Vagabond, yes I try!
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
The next 50km section was going to be riverbeds with serious sand and some rocky spoor to make things more interesting. The girls did not expect any of this, for myself, I thought “just another great day sand riding”. Metaljockey’ had "selective memory" he did not recall the difficulty of the sand since their visited to the area was by car.
We stopped for a quick break at some dams but we were out of luck for a swim and some water. The dams were build right in the middle of the riverbed.
We were still in high spirit, it was hot, but the scenery was awesome and the riding as good as it gets, BUT it wasn’t long and I started picking up bikes. MJ was having a great time out front, but still had to work his ass off not dropping his bike with little missy.
For me picking up a bike is somewhat along these lines. First pick up used 20% of my reserves, the second time 30% of my reserves were gone and by the third time the remainder was gone!
I can’t remember the amount of times I had to help pick up the bikes, 12 or more times that day. Every time it got more and more difficult.
The biggest lesson learned, even if you CAN ride a bike, if you can’t pick up your own bike or keep it up right, rather make use of a smaller bike for D/S riding.
Somewhere-Els did extremely well in riding the bike, the biggest draw back came when she stopped or when it moved over the balance point, she was just not able to pull it up and keep it there. So more than often she just dropped it and could not pick it up by herself. MrsMJ did well, she only dropped her bike once or twice that day, and it helped with conserving her energy. Somewhere-Els and myself was seriously fast running out of water and energy.
The sand tracks got worse and worse as we kept to the riverbeds. Lots of bushes in the tracks and with sharp bends around rocks. The cars that passed before us had the most impact on the rideablity of the track.
I am the boss on this farm.
All of us had cameras, but concentration on riding took priority over picture taking.
The area had an above average rainfall and some of the riverbeds were still wet. This seriously heightened the difficulty rating. It made it very difficult to gauge the direction and route you needed to take. The sand was so soft, it was like riding into damp pudding!
Sweets was all she wanted.
It wasn’t long and the Dakar got buried to the belly pan in the sand. Somewhere-Els followed MrsMJ’s tracks, the DRZ floated, the Dakar not! With Cracklin’s Dakar being repaired a while ago for a gearbox that broke in a riverbed, still stuck in my mind, I feared the worst because there were no movement in the drive train. Luckily when MJ kicked the bike in neutral, we started it and all seemed well. Man, you just don’t kill a Dakar.
Luckily Somewhere-Els didn’t cursed me too hard, because I raised my voice a bit at that stage.
On her way, riding like the devil is on her tail.
We had to rest, it was after midday and in between the hills, it was nose-bleeding hot.
The second most important thing to remember on a trip ………WATER!!!!!!!!! And enough thereof. We were working so hard, we drank a lot and were seriously low on water. That morning we thought it was only going to be a short ride for the day and we would be fine with the water we had. HUGE mistake!! Your water intake quadruples, and a 50km stretch took us the better part of the day. Never under estimate the terrain.
The scenery was beyond belief. If you really want to appreciate this kind of beauty you have to visit this place and see it for yourself.
Things never seemed the way they looked, you would storm up a hill and halfway there a ‘tarred road’ becomes an enduro type rock filled crater!! The incline was nothing special, but the loose fist-size rocks, strewed across a hard pack rock surface, turned it into a little bastard hill.
MrsMj, nailed it and got a good way up the hill!
MJ who got out quick with the help of the WP (thanks to KTM), ran down to ride MrsMj’s bike up as we could not afford any breaking bones!
By now I was really, really, fucking tired, a Dakar is one heavy bike, ask me I know. My mouth was like a piece of bark, my tongue stuck to the back of my teeth!!
This was to be the first time on the trip I dropped my bike. I knew what was happening, but there’s nothing I could do about it. The more tired you get, the more you loose concentration, the more difficult it becomes to ride the bike. Still Somewhere-Els and MrsMJ, surprised us, they rode like Dakar competitors, I could not believe they were doing this well under these circumstances.
1200’s don’t break easy, they sometimes get narcolepsy.
MJ helped to ride my bike up the rest of the way while I went down to get the Dakar up the hill.
Good god woman!! She actually made it up halfway. A bit more practice and these two girls will keep up with us!
The scenery from the top was just spectacular. This is life, taste it, smell it, it’s great, absolute joy and happiness. LIFE IS JUST F-ING GREAT! Tiredness and thirst got replaced by adrenalin and extreme pleasure.
Where we came from:
It did not go better onwards … it got worse, and we still had many miles of sand to cover for the day. At least we had some good patches to pick up speed in between.
We saw some real "half mens trees"
This fucking sand just did not stop! Every time you get out of one riverbed and there is one more. Eventually we ended up at this water hole, but seeing that we are so close, according to the GPS, we decided not to take a break or a chance on the water.
And then more sand …….. Maybe it was because I was so dead bloody tired, but it felt as if it went on forever. And I was still picking up Somewhere-Els bike every now and then. It was getting harder for her to keep the bike up right when it got off balance, when she got going again she nailed it just fine … just don’t stop Honey, don’t stop!!!
MrsMJ by now was floating the DRZ like a pro enduro racer. She really was in tune with the bike!
How de hell all of us, except MJ, passed this huge big Gnaap nobody knows, what a beautiful plant.
This girl is always as happy as a kid can be …
Much later that day we booked in at Vioolsdrift’ Bushwhacked (Bozbafok) back-packers/camping site. All of the hard work and pain and all we can show is this foto … the best effort of the barman, one lousy shitty out of focus picture, the crunt!
But it does not matter, when we look at this picture we will forever remember the good times, hard work, sweat and joy of the girls first proper off road trip. It's just great having them share our biking passion with us. You girls rock !
My first beer gave me brain freeze and throat lock, but man, it was great to feel Carling run down my throat.
We had plans to carry on through the Richterveld, but Vioolsdrift did not have any petrol, so our trip had to abruptly take a new direction. MJ had their passports there and was able to source petrol from the Namibian side of the border.
As for Somewhere-Els and myself we had to ride for SteinKopf. 30km before Steinkopf the Dakar ran out of petrol and Mrs had to take the 1200 to get petrol. She made it to Steinkopf with 9km left on the 1200 computer!!
The most important thing on any trip, PETROL!! make sure you always have enough.
Best of all, planning for the next trip.
michnus screwed with this post 05-16-2008 at 08:08 AM