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Author Topic: My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..  (Read 1243 times)

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Offline Eisbein

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« on: April 09, 2007, 12:50:20 am »
My 1st ride report...

After we've finished at the KKNK. Riding with the trailriders and capitano slow and meeting some of the people going on the Baviaans ride on Friday I really was in the mood for a bit of offroad myself.

About 110k's and 1 1/2 hrs and my camera phone gave me the following.


1st things 1st.
In retrospect there's one or two things that I would have done differently.
The major one is not having anyone know where I was while going at it alone. (I wanted to let my wife know but didn't have cellphone reception at the time that I went off the road (r62) - should have planned ahead and told someone. Luckily nothing went wrong - 110 k's and I only saw one bakkie 20 k's from the end...)

My wife was in Oudshoorn already (by car) 2 weeks before the KKNK, so I sent the panniers with her. Nice.
Standard GS1100 without anything strapped/tied to it to make things more complicated.

The whole route was: Oudshoorn, Ladismith, just before Ronnie's Sex shop a turn towards Warmwaterberg, past (alongside) the Brakriver, Ouberg pass and then into Montagu. From there the usual road past Robertson, Worcester, over du Toits and home.

This is just about the offroad bit, give or take one photo...

The quality of the photos is not what I wanted (it was taken with my cellphone). My wife's camera is a little bigger and more difficult to manage. I would have taken far less photos if I had her camera with (purely because of the schlep). My cellphone was in one of my jacket pockets and I could get to it easily). I opted for quantity over quality...

This is the 1st time that I took the phone out to take a picture.
I had so much fun going up huisriver that I just had to stop for a photo.
Look how clean the back wheel still is.


Porkchops at the Route62 Cafe at Ladismith.
Thumbs up.
While I was sitting there I had a chat with a buddy of mine who told me about the road past Warmwaterberg.


About 50 k's after Ladismith heading towards Capetown (about 200 meters before Ronnie's Sex Shop) you turn the wheels towards the right and head into the mountains:


They call the farm that this is on 'Spitskop'.

I have no idea why...



The long and winding road.
Well, one out of two.


Another pic about 20k's on


The scenery changed quite a bit over the course of the 110 k's.
This is next to the river. You can see what change the availability of more frequent water does to the landscape and growth.



Parking the bike for a quick shot.


At the same spot looking at a windpump.
There's a lot of those around. Most of 'em look deserted and long forgotten.


Another stretch of road just before it got a little twisty:


Got to a fork in the road. If I wanted I could have come from Ladismith on gravel all the way.
Next time I'll start earlier and then take that road.



Sauerkraut standing at the fork:




My attempt at the infamous mirror shot...


This is where I realised for the 1st time that I was alone in this piece of stretch.


At the end of that horizon I saw this:


I went through another 4 of those 'ride the road to the horizon just to find it leads to another road to the horizon' iterations. The upside was that you could average about 110 - 120 km/h there.
There's a couple of dried up river crossings where you need to be awake going in. Most of them are fine where you can slow down a little, get out of the seat going down, absorb the bump at the bottom through your knees and then chase up the other side.

There was once where I went in too fast and bottomed out the shocks at the turning point. Two or three were really rocky and ugly at the bottom, so I do not recommend screaming through all of 'em with the gas all the way on.


The road also had this constant 'wavy' quality to them - every so often the road will have a very easy 'bump' on it. A farm girl I know told me it is to help fight road erosion in times of flash floods as the water never travel 'with the road' forming trenches, but it gets diverted with these bumps.
I just know that is a hellova lot of fun to go over them at 120.
One was a little more steep down the other side and sent me for some unexpected airtime (at 120).
Was a little wierd to all of a sudden go flying, but lucky the landing was still on the down so it was rather soft and uneventful (apart from me kicking the GS into 4th on the way down as my feet lifted off the pegs).

Then I got to this:
My 1st water crossing.
As I went in I thought it would be delightfully silly to take a photo of this 10cm deep water and make out like it was this big thing.



Then I almost dropped the bike inside it.
Turns out that the 'driffie' was reinforced with cement and the water's been going over it for a while.
I entered a little slow (wanted to make sure it was solid at the bottom before I commit). As I accelerated the back started kicking out while the front was going the other way.

'Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit !'

I came out the other side kicking up water sideways.

It was the most slippery, snotty, slick and any other alliteration with 'S' 'byvoeglike naamwoord' you can think of that implies 'moerglad' little piece of cement I've ever been on.
Algae.

So I took the photo anyway, but I will refrain from ever looking down on a watercrossing again and thinking that the depth of the water is the only variable that determines the 'number on the scale of the interesting water hazard index'.


Afterwards it was a little more 120 straight road.
Then I could see the landscape change once again. The road was getting ready to go up 'Ouberg'.



It is so desolate that even the local farm implements don't always survive...
I tell you it takes cahoonies of titanium to look at a valley like this and think 'I can make a living as a farmer here'



This is where the pass starts to go up.


The pass itself



This is why I almost dropped the bike (twice) while sitting on it trying to take the next photo. My feet kept slipping sideways.
It is also the reason that you want to steer a little bit clear of the edge of the road while riding over the pass.
Marbles.


This was the photo.


This is further down the Montagu side of the pass.


Then I heard something I haven't heard for over an hour...
The sound of another vehicle approaching.

*tada*

The 1st vehicle in 110 k's
Bless the guy's soul - he stopped to find out if everything was fine.





Almost in Montagu. This is the last bit of downhill before you go down into Montagu.
This was just after some friendly DS'ers passed from the front (one couple on an Africa Twin and another dude - couldn't make out the 2nd bike as he was in a dust cover from the AT). I did the right thing and waved at them before they eagerly returned the gesture.


This was truly tempting.
A little washed out pathway that went down the side of the 'real' road.
If I had any form of friend or company there I would have gone down this, but I was worried that I would drop the GS and that it would roll over into some weird ditch that I wouldn't be able to get it out.



And this was where it ended (well, some other people would call it the beginning, I called it the end.)



From here it was petrol and a coke at Ashton (after the beautiful bit from Montague to Ashton), coffee at my sisters house in Robertson and then over Du Toits kloof home...

Got home at 7 pm...

Lots to think about, lots to remember, lots to smile about.


The road is (on the SAARN scale) between 2 and 3, but you must always keep your wits about you and be careful, as it can surprise you with very quick-to-confront-you dry river crossings with nasty rockery at the bottom.
There is a couple of blind heights around corners as well and a couple of turns that jumps out of nowhere if you try and average 120.

It is an easy trip for anyone with a DS bike (I'm thinking of doing it again with a friend or three - one of which have a DT175)

Lots of photo opportunities and nice fast going, dust kicking stretches.

Just let someone know where you are going ...


W.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 03:50:18 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 Plothond

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 07:07:49 am »
Nice pics and report - Just another one to add to our list
I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore

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Offline JourneyMan

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 09:09:26 am »
Great ride and first report! Hope to see many more.
He who angers you, controls you.
 

Offline michnus

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 09:17:15 am »
Hope this won't be your last, it's really a good report. With all the reports on this forum, we would have the whole of SA documented in the near future, no need for GPS's anymore.

You had to go for that down hill bit, the worst that would happen you could abandon the bike halfway down and just pic it up at the bottom again :twisted:  :lol:

Extreme Velcro

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 10:43:51 am »
Quote
So I took the photo anyway, but I will refrain from ever looking down on a watercrossing again and thinking that the depth of the water is the only variable that determines the 'number on the scale of the interesting water hazard index'.


Even though I am not riding 100% yet, these little notes are so helpful....I will not take any water crossing lightly ever, should I ever bloody get lucky enough to get to one on my own bike (grrr, bank manager doesn't like me that much cos I work for myself and even though 've never been in the red and have managed to keep my head above water, it still ain't good enough, so back to nagging and nagging and nagging...)

Great ride report - it all looks so beautiful and love the pic of the crossroads - very very good !
 

Offline Eisbein

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 04:04:28 pm »
Thanks, everyone !

Extreme Velcro, I think you staying above red is the problem.

It seems that only if you are hanging on with your fingernails, breathing through your nose being buried in debt that they are willing to slap on some more...
Sad ain't it ?

W.
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 mango

My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 06:20:23 pm »
Nice one Eisbein.....

Water crossings......love 'em or hate 'em....
Still trying to make up my mind.  :?
 

Offline Doringboom

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Re: My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg ...
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 09:07:04 am »
Very nice report Mr Eisbein and nice pics too 8)  Yes, the feeling of loneliness can easily become quite overwhelming when one don't see another person on vehicle for kilometers on end (and have no cellphone reception) on a Karoo gravel road :!:  Then one must have unconditional faith in your machine.
 

Offline Grootseun

My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2007, 09:49:52 am »
Nice one vark kneukel..(love that name BTW).

What kinda phone you using there..takes some decent pics (on the Grootseun digital  photographic scale)

really liked the report..
 

Offline Eisbein

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2007, 10:02:17 am »
:D

Thanks, Grootseun !

I must say I was quite surprised by the photos as well - not studio quality but not bad for memory-snaps...
 
It's a Sony Ericsson K750i.

I really need to get a small digital camera that can fit into my jacket pocket.
Making it easy to take photos makes for more (and in the end because of the choice also better) photos...


edit: Btw - the photos have been resized and 'downsampled' using irfanview's '70% of quality' on saving the JPG.

The original was 1632x1224 pixels...

/edit
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 Hermanator

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2007, 10:16:25 am »
Loved the report, and great pics!

It's this sort of thing that inspires me to learn and become more confident.

Thanks,

Lawrence
 

Offline Eisbein

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My 1st solo - From Route 62 past Warmwaterberg to Montague..
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2007, 10:21:39 am »
Confidence, stupidity - call it what you want ...


 :D  :D  :D

hehehehe

Thanks !
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