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Offline Trailrider

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A Cold day in Hell (Now including Eisbein's Report!)
« on: June 18, 2007, 11:28:58 am »
It‚??s true after all‚?¶ It can get cold in Hell.

The whole week excitement grew about the weekend‚??s trip. Time could not pass fast enough. On Friday Eisbein arrived from Cape Town. His bike ‚??Sauerkraut‚?Ě fitted right in at the Trailrider household.





Soon after Spook arrived from P.E. He was going to do the trip on Mrs. Trailrider‚??s NXR125, but he also considered taking the ‚??KTM‚?Ě.



Full of jokes as usual‚?¶  ;D

With all this joking around in the garage Eisbein noticed a faint hissing sound. It turns out he had a nail in his tyre and we had to fix a flat before the trip even started. No jokes!



We could not wait to get on the road, so we went and filled up the bikes for the next day. I rode on the GS while Eisbein tried out my Trail bike. I have to say that although heavy, the GS is a very nice ride.



Spook decided to ad some serious ‚??bling‚?Ě to the 125 for this trip.  8)



Lots of laughs and a nice dinner later we turned in. On Saturday we woke to a glorious day and it did not take long for the other riders to arrive.



From left to right we had Mike (Clinton‚??s dad) on a NXR125, Elmar on his DT125 ‚??Super Trail‚?Ě, Spook on Mrs Trailrider‚??s NXR125, I rode my CTX200, Batman and Robin on their Zongshen 200cc Bat-mobiles, Clinton on his NXR125 (sporting new elbow and knee protection) and Eisbein on his GS1100.

So finally we set out ‚?? direction Montagu Pass. No matter how many times you‚??ve been here, it remains special.





The view from thee top was amazing. We could see all the way to the ocean.



We rode through Herold and Paarde Poort and headed into the Little Karoo when suddenly we saw a ‚??road closed‚?Ě sign. Like moths to a flame‚?¶ It might as well have been a large red sign that says ‚??This way!‚?Ě





Unfortunately the sign did not deliver. There was no technical stuff at all. We followed the road past Dysselsdorp and linked up with the N12 for a couple of km‚??s to refuel in De Rust. All the way the scenery was stunning with the Little Karoo being really green after the recent rains.



Filled up we started on the amazing Oude Muragie road en route to Swartberg Pass.



We used the buddy system where every rider is responsible for the rider behind him. If you don‚??t see the rider behind you, you stop and wait. If he does not pitch up you turn around to see what‚??s amiss.

Halfway through the Oude Murage road we realized that the rider behind was not there. We waited a while and took some photos.



When it became clear that no-one was coming we turned around to see what happened. What we found sent chills down my spine‚?¶ Robin overcooked it in a corner and went over the side of the road dropping 3 meters into the trees.  :o

(He was traveling in the opposite direction than what the bikes are facing.)



When he realized he had too much speed he braked and locked the rear wheel. This sent him flying over the edge into the trees. He missed sharp edges of broken branches on an old tree stump by mere centimeters and landed a couple of meters further than the bike. He was quite shaken, but luckily he was ok.



The bike had some damage but first we had to recover the bike before we could asses the situation.





Spook full of jokes as usual‚?¶  ;D



It‚??s a good thing this was not a heavy GS!







The bike had broken lights and mirrors, bent handlebars, lots of broken brackets (including the exhaust bracket), lots of scratches and other cosmetic damage, but it could still ride!



Robin had some Coke (sugar) and assured us he is fine and ready to ride. Some rope and lots of cable ties later we were on the road again.

We carried on at a slow pace with lots of photo stops to settle everybody‚??s nerves down.



Of course being in this beautiful scenery helps!





Spook enjoyed being on a trip on 2 wheels and not as the backup vehicle.



We continued up the Swartberg Pass and were treated to amazing views on this crystal clear day.



On top of the world



Next up was the road to Hell. Of course you have to have your picture taken next to the sign.



It was getting later in the day and already you could feel the biting cold in the breeze. We made our way to Gamkaskloof slowly, marveling at the beauty of this special place.





We encountered lots more water crossings than usual and judging by the temperature I guess that this could still be runoff from the snow they had some weeks ago.

Batman testing the waters:



Eisbein taking the ‚??yacht‚?Ě through:



Robin still going strong



Man I love this stuff! Especially the longer crossings.





And then, lo and behold, Gamkaskloof lay below us.



It‚??s a good thing Robin didn‚??t try his flying tricks here‚?¶







These new signs are up all over. Luckily we had permits (and we were asked to produce them twice).



Eventually we reached our humble abode for the night. It was quite cozy, even tough it reminded us a lot of our army days.





Beds and a braai. What more does a man need?



Warm clothes might be a good idea‚?¶ Thanks Jaqhama for sending me this cap all the way from Australia!



Anybody who‚??s been on a trip with Spook knows that the fun & jokes carry on until the wee hours of the morning. Suffice it to say that fun was had by all.

On Sunday morning we woke to this:







Saturday afternoon we arrived at dusk, this morning we saw Gamkaskloof in all it‚??s splendor.





Whether you‚??re traveling up or down ‚?? this little pass is a sight to behold.


 

A last look at this special kloof that we shall visit again.



A twisty road in a beautiful setting - any Wild Dog‚??s dream



Some had close calls in the water crossings



Others found it easy



Eisbain taking his ‚??boat‚?Ě through.





The green Zongshen had some problems with bits that kept falling off. We had to stop every so often to try and keep the bike together with cable ties, rope and pieces of wire.





At this stage Eisbein said his goodbyes as he still had to ride to Cape Town. We continued back to De Rust where we had to refuel. Spook was taking good care of Mrs. Trailrider‚??s bike as promised.



We took the same route back to George‚?¶



‚?¶with lots of rest stops for sore bums.



Eventually we arrived in a windy George. We were a tired lot, but we had a Hell of a time! Batman, Robin, Mike, Clinton, Elmar, Eisbein and Spook ‚?? thanks for making this a successful trip! See you next month in Attakwaskloof.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 10:40:13 am by Trailrider »
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 11:43:29 am »
Great report!! ;)

Must be great living so close to all that beautiful scenery...

 
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Offline Eisbein

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 11:55:05 am »
Excellent photos and nice report.

Thanks !

I'm busy with something at work now, so my little contribution will come shortly.

I just want to say for now that apart from the trip back after we parted ways (which bordered on nightmarish) I had the most amazing weekend.
Thanks Trailrider for organizing the permits and booking the accommodation and thanks for all that was there for making this a weekend to remember and smile about for a long time to come!


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 funacide

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2007, 12:00:36 pm »
Awesome report dude, some of the most spectacular areas in SA.

Note to Self: must do a trip to Eastern Cape  ASAP... O0
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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 12:16:53 pm »
Trailrider, your reports are TOP NOTCH! Brilliant stuff... very enjoyable to read. Thanks! :thumleft:
 

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2007, 12:29:46 pm »
Thanks TR. 

Very, very jealous.   
 

Offline Captain Zef

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 12:34:16 pm »
Baie mooi.

Ek is nou baie spyt ek het nie saam gekom nie.

Wat  :o ek het nie eers een foto gesien van Spook met 'n bier in die hand nie. ;D Lekker om te sien Spook ry bike.

Robin: Stadig oor die klippe maat.  ;)


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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 12:37:15 pm »
Great report!

Good to see Robin and the bike was Ok to complete the trip.

That rule works! As long as everyone follows it.
He who angers you, controls you.
 

Offline KAAS

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 01:07:23 pm »
Baie nice report, eks bly Robin is okay. Mooi fotos swaer. Sal kyk of ons dit gaan maak. Laat weet maar die datum.
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Offline Watty

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 01:30:08 pm »
Al wat ek kan sê is en
 

Offline LostDOG

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 01:38:47 pm »
Excellent report - glad all in one piece!

Wicked 2nd last photo!!!!

I envy you guys for that Valley!
It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The windnoise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. Suck it up. -- Scary Gary MC
 

Offline BMWPE

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 05:44:20 pm »
Excellent ride report
thanks for sharing
Rallye
 

Offline Stephan

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 06:01:40 pm »
Al wat ek kan sê is en


+1

Good to see some familiar faces again.  You sure Spook didn't fill the bike with Spookp1s?  :D :D
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Offline KiLRoy

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 06:39:06 pm »
Lekka TR - good stuff - see you soon

H
 

Offline wino

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 06:43:55 pm »
looks like the group had plenty fun! great riding!
 

Offline Raider

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2007, 07:09:01 pm »
Geniet altyd jou verslae met uitstekende foto's.



Dit is nooit lekker om skade aan 'n bike te sien nie. :( Net baie bly Robin is ok en kon trip meemaak.

Doen so voort!
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Offline Eisbein

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2007, 08:33:41 pm »
Here's a little more from my point of view.

Trailrider has pretty much said it all, so I'm just gonna add a bit (and maybe the odd photo) here and there and then add a comment on one or two things that he said.
I also comment a little on my trip to and from the Southern Cape / klein Karoo.


I decided that (since I took Friday off) I would ride a road that I've never done before. Franschoek, over the pass to Theewaterskloof, over the bridge, left and on towards Genadendal, Greyton and then popping out onto the N2 about 5 km from Riviersonderend.

It was raining like mad the morning, but I've made my mind up and was on my way. I was hoping that it wouldn't be raining too much on the far side of Franschoek, as I wasn't in the mood for any mudmonsters. This was fueling up at Franschoek:





After the turnoff where you can go to Botrivier I stopped on a little hill for this:


A little bit of tar I had to negotiate some tar on the road to the turnoff to Greyton / Genadendal:



Some gravel highway:


Some more Gravel highway:


The Overberg is always beautiful, but this time of year is just amazing:


Some roadworks close to Greyton:
Is that what some guys here refer to as stofdonkies ? :P



The gravel road then goes towards the N2 - this is the last time you cross the river before joining up with the N2 again:


In Montague pass:
I was riding 'sweeper'. What was good about it was that I got to see the bikes snake up (and around) some very nice roads ahead of me. The other thing that was very cool was that I (seeing that I was the only one on a heavy bike) didn't have to worry about going too slow of too fast. The speed turned out to be just right for my 'scenery watching needs'...




This was taken on the road between Montagu pass and De Rust:





On the Oude Muragie road:





This I put in purely for selfish reasons - this is going to be my desktop photo when I'm 'moeg' of the current one:


This was up Swartberg pass:


A photo taken from the top of the swartberg pass - yip, its them down there.
What an amazing view to all sides:


We have all seen this:

They should have  also said that the last 3 was getting really interesting...

Some scenery going in - look at that twisty road.
You cannot believe the beauty that is in that valley.


This was the last (and best) water crossing:
Spook doing his thing:



Clinton:


Batman (Maurice) with the 'Batmobile':


The one and only 'grootwild' Trailrider (one of the big two for this trip) in his natural habitat:


Robin (Johan the flying dutchman) :


Mike (Clinton's dad):


Elmar 'flying' through:



Getting close to the edge:


Elmar on the edge before that last pass.
I must say, of all the photos that I took during this trip, this one is my favourite:


Sunset at the office of Cape Nature:


Who's the morning person ?
Doesn't look too bad after the late night ...



This was the Sunday morning on the way out:


A little further:


I left the group behind about 3 k's from the Swartberg pass.
I was literally almost blown off the mountain. After the 1st long straight on the way down (just around the next corner) I was 'klapped' from the side by a hellova side wind. I was fighting for balance about 50cm from the edge on a very high cliff.

That was scary...


I took one photo on the way home.
I was pushed for time (I know, i know...) and with the lots of stops to retie luggage and exhaust canisters I was a little late.
This is between Swartbergpass and Calitzdorp:


From there it was involuntary lane changes and fighting the wind all the way home.
I have honestly not ridden in wind like this before.
On that neck in the hill just on the Worcester side of Robertson I almost had a nother issue.
At about 110 I came over the top and got blown into the oncoming traffic. The front wheel was bouncing around trying to figure out if it should stay with keeping on gripping the road or if it should just give up and end the suspense. The panniers on the back plus the wind made it very light and I felt it break loose a couple of times. Only thing I could do was break hard to get weight back onto the front wheel and get bike back into the proper lane. Luckilly the guy in a car that was just to the left of me  saw me starting to struggle and backed off a little so I had room to move.

If I could kiss the clouds that poured down on me on the Cape Town side of Du Toits kloof I would have.
The wind quieted down to a gentle tempest on this side...


Arrived home very tired, but very satisfied.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 03:27:45 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 JourneyMan

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 08:38:02 pm »
You guys certainly take nice travel pics.

Thanks Eisbein.
He who angers you, controls you.
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2007, 08:44:57 pm »
Wow. This is a nice pic!  ;D

 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: A Cold day in Hell (Dail-ups beware - 60+ pics)
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2007, 09:26:42 pm »
Thanks for the comments !


Last couple of thoughts about the weekend:
It was an amazing ride and very cool people. I am glad that I got to know everyone a little better.
The ride (and pace) was perfect for what I was in the mood for.
Trailrider was a little worried that I would be a little bored during the actual riding, as I was the only one with a big bike amongst 125's and 200's. To be honest it was amazing.
The average speed on the gravel was between 60 and 80.
Spook and me had a couple of 'runs' where we fell behind a little tying up his luggage that kept shifting. He was on a 125 and I was on the GS. The 125 went 'round tight corners like anything, where the GS was a little heavy and started sliding sideways at a lower speed than what he could do.
The power was nice on the straighter bits, but there weren't that much of them...

What was also amazing was that it fealt like no-one had 'anything to prove'.
We were just a couple of friends having a good time on bikes while enjoying nature.
Trailrider also said in his initial invitation that it was going to be a scenic route and not a race to the finish line. That was what I signed up for, that was what I expected and that was excactly what I got. :thumbsup:

Take a look at the 'brands':


An interesting assortment indeed !

It was also very nice to get to know the guys.

The evening braai and 'kuier' was one of the most delightfully silly evenings I had in a long time.
Lots of laughs and chatter.

The late night chat with Trailrider and Mike was very cool. A bit of being silly, a little bit of finding answers to 'life, the universe and everything', a lots of bike talk and humour.



Comments on Trialrider's report:
I rode on the GS while Eisbein tried out my Trail bike. I have to say that although heavy, the GS is a very nice ride.

And you looked good on it, buddy!

I also realized why you liked your bike for the riding that you do. I felt like the bike became another pair of legs...







With all this joking around in the garage Eisbein noticed a faint hissing sound. It turns out he had a nail in his tyre and we had to fix a flat before the trip even started. No jokes!

As you can see from the photo Spook was doing the fixing. That's the thing about Spook: He's is 1st when a joke needs to be made, but when we need to get serious (or where help needs to be given) he is also 1st there.

Quiet, behind the scenes give it all type of guy...


When it became clear that no-one was coming we turned around to see what happened. What we found sent chills down my spine‚?¶ Robin overcooked it in a corner and went over the side of the road dropping 3 meters into the trees.
This was weird. I'm the sweeper, 'Batman' is ahead of me, 'Robin' ahead of him and then Spook.

So I'm close to 'Batman', we go 'round the corner, down the road, round the next corner and here spook is standing.
I stop about 10 meters ahead of Spook, and Batman does the same. I gesture the 'palms up' 'what's wrong sign. Spook gestures back - holds up 7 fingers. I turn around and stop next to him: "What?"
Spook tells me that I'm the 7th one - the green bike is missing.

"I didn't see him standing next to the road ?!"

As Spook said the next line I froze:
"Then he must have gone off the pass".

Instant wet-blanket-on-everything-spine-chilling-heart stopping moment as the realization stepped in.
"There is no other explanation." 
Spook said he knew where it could have happenend. Some corrugation on the top. Says he almost lost it there himself. So I 'gooi' up that bit as fast as the GS would let me. Get around the corner and here Johan ('Robin') is standing with his helmet in his hands and the bike no where in sight. As I was looking for a place to park I saw the bike a couple of meters down.

Spook arrived very shortly after that and then Trailrider's report already took it further.




Spook full of jokes as usual‚?¶
At this stage all of us was naturally still quite shaken. It was then (as Spook and me was trying to work some branches out of the wheels as the bike didn't want to move) that Robin said: "F** weet, ek het glad nie so gesukkel om die fiets hier onder te kry nie".

Instant histeria - the ice was broken and we knew that Robin was gonna be just fine.





The bike had broken lights and mirrors, bent handlebars, lots of broken brackets (including the exhaust bracket), lots of scratches and other cosmetic damage, but it could still ride!

Those Zonkie's (Zongshen donkie) really impressed me. The only reason that the one needed attention back was because of all the brackets that broke off during the fall. Impressive bikes for 13 Gorillas...


Eisbein taking his ‚??boat‚?Ě through.

More like a destroyer class submarine ...
:P :D



Again, thanks for organizing everything.
Thanks also for everyone that was there - it was a privilage to share the ride and nature with you guys.

For you guys I would go to hell and back.

...Again
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 03:29:40 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