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 other adventure riders from the Wild Dog forum will be over the weekend. Running into some of them would be very cool.
On Wednesday I spoke to my friend 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 his GS the trip from
Thursday morning early we were ready. Where to? How far? Who knows?
We both wanted to see
The leisurely scenic ride took us past Brandwag and down several interesting roads we explored (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
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.
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.
What? That’s it? Maybe living 3km from
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!
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.
There are some interesting sights along the way:
We traveled past Van Wyksdorp and towards
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 (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
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…
Get packed already… Why are we waiting? Why are we waiting?
Where to today? Well, we hoped to run into some of the Wild Dog forum guys and we knew that some of them 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.
There really still are some roads around here I have not ridden before. The scenery chances often and there are little traffic. How nice!
We happened on this little town in the middle of nowhere with this beautiful church.
From Oudtshoorn we took the Kammanassie road to
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 and we were full of jokes and laughs.
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
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. Trailrider and asked her to start driving towards
Going was slow, but we did stop on the
Some ways down the Langkloof road we were just gatvol. We stopped and waited for the car to arrive.
Soon after Mrs. Trailrider arrived and we transferred the luggage to the car. During our ride here 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 it gives you a whole new perspective.
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.
Even though we had a late night we got up early to get Eisbein’s bike to the BMW workshop. 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
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. Trailrider’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 reach the gate we found that a tree and fallen over and obstructed our way.
Not to worry – today we are trail riders! I fetched a saw from the farm and we cleared away branches until we could pass under. Nothing was going to stop us today.
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 blasé 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.
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. Trailrider’s NXR really is photogenic.
We switched bikes every so often and had the time of our lives.
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. 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”, but man was it worth it. Mrs. Eisbein arrived safely from
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!
Forum ride report and comments here
(Including Eisbein's report)