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Offline zagser

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What is your first thought when you hear about a dustless gravel trip?

That’s right; it can only mean that some form of water has been involved!

In our case it looked something like this:


Let me start at the beginning.
We got together a group of 9 bikers and planned to do as much of the EC gravel passes that we can fit into three days’ riding. We had to adapt our planning on the run, as road conditions dictated our daily progress and we had to skip a number of planned parts, but in the end we all still had a blast!

The team consisted of the following:

Swanniebraai, aka Willem on his BMW Funduro.
Fritz, Swanniebraai jnr, on a BM-X.
Christo-fs, aka Christo on the legendary @T.
Nix, aka Nico on a BMW R1200GS.
Andre on a R1200GS.
Zane, Andre jnr, on a purdy, brand spanking new F800GS.
Caesar aka Corne on a GSA.
HansF, aka Hans on a KTM 950ADV,
and of course myself also on a Katoom.

We arranged to meet at the Total Garage in Ventersburg on Friday morning just before 07:00.
I stayed over at TK-Ten’s place and met Hans on his way to Ventersburg.




The two of us, the two Katoom pilots for the weekend, decided to arrive a few minutes late, in order for the BMW guys to get a feeling of what it feels like arriving first on the scene...   :pot:



We left for Winburg via tar, and took to the gravel from there on our way to Clocolan.







Christo sporting the latest fashion trend from Milan, looking somewhat like a Silky cockerel.  :patch:



This is what the weather ahead looked like.



At this point we realised that we need to change our planned route in order to make up the time lost on the first part due to a combination of a finicky battery, and some bikes not sporting the best tyres for the conditions we encountered. Thus we turned in the direction of Excelsior to go via Tweespruit.



Filling up at Tweespruit.
Hungry from all the mud and excitement, some opted for some local garage pies, and coke. They say cat-pie never tasted that good!   :biggrin:



In Zastron we stopped for some meat for later that evening, and some much needed refreshments to keep the cold at bay. The wind cutting through bone and flesh!







Purdy bike...



BMW toolbox...



We then headed for Sterkspruit enroute to Lundean’s Nek Pass.

Leaving the Free State.



Orange river picking up speed from the recent rain.




We filled up at Sterkspruit, but this place is a dump!



Local soccer fever ahead of the Bafana game.



Some scenery picture from the route over Lundeans...









Do you see the bike???



Father and Son team, André and Zane. I hope that I can also one day share memories like this with my two boys!



Swanniebraai.



Group photo on top.



From here onwards things turned interesting and slippery again.
I found my groove for riding this stuff, and was thoroughly enjoying myself! Not too long ago I would have soiled my pants just at the thought of riding km’s of non-stop mud. That’s right, on day two on our way to Lady Grey, we rode approximately 14kms of non stop mud!!!






Our route for the day ended at Halstone.





The owner seems to have a passion for the lawn there.



She made us all park on tiled areas around the house to prevent our bikes from messing up her lawn, cool!



We lit the fireplace, made some coffee and tried to get the most of the day’s road removed from our clothes...








The guys with the more road biased tyres had quite a hard time in the mud, they arrived a little while later.



No, you must sleep outside, okay?



We had some breakfast the following morning consisting of eggs, bacon, toast, left over braaivleis and some coffee.
We then also decided to leave the Tiffendel part of the trip for another day, so we headed for Barkley-East via Wartrail.








Ahh, the legend, is that some sun shining upon it? You decide...



Some more beautiful scenery,



And a lot of this!







My 'mid-morning snack with a view' while waiting for the others to pass by.



Then it’s back to...







Stopping for a breather and swapping some scary moments.





Some okes sporting some nice weather related outfits. Does it look like we are feeling the cold?





Some more beautiful EC scenery.





Sadly we had to wait again for someone with a GPS to show the way as the previous racer was in too much of a hurry to bother waiting for the next rider.  ::)



Now where do they hide those cookies??







Stopping to regroup, and head off to Barkley East for some fuel.



The beemer then refused to breathe into life, but luckily a biker-Samaritan offered his Isuzu battery for the Defibrillation. She started first time! ( Again we saw the brotherhood of bikers. This guy actually owns a V-Strom, and offered the use of his battery for the weekend to ensure things go smoothly, without knowing any one of us from anywhere!)




Getting some fuel for both bikes and riders in Barkley-East.







And then we are back to beautiful scenery and great riding now that things have started to get a bit drier. Fortunately never dry enough to cause dust!













Another break, with a small stream flowing nearby...







Ready for action!



After some pictures its back to riding again!














Are we there yet?



Meeting at the tar road where we turn in the direction of Lady Grey towards our pozzie for the night, by name of Lupela Lodge.



Mr Caesar, the pizza boss, joining us all the way from Louis Trichardt!



Andre demonstrating his Woema toolkit and the additions he made. This seems like some decent tools there!



This place has got to have the most scenic 5km of entrance path I have ever come across. And the view from the old plaasstoep is stunning.







Our trusty steeds awaiting us for some more adventure.





And then the BMW guys could not hold it in anymore, and just had to wash their bikes in the freezing cold!



Does this not make you heart pump chocolate?



Corne with a serious case of wardrobe failure, luckily we were not going to attend any music award ceremonies.  :mwink:



The only real damage experienced during the trip, was caused by a roosting KTM!   >:D  :deal:



We then moved indoors out of the cold, and generally spent some time drinking warm beverages, swapping manly stories (I have a three year old son who watches shrek) and most importantly, eating take-a-ways.









The next morning we had to defibrillate the gs again. We also greeted Caesar who still had to get to Pretoria in one day; and went for a sumptuous English breakfast.







Then we packed our gear, stopped for a group photo and headed home via Joubert pass, filling up at lady Grey and the again at Wepener, taking the black stuff as we got the scent of home in our nostrils.





















I was so impressed with the beauty of the Eastern Cape from the seat of a bike, that I already started planning my next trip to that region later this year!

A huge thank you to Willem for organising this trip, and for everyone who contributed to this trip in many ways.  :thumleft:

Until our next adventure, this is Zagser signing off.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 08:42:06 am by zagser »
 

Offline Fiellie

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 05:34:44 pm »
Very Nice !!:thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Losper

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 05:42:18 pm »
Awesome Zagser, , just awesome
We do adventure and enduro bike tours, specializing in Lesotho, Namakaland and the Richtersveld.
 

Offline Adventurer

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 05:43:46 pm »
Cool RR! :ricky:
I saw that orange GS 800 when it was still brand new...good to see it's now nice and 'run in'... 8) :biggrin:
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Offline krister

Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 05:48:31 pm »
Lekker RR en mooi foto's!  Wish I was there  :thumleft:
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Offline Swanniebraai

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 05:59:36 pm »
Anton, dis 'n stunning RR! :thumleft:
Jou pics is excellent, there is a few that can win you the pic of the month hey!

Ja, I must add, it was a great trip, awesome group of men, great roads, awesome weather and scenery.
The EC is sooooo beautiful, a DS paradise!

Looking fwd to the next time we the n can do all the passes!

Thx again to you all, you were great!
Biela, jys 'n yster, ek respect jou! Ja, ja julle Katam ryers ook, julle kan ook nogal ry hoor!  :pot:
May the WORS be WITH you!
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 06:32:41 pm »
I have to ride that part of the country :deal:
It looked freaking cold!!! :biggrin:
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Offline BMWPE

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 07:16:58 pm »
Nice  pics  :thumleft:
Great area to ride
Thanks for posting
Rallye
 

Offline Rynet

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 07:28:07 pm »
Nice trip report and lekker photos, thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a great time   :biggrin:
 
But I must admit those photos of the muddy roads make my tummy turn as we are heading out to the EC Bash on Wednesday  ::)
 

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 07:41:59 pm »
hehe...was reading this earlier so went & waterproofed all my stuff.....maybe i need a valium before hitting the mud... ;D
Nice RR & pics...thanks a lot for sharing >:(
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Offline Roné

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 09:09:43 pm »
AWSOME - sorry ek het nie woorde nie - ek is stom geslaan  - nice ouens...............
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 09:47:19 pm »
Hel Zagser that looks cold man! Excellent RR, thanks. I'm also planning a little ride in that are for later this year, hopefully it won't be so muddy, but this sure does make me look forward to it!
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Offline Watty

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2010, 08:08:00 am »
Lekker man!
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2010, 08:16:17 am »
NIce RR!
Great area to ride - stunning scenery!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline AntonDP

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 08:19:35 am »
Baie nice RR.
 

Offline zagser

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2010, 09:03:30 am »
Thanx guys.

I must say, I am more and more impressed with the performance of the Heidis.
I have a T63 in front, and I think this combination is the bees knees!  :ricky:

Below a photo taken by Hans...
 

Offline Diesel & Dust

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2010, 09:16:13 am »
Great RR - respect for hitting that trails in the pisscold :ricky:
I'll take the high road. You take the psycho path...
 

Offline Misty

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2010, 12:12:57 pm »
Lekker RR!!! Love the fireplaces... the place to be!
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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2010, 01:57:06 pm »
Stunning scenery, the autumn colors look awesome...and it looks c-c-c-o--l-l-d!

I must say, the bad weather forms a dramatic backdrop to your pics.

Thanks for posting.
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Offline charlw

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Re: Our dustless EC trip - a FS perspective
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2010, 10:41:45 pm »
Awesome ride. Awesome scenery.
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