This weekend it was time for our monthly customer trip. This time the plan was to ride out to Cederberg Oasis and then enjoy what the Cederberg has to offer over the weekend.
Judging by the banter on the whatsapp group the guys were anticipating this ride for weeks and could not wait for the weekend to arrive.
Finally Friday arrived and the guys started parking bikes in front of the shop and ordering burgers from Paulus before we hit the road.
First to arrive was Stefan with his Super Ten. Then Herms on 1200 GS. Then in quick succession came Boere on his 990 , Rommel on his 990 Tambi on his 950 SE , Shaun on an F800 GSA . Myself on my newly aquired Super Ten and Hentie on his 990 completed the group for Friday with Geo on his 1200 LC and Christo on F800GS together with Gary ‘Tank’ on a rented XT660Z who would join us on Saturday morning. Billy the B!tch was the man in the backup vehicle.
As usual we needed to make our way through Friday afternoon traffic and we wasted no time to get away from the rat race.
First stop was the Trout farm on the other side of Du Toit’skloof pass. Thomas took the chance to grab something to eat while the other guys stood out side with something to quench the thirst and a smoke for those that were that way inclined. The banter was flowing freely and you could hear laughter every few seconds.
After a quick stop for some refreshments we made our way back onto the N2 in the direction of Worcester. As I stopped at the stop sign I was just in time to see Tambi pull a monster wheelie all the way out of sight .
Next stop was Ceres where we did some shopping for provisions while Billy went past Gouda to pick up some meat for the potjie from Vaalbaas.
Once Billy joined up with us and with all the provisions loaded we headed to Oasis. We went up Gydo pass and past Oppie berg. I was sweeping so I stopped for a quick photo of the first dirt while I waited for the dust to clear.
Once the dust cleared I made my way onto the dirt .
Only to be stopped by Boere, a few kilos later, jumping up and down and waving like mad.
The reason became apparent as I cleared the crest on the side of the road and saw the guys having a smoke break under a tree next to a dam.
The talk ranged from the pros and cons of different bikes to what tires works best for dirt or tar riding.
With our thirst quenched we set off on the dirt again. This time we would be stopping at Oasis.
At Oasis each man was shown to his lodgings for the night and then the kuier could begin in earnest.
The guys made themselves comfortable under the afdak and soon laughter was flowing freely. As always when adventure bikers are together the brand banter was on par with the guys joking and laughing about who’s bike is best and what brand is the best.
As always Gerhard and Chantal did not disappoint and the long awaited ribs was delicious. We ate until our stomachs hurt.
Saturday morning saw us waiting for Gary , Geo and Christo to arrive and I took my bike up the hill to go and phototgraph some of the Cederberg’s early morning beauty.
Shaun also joined me for a while just admiring the view and the silence.
All this silence and awesome views makes one hungry and eventually my stomach won the argument so I made my way back down to Oasis for a breakfast before Gary and company arrived.
At camp I found that Murphy had struck and that Boere had managed to hurt his back while climbing the stairs up to the kitchen. We gave Boere some pain meds in the hop that he would be good enough to ride his KTM for the day. As the morning progressed it became clear that Boere was in no condition to ride his bike with his back being very sore and so he opted to join Billy in the backup vehicle that changed into a front up vehicle as they set off ahead of the pack to go and set up the braais for lunch.
With breakfast sorted and Gary , Geo and Christo arrived, unpacked and ready we set of for the day’s ride towards Wuppertal.
Once again I was the designated sweeper. There is a saying that says :” The best laid plans of mice and men ….’
Murphy was not done with us yet and not even 10km’s from Oasis I came across Rommmel , Geo , Christo and Shaun looking at the moerse smiley in Geo’s bike’s front rim.
Our first attempt at fixing the smiley failed.
As our backup vehicle has since turned into frontup vehicle we sent Shaun ahead to go and flag them down and send them back to assist while I went back to Oasis to see if I can find some wood and hammer to try and whack the offending smiley back in place.
With wood procured I went back to the stricken motorbike to be informed by the guys that they did not have the correct tools to remove the front wheel for the needed percussive maintenance. Luckily the frontup vehicle arrived but with no better news as they also did not have correct tools.
In the end the decision was made that Geo would very slowly ride his bike back to Oasis while mysef , Rommel and Christo would set off towards the other guys.
And so it was that I set off towards the rest of the guys who would be waiting at the big tree close to Eselbank.
The road was loose with some sandy sections and asked for a little more than average concentration to keep your bike upright.
My arrival was greeted by huge excitement until the guys realized that I did not bring anything to drink with me.
Rommel and Christo arrived shortly after me and we spent an hour or so under the tree hoping to hear the bakkie roaring towards us with some drinks and the goodies for lunch.
Unbeknown to us the bakkie had seen Geo delivered safely to Oasis and was heading back when Murphy joined as a passenger and the bakkie’s fan failed when the fuse melted in the fuse holder and died.
Eventually we gave up waiting under the tree and decided to make our way back to Oasis as the bakkie did not seem to be arriving any time soon.
Hentie and Tambi – being in front met up with the bakkie just as they reached Oasis.
The rest of us rocked up shortly after and got out of our ATGATT and went to get something to drink.
Billy started a fire and braaied the sausage for the boerie rolls and everyone relaxed and threw around the typlical banter as adventure riders tend to do after a ride.
With tools borrowed from some fellow riders myself , Geo , Gerhard and some others set out to see if we could resolve Geo’s bike’s damaged rim.
In the end there was no way we were going to rescue the bike and Geo started to make phone calls to arrange transport for his bike back to Cape Town.
With the sun starting to arch towards the horizon I went back up the mountain to just sit in the silence and take some more photos. I am sure I raised some eyebrows as I left riding with MX boots , Helmets and gloves but with short pants and T-shirt. I am sure that the ATGATT police would have given me no end of trouble if I had to fall . Especially given the fact that I work for an Accessory shop. I took it very easy and rode like an old man.
Of course I just had to sit in the shade and admire the prettiest bike of them all on this trip .
As the sun was sinking behind the horizon and the shadows were lengthening I just sat in the silence and soaked up the ambiance of another day in Africa. What a privilege to be able to ride the bikes we do on the roads we have.
Finally it was time to make my way back to camp. I left the Tenere in second gear and just let her crawl down the road at idle speed listening to the burble from the exhaust.
Somewhere close to the bottom I came across this strange sign. Something to do with people who have not yet heard of Mr Carl Otto and the new fangled contraption called an internal combustion engine.
As the sun gave it’s last orange glow for the day we settled down for an evening of talking nonsense and to enjoy supper in the form of a lamb shank pot and an oxtail pot very deliciously prepared by Hentie and Billy.
Sunday morning we got up fairly early and started our preparations for returning home.
I went to check up on Boere and found the poor man lying on the floor of his tent in absolute agony. With Billy’s help they arranged for an ambulance to come and fetch him and take him to the Hospital from where he was since transferred to Kuilsriver Mediclinic. Boere’s bike was then also booked to come home together with Geo’s 1200.
The rest of us finished our packing.
With such a lovely day ahead of us we decided to not head straight home but go via Katbakkies and Tankwa Padstal.
We stopped for a quick pow-wow and after all the smokers managed to exchange the oxygen in the air lungs we set off again.
As I am sure most of you will know the roads to Katbakkies and padstal are glorious and made for some very nice riding. The views are also spectacular and the sandstone formations are fascinating.
When the rest stopped for there next oxygen break I went ahead and waited for them at the Katbakkies viewpoint.
I am sure that everyone had a fantastic time on their bikes riding these glorious roads.
We stopped at the old farmhouse for a photo opportunity.
I waited for the other guys to leave so as not ride in the dust. And stopped for some photos of the scenery.
And passing these rock formations a short while later I had to stop for a photo .
Eventually I also arrived at the new an improved Tankwa Padstal where it seemed that every man and his dog that owned an adventure bike had stopped.
After something to drink and something to munch we set off for home towards Ceres.
At the regroup on the tar road Tambi treated us to a quick wheelie demo .
I must say – the man can wheelie that 950 SE !
This was the last photo I took as from here we were eager to get home to some food and cool drinks and a shower.