Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Xmas Raid  (Read 260 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KTM Jagermeister

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 950 SE
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 415
Xmas Raid
« on: May 05, 2011, 11:07:56 pm »
Xmas Raid 2010

Sir John planned a trip for us to the finest detail.  The trip was broken into three days, all cryptically marked R2D1 etc, etc, and then on his GPS he had several options and escape routes.  All set to take us from Johannesburg to St Francis via the most striking scenery that one could probably imagine.  The group was a total of five riders (all KTM).  John, Terry, Myself, Frankie, his son Jacques and Frankies friend Dave whom is staying in Australia, haven’t been riding for 10 years and landed at OR Thambo the morning of the ride.
We were traveling light, some tools, a rain coat and the necessary spares.  The rest of the baggage was dumped in the support vehicle.  Our driver was given lessons in GPS navigation and told to meet us at key intersections along the route. 

Herewith the planned route and the actual run of events.

We wanted an early start.  The route seemed daunting.  Day 1: 689km, day2: 538km, day3: 702km … 90% dirt.  Rain was in the air, as a matter of fact if anyone can recall the week of 16 Dec 2010, it was monsoon season. 

D1R1:  244km, Wimpy at the Modderfontein off-ramp – Ou Hoek restaurant in Vrede .  Due to the fact that Frankie had to pick up Dave we split the group in two. Frankie and Dave would hit some tar and meet us in Warden.  We would have to wait for them we decided to extend the ride around the Vaal dam.  John added another 200km detour onto the day and off we went. 
The gravel was stunning, not too muddy and not too dusty, serious traction! Averaging 120km/h was no problem. We stopped for a burger and a beer.  Frankie and Dave was nowhere.  Due to a slight “misunderstanding” we missed each other.  Rather not embarres ourselves by going into too many details.  We told them to carry on and meet us in Nottingham road.

Keeping it real~

D1R2: 261km, Vrede – Weenen.  Now we were behind schedule.  No problems, the trusty steeds were willing and able.  Still no rain.  We headed down towards Weenen.  Everything was green.  The big gravel roads turned into tweespoor paadtjies with plenty of little streams, mountains on both sides and just unbelievable scenery.  On the gravel part there were only two vehicles.  We were going nice and fast until Terry had a flat and we quickly had to sort him out.  No problem .. until ..  Jacques’ 640 refused to go any further.  We later established that the needle inside the carb came loose.  I had to tow him to where the recovery vehicle could find him.  80km of dirt with a tow rope, exciting stuff especially since it started raining.   

D1R3: 90km, Weenen –Nottingham Road. Now here begins the fun part.  Our loyal driver got completely confused and simply kept on driving.  When we phoned him from Vrede he was already in the Natal Midlands.  We said stay right there do not proceed, which must have sounded like keep on driving to the Himeville Arms.  He had to come back all the way.  We left the youngest member of the group in front of the Police station with some cash.  The poor soul was only picked up at 22h00 that night. 

John took us on a shortcut, across a mountain.  We loved the big rocks and jumps.  Unfortunately the darkness was catching up with us.  Coming down the mountain with muddy headlights we had to feel our way of the mountain.  Every 10-20 meters there was a lekker surprise.  When we eventually got to Nottingham road we were soaking wet, it was night and the place was filled with mist.

D1R4: 94km, Nottingham Road – The Himeville Arms:  Frankie and Dave were the only ones that did this section.  And they only arrived in Himeville at 21h30 that night.  Dark and slippery as hell.  We decided to look for accommodation close by.  Eventually we got rooms at The Spotted Horse (bikers delight).  It is in the Kamberge and we had to do 50km in the dark, misty and even worse “TARR” roads.  Leading the way I could not go faster that 50km/h.  The cat’s eyes showed the way.  We arrived at the hotel at 21h00.  What a relieve! 
Day 1/3 completed ...