Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6 June 2010

We got going at 07:50. had some problems find to route after going through the farm yard at Die Fontein, but somebody has erected a small sign of a bicycle and when we saw that we knew we are on the right route. Towards the top the surface was perry rough, forcing us to revert to pushing. The rest of the route was easy to find and easy to ride. The owner at the Doornrivier shop and post office mentioned that the Cape Epic came past his place during a previous year, so we were in good company. Encountered a vicious headwind around the Brandvlei dam. At one point it was so bad, we had to get off our bicycles as we were just about blown over. Arrived at our parked car by 12:30 after doing 71km.

By now I have covered 41% of the total distance of the Freedom Challenge. Will have to see if some additional distances can be done before June 2011!

Since the previous trip I changed to an old saddle off my old road biker and encountered no "backside" problems this time.

5 June 2010

I managed to convince my friend, Mike Smit to tackle to Montagu/Rawsonville strech of the Freedom Challenge with me. We decided to do it over two days over the weekend of 5/6 June.

We left Cape Town at 06:00. Left my vehicle on a farm near Rawsonville and Mike's son collected us there and dropped us off in Ashton just before 09:00. We decided to skip the Montagu/Ashton section as it is all tar and generally fairly busy, having done that section while doing the Double Century.

We got going out of Ashton at 09:06. Quite a bit of tar from Ashton to Bonnievale, but the shoulder provided a nice asphalt surface most of the way. The going was good got to Coenies River just after 12:00. I did not read the narratives properly and turnoff too quickly. We, fortunately discovered our mistake and found the right route, ably assisted by the kids at the labourers cottages. The track across the koppie down to Kasra was once again out of this world. We measured a gradient of 29%! Arrived at Kasra at just before 14:00 after doing 72km. Had a wonderful evening with Alda & Elsa. The food was divine. As there was no DSTV in the house, we opted for an early evening.

Saturday 1 May 2010

After watching the Stomers demolish the Waratahs on Friday evening, I was off for an early start, 06:30, with 140km to cover with a sore backside! Got the Wagendrift turn-off but then I turn right too early and got bitten by a dog and ended up on the tar road again. As the right route was past the "dog" again, I opted for the safer option and took the tar road to Volstruishoogte. The route via Klein Spreeufontein and Skerpkranz was once again out of this world. I must congratulate David Waddilove on the "interesting" road he discovered when he put this trail together. The route through Anysberg down to Montagu was nice and uneventful except for the fact that I pedaled about 50% of the way in a standing position due to my tender backside! The last bit into Montagu seems to be never ending with corrugations and a slight headwind. Arrived safely at 16:15 after a wonderful six days and a determination to tackle the Freedom Challenge in 2011. 145km in 9:50 hours.

Friday 30 April 2010

Gamkaskloof to Rouxpos. Looking forward to a not too stressful day with the Ladder as the major obstacle to overcome. Got going at 08:01 after picking up unit left with Estelle for charging during the night. Arrived at the foot of the ladder just after 09:00. Was amazed at how comfortable it is to carry a bicycle on your back if you have a rucksack on your back! Took me 1:15 to cover the 1.8km with an accent of 700m. The feeling of exaltation when reaching the top is difficult to describe. The ride from the top of the Ladder to the public road, a distance of 15km is very rough. Once you hit the public road the going is easy and I reached Rouxpos at 14:15. A distance of 66km in 6:15 hours with 1.6km of climbing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thursday 29 April 2010

After a lovely breakfast, I hit the road at 08:00. Steady progress up the beautiful Swartberg Pass. Was rather surprised when a BMW 650i came past me, but he was only going about 10 k.p.h. faster! The up and downs to Gamkaskloof seems to never end, but I finally got there at 15:00. 66 km for the day. Had my own little house for the night and went to bed early.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

My brother arrived at The Willows just after 08:00. We then proceeded to ride the route to Rondavel. The 83 km took us 3:08. Beautiful scenery and very interesting roads we travelled on. My brother left me at Rondavel and I hit the road by 11:45. Very easy going and very little navigation required. Did the 73 km in 4:07 and arrived in Prince Albert at 15:52. First went to see Dr Piet Rynders, formally from Bloubergstrand, about my backside. He said that there was nothing better that he could and suggested that I stop riding for awhile. OK, once I get home! Had a very evening with Lindsay and Ria.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Dam se Drif to Willowmore. Leasure day ahead. Got going at 07:33. Arrived at The Willows at 13:19. 85km for the day. Corrugations between Dam se Drif and Nuwekloof Pass really gets one down. During this period I wondered if it is worth while spending R15,000 to "suffer" for three weeks from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl! Also decided that I will call for some backup as my backside was not in a state to do the 140km between Willowmore and Prince Albert in one day!. As my brother was visiting some family in the Steylerville aera, I called him and asked him the meet me the next morning and drive me to Rondavel, from where I would resume my ride.

Monday 26 April 2010

Cambria to Dam se Drif. Got going at 07:42. Expected reasonable day with a lot of climbing. Beautiful area that I rode through. The second pass seems to never end! Towards the end the undulations and corrugations with a head wind made going less enjoyable. Arrived at 13:28. 75 km for the day. Spend relaxing afternoon and evening at Dam se Drif. Unfortunately my "hosts" had a family gathering so I was all on my own. My saddle was giving my backside a real work over. It was so bad that I a raw patch on the right and a very tender spot on the left. Tried some plasters in the hope that it will work.

Sunday 25 April 2010

During the week of 25 April to 1 May 2010 I rode from Kleinpoort to Monatgu. Day 1 started at 07:04 from Kleinpoort to Cambria. I had some problems finding the route from Bucklands to Tretyre, but got there without losing too much time. made good time to Perdeberg. Discovered that the "farmstead" was nothing more than a large "sheppard shed". Could not find the "fence" as described in the narrative. Did find a track further to the right. Halfway up the hill, I took a calculated decision and decided to that I may end up at the top of a cliff with no way down and went down to the valley and straight west to Hottentotspoort. From there I took the public route to the Groot River gorge. by the time I got to the entrance of the Osseberg Pass, it was 16:00. I once again took a calculated decision and decided that it will be better to take the long way round with the public road, rather that go down the Osseberg Pass and through 11 river crossing and trying to get over a 3 meter high gate in the dark. I eventually arrived at Cambria at 20:00. 164km in 13 hours.

On 20 March 2010 I, together with my brother and a friend "walked" Stetteynskloof. We started at the dam wall at 07:30 and reached the top by 14:30. Halfway on our way to the N2 we got a lift. Reach the parking at the new tunnel by 17:30.