2014-01-19 Franschhoek, Botrivier, Highlands, Kleinmond, Clarence Drive

Happy 2014 everyone!  I cannot believe that another year is behind us but the good news is that many planned rides are lying ahead of us... always something to look forward to with the Nav constantly planning new routes for us!  

I was rather excited to wake early for our first longer ride in 2014. A bigger group than usual with Yvonne, Buds on their GS1200's, their daughters Kaylie and Robyn each on their own 800 BMW's and their exchange student guest Stefan on a borrowed classic Kawasaki 550 Zepher, joining the usual group consisting of myself, the Nav, Eish and Stuart.  For once the KLRs were out numbered but NOT out manouvred....

Our first stop was in Franschhoek for breakfast, then over the Franschhoek Pass, past Theewaterskloof Dam and onto the gravel Van der Stel's Pass winding up at Botriver. Yvonne, Robyn and Stefan took the tar road, and the more adventurous riders met up with them somewhat later in Kleinmond at the harbour for a welcoming refreshment. 

The railway track on route presented us with some riding challenges, then down the beautiful River Road and Highlands road where we said good-bye to the gravel.  We met up with the rest of the group at Kleinmond harbour.

Clarence drive is always spectacular, and was over too soon.  The N2 and now a very windy Baden Powell saw us home safely at 2.30pm.  What a fantastic day with a great group of people. We covered +/- 300kms with 30% being gravel.  A great idea (txs Ang) to do a coastal ride as its always a lot cooler riding along the coast rather than inland when the temperatures soar in summer.  Not always as many exciting gravel roads but I was chuffed that with the exception of myself and the Nav, the railway track in Botriver was a first for the rest of the riders who ventured with us up the two track path.  Always so exciting when we find new roads to venture on.  This track is a MUST for all adventure riders, whether you are a beginner or an old hand at the tricky bits. 
300km's with spectacular roads and scenery.... yummy!
We met up with Paul 10km before Franschhoek.  Talula (Paul's bike) waits patiently.
We managed to lose Yvonne and Kaylie and waited for them to catch-up.  Good thing they are connected via fancy phones and ear pieces!
Boere breakfast.  That is Stefan in picture who is a guest from Belgium riding a borrowed Kawasaki 550 Zephyr.  To his left is Yvonne, Buds, Stuart, David and yours truly.  Opposite sits Kaylie.
Boere breakfast at a French restaurant.  Makes sense to me!
Paul taking the turn-off to Botriver
A brief stop at a river along the way with the down-sized group.  Such fun!  Stuart????
The start of the railway track.  There were some sandy bits.  It was Robyn's first ride off-road on her bike which she got 2 days before (a F800).  Much respect!
and there she comes..... well done Robyn!
There was a really tricky section where the bigger bikes struggled a tad, but with an bit of an adrenaline rush we all got up without incident and stopped at the top.
Now you know why they call it the railway track - complete with bridge!
Paul posing :)  nice ride Eish!   check out Paul's you tube post
The River Road.  Check the view.  Stuart???
Now just the view
Turnoff to the Highlands road.  David's bike clocked 44444.4km, as usual we took a left!
Pausing at the T-junction - Father & daughter in view... Stuart???
The view from the top of Highlands
Found him!!!!!
Kleinmond overlooking the harbour.  Double thick chocolate milkshake for us, Paul ordered a curry milkshake - watch those carbs....
The view with the bikes all in a row.  Which KLR looks the happiest??? The car guard describes himself as the mayor of Kleinmond.  He did well out of us.
Departing for Clarence Drive and home
All in all a wondeful day and soooo good to be back on the KLRs which earns more respect every time we ride them.  

Till next time, safe travels everyone.

4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

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