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Offline Trailrider

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Roam Free
« on: August 12, 2007, 02:02:17 pm »
It was difficult! I‚??ve always wanted to do a ride without planning anything, but having a long weekend looming without planning the ride in the minutest detail proved very difficult. I did try and determine where various Wild Dogs will be over the weekend. Running into some of them would be very cool.  8)

On Wednesday I spoke to Eisbein and I told him about my idea of just riding where-ever the wind blows for 4 days. He thought it a good idea and decided to join. For a GS the trip from Cape Town to George is just a quick hop.

Day 1

Thursday morning early we were ready. Where to? How far? Who knows?  ;D



We both wanted to see Gysmanshoek Pass so we set off in a Westerly direction. Early in the ride already we decided to take roads we did not usually take or know. This took us past the Wolwedans dam and down the little gravel pass running into Groot Brak.



The leisurely scenic ride took us past Brandwag and down several interesting roads (some ending in dead ends). We did have a head wind that wreaked havoc with my heavily laden bike at times, but it was a sunny day and the scenery was stunning.



Only two rules applied ‚?? explore and ride in a generally Westerly direction to Gysmanshoek Pass. We had tents and food and drink for one day. Where we would end up we did not know. Along the way we happened upon the Vetrivier Korente Dam. It‚??s a very nice spot! And so close to home. Who knew?





And there we were:



We were excited to get into the mountains at last. It‚??s been a while since I‚??ve ridden a pass I haven‚??t seen before.



We even thought that if we saw a nice secluded spot we‚??ll just camp and sleep in the mountains. Apparently we weren‚??t the first people who have had this idea.  ;) ;D



It‚??s a nice road and not to technical. Just as were starting to enjoy the ride we found ourselves looking into the Klein Karoo. WTF?  ??? That‚??s it?  :( Maybe living 3km from Montagu Pass spoils a person, but this pass is not the most spectacular.  :-\

Where to now? Sutherland? Cederberg? These options sounded nice, but we knew there was an approaching cold front and the Westerly wind was blowing profusely, so after half a day of traveling West in the coastal belt, we found ourselves traveling East in the Klein Karoo. Riding with the wind was a lot better!  8)



The spirit of adventure was alive and well now. We were traveling towards Gysmanshoek during the morning, but now we were just traveling. Riding where the wind blew us.



Born free‚?¶



We traveled past Van Wyksdorp and towards Rooiberg Pass



This pass is longer and (in my opinion) better than Gysmanshoek. It‚??s got up‚??s and down‚??s and sweeping vistas.





By now it was getting late and we needed to find a place to stay. We refueled in Calitzdorp and heard about a place called the Bosvarkie. When we got there it did not seem like the type of place we‚??d want stay, so we traveled east still.



We stopped at the Calitzdorp Spa only to hear that bikes are not welcome  :o (especially loud bikes with performance exhausts!).  >:( But our bikes aren‚??t loud at all?  ??? We‚??ll only ride to the camping spot and out again the next morning ‚?? promise! OK. We‚??ll make an exception‚?¶

It‚??s quite a nice spot with Springbuck roaming free among the tents. What a day we had! And after traveling 400km for the day we ended up sleeping 60km from my home.



We had a nice braai and chatted about everything under the bright stars of the Klein Karoo. What a privilege. What would the next day hold?
 

Offline MuttsNutts

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 02:34:14 pm »
Awesome, As usual trail rider, Thanks for the info on Gysmanshoek, I was planning a special trip from Somerset West just for that, Now I will put it on my "To do in passing list"

Thanks
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 03:16:09 pm »
Day 2

It‚??s was a cold night. It‚??s a good thing we weren‚??t in Sutherland. Early the next morning I could not take it anymore ‚?? I needed a hot shower. By the time the sun came up I was as fresh as the morning dew.



Which is more than some others could say‚?¶  ;D





Where to today? Well, we hoped to run into some Wild Dogs and we knew that Gulp, Masehare and some others were planning to ride Baviaans so Baviaans it would be. We slept a lot closer to home than we expected on the first night and we knew we could do 400km a day easily so we wanted to get some km‚??s under our belt. Let‚??s travel east and see how far through Baviaans we could get. Eastern Cape ‚?? here we come!



There really still are some roads around here I have not ridden before. The scenery chances often and there are little traffic. How nice!







From Oudtshoorn we took the Kammanassie road to Uniondale ‚?? Eisbein‚??s first time on this route. It‚??s very scenic and along with the Oude Muragie road a must if you travel in the Oudtshoorn area.





We saw quite a few on these old houses in our travels and even thought we might pitch our tents in one of these one night‚?¶

We were relaxed and free - the everyday stresses gone and forgotten. We cruised through the countryside stopping often for photo‚??s (Eisbein took some great one‚??s that I hope he‚??ll post later) and we were full of jokes and laughs.  ;D ;D ;D



In Uniondale we bought some steaks for the evening braai and headed out towards Baviaans. At one stage I noticed that Eisbein was not behind me anymore. I stopped and waited and waited. Nothing. Something was amiss. I rode back to find Eisbein sitting next to the road, his head in his hands. His first words were ‚?? My trip is over‚?Ě. Oh no!  :( :'(



Apparently his rear suspension seized. We tried to phone BMW George but the workshop manager was not available - try his cell. This phone only rang until it went over to voicemail. We needed another plan. Lets crawl back to Uniondale ‚?? I saw a camping spot there. We can organize more if we‚??re in civilization.

Once we got there the place was really run down. Not the type of place where you‚??d want to spend the night. We phoned Mrs. TR and asked her to start driving towards Uniondale. We‚??d crawl back towards George and meet her en route. This way we could load all the luggage in the car and maybe make our way towards George a bit faster to reach home before dark. We rode on tar and into a head wind ‚?? not nice!  >:( >:( >:(

Going was slow, but we did stop on the Potjiesberg Pass for some photo‚??s.



Some ways down the Langkloof road we were just gatvol.  >:( We stopped and waited for the car to arrive.



Soon after Mrs. TR arrived with ‚??Sweeper‚?Ě Mike. He‚??s always willing to lend a helping hand. Thanks Mike!

During our ride my speedo cable also developed an issue and I was unsure about how much petrol I had left.  >:( Sure enough, 20km from George I ran out. I‚??ve only got about 8km on reserve (that‚??s just stupid!  ??? ) and I reached a farm fuel pump (with only 1km of petrol left) just as they were closing up shop. Talk about cutting it close!

I decided to break off from Eisbein and the car and ride towards George via Montagu pass. Over the mountain on this lovely pass I regained some sanity. It‚??s a very nice ride in dusk and I think Letsgofishing‚??s idea of doing it on a night ride is a great idea.

After riding 350km on day 2 we were to sleep at home, 60km from where we started this morning. This ride sure wasn‚??t going the way we didn‚??t plan...

We did have a nice braai with the steaks we bought and chatted the night away until the wee hours. It's was a good end to a not so good day.  :)
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 04:15:05 pm »
Day 3

Even though we had a late night we got up early to get Eisbein‚??s bike to Lynn Shroeder BMW. Once there Donovan, the workshop manager, said he saw us next to the road in the Langkloof and he even flashed his lights. Turns out he was on his way to Baviaans to help out another BMW that broke‚?¶

The bike could not be fixed on the Saturday and we phoned Mrs. Eisbein to come and fetch Eisbein from Cape Town.

Well, this was day 3 of our weekend and the ride is not over till we say it‚??s over. We went home and fetched the CTX200 and Mrs. TR‚??s NXR125. We were planning to ride and that‚??s what we‚??re going to do!!!

We hit some dirt roads and I went to show Eisbein the farm. The farm is up against the mountain and it‚??s got an amazing view:



Well, while we‚??re here ‚?? have you ever ridden in the Outeniqua mountains? What a good idea! We got the necessary permissions and keys and off we went. When we reached the gate we found that a tree and fallen over and obstructed our way.  ::)



Not to worry ‚?? today we are trail riders!  ;D I fetched a saw from the farm and we cleared away branches until we could pass under. Nothing was going to stop us today.  8)

We rode through the forest and every so often you‚??d catch a glimpse of the amazing view on this crystal clear day.



We kept riding higher and higher, with Eisbein preferring the views over the forest ride lower down. The higher you go, the better the view get.



We could see all the way to Mosselbay by now.

We went higher and higher through the thick indigenous forest looking for clearings where we could admire the view. When we did see the view it was just a cherry on top of what was amazing scenery anyway.



Believe me, you never get blas√© about riding in areas like these. Day 3 was turning out to be the best day of the lot! (And you all thought our ride was over  ;) )



We were adventure riders and we were roaming free as planned. Our biggest problem was choosing which way to go each time there was a fork in the road. There are a myriad of trails up here in the mountain.  ;D





We decided on one rule ‚?? when we‚??d be confronted with yet another option we‚??d opt for the road that would take us higher.

Just look at this:



Could we really ask for more on our weekend trip?



Mrs. Trailriders NXR really is photogenic.



We switched bikes every so often and had the time of our lives.  ;D

Higher and higher still



Until we were as high as we could go. You ride up through the forest and some sections are rather steep. Finally when you reach the top you turn around to see what you were searching for. The view took our breath away. We were on top of the world looking down onto the garden route. It was crystal clear and you could see as far as you wanted to. Even Mosselbay seemed close.



The best of all is that there are so many routes here that you do not have to take the same road down.  ;D You just ride any road that seems interesting ‚?? and they all are. The trip down is even more breathtaking than the trip up because now you had the view right in front of you.



Until you enter the lush forest lower down of course. Riding in this area is a total sensory experience. You see the amazing scenery, you smell the fresh air and earth. These bikes run so quietly that you even hear the birds singing. When you enter the forest you feel the colder air and then the sun when you enter a clearing. Total sensory overload.



What a day, what a weekend. It might not have turned out as we didn‚??t plan  ;D , but man was it worth it. Mrs. Eisbein arrived safely from Cape Town and our families had the most amazing evening together.

Sometimes you must just take what life throws your way in your stride. It‚??s easy to get down when problems pop up, but is it worth it? Adventure is out there just waiting to happen!

Thanks Eisbein for a great weekend!

 :hello2: :thumleft:
 

Offline GSASTERIX (RIP)

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 04:47:28 pm »
 :hello2: :hello2:   :salut: :salut:

THATS THE WAY TO DO IT

JUST DO IT (NIKE)

GREATE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LIFE IS 2 SHORT FOR SHIT!!!!
U NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
 

Offline Doggone

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2007, 05:06:26 pm »
Awesome !  I admire the way you guys just took it one step at a time!! True freedom!!! ;D
"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the Courage to Continue that Counts"  Winston Churchill
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Online Ratel

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2007, 05:23:46 pm »
Fantastico!!! ;)
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline keithk

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2007, 05:24:49 pm »
Super ride and a super report you guys sure had some fun  ;D
ROUTE DIFFICULTY:1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillion friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillion friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding
5 = expert only (we are not worthy, still to meet one)
 

Offline Leo

Re: Roam Free
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2007, 06:51:12 pm »
Lovely report.

Eisbein sorry about the breakage  :o

Looks like you okes had a ball  ;)

Thanks for sharing
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ReyDakar

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2007, 07:04:19 pm »
Trailrider,

Nice ride and thanks for the photo of my home town (Groot Brak).  Wish I was there to enjoy the rides and scenery.  Have been looking on Google Earth for routes to ride when back in SA.  When I did my JL's in Oudsthoorn we crossed Rooiberg as part of our "Vasbyt".  One day I want to show the kids that area.

Not too many dirt roars in/around Madrid, but will do a ride of all the villages in the area.

ReyDakar
 

Offline wino

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2007, 07:13:39 pm »
your rides around that area never ceases to amaze me :cheers:
 

Offline Stephan

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2007, 08:11:00 pm »
Great stuff TR, Rooiberg sure is one of the better passes to ride.  Eisbein how about a update, what went wrong with your scoot?
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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2007, 09:16:29 pm »
Mooi man, the freedom that a ride without a plan brings is great, thanks for sharing  ;)
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Offline Eisbein

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2007, 09:42:56 pm »
Hi there all !

Just arrived home (by cage) - we are just unpacking. After that I'll resize and post some more photos.

For now I just want to say thanks to the Trailriders (And mrs Trailrider, thanks for Giel as well ;D )
Trailrider, for letting me in on this - it really is amazing how we clicked on every aspect of our trip (riding style and personalities/sense of humour). Thanks also for letting me be part of the 'Trailrider world'.

Mrs Trailrider, thanks for fetching our luggage that day, as well as showing us all the hospitality and letting me use your NXR for the best riding day in a long time.
We really enjoyed to just hang with you guys over the rest of the weekend as well.


I will update shortly.

Wihan

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 topbox

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2007, 10:28:03 pm »
Nice one guys, i like the spirit
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Offline Uiltjie

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2007, 10:43:38 pm »
....en so ry die twee groot manne op hul klein rooi staatmakers in die verte oor die horison, met net die geluid van die stil standaard Honda pype wat in die aandskemer bly hang...... Die stofstrepies l√™ skuins in die Noordewind, met die goedhartige geliefdes wat alleen agterbly, elkeen met 'n enkele traan wat oor die wang gly.  Maar hulle weet, hul geliefde ridders is nou werklik vry........

VOLG ELKE WOENSDAG HIERDIE INGRYPENDE VERHAAL OM 3uur, NET HIER OP SPRINGBOK RADIO.......WAAR WERKLIKE LEWENSVERHALE VERTEL WORD! ;D
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Offline droffarc

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2007, 10:56:16 pm »
I wish, I wish I wish,


maybe if I keep wishing it will come about that I can do such magnificent trips some day soon.

but right now it is back to the grinding stone.

UIltjie, are you not refering to "So maak mens" with Jan Cronje and tannie Esme' or was that Trailrider and friends. Drie uur was die Indringer van Drietjie Beukes or was that before your time? ;D
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Offline Uiltjie

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2007, 10:58:40 pm »
Tannie Esme en Jan Cronje was 2.45 to 3 as ek reg onthou!  Ek is eintlik 'n "Seun van die Wildtemmer" ou!
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Offline Eisbein

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2007, 11:03:46 pm »
....en so ry die twee groot manne op hul klein rooi staatmakers in die verte oor die horison, met net die geluid van die stil standaard Honda pype wat in die aandskemer bly hang...... Die stofstrepies l√™ skuins in die Noordewind, met die goedhartige geliefdes wat alleen agterbly, elkeen met 'n enkele traan wat oor die wang gly.  Maar hulle weet, hul geliefde ridders is nou werklik vry........

VOLG ELKE WOENSDAG HIERDIE INGRYPENDE VERHAAL OM 3uur, NET HIER OP SPRINGBOK RADIO.......WAAR WERKLIKE LEWENSVERHALE VERTEL WORD! ;D

;D :D

Bwaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaha !





As die hadida's roep in die verte ...
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 11:04:54 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 Eisbein

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Re: Roam Free
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2007, 11:46:18 pm »
I can't really add anything to what TR has said already, so I'll just post a lot of photos and add a comment or three.
Let me just say in Gysmans' defense that it is way more worthwhile if you do the kloof from the Heidelberg side (like Vicky and I did with Uiltjie and Phillip on the way to attakwas). The pass itself is a little bit of a letdown - just as you start to enjoy it it's over.
Doing the whole thing will be cool.

There was another rule that came into play - stop for as many photos as needed.
TR and I both did a couple of 'wait-here-'till-I'm around-that-turn-and-then-start-riding-for-a-photo' moments.
I ended up more than once flat on my stomach for a different perspective.

About the bike - to be honest I must say that I was brutally disappointed (as I know TR was as well - this was the 3rd time that he wanted to go into (and through the wilderness area) at the baviaans. Due to circumstances like this he still have to do it...)

The plan was to go as far as we can (before the wilderness area) and then set up camp. The next morning we would leave the luggage at the campsite and go through to Patensie and back, pick up our luggage and then head over De Vlught and through to Knysna. That was at least before plans was changed ...

Here's what happened:
We were riding into the Baviaans area at a very nice pace. About 10 k's from the N9 there was a couple of 'flood corrosion' bumps in the road. They were quite cool to go over at speed, until the last one had quite a deep furrow/trench on the other side (that I didn't see in time). I ended up not standing up in time to take the knock. Both front and back bottomed out quite intensely. It was after that that it started feeling like I was riding on corrugation. It was then (as I was wondering about that) that I noticed that the back wasn't bouncing up and down anymore... :(

It was weird going back. Sometimes the whole thing would come loose and start working again, other times I would stop with a 'hardtail' with my feet able to touch flat on either side, while other times the shock were stuck totally high with my feet barely able to touch the ground.

I'm wating to Lynn Schroeder to give me a call this week after they've opened it.

The good thing was that this didn't happen last time in Attakwas while Vicky was there as well.
Any issue where you can ride home from it could have been a lot worse !

The other good thing was that we had a chance to take the smaller bikes into some very cool terrain in George.

And we can always do baviaans some other day...

Here are a couple (more than a couple) of photos.
Trailrider posted some of my pics on his blog, so I 'sommer' linked them there directly...
The other ones are on my photobucket...


I thought this looked cool...



Grootbrak


Vetterivier/korente dam ...






On the way to Herberstdale somewhere:



Gysmansmodder:


Gysmanskloof :


Some interesting Gysman's road:


On the way to VanWyksdorp:



On the way tp Calitzdorp:


Rooibergpass:



TR riding:


Me:


Our campsite:





On the way to Oudshoorn:





TR next to the road on the way to Oudshoorn:


Me:


The obligotory mirror shot:



Some church in the middle of nowhere:




TR's dad's farm:



Hoog in die takke:


TR in the mountains



TR looking down:



TR over a bump:



TR's CTX on the farm:


Some cool scenery and roads:









« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 11:53:09 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