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Author Topic: NAMIBIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN - Completed  (Read 2465 times)
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NAMIBIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN - Completed « on: September 20, 2011, 10:50:43 pm »

Well here goes, Jimbo's HARDCORE Volcano run - Mount Bruckaros Namibia.

To avoid too much confusion a few points must be clarified about strange names and even stranger spelling.

In the prelude to the run, Jimbo had in normal understated fashion put together a very good set of rally notes for all participants.

Firstly it came about that we spelt Brukkaros with a double "K" - only when we got there did we see the correct spelling  - we still preferred  the  double "K".

Jimbo's notes also referred to the Nabian road tax payable at Aroab. One of our sharper eyed participants picked upon it and the name just stuck - "Onward to Nabia" just had a more romantic ring to it - so Nabia it will forever be (at least for these 3 adventurers)
The Nabian salute - not altogether politically correct in some circles - provided much mirth and a good picker up when things got a bit too tough, hot and hardcore.

Jimbo's introduction quoted below:

A bald recital of events, without prejudice, fear or favour.

Seven days, and six nights with no predetermined destination for each day.  Main ride from Mafikeng to Mount Brukkaros in central southern Namibia.  Return to Mafikeng by different, but similar route.  Approximately 1300km each way.  The dates were chosen to provide mild nights and reasonable day time temperatures, and to coincide with the period of full moon.


...sounds like a lekker outride with some mates - piela, knock it over and klap a few beers under the stars every night.... - ja right  Shocked

As the RR fills a page or two, bear in mind that there are very few action photos and even though the pics are of dusty riders around their bikes, the distances and terrain covered between pics tested us thoroughly.
Most times I was more than relieved to have just made the next rest point.

Chris's intro below

 I think it is probably a dream of most guys to do a motorcycle trip into Africa. You can picture yourself on one of the big adventure bikes riding off into the African sunset. Recently, my dream came true as I joined a group of friends on a 2700km trip from Mafeking along the Botswana border into Namibia and to the Brukkaros Volcano Crater and back, a trip spanning 7 days and plus minus 400km per day.

So after the usual preparation phase synonymous with a trip of this nature - Jim and I left Fourways just before 07h00 on Friday morning - destination Mafikeng, the arranged meeting point.
Unfortunately no escort dogs as work commitments kept the boys shackled behind their desks.

The trip to Mafikeng was uneventful apart from a heavy head and crosswind that saw us being buffeted for most of the ride northwest.
We also had a moment when we unintentionally started too early from one of the roadwork stops and had to make ourselves very small as the trucks and busses bore down on us on the very narrow single lane with no regard for our predicament.

My little scoot had developed a thirst that is quite uncharacteristic so had to stop at Coligny to fill up. Jim took the time to adjust his hydrapack



Chris was keen and ready when we arrived



The boys from Lichtenburg arrived not long after and the route notes were handed out.
the first section was to Ratlabama about 20km of tar. Then off into the villages that are dotted around this area. Jim threaded our little safari of 9 bikes between the homes and before long we were on the border fence..... lekkerrrrr....Huh???  
 .... Shocked and then Jim took off at speeds I struggle with on dirt roads - wtf??? does he want us to keep up at those sort of speeds.

I was riding second with Chris shepherding me. I gave myself a decent dust gap and tried to hang on to Jim's rapidly disappearing  taillight - futile.
The ride was fast and exhilarating and I soon found my rhythm although I was still intimidated by the speed Jim was putting down.
(a word of respect here to the dog on the V-Strom with road tyres that was right behind us at each stop - I don't know how you did it, but you did it very well)

After a million turns, big eyes and clenched knuckles we arrived at Pitsane for a re-group and re-fuel.
The Sasol was out of fuel so the next leg to Bray was going to be touch and go - for those of us that had not filled up at Mafikeng - the adventure had started.

 


Jim's summary of the day:

Day 1.
Left Fourways 07h00 via tar road to Mafikeng.  Adverse head winds and stop / go road works on sections to Ventersdorp.  Arrived at Mafikeng 10h45 and met Chris, Renier, Gerard, Mike and three others from Lichtenburg.  Handed out Route Schedule to Gods Warrior for him and his followers.  Carried out a short briefing at Nandos, and left Mafikeng en-mass (9 riders) for the border fence at Ramatlabama at noon.  The border fence has an un-maintained 4 x 4 track on the SA side which is used occasionally by SAPS to do border patrol.  One can be pretty much assured of not encountering any vehicular traffic.  The track was mainly dry flood / mud plains with some sandy patches, sometimes no track at all and plenty of corners.  There was no petrol at the station at Phitsane, which rattled a few riders.


Chris summed day 1 up

The day finally arrived for the adventure to begin. We all met at Mafeking on the first leg of 258km to Bray. Now I was an average motorcrosser in the late 80’s and also did a handful of enduros in the early nineties but I was not entirely prepared for the first leg. Luckily we followed our leader Jim who was teaching us as we went. The first lesson we learnt was that speed was your friend in soft sand and the faster you went the more stable you were. (Very hard to translate this from your brain to your throttle hand).  

Note to all:
Jim's first lesson - if you don't keep up you get left behind

(Fixed header-RobC)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 11:07:55 am by Stevie » Logged

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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 11:08:48 pm »

SSS. Hard core as they get. RESPECT MOTHER THUMPERS!!!
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 03:41:19 am »

been waiting for this RR...
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 06:07:27 am »

Subscribed  icon_thumleft
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 06:19:49 am »

Wunderbaar!

Looks like Yellow was the official colour  Ricky
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 11:15:59 am »

Subscribed!!!  happy1
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 11:28:28 am »

 happy1
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 11:33:48 am »

Awesome, can't wait for the rest.
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 11:36:18 am »

Lekker man! happy1
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 11:49:50 am »

*subscribed*
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Re: Nabian Hardcore Volcano Run « Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 05:18:11 pm »

subscribe
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #11 on: September 22, 2011, 02:59:06 pm »

 drif  happy1  icon_thumleft
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #12 on: September 22, 2011, 06:39:02 pm »

More ! My kind of tour ! 
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #13 on: September 22, 2011, 08:32:46 pm »

Whoop Whoop, I have been waiting for this report!!

I have ridden with JIMBO, and that old Ballie is tough as nails, you gotta bring your A-game  icon_biggrin icon_biggrin icon_biggrin

Lekker guys, GOOI........

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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #14 on: September 22, 2011, 08:53:01 pm »

NICE!  icon_thumleft icon_thumleft icon_thumleft
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #15 on: September 22, 2011, 08:58:12 pm »


happy1  icon_thumleft
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #16 on: September 22, 2011, 10:01:06 pm »

Great!!!!!!
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #17 on: September 22, 2011, 11:12:26 pm »

So with nerves a-plenty we left Pitsane not quite realising what lay ahead. The border fence changing  direction left to right, not so favourite right hand turns often catching me unawares. The extra load on the bike getting in my way and the bike having a mind of its own.

Jim's description of what lay ahead

The next scheduled stop was 80 km of all you could wish for – fast dry mud plains, loose stones, deep sand, gnarly steep rocky sections, wheel ruts, ant bear holes and overhanging thorn bushes.



I loved the sound of the gutsy little thumpers as we wound them upon the open sections and fast corners.
A few rather steep, very gnarly, rocky sections up and down called for some intense concentration.
Jim had to advised pick a line and stick with it - don't hesitate, momentum is your friend. The theory sounded good so going up was fine - momentum down the other side was another matter all together. Fortunately things happened so quickly I did not have time to think too much and was up and down before panic could set in. From there it got easier - only the odd lurker would cause a sudden adrenalin rush as it grabbed at the sidewall.

Being suited to the riding conditions the smaller bikes pulled away from the rest of the group. We stopped wait for the big boys and enjoyed some of the sights and sounds of the very slow lifestyle of a Friday afternoon living next to a border fence.

 

With no sign of the rest of the group we pressed on towards the re-group point. Starting immediately with a tricky little rocky descent. The path sort of disappeared and each man was left to negotiate his own way down. I chose a fairly large step down - and hey - momentum is your friend  Ricky 

As we rode along to the  re-group,  the terrain got sandier and dust was less of a problem - the threesome of little Suzuki's got closer together - fence on the right, bush on the left, sand below and who knows what form of livestock hiding in the bush....

The pace picked up, Jim fast through the corners, me slowing Chris down, the odd cow slowing us all down. The sand on the track getting thicker caused the bikes to start behaving like a 3 year-old at bedtime, there was only one option - weight back and give it horns - and presto well behaved scoots again. The pace was good and the long sandy stretches saw us clipping along around 80-90km/h. Exhilarating stuff.
We came to a particularly sandy section that required much momentum, and here murphy lurked - 8 - 10 cows in the path with thick bush and a fence on both sides.
The cows all looking for an escape route as Jim passed. One particular specimen from the shallow end of the gene pool tried to outrun the fast approaching thumping ponies and when that seemed to be a bad idea he started using up more of the road that he was entitled to. It required some rapid decision making, hesitation here was going to be a seriaas problem. I was forced to pass on the far right off the path, the fence flashing past a few inches to the right. I had chosen my line and stuck to it, even through  Murphy's wait-a-bit bush directly ahead.
In his attempt to run me off the road the cow had allowed Chris through with little more than a few slaps from the thorny bushes on the roadside. And suddenly we were through, enjoying the thrill of once again being able to gas it to keep on top of the sand.
All too suddenly we arrived at the re-group. We extracted thorns out of hands and arms having a good laugh as we re-lived the tense moments from a few minutes before.

As we waited for the rest of the group the afternoon shadows grew longer. We waited impatiently, knowing that for the next 100 km we would be riding directly into the sun, the later it got the more uncomfortable that would be.
A few friendly farmers stopped to check that we were alright and swopped pleasantries. After 45 minutes the first of the big boys arrived having chosen to take the main road to reach the re-group point. Renier (bless his heart) suggested the Suzuki 3-some carry on ahead. Unfortunately one of their bikes arrived  with a flat front wheel. A quick dose of tyre-weld couldn't sort the problem out so they had a puncture repair to deal with as well.
It didn't take us long to mount up and head onto the dirt road to Bray, 100km away - this should be a doddle I thought, make up some time.... ja right  Shocked

Jim's description of the road to Bray

At this re-group point (late afternoon) Gods Warrior informed me that this route was not what his group had expected (There had been some falls and a flat tire), and they would not carry on.  That left Stevie, Chris (non-dog) and myself to carry on.  The 100km  to Bray was fast (100km +) with long sections of deep cohesion-less sand.  All went well if one kept up the speed.  No place for loss of talent.

Talent - what's that   Shocked the route description said nothing of talent...!!!!!

The ride was fast and hard. All I knew was that I had to keep my weight back and the throttle open - easy  ImaPoser
The sensation of hitting a long  patch  of loose sandy road at 100km/h and trying to relax at the same time cannot be described. At times the front wheel threatened to climb over the middelmannetije, clawing at the sloping sand on either side of the wheel track.
Again here, momentum, weight placement and correct body position carried the little scoots over these treacherous sections without mishap and it almost became sadistic fun - accelerating when the next patch of sand loomed closer. My brain arguing with the practice  eek7 but hey it worked.

I hit reserve with about 20km to go - Gruffy's thirstiness a problem still. I had to stop a couple of times to get the fuel to the LHS petcock.
Just as I hit my own reserve, the pace slowed and we rolled into Bray.

 

Chris's comment on arrival at the petrol station in Bray

thats the scariest f%$##@g thing I've done in my life



We fuelled up and headed to our overnight stop.




 

SUNSET





SUNRISE



OH - by the way Jim doesn't take too much in the way of creature comforts on a HARDCORE ride...
he just drinks yours  Roll Eyes

 

And don't be put off by his tough exterior - he is actually a softie



Jim's evening summary

We camped at a farmers cattle kraal near Bray.  A very pleasant night. 

Chris's summary

Our first night we camped on the farm of a Doctor in Bray. What a wonderful host he was. However the most interesting information that came out while sitting around the fire was how many adventure riders he attends to each year due to injury. I enquired as to what he thought the problem was. He said guys came out here on huge bikes with wrong tyres and terribly overloaded, without any skill. They also didn’t understand the riding conditions and headed for disaster. Anyway after a most enjoyable evening by a gracious host, we turned in to ready ourselves for the following day of a 350km section from Bray to Van Zyls rus along the Botswana Border fence.


Day 2
We met up with the big boys the following morning on our way from the bakery in Bray. They had toughed it out and ridden to Bray into the night - respect boys - it was tough during the day, nighttime would be scary, so they deserved a night in the local B&B. Due to a few mishaps and the difficult conditions the group had decided to take a more direct route and head back to Lichtenburg. We bid them farewell,sorry that we could not have gotten to know them better and swop more stories.

Jim's comment on what lay ahead  Patch

We went into Bray early to top up with fuel, water and padkos in preparation for the next 350km of fuel-less, water-less gravel roads, fence track and miles and miles of deep Kalahari sand to Van Zylsrus.

Apprehensive after the previous day's conditions, it was with some trepidation that I assumed my protected postion, riding just behind Jim's dust cloud and trying to move quick enough to not frustrate Chris. I was pleasantly surprised when the road conditions were less sandy and we were able to maintain a good pace. Conditions did not permit a lack of concentration as the conditions and road surface changed so often that we had to remain vigilant at all times. 

Refuelling 100km from Bray




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WR 200 under TLC, YZ 125 under TLC, Blaster 200 - purple one,

XTZ 125E - Sold, '74 DT 175 Enduro - swopped for un-Loved YZ 125
 DR 350 Rides Wet Dogs & wild waters 2011 Midmar Mile 2011 Hardcore Volcano Run May 2012 -  Full Moon Kruger Fence Ride Jimbo's 2012 Hardcore Volcano Run
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #18 on: September 22, 2011, 11:35:25 pm »

 Ricky
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Re: NABIAN HARDCORE VOLCANO RUN « Reply #19 on: September 23, 2011, 03:35:02 am »

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Sounded like the first section up to Bray suited dirt bikes more than DS bikes. It would be good to get a view / ride report from the "Big Boys"

Very lekker - look forward to the next installment ...
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