A ride out in my back yard....

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Mikie

Grey Hound
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
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Location
Hoekwil
Bike
BMW R1200GS Adventure
A few months back @EssBee mentioned on out local whatsapp group that there was a route from the N9 over the mountain meeting up with the Seven Passes road, thats basically my backyard, I immediately told him that I am keen, but not being a pensioner on retirement myself, I can only do this out of work hours.
We initially planned to do this little ride on 24 August, but then the weather didnt play nice, we still ummed and Ahhed whether we could chance a little light rain, but we opted for staying warm rather.
Yesterdays weather was predicted initially to be clear and sunny initially, but it started off a little foggy, clearing up to a stunning day for riding on the Little Karoo side, and then back to chilly and threatening with rain at the end of the Old Ox Wagon trail AKA Duiwelskop Pass.
After no other bites for other local Dogs to join us, we punctually met at our meeting point In George, from there over Montague Pass.

The remains of the old blacksmiths shop, someone must have cleaned them up cos I saw nothing
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Once we hit the N9 we hooked the first left onto the Perde Poort Pass
Very nice dirt and a nice little pass too, I didnt get pics there, the road meets a T-Junction and we head right, for a very fun dirt highway section, albeit very dusty
It was so strange to realise that the Little Karoo already starts just over the mountain from my house, an hour ago I was riding through lush tropical Garden route roads and here I am on the edge of a desert, The Ostriches are as common as Mielies in the Free State.
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We should have take the left split at Eselbank for a nicer gravel road all the way to the Louvain Turnoff, we missed that so then had to slab it for a few KM to the turnoff, I dont get to ride as much as I would like to even living here, so I am rather riding unfit, I was like a child with a new toy on that dirt, it was a lot of fun.

The turnoff we were looking for takes us to Louvain Guest Farm a little gem again ride over the mountain from home.
This place had me gob smacked, what a stunning place, this is the start the route we had gotten together for, that goes by so many names, Bergplaas Road, Old Ox Wagon Route, Duiwelskop Pass, Louvain 4x4 Route, at reception we pay our permit fees, R200 Per person, get the permit and get a key for the gate at the other end of the route.

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The route rises up to 970m (Thats the height I got up there) slightly rocky in places, a rut or 2 but mostly twee spoor right up to the view point, nothing too technical but great views.
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We reach the top after a short ride, the highest point of the ride and I was picking up a sweat, it was hot, and there was some concentration required climbing that road, we stopped for a break, some photies, and just to admire the view, the fog was starting to blow in from the ocean again, so the views werent as great as I would have liked.

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So far this looked to be an easy ride, no ox wagon could ever have struggled over this
I led the next section down, my opinion on how easy this route is changes VERY fast, this was the start of the 2KM 4x4 section, and yes, its 4x4, your common Polo is not going to make this road, I only stopped to take one photo, the rest of the time I was working uber hard to keep up my behemoth, not go over the edge, to a certain world of pain, and picking the best route fast, it was HARD work, even Simon on his 650 was kicking up a serious sweat, there was once of twice where I really thought I was going to put her down, but somehow, I managed to wrestle my GSA all the way down to the bottom of Duiwelskop.
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The photo is deceiving, the gradient is steep, this was just one section where I could quickly stop and snap a pic.
It had much rougher sections.

At the bottom, it was time to stop again, take jackets off, as its REALLY hot now.
We both agreed that this route would be impossible on a bike in the wet, your going to break things or yourself, the less rockier sections also showed signs of slippery mud when it rains.
And we were happy that we didnt attempt it on the previously arranged date.
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The worst looked to be over, the roads ahead look like beautiful well kept winding mountain dirt roads.
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And they were, the strangest thing we saw were 2 women with 2 bicycles and a toddler in the road, a little further on we had to dodge a Pram in the road :oops:

At the bottom, where we overlook the Bergplaas village we reach the gate, the key had to be dropped off at the Woodville Trading store right at the Seven Passes intersection.
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The map we got from Louvain, beaten into submission in my topbox
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I had one hell of a blast and even surprised myself, being so unfit and out of practice
Today, I am a broken man, just about all my muscles are stiff and swollen, but I want to get out and ride some more, thanks for the ride @EssBee
I did 149km, but that included my quick trip to the shops to get some braai goodies then a nice blip down the Langvlei road home

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