Wingman, LGF and I set out on Saturday to conquer Moordkuyl. I’ve wanted to show LGF and his magnificent DRZ Moordkuyl for a while now. We’d take the toughest route there, battle, fall, laugh, take pictures and succeed or fail together.
On the way there we took a closed road. The Witels river came down and destroyed the bridge. My dad said we’d never get over so we just had to try. This is just a couple of km’s from our farm.
Various routes were scouted. In the end we had to go over sand, through the river, over a log and up a sandy bank on the other side.
LGF was up first:
Everybody pitched in a little and in the end only the obstacle left was the bank on the other side. The sand was very soft and the bank very steep!
Between this shot and the next the DRZ went up the bank and the front wheel reached for the sky, but I missed the shot.
Next up – Wingman:
The 125 was little underpowered for the bank, but he got up as well.
Up the sandy bank the bike started slipping to the one side and I put my foot out. The soft sand gave way and I came down like a sack of potatoes!
My knee twisted and I could feel and “hear” the muscles stretching and pulling. I squealed like a girl. It’s the same knee I’ve hurt before and the pain shot through my body like lightning. I had visions of being taken out of here by helicopter because surely no-one would be able to pick my huge body up… I was sweating and thought I was going to be sick. I’m such a girl!
After a while I managed to get up and up the bank. LGF started my bike, popped it in the “low range” 1st and cruised up the bank. Of the 3 bikes my bike probably did it the easiest and yet I’m the one that came off. How embarrassing.
I'm glad LGF got a shot of the fall though!
I’m thirsty. Break out ‘ol Fire Bucket and lets have a beer
Young Wingman had Energade
At the Bash LGF helped fix my tyre and he was dubbed “Mike and the Mechanics” Today he had a Medikit handy and he helped fix my knee with Arnica Oil. This is a good man to have on a ride For the rest of the ride he’d be known as Getafix (Wait a minute… that makes me Obelix )
The ride was not over. I’d suck it up and we’ll continue. LGF offered to get my bike over the bits I could not.
Now for Moordkuyl. We’d do it from the other side today.
Scout the area first…
My knee was fine as long as I kept it still. I would not be able to stop the bike from falling over on that side so I had to make sure that if I went over it had to be to the other side…
I was first to cross the rocky river.
Stop and go, stop and go, carefully. Eventually I made it to the other side. Success!
The way I came:
Wingman and LGF next up: LGF stopped in the river, lost his footing and promptly fell over.
Nice day for a swim.
We got to the stony “island” and had to cross the river again.
It was a hot day, but we had cold beer!
We’ll have it when were on the other side
The flow was very strong here.
I took a different (longer) line over the river riding more with the currant. I kept my momentum, my feet up and rode straight through. I love water crossings! I also had my confidence back and knew I could ride through Moordkuyl despite my knee.
Fire Bucket enjoying the ride.
We had to cross the river one last time.
Again I cruised through The river crossing King Lekker windgat – till I saw the next obstacle – a very steep bank. So, short steep uphills are my nemesis. I bust my knee on one the first time and I bust my knee on one earlier today.
LGF was first up:
What’s funny in those pics? Look again – check how LGF checks if I’ve got my camera even before he’s done falling Don’t worry LGF – I got the pics!
Lets try again – more speed and power.
OK. This is a problem. The bank was VERY steep (Photos never show the true gradient ). The 125 might not have enough power to get up there, I would not be able to stop the bike if I go over (and I could further injure my knee) and LGF already fell twice. There had to be a different way.
This was it:
We rode / carried the bikes up.
The next obstacle on this route was a donga across the road. This is where I injured my knee the first time (15 months ago) coming from the other side. (Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WUr6IiKgG0 courtesy of Sir Gravellot) The donga is was much deeper and steeper this time round.
LGF 1st again:
Down the bank into the river, ride upstream a bit and up the bank on the other side.
Since LGF both fell today the pier pressure on Wingman must have been huge so he obliged.
In all honesty I don’t think he himself even hit the ground. I think he only did it to let us "ou manne" (old men) feel better What would we say if the only bike that got through the day unscathed was the NXR125
What else did mother nature prepare for us in her playground?
A bank of very fine and soft river sand with a water crossing on the other side, another bank of sand and a pool of mud just after that. Oh fun!
We could also see the elephants on the other side (this is a game reserve).
I made it through fine and then LGF and Wingman followed.
The elephant family on the other side was a sight to see. The baby sure is playful.
All this within 50km from our homes. 50km that took us 4 and a half hours today, but was well worth it!
When the daddy elephant eyes you like this it’s time to go.
What a great day. We laughed, we battled, we fell and we did it together. This, to me, this is what biking is all about. When some-one falls your laugh point and take pictures. We post the pics and we laugh some more, BUT, we laugh WITH the “victim”. It’s the camaraderie on trips like these that I love the most. And the sense of accomplishment – together.
The next “official” hand-over of Fire Bucket was recorded. His new home is in Sedgefield for the time being.
(what an unflattering shot )
There will also be more trail riding and overland trekking rides in future. Enough touring for now. I’m getting back to the riding I love
A couple of day after this ride we heard that a KTM950 rider took the same road from the other side, saw the "Road closed - Flood damage" signs but pushed through.
He only rode to the first difficult section (from that side):
He saw the obstacles as well as the Elephants and decided to turn around. He switched of the bike, turned it around and started it to ride off. The Elephant Cow stormed him and hit him off the bike with her trunk. She started trampling, just missing him but stepping on the bike. He ran and climbed over the fence. The cow went around and stormed again. He climbed back over the fence and she went around again. This went on for 15 minutes before the handler arrived.
I was kinda nervous being so close to those elephants. Good thing the handler was there...
Pictures by myself and LGF.
(Follow Fire Bucket's adventures on the Wild Dog Forum)
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