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Author Topic: West Coast Tour October '06  (Read 1005 times)

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Offline GeoffR

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West Coast Tour October '06
« on: February 07, 2007, 11:18:35 am »
I sit here wondering "how the hell did I hurt my left arm"? was it the drinking? no! I am right handed and did not drink much. Was it picking up my bike after the fall? no! I had enough guys helping me was it........................? I can't fathom it out but hell it is eina!!!!!!
I digress however I need to write about our trip.
The West Coast tours are always very popular and this one was no exception, we had 24 people excluding myself booked and paid. However, "Murphy" was not going to leave me unscathed. Two weeks before departure Chris Boltman breaks his ankle, minus 2 people, fill their spots from he waiting list. 2 days later Wayne and Cindy Robinson withdraw due to business commitments, fill from the waiting list. Surely no more withdrawals??????
Week prior to departure, not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 withdrawals due to varying reasons. The best of which was Gustaf who fell down his stairs at home breaking his ankle Smiley, get well soon Gustaf!!!!!!!
No time to find replacements then at the last minute an extra person joins.
Group size: 22 people
GS's         : 17 bikes Smiley
Pillions      :  3 ladies
Back up vehicle : 1 with a lady driver.
Rider experience: Varying from very good (Bones) to beginners (novices).
At the pre trip get together at my house 2 weeks prior to departure there were many anxious faces listening to my talk about what to expect on the trip. Certain people were furiously making notes about, what, where, how, if, etc. If you want to make a group of GS riders nervous mention the dreaded "S" word. No not stop, or snake, or stiff, or s**t but SAND Smiley, horrible, soft, deep stuff that stops you in your tracks if you consider shutting the throttle. Sand that makes boy's out of men and novices out of the best riders: Don't say I did not tell you!!!!!!!!You have been warned!
Friday morning I lay awake from about 0230 tossing and turning, I wonder what the new route will be like, will there be that "S" stuff, what effect will recent rain have on the roads, is my GPS info correct, how will the novices cope, what will the food be like, will I ever fall asleep again before I get up at 0545, etc, etc, etc...............!!!!!!!! Smiley
0530 I can't sleep so get up go downstairs and make sure my pillion is awake and get ready, load the top box, reverse the bike out of the garage, go through my "don't forget" list, fire the Adventure up and leave for the Engen 1 Stop.
Arrive just before 0700 and the guys/girls start trickling in. Fill up tanks, enjoy breakfast, 0800 meet to discuss the day and 0810 depart for Piketberg with Bones leading the convoy. Bones leads us at a brisk 140kmh and the fresh morning air with it's own assortment of scents keep us occupied all the way to Piketberg. A quick pit stop here and we depart for Kardoessie at the top of the Piekernierskloof to stop and reduce tyre pressures for the dirt that is waiting for us.
So the fun really begins. I had suggested to the group a pressure of around 1.7 bar, this is higher than I normally suggest but was not expecting enough soft sand to bother us on this section. Boy was I wrong. I was cruising along at around 100-110 when we suddenly encountered long sections of very loose sand (the after effects of the recent rains). After the first section I stopped to look back only to see a bike go down, I turned and rode back to find one of the 1150's had gone down, no injury, cosmetic damage. Score bike 1, rider/ego 0.
I turn back ride a distance, stop and look back, another bike down, same as above. Score bike 2, rider/ ego 0.....
The rest make it through.
The road takes via "Die Engelsman se berge" and the home of the first Rooi Bos Tea farmer in the area his huge big house, we progress and pass the Olof Bergh se klip and other interesting out of the way (off the beaten track) places. What grabs your attention is the amount of farm houses standing vacant, where have they all gone.
The temperature is quickly climbing and when we reach Vredendal at lunch time it is about 40 degrees Smiley. A not so quick ride to (Phutchifino) restaurant pub in Vanrhynsdorp to fill our tanks and tummies and inflate tyres. This little oasis of a restaurant serves one of the best pizzas I have ever had......
Finish lunch and go outside. the 40+ degrees hits you straight between the eyes, Bitterfontein here we come. Ride fast-stay cool, makes sense????? NO!!!!!!!! ride vast get very very hot. Stop at the filling station in Bitterfontein and the owner thinks the invasion has arrived, fill up our tanks and reduce tyre pressure to below 1.4bar. Leave sleepy hollow on a track that I have not ridden before and have a lovely hours ride to Kotzesrus. Stop here and have a team talk because the dreaded "S" is waiting for us. Reduce tyre pressure even further and head of for the coast.
Remember, head up, stand up, throttle up.............how does that go, sit down, head up....no. Stand up, sit down, open up...no. Stand on your head, change gears, jump off.......These nerves are a shocking thing they don't let us think straight. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. Smiley
The road down to the sea (read track) is much better than when last I was here. Much less sand and corrugations. We reach the beach without incident and stop for a team talk. 4kms to go, hier kom die groot k*k.
Fortunately for us it has cooled down a bit with a nice breeze coming off the sea.
Stand up, throttle up, fall up, or is it down. Pick up, pick up, pick up.......sit up, fall down, stand up..................The cottage finally appears, current score, bike 28, riders/ego 0!!!!!!!!
Cold beers and a hot shower await us. Unpack the back up vehicle, find a room or just room, watch the sunset check injuries and bike damage. So far one sore ankle and some minor cosmetic damage to some of the bikes.
As the West Coast evening chill sets in we enjoy a delicious sea food soup followed up by smoked snoek, with home made bread and jams. The party goes on until after 0130. I am absolutely shattered (tired) and sneak off to bed around 2230. Smiley
Saturday morning dawns with a very thick sea mist and constant drizzle caused by the thick mist. Many eina bodies roll out of bed to prepare for breakfast and the days ride. Some however decide that today is for just relaxing on the beach, going for walks, nursing sore ankles etc.
0900 we depart in 2 groups one under the very capable leadership of Bones Hewitt take on the tough 40 or so kms of 2 track sand to Groenrivier. The other follow me on a long detour also to Groenrivier, a trip of about 140kms.
The sand route group have a really enjoyable ride with the less experienced guys learning lots about the dreaded "S" word and many of them making intimate contact with mother earth. My group has a relaxed ride the "long way round" and we all arrive in Groenrivier simultaneously.
From here we ride in a group to Garies for lunch. The temperature has climbed into the 30's as we sit at the Hotel and enjoy some welcome drinks and an enjoyable meal.
Tanks full we head back to Kotzesrus and then back to our cottage. The sandy section is handled well by most riders who have by now started to learn the tricks of how to handle this horrible "S" stuff. Stand up, look up, open up....ha, ha, ha...look ma, no fall off!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday late afternoon we are all back safely at the cottage partaking of the cold refreshments that await us. Those that opted to stay behind are entertained about all the exploits that they missed. A lekker "game" pot with flavoured rice awaited us for dinner. The party again went on until quite late the night.
Sunday again dawned coldish and misty as we ate breakfast and packed our goodies into the back up vehicle.
We said our good bye's to our hosts and headed for the salt pans along the coast. Here the less experienced guys opted for the tar road and the rest of the group rode to Koekenaap via Namakwa Sands, Brand se baai, Gert du Toit se baai and Skaapvlei.
We all arrived safely in Lutzville and again filled up and pumped tyres. Fro here to Dorinbaai and the Cabin for lunch. What a lunch it turned out to be, but how long it took to arrive. Well worth the wait. Smiley
After lunch it was home via Lamberts, Elands, Veldrift then to the Vlakvarkgat bush pub for final farewell drinks. Then home in the shocking South aster that threatened to blow us back to Lamberts Bay.
1845 I arrived home after another unforgettable tour. The West Coast is special, the hospitality unsurpassed. What am I doing back at work.....
Now how does it go.....sit up, stand up, fall off.......no!.....look up, fall off, pick up, ...no.....stand up, look up, open up.....YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!.......why didn't you tell me this in the first place...................???????????????? Smiley
Now what did happen to my arm??????????????????

Offline Offroad Adventurer

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West Coast
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 08:15:24 am »
Cape Town
DT175 1984
DT175 2005
KLR 2006  "All men die, but not all men live!"


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West Coast Tour October '06
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 09:04:27 am »
Yea, what did happen to your arm? :scratch:

Offline brettp

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West Coast Tour October '06
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 09:10:35 am »
Pictures please !!!!! :cry:
He who dies with the most toys, wins !!!!!

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Offline GeoffR

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Ride Reports
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 01:36:10 pm »
Thanks Big Red. When I turn 60 shortly hopefully as a present I will get a course on how to do these things you youngsters do with pictures and attachments on your computers!!


Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Ride Reports
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 02:57:31 pm »
Quote from: "GK"
Thanks Big Red. When I turn 60 shortly hopefully as a present I will get a course on how to do these things you youngsters do with pictures and attachments on your computers!!


And please learn the difference between a nr 8 and 9 boot.... :shock:  :D  :D
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.