In the first three days of owning my new TransAlp I only managed to ride 60km. According to the weather man we’d have a few hours without rain today, so today was to be the day. The TA (who is yet to be named) will have it’s first taste of gravel.
The first gravel on my new bike just had to be Montagu Pass. Where else? I love this place! So this was the plan: Over Montagu Pass and through Paarde Poort you get to a road crossing. Go straight to Dysselsdorp and Swartberg Pass, or go left (Kamanassie road) towards Uniondale and Baviaans. From the Kamanassie road there is a connecting road back to Dysselsdorp and I’ve never ridden that road, so today would be the day.
On gravel and in my element. The bike rides like a dream on gravel and so smooth!
I was smiling around my helmet. The obligatory pic at Amanda’s grave:
I love new roads / routes.
The bike is really stable and smooth and you hardly notice the weight. It’s remarkably capable. Much more than you’d expect. I was surprised around one corner by a section of mud. Stand up, look at the exit point and accelerate through. No problem. Not even a wiggle. Ditto on a section of marbles.
It’s a lovely ride and because of the recent rains there was little dust.
And it was over too soon. Suddenly there was Dysselsdorp.
Well, it’s not raining yet, the game only starts at 5 and Meirings Poort is close… Why not?
De Rust Saturday traffic - I was not the only one in town with two wheels
Meirings Poort is awesome!
The TA is really fun in the twisties, but I don’t really like backtracking on a route… and Prins Albert is not that far? Surely…
Turns out the road along the back of the Swartberg Pass in the great Karoo is tarred. Not only that, I was riding into a helluva head wind. The bike hardly felt it, but I was certain that it wasn’t doing my fuel consumption any favours.
Prins Albert valley:
I rode into Prins Albert on reserve. On my first refill I did the calculations – 17km/L. Not too bad. I’m sure without the headwind and the engine loosening up that will improve.
Next up: Swartberg Pass
I don’t go on solo rides often but I really enjoyed this one. Stunning scenery, stunning bike.
If they had TV reception in the Hell I would have taken this road, but I’ll be back. Mrs. TR has never been – I better make a plan!
Going over the top of Swartberg Pass it was clear that that the next cold front was moving in already. Who cares? I’m out there, riding. Finally!
Cango Wildlife Ranch:
I also saw this Honda XL185. I had a red one (of course) in 1987. Was my first bike.
From Oudtshoorn to George I started hitting spits and spots of rain. I opted to go over Outeniqua Pass.
So my first proper ride included Montagu Pass, Meirings Poort, Swartberg Pass and Outeniqua Pass. Quite a good run for a first ride!
I got home from a 320km ride full of smiles!
The next morning I also had a small window of opportunity to ride before the rains came. I decided to do a short coastal run, but ride through the Saasveld Pass first. We are blessed with so many beautiful roads.
What a pleasure this bike is to ride. This is going to be a beautiful relationship.