Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Touring with The Pretty One - Day 1

Jeffries Bay to Heron Cliff

When we woke everything was very wet from the dew but that is the support team's problem... not really. We bundled the wet stuff into the trailers and pretty soon everybody was on their way. We had to traverse some private land with SERIOUS orders about closed gates, so the group stayed together until we exited the farm roads and started entering the Baviaans Kloof. What a beautiful decent into the kloof. I have always ridden this part in the night as part of the Trans Baviaans 24hr race, and I never realized how beautiful it is. Pretty soon it was chill time at Heron Cliff. We had to move camp slightly as the original camping site was washed away in a flood days before. It did not rain in the kloof, but the water came from far and there it rained a lot. As recently as December Beaufort West had serious problems as their dam dried up completely, and when we went through there on our way the dam was overflowing. Same rains fed the rivers that eventually becomes the Groot River and flows through the Baviaans Kloof.

The tandem did well and I enjoyed the day out with The Pretty One.

Ready to go
Me and The Pretty One and the Tandem
Support ready with all the treats a tired cyclist want
The group chatting with one of the landowners - 81 years old and going strong
Chilling at Heron Cliff

Monday, March 28, 2011

Touring with The Pretty One - Day 0

We left the Dam just before sunrise and a spur of the moment decision made me ride over the dam wall instead of taking the main road. What a spectacle awaited us. The biggest dam in South Africa 100% full and overflowing. The rest of the trip was again without incident, butt the conditions of the roads in South Africa is shocking. The going was slower than expected but once in Jeffries Bay we pitched camp and spent some quality time on the beach and fixing the Beta version of a new bike rack that I designed and built. This was going to give us (actually the supporters) some interesting moments over the next few days.

The Gariep Dam bursting out of it's seams
The normally dry Karoo had a lot of rain in places
Setting up camp in Jeffries
Liezl and Sandy on the the beach at Jeffries

Touring with The Pretty One - Day -1

I had an early radiation session and soon we were packed and ready to go. The Pajero, trailer with 5 bikes, Myself, The Pretty One, Roelof, Sandra, Liezl and Steve. We had an uneventful journey and slept at Gariep Dam on the border of the Free State and Eastern Cape. Mmm... Liezl forgot her mobile phone in a restroom along the way, and in South Africa that is as good as throwing it in a dustbin or the sea. The first person to find it will steal it, period.
Picking up Steve and away we were          

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Swaziland and 30 Years

Me and The Pretty One got married on the 28th February 1981. So we celebrated 30 years of happiness this past weekend. Part of this was my promise that I will cycle through the Baviaans Kloof with her. But this weekend was just for the two of us, so we packed the Pajero, left the bicycles at home and set off for Swaziland. The idea was to follow the route that I plan to ride in June during my Beit Bridge to Cape Town Cycle.

We had a lot of fun, saw some amazing parts of Swaziland off the beaten track, and at times tested the offroad capabilities of the Pajero.

Some Pictures:

Had to wait a while for the timber to be cleared - coffee break

Off the beaten track 1

Off the beaten track 2

Small Pajero
End of the road 1 - Only mountain bikes from here forward.

End of the road 2 - I will have to use the new bridge - Tar, hugh



Scouting a footpath

Disused railway line - knee-deep

End of the road 3 - Only mountain bikes
Coffee break - NO DRINKING and DRIVING - you spill to much

Yet another removable obstacle


End of the road 4 - Mountain Bikes only