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2010 Recap!

Thinking back six years, I seem to recall that there was something major happening in South Africa in 2010, but for the life of me I just cannot recall…ah well, maybe it is because I could not be bothered….

If you have not figured it out yet, I am of course referring to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This circus was in town (or in country, I suppose I should say) and the nation got their panties in a bunch. I could not really care as I have less than zero interest in this game or the World Cup for that matter. I prefer riding my bike for 2 hours than watching a bunch of overpaid drama queens pretending to be hurt for 90 minutes straight!

Good, now that I’ve got my little rant out of the way, how about we get back to what riding I did in 2010 hey?

I will start at the end of the year. Why? Well, just because this is where all the action happened, and where the action is, is generally the best place to start!

During the Eastern Cape Trip, on that long, boring, windy stretch between Plettenberg Bay and Kenton on Sea, I made up my mind that I am in need of a bigger, faster, more powerful bike. I was hating the suffering in the wind and felt bad keeping Marnus back who could comfortably sit at 160km/h all day long on the Adventure. I had to fight to get up to 130km/h in the wind! I had enough of this. So on 24th December (yes, the day before Christmas) I rocked up at OR Tambo Airport, wearing my full riding gear, including Leatt Brace and Motocross Boots, camelback on my back, helmet in one hand and a small roll bag in the other. I checked in and got on a flight…….to Cape Town! Yes, you guessed it, I went and bought a bike in the Mother City and I was on my way to collect it, and ride it back to Pretoria. What bike you ask……well this one!!

I got myself a 2010 BMW F800GS!

 

ps…you can click on any pic for a full sized version!

 

I collected the bike, and could not wait to go for a spin around Cape Town. The plan was to ride around Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula to get used to the bike, take in some awesome scenery and ride some of the legendary roads in the stunning Cape summer weather that makes Cape Town famous during December………………NOT…………. It was raining…..in Cape Town……in December…..WTF??

So I took a ride to Bloubergstrand, stood there in the rain like an idiot, taking a pic of new my bike with Table Mountain in the background. I decided there to hit the road and see if the weather is better further inland, and thus started my journey back to Pretoria.

Yes, I know it does not look like it is raining, but it was….it was light rain OK….

 

I am not going to bore you with a detailed story of what I did and where I went, but I had lots of fun on the bike all the way back home. You can see the detailed route in the interactive map at the end of this blog post, so just click and follow the route. I will now just bombard this post with my photos of the ride back and fill in the blanks with descriptions that will tell you a bit about each photo…..hehehe

I took a ride up to the Steenbras Dam to have a lookout over False Bay

 

Then took a spin past the Theewaterskloof Dam and went down the Franschhoek Pass

 

Made my way to the famous Ronnies Sex Shop on the R62 outside of Barrydale

 

This was the highlight of my trip home, riding the Swartberg Pass just north of Oudsthoorn

 

The engineering and road building on this pass is just mind-boggling!

 

How cool is this road for a bike ride on Christmas Day?

 

The incredibly cool Cape Folding Mountains

 

I wanted to have a pic of my bike at the entrance to the Swartberg Pass for as long as I can remember, finally I have it!

 

I pitched a tent….

 

Met some very chilled out friends in the campsite…

 

Crossed the Orange River below the highest Dam Wall in South Africa at 108m high (Vanderkloof Dam)

 

Hehehe, then rode to the top and crossed the highest Dam Wall in South Africa!

And that was my trip back home from Cape Town….

 

So, before I did the trip back from Cape Town (remember I am writing this post backwards) I did the Eastern Cape trip (November 2010) and the Lesotho Trip (March 2010). I of course did a number of other smaller rides in between. These rides were all day rides from Pretoria.

Most of these rides were with the BMW Motorcycle Club Pretoria and they were always great fun. The club gets together on the first Friday of every month and then do a ride on the Sunday. During Club Nights we were always very well looked after by our two lovely bar maidens, who always ensured that our drinks were full. Heidi and Monique, two sisters that have helped out in the bar during Club Nights. As these things go, we have tried to get the girls to join on a ride “one of these days”. Then, one night I finally convinced them to join the Sunday ride as pillions. 1st problem, I could not lift anyone on the X-Challenge, so I had to make a quick plan as I now have them hooked and did not want lose them! So I quickly roped in Marnus (1200Adv) and Bruno (1200GS) to accept the roles of captains for this ship! So very late on Friday night (or very early Saturday morning) we agreed for the girls to join at the meeting point. Marnus, Bruno and me would organize helmets, jackets and gloves. Sunday morning came and we were not sure if they would pitch, and what do you know, they arrived!

Marnus and Monique cruising through the mud hole

 

Heidi checking out the muddy mess and hoping for the best, with Bruno 1000% focussed to NOT screw this up!

 

They had a blast, and we were happy to have them along on the ride. Poor Bruno was devastated when he had to let Heidi off the bike…… Thanks girls, it was great to have you along!

Other rides during the year included lots of mud! I did a ride to Secunda that was especially muddy through the mielie fields of Mpumalanga!

A good variety of bikes is always nice to have on a ride!

 

Schweeeet looking XR650!

 

Me getting a bit of air on the X-Challenge

 

Where most of our electricity comes from….

 

Father and son, some motivational talking going on to get the confidence up after a spill

 

The poor little 125 did not like the mud at all!

 

Irma pushing through on the GS

 

Luckily a helping hand is never far away!

 

It seemed that 2010 was a year for the mud! No matter where we went, we always seemed to find the mud!

No matter how you spin it, this is just SHIT to ride on a bike!

 

Even 4 wheels have a hard time on this!

 

And 2 wheels are by no means any easier!

 

Also did some great rides with awesome water crossings towards the north of Pretoria that included a few rides to the top of Jericho Rock.

KTM 950SE just doing KTM stuff…..

 

A KTM990 makes one hell of a splash hitting water at speed!

 

A F650GS makes a smaller splash, but this is a different crossing with rocks at the bottom…

 

The view from the top of Jericho’s Rock

 

Husband and wife team. This is Pauli from GPS4Africa and his wife Joy

 

There is ALWAYS time for a beer stop at a local Shabeen!

 

2010 was a very busy year on the bike, and off the bike for that matter. I did my first trip overseas, I bought a new bike, and did some EPIC trips. I could not wait for 2011!

Here is an interactive map of all my 2010 routes, I really got around!

 

Thanks for reading, please feel free to like, comment and share this post!

Cheers,

Etienne

 

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