Due to my 6 weeks post-op recovery, I was not able to join the guys on what sounds like an epic weekend into one of my MOST favourite places ever, the Cederberg. I tasked Paul (Eish), who happily obliged to do the commentary for the blog and good thing I did, as the Nav was far too busy trying to navigate the group out of some tricky spots along the way. Sadly, I have had to sit out a few group rides (doctor's orders) and am happy to report that I am ready to get back in the saddle again this weekend. Its been too long.....
It has been torture for me not to ride my KLR and only the fear of doing more harm than good kept me on the straight and narrow. (only just) At times I had such bad cabin fever and longing for my KLR that I found myself standing next to her, stroking her plastics and even starting her up just to hear her heartbeat again. I felt like I had abandoned her. Surely I am not the only woman out there who feels so connected to her motorcycle? The hubby ofcourse thought I had lost it and kept on assuring me that I would ride again, to be patient and get through the recovery period. Let's just say it was challenging at times!
So, without any further adiu, I hand over to Paul's blog entry. THANK you so very much Paul for capturing the moments for me and for sharing the experience with all of us. I now know EXACTLY what my sis Leonie means when she tells me that she feels she was with us on our rides as she reads my blog entries.
A while ago David, Angela and I decided we needed to do a poorer tech weekend where we ruff it for once to get an idea of what it would cost to go on the cheap and still have a good time.
The Wild Dog Cederberg Oasis spit braai provided the ideal opportunity and whilst David is not a fan of large crowds, he is also not one to opt out of a ride without a decent excuse.
We were joined by Mark the Canadian from Oregon of www.radiomanridestheworld.com whom we had met at Jorge's place and again in Fouriesburg after we did Lesotho. Sadly Angela could not be with us but is counting the days to the next one.
We met at 7h15 on Friday morning; perfect weather predicted for all 3 days, Mark joined us near Klapmuts.
The route took us via Wellington up Bainskloof pass to the Calabash for breakfast (not - it was closed ) so we moved on to the Mill and Oaks, being a a little concerned given the poor service and food on a previous occasion. We were however pleasantly surprised with the country style atmosphere good service and great food- seems the place has been upgraded.
Off to Ceres via Mitchell's pass (the only place where I have managed to scrape my foot pegs in the twisties - but not this time with knobblies)
The Shell has an awesome old car looking very similar to the one we saw in Brandfort. Bikes tummies full we headed out to the Tankwa Padstal, this would be the first visit for both me and Mark, my first attempt failed when Tahlulah (aka my KLR) decided to let me down outside Jamaka and then the tribe spoke and we left on the back of a bakkie... oh the shame!
The Tankwa Padstal is an awesome place that needs to be visited. A really old school farm shop that stocks a bit of everything and a pub that looks like it has a lot of history. The owner’s wife Susan showed me around the place - really friendly. Apparently the Wild Dogs had a skaapkop evening here a while back and she was a little horrified as to what went on in her kitchen. It seems the Padstal is very adventure bike friendly - so much so that you will find a pile of second hand bike tyres in the back that are free to anyone in need and are supplied by friendly fellow bikers - nice one!
Katbakkies pass is another awesome gem in the never ending list of places to visit in the Karoo. Not sure where the name originates from or how I would explain it to Mark but sometimes words are unnecessary.
It was then on to Oasis and the first Windhoek Lager of the day in the company of Gerrit and Chantal, our fantastic hosts.
After pitching our tents and grabbing a shower we enjoyed a winning chicken potjie which was most welcome after a long day in the saddle. A couple of the Wild Dogs had arrived and it was good to catch up and introduce Radioman and David to them.
The next morning we decided to do the old postal route which is renowned for being quite technical with sand and lots of loose gravel. The routes took us via Eselbank, Wuppertal, Biedouw valley over the Doring river and via the Botterberg pass on to Clanwilliam. A wrong turn or two resulted in us riding through some hostile farms displaying nasty signs with guns. This was all fine until we had to deal with a locked gate and no turning back due to us being on the edge of our fuel range. Marks tyre iron worked a treat! The highlight of the day was without a doubt the 100 meter river crossing.
We managed to get back to Oasis in the late afternoon, by this time most of the Wild Dogs had arrived for the weekend's spit-braai which Gerrit and Chantal had already completed the cooking of. Again another meal of note with more than enough for seconds and thirds!
The next morning Rynet (Renette Rauch) joined us on the trip back home. Renette is a legend in the adventure riding world after she took on and conquered the Amageza last year on a 1200 GS. She now rides a KLR and loves the bike! It was good getting to know her and she has been invited to join our riding group. We hope to see her riding with us again soon.
For those who are not fans of huge groups, this weekend could well have been a test of their resolve but I think everyone was well behaved and the spirit of the Wild Dogs is that of people who are passionate about the sport and love to get together and share their awesome adventures past and planned, bikes and modifications.
The weather and riding was great as was the company. I found the postal route to be the most challenging ride that I have been on thus far – not for sissies, but it feels good to have completed it without dropping my bike. Would I do it again? – dunno, maybe!