Saturday, July 5, 2008

Of tar, gravel and pillions.

I wanted to do a quick run with the new bike today and decided to ride Outeniqua Pass to Outdshoorn, Robinson Pass to Mossel bay and take the coastal road back to George. This would be an all tar route. Where I got such a bone headed idea only I would know.

Anyhow, the wind was blowing and the storm that hit Cape Town last night was moving in, so not great conditions for taking photos. Undecided The view from one of the lookout points on Outeniqua Pass with George and the ocean in the background:

I enjoyed the twisties in the pass and had one high speed run on a straight section, but I soon realized that riding on tar is borrrrrrrrring.

Then I saw this – I never could resist signs like these… Grin

I was sure that this road would meet up with the Robinson Pass road somewhere, but I’ve never been on it. I also didn’t have any maps with me, but as long as I was heading more or less in the right direction I was sure I’d get there.

I better remember this spot. After the rains this will be a nice long water crossing Grin

These are good farm roads with nice scenery. Every so often the road would split and I’d take the one that looked most interesting.

It’s nice to ride new routes. I’ve never ridden these because you have to ride tar to get to them and on the 200 I avoided tar like the plague.

The road got smaller and smaller and I was riding on loose gravel and stones now. At this stage I was wondering if I still was on the “road” or just somewhere on someone’s farm.

Carrying on I realized I was in a cattle camp.

I stopped at the next house to ask if this “road” will eventually get me to Robinson Pass.

The friendly occupants said that it would, but the road runs over a section of forestry land and the gate there is locked. Pity. It looks like a great road.

I backtracked some and took a different road. This one had a gate, but it was not locked so I went through.

The wind was really strong now and the first drops of rain started to fall. I needed to get to Robinson Pass because I wanted to get home before the storm started.

Where the hell am I?

And then, suddenly there it was, the road to Robinson Pass. This pass is not as beautiful as Outeniqua Pass, but nice none the less.

There’s the ocean with Mossel Bay in the distance.

I scrapped the idea of riding to Mossel Bay and took the gravel roads along the mountain back to George. This bike is just a pleasure to ride and it handles like a dream on the gravel.

I’m so glad I didn’t spend the day on tar. I can see that I will still travel many a mile on this bike Grin

Another day, another ride. Between all the rain and storms we would have a couple of hours without rain today (or so the weatherman said). So today Mrs. TR would go on her first proper pillion outride on the new bike. This is what we bought the bike for after all.

The plan was to take the bike over Montagu Pass, shoot down the langkloof road and take this little gravel road to De Vlugt:

When riding over Prins Alfred’s Pass you usually ride from Knysna to Avontuur or vice versa, missing out on this piece of gravel. I’ve ridden it once before (about 3 years ago, before I knew of blogs, forums, ride reports and the like) and I know it’s slippery as snot when wet. Hopefully it would be dry today.

From De Vlugt we’d ride over Prins Alfredt’s Pass and have lunch in Knysna before returning to George.

Going up Montagu Pass we ran into my friend Sir Gravellot and a tour group at the old Toll house.

He has a Montagu Pass historical ride for tourists and we decided to ride with the group for a short section.

Ons of the perks of having a pillion is the “in-ride” photos Grin

We rode down the Langkloof road and yes, even with a pillion, tar is borrrrrrrrrring. Luckily it didn’t take to long to get to the turn-off.

Check out the road sign. Like moths to a flame Grin

This is a very nice road. Luckily it wasn’t wet.

Last time I was here we did the Burchell 4x4 route with the trail bikes. I think it’s time to come back and do a proper ride report. I had to ride through some mud to get into the site. Mrs. TR opted to get off and take photos rather.

Seeing this place again really made me miss it. I’ll be back soon.

The information section:

From here it’s not far to De Vlugt

The shop in De Vlugt was a welcome stop. Coffee and Milk tart for Mr. TR, Heineken and Droewors for me.

Next Prins Alfred’s Pass

We stopped at the Fern Valley picnic spot. What a great place to have a braai (BBQ).

With some nice forest trails.

It was getting cold as the next cold front moved in so we hit the road again.

And just as we rode into Knysna the first rain started to fall.

We decided not to have lunch here as the weather was only going to get worse and we hightailed it to George. All in all it was a very enjoyable ride. There will be many more pillion rides in future. icon_thumleft


Anonymous said...


Really enjoyed your posting.Of all the roads I have been on the Prince Alfred pass is by far the most spectacular.Even spent a weekend camping @ a camping site @ De Vlugt.....Highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from De Vlugt

Next time you are in our lovely village do look our for the Information centre that is situated across Outeniqua Trout Lodge. There is much more to De Vlugt that a camp site & tea garden.

The Prins Alfred's Pass is 88 km long and strechs from Knysna to Avontuur. It was build by Thomas Bain in the 1800's.

Next time you are in town, explore the area.

Kind regards

Naomi Vennemann

Anonymous said...

hi, good site very much appreciatted