What do you do if you have a new bike , and you have a Sunday free ?
You ride your bike. Weather be damned !
And so it came to be that me , Jupiter and J-mo decided that we will ride to Kirkwood from Uitenhage to go and have a snack. Of course , the tar road of just more than 50km was far too boring and we decided to get there via the Cockscomb gravel road and then via Glenconnor.
While I waited for Jupiter and J-mo to rock up at the Total opposite Willow dam , I decided to go and park my bike and take some photos of her (while she was still nice and clean). Maybe I should have scouted my planned photo site a little better , because to get there I had to get through some very slippery mud. But , I kept the rubber side down and managed to slip and slide my way to the spot I had in mind and took some pics. Little did I know that this was only the first of many more slip and slides for the day.
I heard the other two approaching and slipped some more to go and meet them for the first time.
I was on the F650GS, with J-mo on his R1200 GSA and Jupiter on his beautifully restored old R series GS.
We shook hands , shot the breeze for a few moments and saddled up. At the Cockscomb turnoff we hit the gravel with J-mo flying ahead and me and Jupiter following at a slightly more sedate pace.
As we topped a ridge I saw a Rainbow on my left and promptly stopped to get some pics. J-mo was unaware of this and had a little heart attack when he looked in his rearview mirror and did not see any headlights. He turned around and came back at pace thinking the noob (me) had had an off. He was very relieved to find me and my bike with the right sides up.
Realizing that we were running into some rain me and J-mo got out our raingear , while Jupiter looked on , having put on his raingear at home already.
We turned off to the right following J-mo’s GPS and soon we were climbing up a little washed out pass.
I was doing a LOT of ‘stand up , look up , open up’ but was slowly getting some confidence.
Going down the pass on the other side we stopped for a quick photo session , where J-mo and Jupiter were discussing different tyres , and I pointed the camera around. Shortly after this I hit my first of many watercrossings for the day.
Continuing on this road we eventually crossed the tar road at Glenconnor where we met up with Bie who had ridden through from Jansenvile. Now we were four BMW’s with Bie on an F800.
The road between Glenconnor and Bie’s folks was badly washed away. We got to a point where the river had taken the road away and with trees across the road to indicate that the road was closed. I figured that , that was it. The road was gone and we would have to turn around. That was not to be as Bie had other plans. Bie cut through the grass to the left , slid down the embankment and power his way through the riverbed and over the rock s to go roaring up the other side. J-mo was next and quickly followed through. Ahh well , that was it. If these two did it then obviously a bike must be able to it. I was not so sure about the rider , but what the hell, I was here to ride and the route went through the river bed. I got down the embankment and ungraciously fought my way through the river sand and up the other side with feet paddling wildly.
We followed Bie to his parent’s farm where we had a lovely cup of coffee.
Then leaving the farm yard we entered the poort where soon after Bie stopped and declared the chosen spot the perfect spot to braai the sosaties that he brought along. And fabulous Sosaties they were. The man can make good money selling those !
Having munched those lekker sosaties we set off down the road with poor Bie and J-mo opening and closing numerous gates along the way – Thanx guys.
On this section I got to deal with my first fights with both the mud and the sand monsters. I am glad to say that I came through OK.
We stopped for a quick regroup with Bie explaining some of the history of the area before we hit the final section to the tar road. I found the loose gravel on the turns quite intimidating , but managed to keep my cool and keep myself and my scoot upright .
On the tar road we made a run for Kirkwood where we had a lekker cup of coffee and some toasted sarmies , before hitting the road to get back home, with the rain-suits earning their keep.
Thank you gentlemen for the lekker ride and the good company. It was a pleasure to meet you guys and ride with you.