BMWMCCC BEGINNERS OFF-TAR RIDE, Western Cape Sunday 26th January

45 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2013/08/06

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for a really enjoyable first off-tar ride to Greyton yesterday, I loved every bit of it (with the possible exception of being in the slightly lost group Wink)

Great lunch venue, sorry about having to leave early but had to get back to see Springsteen in Bellville, also awesome so wow, what a day!



carelvdmerwe's picture
Joined: 2012/08/16

Hi Andy / And all riders and pillions that joined the ride to Greyton

I was to tired to write and post a long story last night... but here it is.... all you "grammar fraeks" must please excuse my boere-english Cool.

First of all I would like to thank Andy and all the organizers of this ride for choosing yet again another stunning route and an a very nice venue. You guys never fail to surprize us. It was good to see so many new faces and to meet new people, I hope all of you had a fun filled day and that we will see you on more rides. I’m also still fairly new to riding a bike. I started riding about 18months ago with no previous riding experience. The club is a good place to learn and improve your riding skills, not to mention meeting nice people and seeing what beautiful roads an scenery our country have to offer. What better way than to experience all of this  than on a bike?

Each ride is still a learning experience to me. On this trip I learned  a couple of things and I would like to share them with you.

 The first lesson that I’ve learned is that the BMW’s fuel computer is very accurate… if it shows “0km” it actually means “Djy ry nie”.  Too lazy to top up my bike on Saturday I decided that I will try my luck and push through to the meeting point with the fuel I have in my bike. When I left home in Bellville it indicated that I have about 35km left on my tank. I reached the sign that said “Engen 1 stop 2 km” and I started to relax. As my luck would have it about a kilometre down the road my bike died on me. With the destination in sight I decided that  the two of us will have a nice romantic walk. The bike was rewarded with 18 litres of fuel and I rewarded myself with a monster Monster energy drink.

The second lesson that I’ve learned is that club training sessions or any other bike training is worth the money spend. I’m not sure if the people in the second group saw the “interesting” skid marks on the Gravel road between the R316 and the N2? What happened there was I was the second last bike of the first group and my friend Zack was the sweeper. As I was coming over a little a hill a saw the bike in front of me and I slacked down to get my following distance. All of a sudden the bike in front came to a standstill and I had to slam on my brakes. It’s surprising how what you learn on the training becomes instinct. I was heading straight to the tail end of the bike. With my rear brake locked and what seems to be centimetres from this bike a had to make a quick decision . At this stage I was probably  doing about 10km/h, but with not enough space to stop I  had to make a quick decision so I let go of the brakes  and gave the throttle a quick blip just in time to pull my bike past the other bike. Knowing that Zack is still somewhere behindme, I  heard his voice in my head. Yust to put the record straight… I’m not that crazy, we were on comms). We were basically skidding parallel to each other at this stage at a fairly low speed. His bike’s rear wheel slipped of the shoulder of the road causing the front wheel to  clip my rear wheel and we gracefully parked the bikes. Mine on its left side and his on the right. At the end of the day the problem was caused by a bee (not BEE) in a helmet. Lessons learnt here is that safe following distance is a good thing and that no matter what the cause, always indicate your actions and stop on a safe as possible place. Luckily no harm was done.

 We just went of the N2 on another stretch of gravel road when Pete told us that there was a bike with a mechanical problem in Andy’s group. He asked me if I will  back track our route to go and fetch the rest of Andy’s group while Andy will be helping the broken bike. Andrew and myself chased backed on the route we came and when we reached the R316 I thought that these guys can’t be so far behind our group. I saw a miss call from Shameer, one of the guys of the second group. I phoned him back. He gave me their GPS coordinates (thank you Mr Smartphone). I then realized that they turned right on the N2 where we turned left. I told Shameer that that they must carry on the N2 and that Andrew and myself will chase back the 24km stretch on the road between the R316 and N2.  As we reached the N2 Zack phoned me and he said that Pete say that Andrew and I must take the quickest route back to the venue. I entered the Venue’s address on my GPS. Riding on the N2, direction George, we drove past a gravel road saying Greyton but my GPS indicated that I must take the next turn about 5km down theN2. So I followed my GPS and we took the 2nd turn about 5km down the N2. We were on a very nice gravel road leading us into a farm yard. The GPS said turn right in 300m and drive for 1.9km and then to turn left. At this stage we were on a 2-spoor road leading through a harvested field. Not to our surprize we were introduced to Mr “Gate” with the surname “Locked”. So Andrew and I had to back track the 7km back to the N2 and then the 5km to the 1st Greyton sign we saw.  With about an extra 100km down the line Andrew and I arrived at the venue. Luckily everybody of the two  groups were there. Thank you  Shameer for taking the responsibility and leading them safely to the venue. Lessons learnt here is to always stay in groups. You can easily get lost on the network of gravel roads. And it’s always wise to have contact numbers of some of your fellow riders. Maybe I must change my GPS voice to man’s voice, seems that even a women’s sense of direction on a GPS is dodgy…. Sorry ladies Tongue out.

On our way back we quickly stopped on the road from Villiersdorp to Caledon just before the N2 to have a quick briefing . Some people decided to go  straight back home  from here via the N2 and the rest of us decided to have a refreshment at the Houw Hoek farm stall. At this stage I  was sweeping for remaining part of the group. As I went down the Bortriver pass I saw the front part of the group parked on both sides on the road. At this stage the road was one lane per direction. My first thought was that something terrible happened. I saw a gentlemen sitting next to the road and Andy and Pete were talking to him. He couldn’t have asked for better people to assist him. Pete pillioned with Andy and we set of to fetch his bike. I couldn’t help to notice that Pete was practising what he preached earlier the day regarding pillions. He and Andy make quite a good couple on a bike. About 1.6km down the road we found the bike lying on its side on a sandy patch on the railway road between the Houw Hoek Hotel and Botriver. Pete took the guy’s bike back to him. This is a fairly narrow 2-spoor road with basically all kinds of riding conditions, loose rocks, sand etc. Andy and I had to go through the stretch of sand to turn our bikes around. I must tell you guys that I’m not good friends with the “sand monster”. Yet again no serious injuries to the rider or the bike occurred and we all stopped for a cold refresment. Lessons learned here are not to ride on your own and to always keep hydrated.

 I would like to thank all of you for joining this ride. Who said that beginners rides are boring??? Like the say… “A bad day on the bike is better than a good day in the office”.

Be safe and keep the rubber on the road.

Zack Burger's picture
Joined: 2012/08/03

Well said Carel, but if you want to win the Trip report trophy we need pictures....and pictures.

What kind of friend would I be if I don’t assist you with this.

Carels Romantic Walk

Carels Romantic Walk 


Getting some friendly help

Getting some friendly help


You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience. The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck.
Salim Patel's picture
Joined: 2012/03/28

Made me wish I was there till I saw the sand where the ten was left abandoned :-)

Will have to join you on the next one though :-)

Joined: 2012/09/12

Dankie Andy en Pete vir 'n onvergeetlike dag!

Die dag het vol opwinding begin, Pete jy sal maak dat my oe nog eendag uit my kaste uitpop :)

Terwyl ons wag vir die res van die groep om by ons aan tesluit, geniet ek en Pete koffie, en so deur die gesprek sal hy net noem dat dit 'n lekker rit sal wees met sy eie ups and downs, en my oe rek al groter, moet ek die koffie sluk en huis toe of sal ek deur druk, watter deel het ek gemis?

Dankie vir elke stukkie kennis en hulp wat met so 'n dag gedeel word, die lag en ondervinding wat geld nie kan koop nie.


Kevin S's picture
Joined: 2013/12/09

Thanks Andy and Pete

What a great day. My first off road ride. Made me look at the environment through a new lense. Got back to the deep south mind body and soul exhausted. No insomnia last night. Thanks again to all. Looking forward to the next one.

Andyman's picture
Joined: 2007/06/22

Salim, we actually never took that railway route, we stuck to good well packed gravle with no mishaps.

However, we went to help a guy who had been on that railway route ans thats where the sand photo comes from.

So you would not have had to go into sand after all.

Carel came as a rescue offcier in case Pete n I go into shit.

Part of never ride gravel alone, even if you think its just 2 kilometres.

But it was fun nevertheless.

Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

Joined: 2013/10/09

Hi Andy.


Seems like it was a cracker of a ride!, sorry I missed it!! Wil be on the next one, come he'll or hi water!!


Joined: 2007/06/25

Good report Carel, no pics, no prize. Something I try when riding in a group is to  always look beyond the riders in front of you.

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Joined: 2008/01/28

Those guys who had their first gravel ride with Andyman on Sunday will only later realise how privileged they have been.

I started my adventure riding with Andyman on the same ride in 2009 and it opened the door to adventures and friendships beyond value.

I wish the same for all of you.

PeterO's picture
Joined: 2007/09/11

I'm starting to get worried about these trips.  I'm getting a name for riding pillion with Andy and on this occasion he was riding a yellow bike with a pink feather ...  hope it's not catchy!

If you can dream it you can do it!

Joined: 2013/01/17


I'm starting to get worried about these trips.  I'm getting a name for riding pillion with Andy and on this occasion he was riding a yellow bike with a pink feather ...  hope it's not catchy!

The riding pillion our the pink feather

Adrian Lee's picture
Joined: 2010/11/04

big Al] </P> <P>[quote=PeterO wrote:

I'm starting to get worried about these trips.  I'm getting a name for riding pillion with Andy and on this occasion he was riding a yellow bike with a pink feather ...  hope it's not catchy!

The riding pillion our the pink feather

Try add more water next time Laughing

Joined: 2014/02/02
OK, so i am the owner of the Tenere who was rescued by Andy, Pete and Carel. i registered solely in order to comment, but used a nom de plume in order not to offend my bikes :-)firstly: HUGE thanks - if i believed in divine intervention, then you guys were it! (although i would prefer my angels to be less hairy (in certain places), more hairy (in other places), and more attractive to the eye (overall - with some specific bumps i dare not mention) - (btw: the pink feathery accessory thing was quite disturbing in my heat-altered mental state))secondly: thanks, again. you re-inforced my view that we always help a fellow biker. in fact, i was out there looking to recover a camera dropped by an overseas visitor the previous saturday.thirdly: the 'never ride alone' factor is a moot point. i've been biking for 35 years. outside of commuting, 99% of my riding is done solo - that's what it's all about for me - i do what i want, whenever - i don't have to consider anyone else's time constraints/partner demands/hunger/anything at all... it's my Zen time... this is the first time i have come this short, and to be honest, the lesson i learned from this episode is that, just like my dream bike at 18 (my XT500) is not necessarily my dream bike at 50, so are my capabilities at 50 not as full-fledged, especially after years of bodily abuse and a major back-op. i'm not ready to settle for riding only whenever i can arrange a like-minded fellow traveller, so i'm building a recovery kit (z-drag pulley system) which will hopefully keep me going solo for the foreseeable future. so i'd amend 'never ride alone' to 'never ride without the methods you need to not need someone else'. p.s. thanks Carel, for the "Gentleman" reference - none of my mates would believe it was me :-)
PeterO's picture
Joined: 2007/09/11

yam_undercover wrote:
OK, so i am the owner of the Tenere who was rescued by Andy, Pete and Carel.

It was good meeting you ... and thanks for the beer.

A lot of us ride alone too ... always a risk but I hear what you say about alone time.

All the best for future rides ... you're welcome to join us on our training days btw ... it's not only for BM's

If you can dream it you can do it!

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