May 23, 2012


SA! Finally!

Somehow thinking back on the last two months of riding nothing seems to stand out. It all just flows and blurs together in one amazing adventure. That is until you actually take time to sit with people and some stories just want to be told, sometimes it feels a bit like a puppet show. And then you realise that this adventure was&is a life changing experience. Like finding a grass seed embedded in your testicle two weeks later...that is seriously one ride i'll never forget. Sorry to the more sensitive listeners. 

In any case. Got a new filling. New bike. And new riding partners. Although the new ones aren't too great on the telepathy yet. All the previous 'friends' at least laughed at my mental jokes. And moving on. 

Nothing quite like South African hospitality. And food. Although for some reason after almost two months of eating every and anything slower than me (ok except the kiddies), my body just doesn't want to cope with great food anymore. Maybe it is a sign...

So feeling sorry for myself and not too keen on 100km of tar riding i decided to take the easy way out, at 80km/h in a car. If anyone has some serious complaints about this please inform me in writing, Mzungu, Durban. It should find me. 
The really great news is that i'm taming a new beast, a Specialized carve pro 29er. Unfortunately my panniers has become so specialised themselves that it can basically only go on the tank. So doing a bit more supported than i would have wanted, but since it is only about 300km i'm not going to break myself over it. Still carrying the backpack, so basically just preparing for the Freedom Challenge. Again complaints in ink to previous addres.  

Started today in Esikhotheni private game reserve, amazing stop over. Thanks so much Dave for organising the riding through the reserve. Unfortunately no ellies, but Kudu, Njala and impala. Beautiful riding. 

After about 20km bakkie pulled up and asked about trip and invited us to drop in at hotel in Mkuze (the driver not the bakkie). 
Popped in at the Mkuze hotel, the Ghost mountain inn, and met Ross. What an amazing stop, got some food and drinks on the house. As an added bonus they're busy building some mtb trails. Can anyone spell Jacuzzi, Spa and mountain bike;). Another special place that will see me again. 

The riding was quite scenic today with some easy rolling hills and a little bit of rough stuff. Was interesting to hear how other people experienced it (my parents are taking turns cycling along to durban). Complaints about the corrugation left me puzzled. Corrugation? Nothing compared to mozam standards, which bodes well for the willowmore prins albert section, untill i get my coffee, looking forward to it Johan!;)

Into hluhluwi another bakkie pulled up. I love bakkies. Met Gavin from the river lodge. Will def have to come back for some of these trails and singletracks they keep on building over here. The next mtb mecca?

Still feeling bit tired so time to end post. Not going to say too much about the bike and handling yet, although it feels like it wants to run away on the hills (dropping 10kgs probably does that). Also feels like i'm relearning to ride a bike. Need smaller wheels and more weight;). Does seem to handle rocks and bumps much better. (although the weight issue again). Also does much worse in sand than the tank (the weight issue again) ;). 

In spite of all my misgivings and previously being (vehemently) against 29ers i can see myself getting the hang of this beast. And (heaven forbid) actually really enjoy the riding and handling;)

Ok so that doesn't really could as a bike review, so i promise i'll do a better job in duban after some more time on it, and a full comparison to my old trusty steed after the freedom. Probably the best way to compare them in any case. 2300km of the best riding you're likely to do (continously) through SA. 

So to sum it up. I love SA and the people here. 

1 comment:

  1. Ek like you August, jou Yster geniet die laaste deeltjie net 2300 km oor.....