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Offline sidetrack

805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« on: May 26, 2007, 10:07:54 pm »
Finding good places to ride that won't take more than a day is tough. Most places have been visited before or are just too far to do in a day. looking at the map I spotted some tracks I have never ridden before. The area between Ohrigstad and Tzaneen are rarely visited. To get to the good stuff you have to get to Groblersdal which lies about 180 km from Pretoria. From there the world or should that be trails are your oyster. The whole area is pretty rural, lots of villages dot the countryside and thousands of goats roam the roadside. The more you head north the more secluded it gets, when the kids hear and see a motorcycle they run as if the tokolosh is behind them  :D I'm pretty sure most of them have never seem a bike in their life before. But there is also something special about this area, they live in a very tribal lifestyle and surrounds. You will always get a friendly wave or smile rather than being thrown with a rock like you would find closer to gangsters paradise.

This is my ride, one day 805 km, hope you enjoy the pics !

Knowing it would be a long day I decided to get to Groblersdal as fast as 400 cc possible, it did not take me long to find out that this was a crappy idea. Riding past Bronkhorspruit my hands were freezing and the boredom of the tar road was unbearable.



I could take Zusterstroom, one of my favourite little tracks but that would take me too far from Groblersdal. The second option was to take the Loskopdam trail at Verena and that is excactly what I did.

Getting on the dirt felt good, nice quiet countryside and a nice little section that led to the N11 and on to Groblersdal.





The first stretch of the Loskop track is pure ds heaven. Winding stoney track which runs next to the nature reserve. It then climbs to the plateau where you can open the bike up if you want too  :D  Whilst riding this section a duiker appeared out of now where and run between the road and the fence. I just knew what would happen and just when I got next to it the buck made for the fence and nosedived straight into the fence ! Ouch poor thing, looking back it seemed to be ok as it hightailed in the opposite direction.



Past Monsterlus I rejoined the dirt and it opened into a very nice stretch past villages through the mountains and eventually through some okes field in the way of a kickass jeep track (which I did not photograph).









From here it was another short tar stretch that led to another very enjoyable stretch. The pass on the other side of Thabekhulong was killer  8) Awesome switchbacks and rocky roads made for some great riding.







It winded down into the valley where some sandy patched and dry river bed crossings followed. One of the locals traversed the pass in his Pulsar, he was having one heck of a time dodging the worst parts. Stopping for pics meant i ended up passing him twice, he probaly though I was crazy.



Down in the valley





Not sure how far till the next petrol station I was quite happy to see a Total when I joined the tar again. Also got hold of a cold Coke and had to tell a local that he cannot have a ride on my "scooter" as he called it  :evil:  :lol: The next bit I got a bit lost, I ended up riding through villages looking for the right path, now I know what black Africa feels like in the Dakar rally  :shock: Chickens, goats, kids you name it they all got out of the way when the DRZ cruised by.



I ended up following this track for about 15 km as it lead in the right direction, it was a very enjoyable little section  :P



Would you not ride here ?



Eventually I ran into a locked gate, apparently  you are allowed through but there were no one nearby and it was locked, oh well time for a 30 km detour  :? The next bit past Mahlatsani looked like a blast on the map. The squigly line crawling and zig zagging up and through the mountains. The first stretch which were supposed to be gravel have been tarred and they are still busy expanding the tar towards Fertilis. If you ever want to ride here or are even condsidering buying a ds bike do it NOW. Some of the best dirt roads are dissapearing fast, get out there and enjoy them while they are still there.

Luckily the pass itself seems to be safe for now. It's a memorable ride as the trail winds next to the river which meanders through the green (for winter)countryside. You can clearly see that Tzaneen and legendary Duiwelskloof looms just beyond the Strydpoortberge.













Unfortunetly it's here that I had to turn around. It was allready late into the day and I had at least 400 km to cover. Really a shame, looking ahead the I could see the trail snaking through the mountain. Redrider and Runner did this pass in their Venda trip and the pics looked awesome. I'll be back  :D

Last pic before I headed to Marble hall for a quick before hanging on the cable on dead straight tar  :evil:



Honestly to do a ride like this in one day is not ideal, too much ground to cover which leaves less time to do more dirt roads as they were all over the place. I reckon a one night stand is really worth while in this area if you don't mind dodging goats and riding some great trails  :D Only got home at half past seven but it was worth it !
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline JourneyMan

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 10:17:36 pm »
I'll read this in detail later.

805km's in one day on the DRZ.  :shock:

Crazy is my first thought and a few seconds later... Respect! 8)
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Offline Butch

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2007, 04:24:28 am »
Kief report there, DD. Some lekker pics too.

Restecp!
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Red

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2007, 07:36:41 am »
Very nice and reachable.  Next weekend.

 :thumbright:  :thumbleft:
 

Offline wino

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2007, 08:10:58 am »
lovely area for a quickie :P
 

Offline chrisB

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2007, 08:31:07 am »
WOW great stuff DD, how is your bikes tank?
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Offline Trailrider

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2007, 08:38:10 am »
Thanks DD. Great report as usual!
 

Offline Plothond

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2007, 09:55:50 am »
VERY VERRY nice DD
This looks like an excellent trip and those dirt roads look truely magnificent. Lekker lekker  :)  :)
Your photo's are great too. I love those pic's you take from the bridges and up the valleys. I've noticed that this is a trademark of yours  :!:

Well done - that's a fair wack of KM's in one day

Check your PM - I would like that route please, thank-you very much !!!
(I've got a few of our swazi trip to send out as well - I'll get them out today to everyone)
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Offline Ratel

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2007, 10:50:15 am »
Nice one!! :)
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline HHHusky

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2007, 04:58:40 pm »
Lovely stuff  :P
The butt must be shown who?s boss :pottytrain2:
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Offline Runner

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2007, 06:16:23 pm »
Baie mooi :D
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D7

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 06:42:07 pm »
lovely stuff DD.
some awsome riding out there.
 

Offline sidetrack

805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2007, 07:33:31 pm »
Quote from: "HHHusky"
Lovely stuff  :P
The butt must be shown who?s boss :pottytrain2:


Monkey butt se m*&r  :D Plothond don't know I just take pics which looks ok to me. I took the gf's Nikon D70 with me on this trip. It's battery lasts a lifetime and with a 1G card can take lots of pics. Difficult to take pictures with a digital SLR though, no little window to spot the frame. Chris I have the tank for over a year now I think, gives a 400km range which is just perfect. There are a couple of old school Total pumps on route in the villages. They mostly stock low octane fuel though and not always unleaded (GS's use catalytic converters ?).
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline Hardcore

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2007, 07:42:13 pm »
lekker trip ou! NIce handguards... bigger IS better
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Offline KAAS

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2007, 08:07:07 pm »
NICE ONE DD :P
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Offline sidetrack

805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2007, 11:23:58 pm »
Quote from: "Hardcore"
NIce handguards...
And so easy to fit :twisted:
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline funacide

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2007, 11:41:59 pm »
Awesome report and ride DD. 805km's on any bike in a day is a gr8 ride!!!!
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Offline Stephan

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2007, 06:17:00 am »
Quote from: "funacide"
Awesome report and ride DD. 805km's on any bike in a day is a gr8 ride!!!!


+1 and even more so given the amount of dirt involved.  Enjoyed the pics thanks.
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shark_za

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2007, 07:19:59 am »
Good going DD.
Stephen, smaller bikes are converse to the BMW thing, the more dirt the better for the ass.
 

Offline bmad

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805 km, goats, donkey's, rocky tracks and mountain passes
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2007, 07:28:39 am »
Nice one DD :thumbleft:

Very nice pics as always.
You always seem to find the good spots to ride first!
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!