Saturday, February 6, 2010



We met up in George at 7:30 on what promised to be a scorcher of a day. Earlier would have been better but some of the old men in the group apparently need their rest Cassie was also present to pick up the luggage.

Our route today:

(Click on map for larger image)

We rode over Montagu Pass and through Paarde Poort to meet up with GrysAlp from Oudtshoorn.

(Photo by Smithy)

What a beautiful day! The Outeniqua mountains:

(Photo by LGF)

Arriving at the turn-off to Paardepoort:

At the Heimersrivier cross we found GrysAlp already waiting

Already this group was full of jokes and laughter. What a nice bunch of people together.

We had a long day ahead so we headed out on the Kammanassie Road towards Uniondale.

The second stop near an old school on the same road. Smithy eating dust

My new bike was running a bit hotter than the old one and also hotter than GrysAlp's TransAlp which had me worried a bit. It was nothing serious, but still I wanted to err on the side of caution. The only cause I could think of was the new fork boots that was sitting right in front of the radiators, so I promptly cut them off.

(Photo by Dusty)

This was a very social ride. We stopped again in Uniondale to refuel and decided to have lunch. Lunch! And we still had to ride through the whole of Baviaans today.

Eventually we set off - Dusty approaching on the road to Baviaans:

My new steed With all the farkles added it was given a new nickname: Africa Twin "Lite"

Another regroup just before Nuwekloof Pass and Baviaans proper.

From here the ride really started. There were added excitement in that two people in the group have never ridden through Baviaans before and of course we all told them horror stories about how bad it was going to be

Nuwekloof Pass has some amazing rock formations!

Soon we came across our first Water crossing

It was really hot by now so we decided to cool off a bit.

(Photo by Dusty)

Smithy decided to cool off in style

(Photo by Smidty)

Another "water crossing"

(Photo by Smithy)

The next watter crossing was much better!

Some in-ride footage of this water crossing:

Photos Smidty took of the same crossing as the video footage above:

(Photo by Smidty)

(Photo by Smidty)

(Photo by Smidty)

We decided to have some fun here and we did this crossing several times making bigger and bigger splashes!

GrysAlp, Smitdy & LGF:


(Photo by Smithy)

In-ride footage of that splash:

Some more photos of the route through Baviaanskloof:

Dusty coming through another water crossing:

The next Pass - Grasnek Pass:

The famous water crossing in Baviaans is the one at Smitskraal. This water crossing is intimidating in that it's a long crossing and you can't see the exit as the route disappears halfway around a corner. I love this crossing and ever since I got the helmet cam I wanted to come shoot some footage here.

Great was our disappointment when we found Smitskraal bone dry

Before we cross another stop to try and escape the heat.

Some other bikers approached from the other side. We saw a lot of other bikers in Baviaans.

This BMW's front light fell out en-route. What a novel "fix"!

Well water or not - I was going to get my footage. This is an in-ride perspective of the Smitskraal crossing when it's dry:
(Luckily there were some water around the corner)

(Photo by Smithy)

I'll just have to come back and do it again when the river is flowing. Normally you'd have 40+ water crossings on this route, but we have a crippling drought in the Southern and Eastern Cape and Karoo regions.

Some more footage of the ride through the wilderness area:

The other "big thing" in Baviaanskloof is Holgat Pass. This steep pass has washed out ruts and high "Step-ups" making it difficult for bikes with low ground clearance and/or twitchy throttles, especially if you find a 4x4 coming down the same pass! A bike with a slower 1st gear and the right line does not find the going that tough though.

Due to the nature of this pass there are little photographs available of the conditions because you cant really stop for photos. I thought this an excellent opportunity to film the pass with the helmet cam. Big was our surprise when we got there to find that the roads agency has fixed the road!

(I was also surprised, looking at the helmet cam footage afterward, that it seemed like I rode fast. It must be the nature of the lens because this was all 1 & 2 gear stuff.)

The ride up:

Over the plateau and looking down toward Combrinks Pass on the other side:

Smidty enjoying the ride:

Arriving at Geelkrans - our camping spot for the night - we were blown away by what a beautiful spot it was. Well done Slowpoke

Setting up camp and relaxing after spending 10 hours on the road today.

(Photo by LGF)

And the socializing continued around the fire. I have not laughed this much ever I think. The company were better than the route and the route was GREAT!


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