Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Southern Cape DS Bikers - 1st ride to Prins Albert


I was lucky enough to be invited on a nice ride to Prince Albert on Sunday. "Just a couple of bikes and a casual ride" I was told. Asterix would join me again on this ride manning the camera from the pillion seat. We headed to the garage near Montagu Pass at 7am only to find that all & all 15 bikes showed up! This would turn out to be a very nice day.

Some formalities got everybody on the same page and we were off. Some interesting bikes in the group today.

A Yamaha TDM850 followed by Gryph's Africa Twin

We were heading to Prins Albert for lunch starting our route with the magnificent Montagu Pass:

Cassie approaching on his XTZ125. The bikes in the group today ranged from 125 to 1200cc.

I often stop at Amanda's grave and must have at least 50 photos taken at this spot.

We didn't stop here today, but for completeness sake I include a photo.

The first regroup at Paardepoort:

The pack:

And another regroup in Dyssels Dorp.

The day was heating up already with 34 degrees forecast for the Klein Karoo today.

Another favourite among the Southern Cape Dual Sport bikers:

An in-ride perspective:

Another shade stop. By now it was hot!

But everybody were in high spirits

Soon after we hit the road again, continuing past the Koos Raubenheimer Dam:

This is a deep, rocky dam well known among fishermen. The dam has a a good population of largemouth bass and is extremely clear with visibility of usually more than 2 metres. Known by insiders as the bass Mecca of the Little Karoo, Raubenheimer regularly delivers bass in the 2 - 3 kilo range, even topping 3 kg, although the average seems to be more in the half to one kilo range.

Next up: Schoeman's Poort towards Swartberg Pass.

Pad on the GS1200 powering past.

And the magnificent Swartberg Pass:

The dry stone packed retaining walls are amazing, in one place on the southern side the wall is 2,4kms long. They range in height from ½ metre to 13 metres. Laws of friction and cohesion govern the pressure on retaining walls. Selected stone was used and laid with grain at right angles to the natural bedding line.

On top of the world.

Going down the Northern Side of the Pass is even more scenic than the Southern side:

This bloke was watching the bikes come by.

A moving perspective going down the pass:

And finally Prins Albert:

And a nice lunch at the Blue Salamander Restaurant.

Over lunch it was decided that this ride will not be a once-off thing. The Dual Sport riders of the Southern Cape will get together for a ride at least once a month. More info about this at the end of the report.*

After lunch we headed out towards Meirings Poort, but not before stopping to photograph this 3-wheeled creation. My mom loves things like this. Mom this pic is especially for you.

I specifically wanted to ride through Meirings Poort using the helmet cam. What a magnificent road.

A small clip of the Helmet Cam footage:

After another refreshment stop in De Rust we started heading back to George.

The road to Dysselsdorp:

Eating dust on the road past the Kamanassie Dam.

And a last regroup and goodbyes at Paardepoort:

This was a full day's ride. By the time we rode over Montagu Pass the sun was setting already.

Thanks guys for a great ride. I cant wait until the next one.

*Southern Cape Dual Sport Runs will happen again in future. Keep checking the Homepage and Planned Rides section for details of the next rides.



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