That old postal route

Lance's picture

Points: 7

Saturday morning we gathered outside Goodwood firestation at 9AM and headed through Bainskloof straight for the Cederberg

Lunch stop at Oasis, the usual toasted cheese and ham.

We were quite delayed leaving as Gerhard lost his bike keys. Ended up finding in in his body armour chest plate.

Group shot outside Eselbank on the way to Wuppertal

Last time I saw sand this thick was on a little road called the D707

Milan gets extra points for trying

Though everyone got a chance to go horizontal

Except Richards 660 with his slick tyres, we you can't really fall over when you paddle

Gerhard went back for a second try and just made it accross unscathed

We arrived at Uitspankraal after 5 and started a fire

After the little fire was finished we made a bigger one

Three meter flames enough to keep you warm

Bonfire stories until 10PM then it was lights out for all.

The SAS Wildehond is currently out of action, some guys dragged it over the rocks last week so it no longer floats.

Waking up. Kyle is building this bush camp for bikers. It is going to be awesome in a few months time.

The locals

Ice has melted and beer has evaporated

Kyle the good host was cool enough to top us up with some fuel

View of the Biedouw Valley from the start of the Old Postal Route

The roads up where were sandy and Brian went exploring quite often

Pitstop on the top of the mountain

With 30km of the 40km completed I was certain we'd taken a wrong route somewhere because this "Old Postal route" had been relatively easy until now and I was wondering what the big fuss about this route was. 

It started getting challenging from the Karretjies Pass, then I knew we were on the correct Postal Route.

Looking back watching the other guys roll down the mountain

Crossing the Tra-Tra river. The road is well positioned over some natural flat slabs.

Milan took his eyes off the road for a second

and then dug himself a grave trying to get back on the road

When we finally made it to the Doring river we'd all run out of water.

Exhausted! It had taken 4 hours to do these 40km

Everyone drank plenty of water.

Crossing the last bit of the Doring river

It takes four tired bikers to move a 1200 acroos a rocky river bed

Gerhard managed to ride across the deep part of the river before putting it down softly on the other side.

I gave it full throttle but my vision went blurred halfway through

I hit a boulder or three which threw me completely off course

and ended up with a bit of a high side

Milan made it over no problem

We arrived at Tankwa Padstal sometime after 3PM and wolfed down some chicken burgers

Ready for the last long stretch of R355 home.

One last challenge for the day, Milan ran out of fuel 30km outside of Ceres.

Brand new E09 Dakar after 680km. Looks like I got the dud in the batch again. 


 

Zanie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2013/11/21

And this is how I find out what Lance was up to while I was in Ghana. Kept it quiet didn't you? Though I'm happy to see you were with a whole crowd to look out for one another. The route looks tough! And I see you have a hidden talent for ride report writing wink

Where's the video? Or are you still working through what I'm sure are veritable hours of footage!

Kevin Charleston's picture
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Joined: 2011/09/09

Nice. Eselbank looks even sandier than when I was there 2 weeks ago smiley

Great pictures Lance.

Apart from the Doring which looks interesting, how tricky was the rest of the route through after the Tra-Tra? We went over the postal route with Warren - but turned around after the  Tra-Tra.  A thunderstorm made getting back up Karretjies quite interesting then.  I was totally knackered after that. 

 

 

Mwendo's picture
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Joined: 2011/04/13

Nice report Lance.

Looks like there was a bike-throwing contest at Eselbanksmiley

--
The only problem with hindsight, is you don't see it coming!

 
GeelKameel's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/21

Is that the stretch of sand 4km beyond Eselbank, 7km short of Wuppertal?

We went through there in Dec'15 .... although the sand was rather exciting and quite treacherous, it appears to have become much worse! 

Looking at the sand pictures I recall my painful (broken) ankle when we went through there!

I expected the short stretch of sand at Eselbank itself to be a challenge, but not to be --- quite the opposite because it was compacted & easy to ride.

Lance's picture
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Joined: 2014/01/22

@zanie, you're supposed to be so busy at work, not reading forums wink Haven't looked at any videos yet except the river crossing one. This is how you get to find out when you told me I can't go postal without you heart

@kevin, it rained a little two weeks ago, sand can have a completely different texture with some dampness added to it. I think it was just as loose and rocky after the Tra-Tra, not any worse. I just remember 10km of loose rocks from the top of Karretjies to the Doring river. Why did you have to turn around? Tra-Tra River full? How long ago?

@Mwendo, the bike throwing contest continued the next day at the Doring river, luckily no one drowned. 

@GeelKameel, yes it is the stretch 4km after Eselbank, you can tell from the fence on both sides. I've done this road five times before and only once was it sandy like this, the rest of the times it was flat and compacted.

Kevin Charleston's picture
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Joined: 2011/09/09

Trip report - Postman Pat.

http://bmwmccc.org.za/old-post-route-starring-postman-pat 

Sjoe - that was 4 years ago! 

We stayed in the Biedouw - and the issue was fuel range I think.  

 

Warren Ellwood's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007/06/18

Postman Pat, wow, that was some time ago.

We based ourselves in the Biedouw that year and so became the "first fools to ride the Post Route twice in one day", or at least that's what Oom Albie told us.

We have been back again a few times, both on the bike bikes and also on the smaller plastics, which was a huge amount of fun.

 

 

"Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, and does it improve on the silence?"

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