting boys? stuff.  The Himeville Arms is a great camping spot for this kind of thing, nice resting spot after a good day?s riding.  We still did the best part of 350 km?s riding for the day.  It was unfortunate that the whole plan did not work out, but the up-side is that there is unfinished business and it is a good excuse to go back.  We will give Gerry a few weeks for his collarbone to heal then we are back there for sure.



Sunday morning, we had a leisurely start, with proper breakfast at the hotel.  Bruce and his wife Natasha were riding up on their BMW?s from Durban and arrived whilst we were at breakfast ? good timing.  The KZN team took an easy ride back via Creighton and Hela Hela to Richmond and on the nice twisty tar to the freeway and back to Durbs.  Peter took a little strain ? I have heard about sea sickness and car sickness, but bike sickness is a new one.





We were back in time for some Super Motard action at the Pinetown Street Race.  An entertaining conclusion to a great weekend of riding and fun.  Gerry?s off was unfortunate, but all and all I have been educated a little more.



Our Johannesburg friends also had some great fun at Sani on Saturday and back on Sunday, see their story at http://wilddogtours.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2630


Some little snippets as last reflection:

?   I have some good ?maatjies? ? Thanks to Hein for use of your bakkie and to Dan for the driving.  The bakkie brought about a whole lot of answers which would have been difficult otherwise.  Dankie!!
?   All the guys who came along were great, and all the challenges were handled with ease because everybody was there to do whatever it took in each situation.  You are a great bunch!
?   Tubes perish if stored folded too long.
?    Air ?bombs?/ CO2 cylinders work well for pumping tyres, but if you use the small ones you need lots of them.
?   The most handy piece of kit:  The tie-down strap we used to sling Gerry?s arm.
?   My personal best piece of kit:  Wiley-X sunglasses, my eyes did not take any strain at all.  OK, the 990 is also worth mentioning here.  What a machine!  I really enjoyed my scooter, absolute thrill every second of the way.  Just the TKC 80 rear is still begging for mercy, this is going to become expensive??
?   ?Man of the match? ? Dan!  You?re the man!
?   Bad luck: Gerry wins here, but Stuart and his 660 is also worth mentioning. He was looking forward, but his bike was not co-operating.  Next time!
?   Preparation:  I was impressed by the level of preparation most guys did.  Was good to see, and we were able to look after ourselves.  We proved it?..
?   Join the SA Adventure Riders Network. There is a whole lot of wisdom shared there. See http://wilddogtours.co.za/forum/index.php

Looking forward to the next one!!
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Offline GIDEON

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2006, 09:36:42 pm »
Ek kry sommer HOENDERVLEIS met sulke reports DANKIE


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Offline KATOOM-ZN

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2006, 10:17:09 pm »
Geee Wizzz SGB....it seems as if the Southern reaches of Lesotho have had a negative influence on your psyche.......what to mention the Wiley-X's and the 990 in the same sentence!!! Blikthem but those glasses must be good!

Great report and thanks for the ride on both days - it was great to be part of the team. :salute:  :bounce:  :cheers:
hree score and ten is all you have....and you're pretty useless for the first and last ten....so get busy!
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2006, 10:38:19 pm »
Thanks for the report and pics, fantastic :)  :)
Glad to hear that the injury to Gerrie was not to serious.
Enjoyed your final snippets at the end, lots of food for thought, just one thing I noticed (might be wrong) did nobody have a first aid kit with them?
 

Offline SGB

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First aid
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 07:55:16 am »
Quote from: "Mark Hardy"
did nobody have a first aid kit with them?


Hi Mark,  Most of the guys had first aid kits, Panado and Myprodol was in good supply.  The best sling we could improvise however was the tie-down strap.  :shock:  I have a "sling" bandage in my kit, but the strap gave better support for Gerry's pillion trip back to the border.  Not a good idea to travel without basic first aid stuff..... 8) :!:
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Offline Justin

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2006, 08:01:46 am »
Great report Stefan!
Carpe diem!
 

Offline wino

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2006, 08:36:12 am »
GREAT report!! are you a journalist or project manager? :D
 :salute:  :thumbleft:
 

Offline X Banana Boy

Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2006, 05:59:02 pm »
great report.
 

Offline SGB

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More pics
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2006, 06:56:58 pm »
Here are 2 nice pics from Stuart.  Thank you!



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Offline Gerry

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2006, 05:49:59 am »
Hello guys ,

well after discovering this site on friday night at Himeville Arms , I'm hooked .

Yes , those that ask about first aid kits , every one had as far as I know .

But you know the rules with broken bones , "immobilise" it . I have had a few in the past and what we did was keep my excellent enduro jacket on , keep warm , reduce shock , and secured my arm against my chest and slung my hand .

See the photo where chaps are putting my gloves back on .

In spite of Lungiso's bad driving to Swartburg , I made it all the way to hospital in good shape .
Hein was an excellent ambo driver , Stefan's expired myprodal , gave me a nice floating feeling .

Oh yes , one day take a pillion ride with Stefan , man that is one steady oke !  No fear from this injured okey .

Sadly , I have'nt the slightest idea what caused the crash , as it was a slow one , you always get hurt the most .

I have crashed on race tracks a few times at plus 180 k/h and walked away , just battered and sore .

All my breaks have been slow tumbles or high side flicks .

But in case any one is interested , I'm up and about working , driving carefully , and hopefully by mid october back to normal service on my trusty old DR .

I've been racing and crashing since 1975 , started out at Roy Hesketh !

Roll on the next trip .
Current bike - BMW R1100S   an old man's sport bike

Ride Steady ,
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When in trouble hit the throttle ! !
 

Offline GIDEON

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2006, 06:32:01 am »
Hallo There Gerry welcome


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Offline Mark Hardy

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2006, 07:33:39 am »
Hi there Gerry, welcome and enjoy. Glad to hear that you are up and about and soon to be back on the bike.

What bike did you race at Roy Hesketh and when, I used to go there as a lietty to watch the Yammy XS kick to butt of the big CBX Honda's. really good racing back then.(god I sound like an old man :D )
 

Offline SGB

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Gerry
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2006, 08:24:41 am »
Gerry, good to see you are typing with one hand.   :shock:  Welcome to the site, and heal well.  We are keeping all the stuff strapped to the DR for the next trip.  8)

Speak later.
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Offline Gerry

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2006, 03:46:49 pm »
Hi Stefan and guys , yes typing and driving and every thing else one handed .  

Mind you I'm one up on Glenn Mackduck , my arm will be better soon .

Have you seen him on his KTM 640 and his RM 250 ?

Both are left hand drive , throttle brake and clutch all on the left .  

When he went into the valley with me a couple of weeks back , he rode really well . The only woopsie was when he forgot to follow me and decided to ride the long grass instead of the mud puddle .

There was a deep donga hiding in the grass and he tumbled into it . That was fun and games , getting the RM outta there . I rode it out after about 6 stalls , nearly twisted the right hand rubber off the handle bar ! !

I rode many bikes at Roy Hesketh . 1975 , started racing on ex Alan North ex Rod Gray Yamaha 200 cc twin proddy bike . Once I got into it , I had great fun on it , riding lots of races , including the 100 lapper where Rod Gray caught fire and Richard Borain crash tackled him off the bike . The late Sid Stacey then smothered the flames . If I'm not mistaken , they started the bike and Rod carried on racing it .

In 1977 I put my road 750 Honda on the track . Lots of help from Blink Simmonds , Trevor Tillbury and Ian Brandon . Andy Buys was my mentor at the time , also help from Rory Nesbitt , Derek Bayliss , George Cummings . I had a bit of sponsorship from Doug Wallace of Powerflow exhausts , and Alan Boulter from Team-Print .

Sadly I wiped out at Hesketh in November that year , while dicing with Neville Louw . Greys Hospital . . . 2 broken colar bones , broken right elbow , broken fingers right hand .

1978 onto a 125 cc Yamaha twin , full on race bike , not a proddy bike .
That was fun for a few years , with a few one off proddy bike races on borrowed bikes .
I rode an in line Kawasaki 250 , a triple Kawasaki 250 , a 750 Katana , a Honda 1100 RB , a Kawasaki 750 Turbo .

All interesting machines .

About the time Rod and Richard were racing the screaming Honda CBXs , I was racing a Yamaha 350 RD  LC . The first of the water cooled ones , great fun.

Later I went on to race super singles , a Suzuki RM 250 .

In january ' 85 I had a big tumble in a short circuit race , Honda FT 500 fork leg snapped and tossed me over the bars . 14 broken bones in chest , punctured lungs etc etc . 6 days intensive care 17 days in hspital , then 6 weeks after I got out back to racing . I was either very tough or very stupid ?

I was lucky , I won Natal champs in ' 85 on the RD , and the Natal Super Singles in ' 87 on the RM .

I packed in track racing at end of 88 , went to race bicycles . Marraige etc down the tubes .
I was lucky there too and won several Natal titles and league champs . Got bored and went back to the dirt in '96 , been there ever since .

I  first joined WFO in '77 when it had just been formed , so I've had the dirt in me for a long time !

That in a nutshell is my bike racing CV .  Lots and lots of fun over the years !
Current bike - BMW R1100S   an old man's sport bike

Ride Steady ,
Look ahead ,
When in trouble hit the throttle ! !
 

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2006, 03:49:15 pm »
So what you are trying to say is you were jaaging in lesotho and this is why you crashed ?        :twisted:  :lol:  :twisted:
 

Offline X Banana Boy

Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2006, 05:16:06 pm »
Welcome Gerry.  Quite a CV
 

Offline SGB

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WFO
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2006, 06:44:03 pm »
I have known Gerry only for the last few years, as Mr WFO.  The WFO is a club in KZN for those who don't know, and on the Official documentation it stands for Wide Full Open....  Quite the opposite of how you need to ride if you wish to complete one of the races alive.  Slow, technical riding for reasonably competent riders.  Try one, on a plastic bike though.   :shock:  The club has grown nicely with Gerry at the helm.  Gerry is also a Director of Motorsport SA, looking after the offroad biking there.  He now wants to go live in the UK, loss for SA.  Good reasons however, and I wish him and his family good luck and good health there.

These pics gives an idea of the hillclimbs you encounter on a WFO.



Note the traffic awaiting a turn to have a go!



Fairly common sight.
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Offline GIDEON

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Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2006, 07:22:15 pm »
GOEIE HELL wat n BULT


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Offline Leo

Lesotho Ride 8 - 10 Sept: The Ramatseliso version
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2006, 07:51:12 pm »
Is this near HluHluwe (Slesluwe)......... fcuk how do you spell it, where they had the pineapple race which was on 2 Wheels the other night?

I see even the top okes were sukkeling to get up that "koppie"  :roll:
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Offline SGB

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Baynesfield
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2006, 08:06:26 pm »
This particular one is Baynesfield Enduro (called "the widowmaker"), but they all have their challenges and fun.   :D  The Pineapple race is not a WFO event however, but surely also have the areas that provide the riders with value for their entrance fees!
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