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Thread: Tour through the Fairest of Capes

  1. #21
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 3 Cont:

    After refuelling at De Rust we headed back on the R341 past the farm where we had stayed and on to the R339 to Uniondale. Crossing over the ridge introduced us to the the buffeting Westerly crosswind which hounded us throughout the day.

    We stretched our legs in Uniondale before heading out of town on the R339 through the Uniondale poort on our way to the R62. Here, for the first time, Costa and I surged past our leader and tested the curves with our machines. I used the excuse that I wanted to get ahead of the group to get some video...



    Turning left on the R62 put the wind at our backs as we descended between the mountain ranges through apple orchards and numerous dams. I wondered if I had the time and a fishing rod, how many Bass where waiting for my lure in those dams.

    Joubertina came up at around lunch time as planned and another nourishing light meal was consumed.

    Mon 1.jpg

    As we carried on the day turned grey and the road surface deteriorated a bit but nothing to worry about. All the while we drank in the magnificent Cape scenery. We crossed under the N2 and South onto the Coastal Flats toward Cape St Francis. The Westerly wind hammered us and had to be anticipated at every cutting, embankment and bush.

    Soon we arrived at our well appointed digs and settled in.

    IMG-20171023-WA0042.jpg IMG-20171023-WA0041.jpg

    The area had to be explored. The wind was still blowing hard and trying to push the waves back from the beach.

    Mon 2.jpg

    It was time for supper and we headed to a restaurant overlooking the St Francis Canals where another top class meal was served.

    Mon 3.jpg

    IMG-20171023-WA0049.jpg

    We went to bed having agreed that it had been a rough day in the saddle due to the wind and that it would probably be the worst day we were to have...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  2. #22
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Tuesday morning dawned calm and clear so while the others were about their morning ablutions, I decided to go down to see the sea. It was calm and flatter than the night before and the rising Sun afforded some creative photo opportunities.

    Tues 1.jpg Tues 2.jpg

    Returning to the B&B the group went out for a short trip to the Seal Point lighthouse and then on to explore Port St Francis which was built for the local squid (calamari) industry which we, in South Africa, apparently don't any of as the squid are exported...

    Tues 3.jpg Tues 3ab.jpg

    Tues 3b.jpg Tues 3c.jpg

    Back at the B&B a delicious breakfast was waiting for us, once again overlooking the St Francis canals.

    IMG-20171024-WA0007.jpg

    After loading the bikes we headed out toward and joining the N2 we stopped once again for photos of the impressively huge wind turbines which come into sight as you crest a rise in the road.

    Tues 4.jpg

    I had warned the guys that the Fazer would pass the 80,000 km mark during the day, and when that happened I would be stopping to take a photo so that I could join the American 600 riders FZ6 forum 50,000 miles club. (Some of those member's bikes have already passed the 100,000 MILE mark without problem).

    This milestone was reached in the beautiful Tsitsikamma.

    Tues 5.jpg Tues 6.jpg

    The stop precipitated the second "breakdown" of the trip when one of the GS's refused to start; its 3 year old battery suddenly gave up the ghost. Fortunately we were close to the Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures and pushed the bike there. Attempts to jump start the bike failed and one of the Tsitsikamma Adventures employees graciously offered a battery from one of his quads, which, although it did not fit properly in the bike and was tied in with a piece of rope, fired up the motor at a touch of the starter.

    After making arrangements to leave the battery in George where the new one would be purchased, we were on our way again.
    Last edited by SandyN; 06-12-2017 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Add photos
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  3. #23
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    Fantastic post Sandy. Have looked forward to each new installment. Thanks for taking the trouble. Makes this forum still worth visiting.

  4. #24
    Biker Trash DolphinD's Avatar
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    A really great post. you guys seemed to have had a great time.


  5. #25
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate the appreciation.
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  6. #26
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 4 Continued:

    Carrying on down the N2 we crossed the deep Storms River chasm spanned by the Paul Sauer bridge not bothered by any wind which can sometimes be a problem and on into the Tsistsikamma village for some refreshment at Marilyn's, a restaurant lost in the 50's, complete with Pink Cadillac and pumping out 50's rock music.

    Tues 11.jpg Tues 12.jpg

    Tues 13.jpg Tues 14.jpg

    Leaving there it was decided that due to the time lost with the BM's battery problem, we would skip a visit to the Storms River Mouth which is a destination that should not be missed if you are in the area. The following photo's were taken by a member of the group on a previous trip.

    Tues 14a.jpg Tues 14b.jpg

    So on through Plettenberg Bay and into Knysna, ever mindful of the evidence of the raging fires which ravaged the area a few months before, and to the Knysna Heads.

    Tues 15.jpg Tues 16.jpg

    Leaving Knysna on the N2 which snakes along the edge of the lagoon, one rode with half an eye on the road and the other one and a half scanning the ridges above the road taking in the scenes of burnt out houses and scorched bush, feeling empathy for those who endured the experience.

    A stop for fuel in Sedgefield also became an obligatory stop at the Classic Cars stand as two of the group are avid old car collectors and restorers.

    Tues 17.jpg

    From there it was on to George where the BM's borrowed quad's battery was replaced with the correct one. The trip from there to the Diaz Hotel in Mossel bay was uneventful. Our 8th and 10th floor rooms provided spectacular views over the bay.

    IMG-20171024-WA0050.jpg Tues 18.jpg

    Supper was supposed to be in the outside eating area, which must memorable in warmer weather but the cold drove us into the main dining room, where, after a forgettable meal we were happy to hit the sack after a long, but pleasant, day along the Garden Route.
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  7. #27
    Only in Souff Efrica! Vespa 1's Avatar
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    As usual, great, just one thing though, your pink Caddy, is actually a Valiant!
    Ride with the Eagles in Safety! Not with the Angels by Accident

    In Memory of Blackie Swart! A Man among men, and a true Friend! RIP!

  8. #28
    Hooligan Biker
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    Your ride reports put the fun back into touring; congrats on achieving your entry to the American 600 riders FZ6 forum 50,000 miles club.

  9. #29
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespa 1 View Post
    As usual, great, just one thing though, your pink Caddy, is actually a Valiant!
    Let's call it artistic licence for the sake of the story; the sticker on the windscreen says its a 1961 Dodge Lancer which, as you rightly say, is a clone of the Chrysler Valiant.

    Well spotted...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  10. #30
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    Wow, awesome read... Makes me want to get on the NC right now and just go SOMEWHERE...

    Sent from my ALE-L02 using Tapatalk

  11. #31
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 5

    As is our custom, we awoke in the dawning, and the view over the ocean before the Sun showed its head was stunning, but also heralded the leading edge of a cold front...

    Wed 1.jpg

    Soon we were enjoying the Hotel's buffet breakfast with a busload of British tourists, the service and the food was excellent; the only appliance letting the side down was the toaster - you can only make toast so fast; and, if you want it darker, have to send your slice through the machine again, all the while waiting in the bottleneck queue of the Brits also waiting for their slice.

    However, our stomachs were soon girded for the day ahead and the bikes retrieved from the parking and loaded.

    Wed 1a.jpg

    The R328 and Robinson Pass beckoned us and once again as we hit the pass, Costa and I surged ahead to make the most of the seductive curves offered us. There were times when it was possible to glimpse the beauty of the surrounding scenery but most of the concentration was to take each twist as perfectly and smoothly as possible, revelling in taking each one in 2nd or 3rd gear at 8000 - 9000 rpm and the surge of acceleration as the revs headed to the redline. Glancing in the mirrors from time to time I could see the blue GSA keeping pace and marveled at its handling of the pass.

    We were, however, nowhere near the limits as testified by the edges of the tyres; left hand turns were taken with certain circumspection with the thought of slow moving trucks and other objects lurking unseen out of line of sight; right hand turns also due to surface irregularities. Besides, it would not be pleasant to ruin the tour for the others in the event of a nasty slip...

    Elated, with the adrenaline pumping, all our teeth showing through broad smiles, Costa and I gave each other a High Five after pulling over at a lay-bye. The little white Golf that was also there pulled up next to us revealing three young ladies who turned out to be Uraguayans on tour. Only one spoke English and requested that they have their photos taken on, and with, the bikes. We couldn't really say no and so obliged. The rest of our group caught up, new friends were made, and more photos were taken.

    Wed 2.jpg

    Shortly after, we hit the R62 just East of Oudsthoorn and turned toward Calitzdorp. Coffee and pancakes were the order of the day at Bella de Karoo and we duly stopped to enjoy the fare amongst the duck and peacocks.

    Wed 3.jpg

    Wed 4.jpg

    Wed 4a.jpg Wed 4b.jpg

    A refuel at Calitzdorp and on our way again, this time traversing the Huis Rivier pass which is in excellent condition and can be enjoyed (almost) to its fullest.



    Passing through Ladismith I kept an eye out for a certain Virago that I've heard so much about, but to no avail.

    Away from the coast, and away from the passing cold front, it got quite hot and a little windy and Ronnie's shop offered some relief just in time. Here the lady in our group took one for the team, and one day when you're there, you may see our legacy hanging from the rafters.

    Wed 5.jpg

    Wed 5a.jpg Wed 6.jpg

    By the time we reached Barrydale the wind was starting to push in earnest creating billows of mist which rolled over the mountain range. Here we stopped at Diesel and Creme for further refreshment before turning toward the coast. Once again the venue offered good refreshment and interesting decor. Looking at the weather the consensus was to suit up before we tackled Tradouw Pass.

    Wed 9.jpg

    This turned out to be a good decision as, as soon as we entered the pass, the mist and rain engulfed us. Consequently the whole pass was taken at 40-50 km/h, its magnificence glimpsed occasionally through the swirling mist. Concentrating on the road and its twists and turns I almost missed seeing the old wooden bridge (or one of) which I had heard of and seen only on youtube.

    We refueled in Swellendam where I paid cash, something I don't normally do. The bill was R123 and paid the jockey with a R200, R20 and R10 bill. He brought R7 change upon which I told him he still owed me R100. This resulted in a bit of an argument as he said I had given him a R100 note. Reluctantly he gave me the correct change after taking my registration and telephone number. He was kind enough, later that evening, to SMS me and apologise as his money had balanced at the end of his shift.

    Wed 10.jpg

    Road works and Stop/Go's are not a pleasure in the rain but they are a part of the adventure, so we soldiered on toward Riversonderend and turned off toward Hermanus. The rain had stopped, but in the gathering dusk we faced new challenges in the form of Guinea Fowl feeding in the road, two of which nearly took our leader and his pillion out, as well as encountering a buck prancing across the road in our path.


    Despite these challenges we arrived at our place of rest, overlooking a bay, safely.

    Wed 11.jpg

    Wed 12.jpg

    The discussion that night centered around if this was our hardest day on the road yet...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  12. #32
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    "After making arrangements to leave the battery in George where the new one would be purchased, we were on our way again."
    I'm forever amazed by the generosity and humanity of mankind.

    I look forward to more of this exciting trip.

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  13. #33
    Only in Souff Efrica! Vespa 1's Avatar
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    Great write up, keep it up!
    Ride with the Eagles in Safety! Not with the Angels by Accident

    In Memory of Blackie Swart! A Man among men, and a true Friend! RIP!

  14. #34
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 6: Thursday

    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife..

    (my apologies to the poet, John Masefield)

    With the grey dawn breaking there was a grey mist on the sea's face and the white waves were heaving high amongst the squalls and flurries of rain. It did not bode well for a group of bikers on tour through the Cape...

    However, our three room apartment unit overlooked a bay where three whales were frolicking undaunted in the wild looking sea and they provided us with a few hours of entertainment, eluding our attempts to capture their breaching and fluking on camera.

    Thurs 1.jpg Thurs 2.jpg

    Thurs 3.jpg

    It was decided, after checking the weather forecast, that it would be prudent to delay the start of the day's journey till after 10am when the weather was forecast to clear otherwise we'd be wetter than the whales. The bikes were safely parked in a double garage and we were able to load them up prior to going to breakfast.



    We walked a block or two to the Wimpy through the town which was quiet in contrast to the evening before, where, despite it being a Wednesday night the place was humming and the restaurants were doing roaring trade with all the tourist visiting the town.

    We were soon suitably refueled and ready to tackle the next leg of the journey having decided that, due to the late start, we would unfortunately have to skip riding the old du Toit's pass in favour of riding Bain's Kloof Pass. Even though the rain had by now stopped, rain suits were donned and we were on our way...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  15. #35
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 6 Continued:

    The Rooi Els road is one of those routes which had made my bucket list since reading about it elsewhere on this forum so I was looking forward to riding it as we headed West after doubling back around the Bot river estuary and stopping for fuel in Kleinmond. For some reason my clutch had become uncomfortably stiff overnight and I took the opportunity to disengage the cable from the lever and drip some engine oil from a discarded can into the cable housing. This improved things immensely and we were soon on our way passing groups of baboon on the side of the road between Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay With the mountains to our right and the sea to our left.

    Pretty soon we were in Rooi Els where we stopped to remove our rain gear having not had any rain on the way there.


    The trusty steed had not missed a beat and was enjoying the tour as much as I was.


    I soon realised that the section of road between Rooi Els and Gordon's Bay has to be taken at tourist pace despite the enticing twisty road, mainly due to the amount of traffic on the road, but also much of the awesome/magnificent scenery would be missed.


    We turned off into Gordon's Bay and rode along the Strand and on to Stellenbosch along the R44. The traffic was quite heavy and keeping the group together in the traffic was a challenge. We tried a slight detour to avoid the congestion to seemingly no avail and were relieved to stop for lunch in Klapmuts. I think it was here that the decision was taken not to ride the Du Toit's pass due to time constraints; Langebaan was still a long way off...



    From there through Wellington and on to the Bains Kloof Pass.


    This is another pass which cannot be ridden with intent or in a hurry as it is narrow and bumpy. The best pace is that at which you can admire the scenery to its fullest. Once again we were treated to the alluring beauty of the Cape.


    Once through the pass we rode through Wolsely and past Gouda and refuelled at Porterville. The road between Porterville and Piketberg is under maintenance and was muddy, so we turned around and headed North until we reached the N7. This added about 40km to our trip. From there it became a slog down the N7 to Piketberg and on to Moorreesurg as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.

    From Moorreesburg we headed West into the freezing wind and the setting sun which seemed to be hovering just above the horizon for an inordinately long time, blinding us us we headed towards it.

    Langebaan came up in the semi dark and we were relieved to finally arrive at our lodgings. A Greek evening had been arranged booked for us at Club Mykonos but due to the delays of the day we were late and had to cancel. Consequently we had a tasty supper after a long wait at a local restaurant which was filled to the brim with patrons.

    Needless to say, the group, after 460 km the day before, and 436 km on this day, was tired and fatigued by the additional challenges of traffic and weather during the day. The debate around the table was over how a tour like this could possibly be structured differently. The conclusion was that this tour was structured as a ride and that was exactly what we were doing and different tours could be structured in other ways.

    It was further concluded that, though enjoyable, this was the most difficult day's riding so far...
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  16. #36
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Day 6 Continued:

    The Rooi Els road is one of those routes which had made my bucket list since reading about it elsewhere on this forum so I was looking forward to riding it as we headed West after doubling back around the Bot river estuary and stopping for fuel in Kleinmond. For some reason my clutch had become uncomfortably stiff overnight and I took the opportunity to disengage the cable from the lever and drip some engine oil from a discarded can into the cable housing. This improved things immensely and we were soon on our way passing groups of baboon on the side of the road between Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay With the mountains to our right and the sea to our left.

    Pretty soon we were in Rooi Els where we stopped to remove our rain gear having not had any rain on the way there.

    Thurs 4.jpg

    The trusty steed had not missed a beat and was enjoying the tour as much as I was.

    Thurs 5.jpg

    I soon realised that the section of road between Rooi Els and Gordon's Bay has to be taken at tourist pace despite the enticing twisty road, mainly due to the amount of traffic on the road, but also much of the awesome/magnificent scenery would be missed.

    Thurs 6.jpg

    We turned off into Gordon's Bay and rode along the Strand and on to Stellenbosch along the R44. The traffic was quite heavy and keeping the group together in the traffic was a challenge. We tried a slight detour to avoid the congestion to seemingly no avail and were relieved to stop for lunch in Klapmuts. I think it was here that the decision was taken not to ride the Du Toit's pass due to time constraints; Langebaan was still a long way off...

    Thurs 8.jpg

    From there through Wellington and on to the Bains Kloof Pass.

    Thurs 9.jpg

    This is another pass which cannot be ridden with intent or in a hurry as it is narrow and bumpy. The best pace is that at which you can admire the scenery to its fullest. Once again we were treated to the alluring beauty of the Cape.

    Over Rock.jpg



    Once through the pass we rode through Wolsely and past Gouda and refuelled at Porterville. The road between Porterville and Piketberg is under maintenance and was muddy, so we turned around and headed North until we reached the N7. This added about 40km to our trip. From there it became a slog down the N7 to Piketberg and on to Moorreesurg as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.

    From Moorreesburg we headed West into the freezing wind and the setting sun which seemed to be hovering just above the horizon for an inordinately long time, blinding us us we headed towards it.

    Langebaan came up in the semi dark and we were relieved to finally arrive at our lodgings. A Greek evening had been arranged booked for us at Club Mykonos but due to the delays of the day we were late and had to cancel. Consequently we had a tasty supper after a long wait at a local restaurant which was filled to the brim with patrons.

    Needless to say, the group, after 460 km the day before, and 436 km on this day, was tired and fatigued by the additional challenges of traffic and weather during the day. The debate around the table was over how a tour like this could possibly be structured differently. The conclusion was that this tour was structured as a ride and that was exactly what we were doing and different tours could be structured in other ways.

    It was further concluded that, though enjoyable, this was the most difficult day's riding so far...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


  17. #37
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    Wow, you took on a lot that day! We live here and enjoy these roads, but wouldn't attempt what you did in one day.

    Also, nobody that I know here rides over Bain's Kloof on a bike. It's just not fun.

  18. #38
    Evil Biker Scum SandyN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon View Post
    Also, nobody that I know here rides over Bain's Kloof on a bike. It's just not fun.
    You'd have a hard time convincing someone from the Free State that it's not worth it. Stunning views and scenery!
    Riding a straight and smooth road does not make a skillful rider.


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