Looking at options.
Currently there are 2 trips in the plan, October 2020 down to Gariep, then Jan 2021 to Marion Island. We have paid for both trips and hopefully the travel ban will be lifted by then. (Update: due to leave restrictions I had to split October in 2 short trips and had a long weekend break as at the bottom of this page.)
25/07/2020 7AM at 1 degree Celsius we set off from Centurion to Tierpoort Adventure farm for the beginners off-road course presented by Thomas from the Sabie Valley Rider Academy.
First Thomas goes over the bike setup with you ensuring tyre pressure is ok and handle bars are adjusted for off-road and brakes are not out of reach or pinching your fingers when fully pulled.
Thomas then started the course by getting everyone introduced and going over what the course was about. One of the risks that was pointed out was “target fixation” which much later in the day would become a reality for me. But more about that later. We left the briefing area, assembled on the training ground. Me being different from the rest of the group having a pillion with me and on top of that also driving an automatic with no clutch meant I had to solely rely on the back brake for throttle control and not being used to stand on the bike I had quite difficulty keeping it at a steady pace while performing the maneuvers.
The mornings training went well and when we went back for lunch I had a lapse in concentration and dropped the three of us as I attempted to park….
After a great lunch the group was taken to go do u-turns in the gravel road and on the first attempt I hesitated and missed the turning point. Made a 3 point turn and rejoined the group. After the second attempt where the road was a bit wider I managed the turn and then went for the narrower point and made it easily.
Final training was the emergency stop. Did a few attempts on my own, then with Anita. I had a hard time to keep the bike steady but still enjoyed the experience.
The event was ended with a drive through the valley and there was where I approached a tree and the target fixation become a reality for me… 😬
Long weekend break after COVID lockdown
Took Friday leave and took the road down to the coast with maps.me on the iPhone set to avoid toll gates and allow gravel! After just over an hour I hit the first gravel road and as I pulled over to let some air out of the tires I realized I left the phone charging cable at home and the phone will die soon. Took sip of coffee and went of knowing the next small town should have some charging cables.
The first little town I entered could only cell me a cable with Bluetooth car adapter for R400!! What a shock, Discovered my avo sandwich turned into an bread avo shake I ate it with a spoon and had another coffee from the flask. With the temperature a bit higher and the phone on charge I still could not use the GPS as the phone was in my tank bag as I do not have a mount on the bike for it and it overheated and shut down…
So needless to say driving with no GPS on SA roads with very poor signs and attempting to find dirt roads I got lost very quickly and ended up 100 km in the wrong direction from where I intended to be, good news was I now knew where I was and the phone was now charged again, bad news the detour would mean driving into the night to reach my destination.
Luckily I got to the highway just after sunset, stopped to stretch the legs and have a last cup off coffee which is surprisingly still luke warm, before the last push to Port Shepstone.