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Thread: Advice re a trip from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg

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    Post Advice re a trip from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg

    Hi everyone,

    My friend and I are considering a bike trip from CT to PMB in August for a friend's wedding. The idea is to go Plumstead,CT->M5->N1->N5->N3 and then into 'maritzburg. For those who've take long trips recently, is there any advice you can give or experiences you can share with us? The longest trip I've taken riding is to Franschhoek. Yeah...I know. Also, August is probably not the ideal month for such a trip (or is it?), but we figured it will be fun to rock up at the wedding with our bikes as he's a fellow rider. We're aiming for a 2-3 days trip on the road to 'maritzburg and the scenic route (5 days? still undecided) on the way back. Any tips, ideas or general advice re the trip there and back will be greatly appreciated! Oh, I've never been to 'maritzburg, so really looking forward to this trip.
    Last edited by interpros; 06-07-2014 at 01:06 PM. Reason: spelling
    "Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself."

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    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    1) Rule 1: enjoy the trip!
    2) Keep it below 600 km per day
    3) Stop and take a break every 80 - 100 km
    4) stay well hydrated
    5) Be aware that after 4-500 km you become speed fatigued and need to think twice before taking decisions

    Travelling on the major N routes will be boring.

    Linus (and others) will be able to give good advice.
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


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    I are a chicken! nonconformiss's Avatar
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    Riding from JHB to CT I took minor N roads (e.g. N9), and others with much longer numbers, but mostly planned to travel from town to town, had a coffee or something in each one. Once I found the right smallish road out of Joburg (with help!) this worked beautifully, even for one with as horrible a sense of direction as I. Gorgeous trip, 3.5 days.

    Invest in a good rainsuit and waterproof mittens.

    May the road rise up to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face...
    And until we meet again
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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    Thank you for the good advice. We're preparing for a wet trip, but hoping for some sunshine on the way there.
    "Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself."

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    After some deliberation, we decided to take the N2 to Pietermaritzburg. It was a fun and interesting trip over 3 days, with two overnight stops in Knysna and East London. It was nice going and we had no issues on the road...aside from the animals in our path, mostly on the East London to Mthatha route. Otherwise, all was good. Was surprised about how courteous people were on our stops and also, most of the people on the road as well - a new experience for me. Here's our motley pair on arrival, after the longest trip either of us have taken....
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by interpros; 05-08-2014 at 08:08 AM. Reason: spelling
    "Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself."

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    Ultimate Biker Crash's Avatar
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    Stunning! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

    Yes, seems that as soon as folks are out of the hustle and hassle of city traffic, they tend to calm down a *LOT* and we're not such a bad bunch
    Everybody crashes.
    Some get back on and ride again.
    Some don't.
    Some can't.

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    AMZ and Moose fan!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyN View Post
    1)2)

    Keep it below 600 km per day
    say what???

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    Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk
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    Those are the best runs EVER! Good friends, open roads. Necro, when we going?
    https://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab300/piemansa/2b3c22e191a771168918dd7d762cbed7_zpsf2149d96.jpg

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    Back home in Cape Town...survived the crazy N1 traffic into CT on a Friday afternoon. On our return, we decided on the Pietermaritzburg...N3...N5...N1 route into CT. This was the shortest and as it turned out, the quickest route home. As for the trip...Bloem to Beaufort West was the coldest I've ever experienced on a bike....brrrr....just the thought still gives me chills. And I thought CT was cold. There were a lot of traffic officers on the road, which we were really glad for...a little odd, though, considering there was very little traffic on the road. Still no issues on the way back, which was cool. And now, I can say we are "seasoned" bikers? Perhaps. Thank you all for all the advice and info. I even had pictures of us and our bikes taken in Durban harbour, before we took the trip home....Name:  DSC00573.jpg
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    "Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself."

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    Ultimate Biker Crash's Avatar
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    Lekka.
    Nice one guys!
    Everybody crashes.
    Some get back on and ride again.
    Some don't.
    Some can't.

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    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Sounds like a memorable trip, well done!

    I assume you split the trip; what were your mileages per day? What did you learn that you can share with others?
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyN View Post
    Sounds like a memorable trip, well done!

    I assume you split the trip; what were your mileages per day? What did you learn that you can share with others?
    It was indeed. We split the return trip into 3 days as well. No riding between sunset and sunrise. On the return trip, we could comfortably take longer between stops...on the way to 'maritzburg, we were stopping every 100kms and on the return trip, we did something like 160kms between stops. Not advisable, but I think with experience, it gets easier to ride slightly longer without losing concentration on the road.

    Lessons learned...being aware on the road is very important and when your mind starts to wonder, it's time for a break. Music helps relieve the monotony of the road. Your bum will get sore and your fingers a little numb; just relax, get comfortable on the bike and enjoy the ride. If you don't know the road well, take it easy. It's very important to maintain a camaraderie with other people on the road, especially the truck drivers on the long distance travels...they know the road better than you do and advice from them about the road conditions is invaluable. The areas around 'maritzburg and across the Kwazulu-Natal midlands have the best twistys I've ever enjoyed...sorry Cape Town. Just watch out for the taxis...they're everywhere.

    Biggest lesson...after the trip is done, you miss the riding...a lot. We arrived in CT on Friday afternoon, I slept through the evening; did a breakfast run Saturday morning, got home after the run and wanted to be on the road again. It's Sunday morning...still tired, but I just want to take the bike out for a bit. Ride somewhere...anywhere!
    "Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere; and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself."

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    Ultimate Biker Crash's Avatar
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    Haha - awesome...
    Everybody crashes.
    Some get back on and ride again.
    Some don't.
    Some can't.

  15. #15
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Hog View Post
    say what???
    I think I have my answer; if you're new to long distance riding, speed conditioning and fatigue can catch you unawares. This was these rider's first long trip. For old Hogs it becomes a piece of old takkie!!
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


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