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Author Topic: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (the complete saga)  (Read 16364 times)

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Offline Bring It On

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2011, 09:52:44 pm »
Definately Subscribed ;)
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Offline DirtCopper

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 11:11:38 pm »
Hie kom n ding :mwink:
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Offline V-Strom

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2011, 11:39:17 pm »
 :happy1: bring it on!!!
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 04:08:53 am »
Water is one element that I am not riding through, unless it means a biiiig detour. Even so, water can still cause a MUCH bigger detour than the original detour would have been. Especially if you still have a long journey ahead, some water/mud in a wheel bearing, and you won't see home......

I couldn't agree more. People cringe when they see where we ride in sand or rocks but I tell you, water/mud only look so harmless
it is the most destructive of all. It is a lot of fun to ride through but I always feel guilty afterwards for the bike's sake.

Nice ride though, looking forward to the rest...

 

Offline jimjim

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2011, 10:08:13 am »
Lyk asof daar groot nette getrek word agter daai trawler ::)

 :laughing4:
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2011, 10:31:53 am »
PART 2:


Mr Fixit (Greg), Bald Eagle (Ross) and myself left Cape Town on Friday morning. A few of Rossí mates were supposed to join us but pulled out at the last moment. When they read this ride report theyíll be very glad they did.

Anyway, we set off along the N1 (damn I hate that road). As Iíve said before I only feel like a trip has begin when I hit the Dutoits kloof pass.
From there we took the Rawsonville turn-off and enjoyed the winding road through slanghoek, and Michellís Pass to Ceres, where we filled up the bikes.
Our next stop was Mount Ceder for a nice lunch while we watched horses play in the fields below.


A shortwhile later and we were at Sanddrif Ė Iíve probably been to the Cederberg half a dozen times but have never stayed there before. Itís a really great campsite, and Iíll definitely stay there again.
One thing I noticed on our way to Sanddrif was that I was not happy on a particularly loose section of the road Ė and then it dawned on me. This was my first real ride since going to Lesotho earlier in the year.
Itís been 6 months since my last trip, and the lack of riding was immediately apparent. I need to practice more often. It felt like Iíd lost my mojoÖ I had no doubt Iíd feel more comfortable tomorrow.


We arrived at Sanddrif with time to setup camp and spend some quality time chilling in the river.
That night we braaied steaks and wors, and I got to test my new grid from ATG. Itís a tiny bit smaller than my gogetta grid, but much lighter. The only problem is that the fireplaces at the campsite are a bit high, so I couldnít sue the whole setup properly (no need to use the pole in the ground), but it worked as a braai grid should.
I should also note that since our last trip Greg and Ross have both purchased the 40l ATG Dry Bags. Both guys are very stoked with them.

We all slept well.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. We had a hearty breakfast of espresso, scrambled eggs and cheese and tomato sandwiches.
The nice thing about doing an outride is that you can leave all your gear at the campsite and travel light.
I did, however, pack some essentials. Tyre repair kit, spare tubes, extra water, 2 cans of tyre weld, medical aid kit and a couple of other little things.

The Esselbank/Wuppertal route is a lot of fun, though not as adventurous as it once seemed, since Iíve done it about 6 times now. I still enjoy it though. The 170 km loop has a bit of everything nice gravel roads, tracks, sand, water crossings, mountain passes, etc.




I was very surprised at how quickly we completed it. We arrived at the top of the pass overlooking Wuppertal before midday. At this rate weíd have lunch in Clanwilliam and be back at Sanddrif before 3.
How wrong could I be?
At the bottom of the pass I remarked to Greg about our good time.
ďNot really.ĒHe said, pointing to his rear tyre, ďIíve got a puncture.Ē
My heart sank. Not because of a puncture in his rear tubeless tyre, which I knew could be repaired in minutes, but because I just realized Iíd left my toolkit back at camp.
I had the standard crappy BMW toolkit under my seat, but as everyone knows thatís pretty damn useless. Iíd left my duct tap, shifting spanner, alan and torx keys, spare clutch and brake levers behind.
Damn.
If either of the Dakarís got a puncture we would have to repair the tubes without taking the wheels off. I said a quick prayer to the gods of earth and sky.
In all my travels Iíd never had a puncture, and I didnít intend on getting one this trip.
We plugged the hole/tear in 1200ís tyre in the shade of Wuppertal.
It was getting hot out there.

The signs that things were coming apart at the seams were there for us to see, we just didnít recoginize them. Greg had bought 4 gas bomb with him Ė 3 of which were empty, and the 4th didnít have a thread so it was essentially useless.
I had 2 bombs.
Both of which we used to re-inflate his tyre.
We also didnít have that pokey thing you use to insert the plugs into the tyre, so we hade to make do with using a leatherman.
Earlier we had discussed doing a 60km detour into Biedou valley (30kms to the Doring river and back). We decided weíd still do it if Gregís plugs held until the turn off to Biedou.
They held.
And we did the detourÖ.
That 60km detour ended up being 180kms for of blood sweat and tears, and lasted almost 24 hours.

The road through Biedou Valley was an easy ride. Iíd heard so much about Biedouís beauty beforehand I was a little disappointed. I donít know exactly what I was expecting, something more epic I suppose.
Anyway the 30kms didnít take long and before we knew it we were at the Doring river.



It was then I opened my stupid mouth. ďThat looks rideable.Ē
Greg agreed. ďLetís do it.Ē
ďDonít be crazy weíll just have to come back across, we canít get to Clanwilliam from the other side. The route is too long. The Dakkies wont have enough fuel.Ē

At this point Greg pulled his Oregon GPS out of his pocket. ďIíve got Tracks for Africa loaded, lets see if there is a shortcut.Ē
ďSure, why not?Ē I agreed.
What a mistake!

Greg hadnít really used his GPS much before, and I donít think it was configured properly. When he asked for distances the GPS gave him the distance as-the-crow flies, not the actual physical distance.


So when he calculated it was only 30 odd kms to the main road (R364) that lead back to Clanwilliam he was waaaaay off.
But who was I to argue with someone elseís map reading skills?
Not wanting to be totally stupid I decided to walk the river first to test the depth. It didnít reach my waist. The bikes should easily make it.


Greg , the most experienced rider, went first on his big GS.
Even though Iíd checked the depth, he must have taken a very slightly different line cause suddenly the GS was pretty deep. He killed the engine, but not fast enough to stop it sucking in some water.
I waded back into the river from the far end to help him push his bike out.
Man, that thing is heavy.


We were about 3 quarters of the way across, when Ross, impatient with waiting, rode into the river.
He didnít get very far, before hitting a submerged rock, and losing control. I yelled at him to kill the engine.
But it was too late.
His bike already looked like a submarine, only one handlebar and a mirror poked above the water like a periscope.
Greg and I finally got his bike to the far shore before wading back to help Ross with his drowned Dakar.

To Be Continued....
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 11:53:35 am by cloudgazer »
 

Offline GlenInk

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2011, 10:46:11 am »
More please !  :3some:
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Online Pullaway

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2011, 10:52:30 am »
Sounds interesting.
It's better to burn out than to fade away!
 

Offline Skipskop

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2011, 10:57:45 am »
Eish uncle murfy always rears his head when least expected.
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Offline JacoM

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2011, 11:15:46 am »
ai...ai! You must see that river bed when it is dry. Big rocks everywhere! Even when it is dry it is a challenge to ride it without hitting big rocks!

Jammer vir julle.
Nou, waar is die res?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 11:16:47 am by JacoM »
 

Offline Brandt

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2011, 11:20:39 am »
Groot kak....
 

Offline JacoM

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2011, 11:27:30 am »
Terwyl ons wag... hier die die prentjie wat julle moes sien VOORDAT julle probeer deurry het! Klippe is bietjie platgetrap voorlangs, maar is erg deurmekaar aan die ander kant!
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2011, 11:30:00 am »
Eish ! this is a kak one !  :eek7:

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

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Offline Lem

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2011, 11:33:29 am »
eish, ek luister graag aan
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Offline Mapsource

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2011, 11:46:43 am »
Ek beaam JacoM se kiekie. Lekker rowwe klippies aan die Karoo kant van die rivier.
 

Offline Heimer

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2011, 11:50:29 am »
groot kaka hierso.

 :happy1:

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Offline ChristoffGS

Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2011, 11:50:43 am »
Terwyl ons wag... hier die die prentjie wat julle moes sien VOORDAT julle probeer deurry het! Klippe is bietjie platgetrap voorlangs, maar is erg deurmekaar aan die ander kant!

Eish, janee, as jy bietjie van die lyn af beweeg is dit nag!  Respek vir die wat enigsins probeer!
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Offline M@tt650GS

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2011, 12:18:29 pm »
One of my worst fears is drowning my bike!! :eek7: Cant wait to read the rest!! :drif:
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 2 added)
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2011, 12:32:38 pm »
PART 3:


We finally managed to haul both bikes to the far bank. Greg went back and successfully rode my bike across the river, as I didnít think I had the skill to do it.
Our only problem now was that we were on the far side of the river, and only one bike was operational.
Greg did not have a sparkplug wrench for his 1200 and the little Dakar one under my seat wouldnít fit in his cylinder.
amazingly, however, the giant GS eventually started of itís own accord. It didnít idle properly and seemed to lack any power but it least it was semi functional. The bike would return to full health by itself.

The Dakar was the real problem. It just wouldnít start. We removed the spark plug, but it didnít appear as if there was any water in the cylinder.
Nothing we did would get the bike to start.
We would have to tow it up the steep embankment and try roll starting it.
The problem was that the 1200 didnít have the power to haul the Dakar up the steep rocky slope. (itís amazing how different the road is on this side of the river)

So I managed to tow the Dakar up fairly high until I ran out of talent and energy. There was no ways I could tow the bike all the way up the rocky track.
Ross tried roll starting the bike, to no avail, the bitch just would not kick into life.
By this time the 1200 was as strong as an ox again, and Greg towed the Dakar up the hill.





It was tough work getting all the bikes to the top of the hill, but once there we felt a small sense of achievement, the road seemed to improve slightly, although it was nowhere near as good as on the other side of the river.
It was almost 15kms to the turn-off indicated on Gregís GPS.

I followed behind them, and was horrifed to see Rossí helmet turn from side to side as he took in the view. Was he mental trying to sightsee?
Obviously! Cause a moment later he came off his bike.

I donít mean to make light of the situation, but he looked like a footballer rolling around on the ground clutching his leg.
We checked that he was okay, let him rest for a moment, and then shat all over him. This is not a sightseeing tour now.
His focus had to be on the tow rope and the GS in front of him.
Nothing else mattered.

We soon got to the small road indicated on the T4A maps.

It was hot as hell.
I guess I should also mention that neither Greg nor Ross left camp with full hydration packs.
Both of them had run out of water.
I still had about a liter left, and an additional liter in my dry bag.
The road under normal circumstance would have been fun to ride, but we were all feeling pretty stressed and tired. And it was tough going. There were a lot of gates to open and close which sapped my strength, but I figured I had it easy compared to the other two.
Just when I thought they had gotten the hang of towing, both bikes went down in a nasty looking spill. The big GS may have cracked its cylinder head cause it leaked a bit of oilÖ but once again the bike seemed indestructible.
Tempers were beginning to fray.

Ross and Greg soon got into the groove and got much better at towing with each passing mile, but it was still tough going.
And it got tougher when the Dakar got a puncture in itís front tyre.
We opted to try the tyre weld route as it was far too hot to attempt a repair.
Ross was in such a state he was willing to leave his bike at the first farm we came across, which just happened to be up the road.
We talked him out of it.
ďIt canít be much further to ClanwilliamĒ, said Greg, still misreading the distances on his GPS

I rode to the farm, and managed to get some more water for us. The lady gave me some bad news, which I relayed to my mates.
It was still another 30kms to the R364, and from there another 90kms to Clanwilliam.
We pushed on.
But we didnít get far before Rossís tyre deflated again. We used the 2nd can of Tyre Weld (this one worked).
A few kms further down the road and the plugs popped out of the 1200ís rear tyre, so we had to repair that as well.
Petrol was now our big concern.
My Dakar, might just might make it to Clanwilliam (I had filled up in Ceres the previous day), but the big GS was sucking down juice like no tomorrow since it was towing the other Dakar.
We siphoned a few liters out of the stricken bike using the tube from Rossí camelpak.
He wasnít happy about it, as heís just bought it for the trip.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 09:16:29 am by cloudgazer »
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Drowning GS's in the Doring River (part 3 added)
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2011, 12:37:42 pm »
entertaining , now come with the rest  :drif:

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY