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Old 04-03-2009, 09:58 AM   #91
Douf OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocketeer
Fantastic! Looks like you are all having a terrific time -- fun group, great photos, wonderful trip.
Thanks for taking the time to at least look at the pictures. (I can't imagine anyone not directly involved with this odyssey has really wasted their time actually reading through all this self indulgent crap - well maybe my folks, but they're 'obligated').

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Old 04-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Douf
Day 11 - Redux

Yesterday's banzai game drive/pre run must have really done a number on Gary, 'cause this morning he looked pretty ruff. Thanks Patrick



(Pic: Lovebug classic - RIP Marley)
Hey Phil, cool picture. But it's off by 8 years, for the jack and cigarettes anyway
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:01 PM   #93
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I just want to come to the defence of the poor maligned Wimpy franchise chain. At least they're honest, you know what you'll get and on many a cold winter's morning those mega coffees were heaven sent.
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:40 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by tenderfoot
I just want to come to the defence of the poor maligned Wimpy franchise chain. At least they're honest, you know what you'll get and on many a cold winter's morning those mega coffees were heaven sent.
Can't disagree with any of those points, but I could have stayed in the US and found more than enough of that. Maybe my SA trip friends were looking for something different, but in considering my motivation for this ride: I was hoping to find something inspiring, questionable and maybe a even little bit dangerous.
Besides, the trip report would've been more interesting if I'd be shitting my brains out the whole time, and I never did get to find out just how effective those industrial strength intestine blockers (that my Dr had prescribed and very carefully warned me about taking just enough to do the job) would be.
Having said that, on the last trip I did in Colorado, I got food poisoning and it wasn't a lot of fun.

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Old 04-04-2009, 06:44 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Douf
Sorry Mikie: you know I'm laughing WITH you really

In reality though, as I've been writing this report, I've missed your enigmatic presence on the ride, so I took this opportunity to drop in a little Mikie folklore. (you've got a few more references coming up too and, believe it or not, some of them aren't totally disparaging )

In my defense though, I'm at least holding my fire somewhat: just think, that Cape National Park moon shot should have certainly gained internet infamy by now. I had the perfect tie in at corner #2 as well: when describing the well defined crack separating the Indian and Atlantic Oceans which is chiseled in the rock at the ocean's edge

Wish you'd have ridden the rest of it with us buddy. Really!

Douf
You know I can take it
You have no idea how much I would have loved to do the rest of the trip with you guys but I really couldnt, I am now still feeling the after effects But I will survive
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:31 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by MikieSA
You know I can take it
You have no idea how much I would have loved to do the rest of the trip with you guys but I really couldnt, I am now still feeling the after effects But I will survive
Rest up.........for the U.S.

Douf

Douf screwed with this post 04-05-2009 at 09:39 AM
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:37 PM   #97
Mika Meyer
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Cool2

Awesome trip report, Douf. Thanks for taking us along. How'd you like the 800GS? Looks like you broke it in nicely.


Did you get to take the 911 out for a spin?



That Porsche sure would be FUN here. Woohoo, that'd be some quick 150 clicks!!

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:21 AM   #98
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Wicked Fluid Film U.S. Launch

Sorry for the lack of progress. The Weather's been too nice for the past couple of days to be sitting in front of a computer.



Went for a ride with my buddy Michael - U.S. launch of Fluid Film



Did the bicycle thing over the 'magic triangle' (motorcycle heaven in North Georgia's mountains, that only compounded my misery as the constant stream of bikes ripping through the curves put my painfully slow progress in a little more perspective than was really necessary), riding with my personal cycling nemeses Doug and Jon (sorta)




Here's the elevation profile for the ride - looks like fun, huh?



Even got Douf wife to go out for a few cool down miles afterwards.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Douf

Douf screwed with this post 04-05-2009 at 07:41 AM
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:14 AM   #99
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Thumbs down No Porsche for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mika Meyer
Awesome trip report, Douf. Thanks for taking us along. How'd you like the 800GS? Looks like you broke it in nicely.


Did you get to take the 911 out for a spin?



That Porsche sure would be FUN here. Woohoo, that'd be some quick 150 clicks!!

Hey Mika,

Thanks for checking out my ride report

I didn't get to drive the Porsche unfortunately, although given the state of the Jo'burg traffic, maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. Actually, one surprising thing about the area of Jo'burg we stayed in was the amount of exotic car dealers in the area. We weren't that far from the Kyalami racetrack which might have had something to do with it, but in sharp contrast to the general level of poverty in the country, there are apparently enough extremely wealthy people to support a healthy trade in these vehicles.

In my opinion, the GS was a great choice for this trip and in retrospect, given the option of any machine, I'd still have picked the BMW. It didn't feel anywhere near as heavy as it really is; in reality I found it felt more manageable off road than my 950 (probably a combination of lower seat height and, with a smaller expanse of bodywork viewable from the riding position, it gave the perception of being smaller too). Although I was fortunate enough not to crash it, it seemed like it'd be pretty durable in terms of general wear and tear, whereas I'm always wary of wiping out the 950's expensive plastic. I'm kinda anal about most of my bikes, which I think also extends to the 950 unfortunately, but I've also got a KLR which gets treated like an appliance rather than an object of desire () and consequently gets ridden as intended. I think I could treat a GS in a similar fashion, which is a good thing. Not sure if any of this is helpful or even makes any sense, but there you have it.
Gary liked his rental GS so much that he's looking for one to replace both his V-Strom and KLR.


Cheers,

Douf


Douf screwed with this post 04-05-2009 at 09:42 AM
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:33 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douf


'Siyakwemukela Eswatini' - English translation: 'Eat shit, white boy' Eventually though, after a fashion, they let us in.
Actually Phil ... "Go Connect" was lost in translation ... if translated directly back into Siswati it's true meaning is "Go F#(!< urself"
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:56 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Koshik
Actually Phil ... "Go Connect" was lost in translation ... if translated directly back into Siswati it's true meaning is "Go F#(!< urself"
I appreciate you taking the time to clear up that slight misunderstanding

I 'm assuming I was right on the money with my interpretation of Mikie's extra set of balls though

Buy-a-donkey

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Old 04-05-2009, 05:05 PM   #102
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Talking The Gang's All Here

Day 12 Part 3 - The SA Riding Bit.



This part of the trip, looking back through the photo archive, is characterized by Gary and I unconsciously slipping back into our old 'power touring' habits. In other words for the most part it's totally devoid of any pics, reflecting our absolute reluctance to take hands off 'bars for anything other than a petrol pump. Couple that with my limited powers as a virtual orator and mercifully, for those of you still awake, this has the potential to be rather brief.
(Edit (a few hours later): OK, so I lied about the brief bit)



Without the SA contingent to delay us taking endless photos of unremarkable scenery, Gary and I made excellent progress

After giving brief thanks for the total absence of bureaucratic drama at the border regarding the tenuous condition of my passport's expiration date, we mounted up and headed for the N4 at Kamatipoort. At this location the route subsequently headed west through Matsulu towards Nelspruit. Consistently steady progress marked this mainly straight and unremarkable section of road, with the only significant event of note being the slight matter of a broken headlight on Gary's GS. In itself, this occurrence also lacked any real drama as it was noticed only after we had pulled over for, what on this day was an infrequent stop. After ultimately discovering how proud BMW appears to be of this particular item however, did any noteworthy consequence attach itself to this event. Suffice it to say, any GS owners reading this who might like to avoid paying almost $500 to replace this part, would be best advised to purchase a headlight protector forthwith. In addition to the headlight crystal itself, the bulb had also blown (in reality this bike had two separate sealed units - although you can only buy them as a single entity - and it was the dipped beam and bulb that were actually shot), leaving the bike with main beam only. Not really a problem unless it involved blinding oncoming motorists if we were still rolling at dusk.



As used by all of Paul's law enforcement 'associates' - probably

Subsequently the route left the N4 where it followed a northerly track through White River towards Sabie on the R538. As I'd mentioned briefly in a previous section of day twelve's travelogue, there had already been a little disagreement on the outskirts of Jozini about exactly which road was the correct route; and here we had reached another of those situations. Our conflicting reconnaissance stemmed from the different navigational options we each had at our disposal: I was using a Garmin 376C loaded with a current SA mapset in conjunction with an SA paper map whose limited detail was all but useless; Gary on the other hand was using pages from a much more detailed SA atlas in conjunction with an older GPS containing a coarse representation of the SA road system. Based on his extensive trip planning experience (compared to my more limited background - hey, I've always found my way home), Gary's position as navigational overlord between the two of us (and probably in relation to the rest of the group too), I felt made it difficult for him to blindly follow me around without at least some input; especially as he was aware that I was merely going by the recommendations of the GPS - and it wouldn't be the first time that either of us had been misled by one of those things.



..........and the roads were great

However, on this trip, even though he'd always kept a wary eye on each day's destination (as had I), I think he'd come to accept his fate of being led around by the South African contingent, and since Paul had proved (with the exception of the inevitably unimaginative breakfast stops ) to be a well prepared and competent leader, maybe was even actually enjoying the carefree existence of having someone else do all the work. But naively following my - for this part of the world - geographically ignorant ass around was another matter entirely. In this case however, to my eyes the options looked straight forward enough, and after a brief discussion we continued to follow my nose. Gotta love all this new fangled technology: chalk one up for the electronically assisted navigational hoi polloi.



This way Gary - Despite being in a foreign land, it wasn't too difficult to find our way around, even without Paul's assistance

The rush hour traffic that had started to congest the roads through most of the urban areas at this stage was starting to make consistent progress a little difficult. Today, in the grand scheme of things we hadn't been on the road for that long, but compared to the rest of the trip, the mileage had been covered at a fairly aggressive rate. Our impatience with the current automotive semi-gridlock, coupled with our desire to reach this evening's lodging location as quickly as possible had combined to render some of our riding habits a little rough around the edges, and as I recall, at the time one or two stop signs were only retrospectively noticed in the rear rear view mirror.



Meanwhile Koshik attracts the attention of a dangerous feline predator
(pity it wasn't Mikie really - in which case I'm sure I'd have been able to come up with some predictably lame pussy comment)




Without the SA contingent to delay us..........


Heading further northward and leaving behind whatever small amount of congestion we had encountered, the road quality steadily improved as ultimately a twisting ribbon of blacktop snaked invitingly through an area of rolling hills majestically covered with extensively magnificent pine forest growth. Characterized by some excellent sport riding opportunities, the prevailing combinations of curvaceous technicality conspired to test our riding abilities, although an occasional patch of gravel would inevitably serve as an unwelcome but necessary reminder that instant mortality was never more than an ill judged twist of the throttle away. The obvious superiority of a motorcycle in relation to the comparably pedantic progress that one of those quaint encapsulated conveyances makes in these circumstances was never in any doubt and, upon encountering a Mercedes driver involved in a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to conduct over 3000lbs of excess baggage through these mountain roads at something resembling a respectable pace, I was happy to demonstrate the two wheeled BMW's over-achieving disposition.



Without the...........

After an inspiring session carving up the terrain in Mpumalanga province, eventually however (since our overwhelming desires still placed dinner, reconvening with our South African friends and a bed for the night over any further riding), Sabie's welcome outskirts rolled into view. Pulling in for fuel in town, I called for directions and, as the dialing tone of Cindy's cell phone echoed in my ears, we eagerly anticipated the inevitability of a short ride to the evening's unbelievably low priced accommodation.



Gary and I suck

As it transpired though, immediate nutritional nirvana did not prevail as our intrepid amalgam of fellow travelers had decided to spend the night in Graskop, unwelcomely situated another twenty excruciating miles north of Sabie. Reluctantly therefore, enduring what under normal circumstances would have been spectacular and memorable, but in this case proved to be psychologically painful, we set off up the R532 to Graskop. Navigating towards the limited local metropolis and following what proved to be surprisingly straightforward directions, especially considering our current level of lethargy and indifference towards any further amount of immediate motorcycle travel, Gary and I pulled up outside Graskop's Portuguese restaurant, where we were warmly greeted by our friends. I got the feeling that everyone seemed to be filled with a mixture of happiness and relief that we had managed to once again reconvene the entire group into a single carefree entity.



Welcoming their friends back into the fold, the entire group pounded soda after soda like there was no tomorrow

After a satisfying meal and an amusing period of after dinner banter, our assembled clan made its' way the short distance through the town to the evening's accommodation which, since they had arrived a few hours before Gary and I, had already been settled by our South African riding compatriots, and was even in walking distance of the restaurant: an extra feature that most had taken advantage of.



These may be Giraffes, or I could be Lion

In our absence, the crew had once again managed to magically finagle some very low priced accommodation, the only difference being that on this occasion, it was worth it. Pulling into the dimly lit thoroughfares that comprised the interior of this establishment (which were made worse by a thick fog that cloaked the immediate environment in an eerie mist of uncertainty), I was amazed to find myself in the middle of a place that looked like the sinister surroundings of a post apocalyptic housing project and, as we threaded our way through what appeared to be the kind of dead-end neighborhood that would threaten even the stupefied senses of a hopeless crack addict, I was having serious doubts about the judgment of my fellow travelers. However they assured us that it was quite safe and the fact this glorious crucible of residential perfection played host on an annual basis to quite a number of fellow riders during a supposedly well known motorcycle rally (the name of which currently escapes me and I couldn't find it on the 'net either ) apparently legitimized its' desirability. I did feel somewhat happier about our predicament however when we arrived at our tenement/apartment to find Koshik's prized Fireblade left happily abandoned in the otherwise apparently lawless surroundings.



After observing the questionable surroundings in which it's been left, Koshik's Blade sprays its' coolant all over the floor. Moments later it was stolen

The interiors of the apartments/cells didn't look any better either. The bed clothes if they had ever been washed, undoubtedly hadn't experienced the intimate pleasure of tumbling uncontrollably in the lathered embrace of a front loader for quite some time and so, mindful of the constant nationwide publicity advocating condom use, I pulled out my sleeping bag, carefully unrolled it and, after a few clumsily uncertain moments spent fumbling for the light switch, slipped myself eagerly into its' warm confines; hoping to shield myself from the distinctly unsavory possibility of catching an unwanted disease.



However, before these unfortunately all too brief moments of somnolent ecstasy, our crew spent quite a while huddled in a single apartment in deference to the unnervingly creepy surroundings, on the pretense of enjoying each others company and planning the following day's route.

Safety in numbers, eh?

Douf screwed with this post 04-05-2009 at 08:44 PM
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:26 AM   #103
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The rally is the Paradise" Held in Graskop mid winter - just imagine
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:50 AM   #104
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The rally is the Paradise" Held in Graskop mid winter - just imagine
Har! Har! How could I have possibly forgotten something so apropos. And just for the sake of completeness, what was the name of that nasty shit hole that we had the distinct misfortune to stay in? The Bates Motel keeps popping into my head, but I'm sure that's not it.

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:08 PM   #105
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Well, it's been an interesting read, though that picture of you in the tub almost ended it for me. But I pressed on for the best. Good work and looking forward to the wrap up.
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