Thursday, July 3, 2014

RASA Day 21

We left Montague a 05:30. Even though the ride was not too technical, we had to cover more then 160 km, so we had a long day ahead of us. Around the first corner we also picked up Francois du Toit, who had to sit out a 6-hour penalty I Rouxpos and only got in at 20:05 the previous evening.  I have ridden this section before and therefore knew the way, so I was setting the pace. We were quite surprised at the amount of traffic on the Montague/Ashton road at 05:30 in the morning.  Fortunately we had no “hairy” moments. From Ashton we went down the Zandfliet road and onto Bonnievale, where we took the Vrolikheid turnoff to MacGregor.  The weather was beautiful and we were blessed with the most beautiful sunrise.  In MacGregor we stopped for a coffee, and we had had “proper” espresso coffee for the first time on the trip. From there it was the “drag” out of MacGregor up the hill to the Coenies River portage. In the scheme of things on this adventure, this portage was “a piece of cake”.  Down the other side we had the new for 2014 section to Good Hope farm. We thought that this would go quickly, but was surprised to find that it involved quite a bit of technical riding. Where the old route via Kasra took about 30 minutes, the new route took us probably 90 minutes! When we got to Good Hope, we saw a sign indicating Freedom Riders, but at the dwelling there was only cake and coffee and nobody around. After scouting around, George did find the correct place where all the food and our 2-liter containers were. We stocked up quickly and were on our way as the Trappieskraal portage and more than 100 km to Trouthaven, still lay ahead. A still North Westerly wind was also picking up.

The Trappiekraal portage involves a fair bit of pushing and carrying due to the condition of the jeep track. It is also fairly long and it was past 14:00 by the time we started the descent on the other side. The wind was still a factor, but not quite as bad as we feared it would be. At the Doornrivier store we had some quick refreshments and we back on the road in no time. Over MacKay’s hill, past Stettyns Cellar and a short stretch on the Villiersdorp/Worcester tar road before we ventures of on the Klipbokkop turn off and from there past the Kwaggaskloof and Brandvlei Dams and through the Brandvlei Prison grounds. The roads were in good condition and we were making good time. The gradient was not to bad, but it was a bit of a “drag” to get the distance behind us. With 5 km to go we went past the Trouthaven gate and onto the last stretch for the day. We pulled into Trouthaven at 18:35.

Total distance: 163.48 km; total time: 12:56:27; Total ascent: 2,355 meters; total descent: 2,259 meters.

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