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Offline Die Malletjie

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Around the rim of the West coast
« on: October 17, 2006, 11:09:36 am »
?Around the rim of the West-coast? will stick with me for years to come, they who were there will understand the word ?rim? in the above statement.

It all started a few weeks back. The rumour was that Geoff Russell was organising his famous West-coast trip again, friends of mine that made the deadline for entry made me jealous and prompted me to try to go along, A few cancellations later and a lucky phone call to Geoff and Friday we all got together at a N7 petrol station.
I did however have to get my bike from Donford where it was awaiting a few repairs, including ?the front wheel? but more about that later.
A few handshakes that early morning and one felt there and then, this is going to be a good one, these are GSers, this is Friday, I was going to do the thing I loved most and wasn?t sitting behind my desk.



The route should remain a secret to those who went there but I can give you a clue, it was towards the West and North. An hour on the black stuff and onto dirt we went. And do boy?s love dirt!!! An anonymous gentleman on a yellow GS set the tone for the weekend at the first sand trap, camaraderie, help, advice, chirps and laughs and all this in no particular order were readily available. This lasted all weekend as this sand trap was only the first of who knows how many, you go onto the West-coast and sand you will ride!

Before we met our host for the weekend, we had to negotiate a stretch of sand acclaimed to be five kilometres long that sorted the levels of sand masters in proper categories and styles. You had the look-up, stand-up, rev-up, go-forward guys. You had the look-up, stand-up, lay-down guys, the sit-down, paddle, training wheels look alike brigade and a few styles in between.



Needless to say we all had fun and made it to ?Jurg se kaya? and there I discovered my first flat. The front rim on my bike is badly buckled and with low pressures, the air escaped via the bead.



The food was out of this world with all the local specialities present and soon all tummies where full and mattresses occupied. There are always a few diehards and after emptying a bottle of Jagermeister octave by octave, even they went to bed.

Saturday, half of us took the short (45 Km.) route along the coast while the other group opted for the less sandy and longer one. I can not comment on the longer route but the shorter one we had been warned about. Side stands were not needed if you wanted to park your bike as you ran up to help your pal getting his bike up, the sand under the belly-pan kept your bike standing.
Here I discovered my second flat and decided more air will keep the tyre seated. Look-up, stand-up, rev-up with the wrong tyre pressure resulted in a spectacular dismount at about fifty to sixty kilometres per hour. When the back-up crew saw that I was ok, I got a well deserved applause and let the air down to one bar again. At the next stop, tyre off and changed from tubeless to tube by none other than Mr. Bones.

Lunch at Garies and back to camp after discovering a flat tyre at the hotel and patching the tube. The much feared five kilometre sandy stretch of the previous night proved to be a lot easier insofar that ?Steve the blue adventurer? decided to explore the next day?s ride in the dark, Bones had to do the retrieving, if not Steve may have had dinner at the Waterfront.
 


Sunday morning we had to head back and hugged the coastline past all the different diamond mining sites all the way to Velddrif and then onto ?Vlakvarkgat? bush pub at Langebaan. In Doringbaai I changed the tyre again, all in all we took the wheel of the bike four times, used two different tyres and a handful of tubes, hence ?Around the rim on the West-coast?



Thanks to Neil Berry for the enlightment into the duties of a pillion when you gave me a lift on the dirt road, I do now realise what the wife has to go through when we ride red routes two-up, Jos I have always been a proud husband but now I take my hat off to you!



Linda, you can ma trailer a bike my girl. Anton, thanks for the drink at Vlakvarkgat. Bones, I hope the wife was happy with the flora you collected for her, very original way of doing it though. Olof the sand master ?grade one? well done, we left the training wheels at the Kaya. To the rest of the guy?s, see you next trip.
Geoff, these must have been the most fun three days of my biking career, thanks again.
I am doing it today, maybe there is no tomorrow
 

Offline Stephan

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 12:05:49 pm »
Great report, sounds like you guys enjoyed yourselves.
Hard reality does not often coincide with the people's wishes - Nelson Mandela
 

Offline Lootch67

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 11:09:05 pm »
I've always wanted to go explore that part of the coast. Looking at all that sand I'm not so sure though. Still looks like loads of fun. Thanks for posting - great report!
98 Black AT & the wheel from a 04 KLR 650.
 

Offline funacide

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 11:23:35 pm »
Rojo

Nice report and thanks for sharing. I need to add that to the list of places to visit, looks really awesome.
KTM 1190 ADV R
 

Offline wino

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2006, 08:12:53 am »
great stuff! the tyre changing must've been a real pita!
 

shark_za

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2006, 08:17:41 am »
Nice report man!

What causes punctures down in the Cape the most?
Up here we get mother doringboom's and sharp rocks.
Down there everything looks so fynbos and smooth?
 

Offline Grootseun

Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 09:01:25 am »
Quote from: "shark_za"
Nice report man!

What causes punctures down in the Cape the most?
Up here we get mother doringboom's and sharp rocks.
Down there everything looks so fynbos and smooth?


Dont forget bones...in this case.. from a sheep.. sorry bla.. this may be disturbing for sensitive sheep lovers...(open for abuse)

Dont think sludge would have helped for this one....



 

Offline Grootseun

Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2006, 09:02:51 am »
sorry for the 9/11... :oops:
 

Offline Clockwork Orange

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Around the rim of the West coast
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2006, 11:51:11 am »
Nice report. A group of this did this route a while ago. Fantastic riding. The pic's in the thick sand look a lot like the stretch between Strandfontein and Brand se Baai. I did that section with pillion and 5 days luggage for the 2 of us and yes......I was a little tired after that.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!