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Author Topic: Hamburgers in Sutherland: Four friends and a 700km mid week breakaway  (Read 4354 times)

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Offline Eisbein

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The 11th of April me and Rogue started a 3 week, 6200km, 2up around the country tour.
This is not the ride report of that - we still have too many photos to sort through. ;D ;D ;D



I decided to (for the 1st time ever) take a couple of days extra to have them to just 'chill' for a while before I needed to report back to the daily grind.

So I phoned Biesie in the 1st week and asked him if he could take a day off and organise a day trip for one of the days in that 'buffer space' between us returning home and me having to report back to the grind stone.
Not only did he do that (and got two other friends to join as well), but the route that Biesie and CJ came up with was awesome.

It was a stiff distance, but we had enough time and we were more than willing (not to mention in need of taking the road less traveled) ;D


This was the route (you'll notice the track log disappears at Rawsonville and start again from Ceres - the GPS was off from just after the tunnel to Ceres)

In short:
- Home to Ceres
- Ceres to Sutherland via Katbakkies and Ouberg
- Sutherland to Ceres via R356
- Ceres to home



Not much was happening before Ceres - we arrived early at Biesie's place in Paarl and I got my morning coffee at about 7:15
CJ was already there and Topbox was meeting us at the tunnel's entrance.

I've always wanted to ride an Africa Twin (yeah, I've never ridden one before) and coincidentally CJ wanted to feel a 1200, so we decided to swop from the weighbridge at the Rawsonville turn-off to Ceres. That way we could get a proper feel and do a mountain pass as well.

Allow me to go off on a tangent a little - I can understand that people come from Africa Twins and feel themselves comfortable on a 11xx or 12xx GS. For older technology and design the AT really goes 'lekker'.
It doesn't kick you in the gonads, but it pulls strongly and it has enough power. Smooth and very manageable on the road.
I wouldn't be upset if I had one. Awesome bikes.

Ok - back to the trip.
I didn't take my camera out for the 1st part, as (beautiful as it is) I've been there and done that.
We refueled at the co-op at 'Op die berg' and got some quick snacks at the local Spar (where Topbox had a good giggle at a 'Koekie Loekie' poster - I hope he post the photo ;D ;D )

Turning off towards Katbakkies pass was when I took the camera out the 1st time.

This is Topbox coming past:



The bottom of Katbakkies.
What a lovely pass:



Near the top looking back down:


Going down the other side. There is something in me that get much joy and pleasure from coming over a crest and looking down the other side to see a road that stretches and twists like a never ending ribbon trough, over and beyond the bends and hills while heading for the horizon.
Always have. Always will.
If the trip ended here the day would have been worth it already.
But it was only just beginning.



This is the second thing on a trip like this that gives me great joy. The road where the taps can be opened a little and where the liter plus engine can have its legs stretched. Mountain range on the one side and outstretched farms on the other.
There are stretches on this road where it looks like it wouldn't matter if you go off the road or not - you wouldn't know the difference :)


Where we're on our way to and where we've come from:


Just a quick photo for 'sommer net' before we head off again.


That be the one - since I've seen photos of 'Ouberg' on wild dogs the first time that road and pass have been calling my name and here I was turning onto the very road that will lead me there.


CJ is a spec on the photo somewhere in front:



On this stretch of road the GPS all of a sudden (after a photo and out of the blue) said 'off route - recalculating'.
That usually means I took a wrong turn.
If I take 'in ride photos' I usually have my head busy with keeping the lens cover from bouncing around with my left thumb while gripping the camera while framing the shot. Not much processing power is left in my little brain to do more than navigate the 6 meters in front of me while keeping the bike on the straight.
For all I know I could have gone straight where I should have turned.
So I stopped the bike and started zooming in and out on the GPS trying to see if there was a road that I could have missed.
By the time I figured out that I was still on course the others were a little ahead.
This stretch of road also had these stupid washed out furrows (sometimes bordering on ditches) that went across the road every 0.5 to 1 km. These were just too deep to go over them with the heavy GS at cruising speed.

Of course the two representatives of the '600 class thumper 
'we-don't-mind-going-fast-anywhere-least-let-some-stupid-furrows-bother-us club' was waaaaaay ahead.
This was the 1st time in a loooong time that I felt the drawback of the GS' weight.
But I also tried to make the best of it, so every little ditch was approached with a fast slow down and was exited with a sideways acceleration - me grinning in my helmet and doing my own impersonation of Jeremy Clarkson in some insane super car going sideways around 'Gambon' saying 'Power!!!'

This was were I caught up with them.
Biesie:


The Stig CJ:


And here was the road I was waiting for.
Everything up to here was lovely, beautiful and very cool, but here I was on the mountain pass that I desperately wanted to see and ride for about two years now.
I was already set to do it in February when I had the stupid off with Sauerkraut 3 days before I was supposed to leave.
So it was a thrill seeing the road twist and turn up the mountain ahead of me, knowing that I was there finally doing it.



And what a lovely piece of road.


This brings me to the third thing that I really enjoy while out on the road:
Steep climbs and roads that are a little more rough than what the average guy want to do in his Citi Golf. ;D ;D
This wasn't the roughest roads I've been on - not by a long shot, but it was such that it could catch you out if you weren't paying attention.



And this was the photo that I've been wanting to take for myself for a loooong time - close to the top.
For a long time I've been so used to framing the red 1100 into the photos that (for a little while at least) it was weird to see the yellow 1200, but after the holiday and more than 80hours in the saddle over three weeks, I can now safely say that the yellow GS feels like it belong.
We have sussed each other out and gone from acquaintances to being friends.
I had to stop and take this view in for a minute or three more.



CJ have some nice extra photos of us at the top - I will wait for hom to post them.


We continued on the lovely roads down the other side to meet up with the road where you choose to go the Skurweberg or Sutherland.
Seeing that the GS and the AT is in the same 'weight class' it was mostly Biesie and Topbox in front and us making sure that the backline is solid ::), so that's why you'll see photos of CJ while riding and the only photos of Topbox and Biesie is where the bikes were standing - waiting at a break.
And even that was touch and go ;D ;D ;D


Here is CJ coming out from the Ouberg road and onto the one going to Sutherland:


That 'stofstrepie' is also CJ


Got some fuel at Sutherland and headed over to the Sutherland hotel for a hamburger and something cold and wet.
From there we started to head back to Ceres.
Weird things happen when you have a camera and a looooong boring stretch of tar ahead of you...



Turning from the tar road and onto the gravel:



And then we got to this.
Moths to a flame ;D ;D
I must say - I have never (not even once) ridden with a group of guys where a decision to go on where a sign like this is wasn't a unanimous decision.
We didn't even think about it.


So we did the responsible thing ;D ;D ;D



There's that ribbon again.   *aaaahhhhh --- bliss*



Look at the bikes in this picture.
Right here.
In my opinion - them be three legends. 'Nuff said. Finish and klaar.


But is it art ?
;D ;D ;D



There goes CJ making another 'stofstreep'


Last photo from me - this was on the way to Ceres after we got back on tar.



What a lovely day.
We got together in Paarl and started at about 7:45, had an AWESOME trip, had lunch and rode back to be back in Paarl at about 17:50 - about 650km later...
It is maybe a stretch and I might add that not every day ride that I do must be this long, but once in a while it is just what I need to pack the tools on the bike and really go for it for a good couple of hundred k's.
We all wanted to do this one and I am glad we did. It was far, but we managed to get away early and there was nowhere where I felt rushed or where I felt that I couldn't enjoy the trip or the scenery.
It was nicely paced and really a pleasure the whole way.

No incidents, no issues, just four guys and their (vastly different I might add) two wheeled machines enjoying the Karoo roads, its passes and amazing scenery, having a quick chat and laugh here and there and just generally having a ball.
And all this on a Wednesday when most people are at the office!


And this brings me to the fourth thing that I immensely enjoy on a trip like this: The company.
Biesie and Topbox - it was indeed a great (long overdue) thrill to be out on the 'long-and-out-of-the-way-roads' and again seeing the blue XT and red XR with me on those roads.

CJ - this was the 1st time we've been out further than Helshoogte and I hope there will be many more to come.

In my opinion there's no reason to sell the AT, but if you are ready, let me just say that you looked mighty comfortable and at home on the yellow one...
:peepwall:


All in all I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the last day of my holiday.

Thanks, guys and please post your photos as well.


A happy Varkkneukel signing off (and starting to sift through 1000+ photos for the RR on the holiday tour...)

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 12:09:57 pm by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Sprocketbek

Way to go, guys!  :ricky:

Agreed. Ouberg pass is awesome. :thumleft:
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Offline mulder

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Thanks for the great report and excellant photos, that trip is on my to-do list  :thumleft:
You can't get lost if you are exploring !
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Offline Big E

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Great report
Nou kyk nou net waar het daai hond loop l!
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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One thing about RR's of the Cederberg and karoo is that they bring back such fond memories for me  ;D

Thanks for the memories  :thumleft:
 

BigEd

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Dankie.  :patch:
 

Offline buzzlightyear

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Offline Operator

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 :thumleft: Nice  :thumleft:
 

Offline charlw

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Offline White Stripes

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Thanks man, very nice.
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Offline the_BOBNOB

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lekker  :thumleft:
 

Offline LeonDude

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Nice  :thumleft:
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Offline Kykdaar

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Lekker report  :thumleft:
 

Offline Biesie

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Thanks Eister !!

Had a great day and we'll do it again .........soon  :thumleft:
 

Offline bradleys

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Lekker pics and report,aaghh the Ouberg pass very lekkar :ricky:
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
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Offline Briekmerk

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Offline Highlander

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baie nice ouens

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Nice & thanks for sharing :thumleft:
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Offline Eisbein

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baie nice ouens

mooi bike eisbein

Cool!

Ek sien jy't nou naam toe verander kry!

There can be only one!


;D ;D ;D
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away