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Author Topic: NWest - "Research Ride" Feedback Mooinooi - Brits Canal and Railway  (Read 337 times)

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Offline GundaGunda

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I was in two minds as to whether a RR was warranted for a short(ish) solo ride of no great significance, but I have  a couple of pics and some tracks that may prove useful for fellow dogs planning rides out north of the Magaliesberg some time.

A problem that you often face when planning rides out that way is that there are only four ways to cross the Magaliesburg range from Hartebeespoort to Rustenburg.

-    Over the dam wall. (Tourist Bottleneck)
-   The R560 at Komandonek,(Tar, Yawn)
-   Breedt’s Nek (Nice Gravel, but much ridden)
-   The R24 at Olifantsnek Dam. (Tar, More Yawn)

And if you do go over at Breedt’s Nek, how do you get back to Harties without riding the horrible R104, or the more  horrible N4?

Hence today’s research. A couple of rides on the so-called “West Canal” service road, were a good start, but there was still a big gap between the West most bit of the West Canal, and Breedsnek. I eyeballed the maps and Google earth, and although there are quite a number of gravel roads in the area, most of them seem to go through platinum mines or cultural villages – not that I have problems with cultural villages, but they tend to slow rides down a bit.

Then I noticed the railway line between Rustenburg and Brits, and where there are railway lines there are service roads, and the road was just visible in Google Earth. I put a request for info, and Grim gave a link to a ride back in 2007 which had ridden part of it, so it was time to investigate again and find a “max-gravel” way from Magaliesburg to Harties.

So I started at the Wimpy in Magaliesburg. First task was to find a gravel detour past Magalies, but consulting with George,  who owns the Wimpy and Magalies Hotel, he said he knew of none, and the MapSource road past Boy’s Town is closed at Mount Grace.
       
So it was tar through Magalies, Gravel detour up and over Breedts ( did some Wilddog PR and shared the cappuccino with two mountain bikers and three fellow travelers - all on XT660s ) a quick drink at Kromdraai Drankwinkel (open again – yeehaa), where I said farewell to my new friends, and headed north to the railway.

First bit of the service road at Turfgrond is a gravel highway – fast and easy:-   



Weird and funny rocks all over the place.





Okay okay, I know its not the Rock at Jericho, but it’s better than open veld. Like the oke in the background with the umbrella.



Couple of trickle-crossings – I am weary of water on green cement. Can be slippery and have watched many falls in similar spots





Found a shebeen for a drink and the Shabeen Queen wanted a ride. I said fine, but she trusted nobody with the shop. All the locals looked a little bleary-eyed , and I wouldn’t have trusted them either.
 


This guy offered to swap  the dregs of this for a new Zamalek. I respectfully declined.



At the shebeen I could go no further, so headed off for the canal road. The rains have not been kind to the bits with the decomposed ultramafic clayey shite ( see Deepbass9, I was listening to the geology lessons !) . The mud was mostly dry, but the roads were severely rutted in places, and it was slow going. The last 10Km to Harties was nice.
 
 

The route I took.



The attached track is of the route (edited, filtered) merged with a track of the West Canal road from a previous ride.
Retired from Adventure Riding.
KLE500 & XTZ660 Gone *sigh*
Now Scooter Commuter & Softroader Softie.
 

Offline EssBee

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Re: NWest - "Research Ride" Feedback Mooinooi - Brits Canal and Railway
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 08:22:38 pm »
I liked that area, always wanted to explore more there. Mountain Sanctuary Park being a favourite spot of ours...but geeze, it can get hot there.
 

Offline GundaGunda

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Re: NWest - "Research Ride" Feedback Mooinooi - Brits Canal and Railway
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 08:36:40 pm »
Lovely piece of sand on the way to the Mountain Sanctuary Park. Ever ride it ? 
Retired from Adventure Riding.
KLE500 & XTZ660 Gone *sigh*
Now Scooter Commuter & Softroader Softie.
 

Offline EssBee

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Re: NWest - "Research Ride" Feedback Mooinooi - Brits Canal and Railway
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 07:18:42 pm »
On the mountain bike, yes!