Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Breakfast Too Far

Route Map
It's been months since I had my last proper bike ride. I think my wife realized the same because she suggested that I go on this 400km circle route to Citrusdal via Ceres and the Koue Bokkeveld (Cold Goat Fields) with a couple of friends. I also thought it was a good idea because not only would I have a chance to get in the saddle again, but also a chance to try out my GoPro on the Bike. 

When we left Melkbosstrand at around 8:15 we were a posse of 8 riders all on Bee-ems. Three were road bikes so their plan was to turn around when we run out of tar. The rest would carry on over the Winterhoek Mountains to Citrusdal. The plan was to have breakfast at a place called Oppie-Berg (On the Mountain). Just after that the gravel road starts. The first part of the trip was rather boring and uneventful. Riding familiar roads in a group of 8 isn't very exciting. The only excitement was keeping up with the roadies who got bored for other reasons. The ride only became worthwhile after we left Ceres. For me this was unexplored territory and a getting much closer to that well-needed breakfast. We took a few shots at the top of the mountain and headed for Oppie-Berg.

Looking back toward Ceres
Oppie-Berg is a one horse town and sadly it looked as if the horse had passed away just before our arrival. The dorpie (town) must've gone to the funeral because everything was closed. One guy suggested to go look if he could find another joint for breakfast but returned approximately 25 seconds later with a smile on his face indicating that he covered the whole town with no luck. The roadies turned back to Ceres and four of us took on the Mighty Winterhoek Mountains to continue our search for breakfast.

It was here where I decided it was time to start using my GoPro. I was hoping for some nice shots on the gravel pass. After deflating our tyres a little we hit the gravel. I was behind hitting the dust rather and pretty soon I realized that I was not going to see much if my lens was covered in dust all the time. At some point I stopped to clean the lens allowing the other guys to move on ahead of me. This helped a bit in the end, but the angle of my camera was way too low and I basically took pictures of my handle bars all the way. I will know next time to ride in front and to tilt the camera a bit upwards. I was so aware of the camera all the time that I actually missed the excitement of riding gravel again. Actually the gravel bit was so short it was just enough to dirty the bikes and not the minds and using the word "mighty" in "Mighty Winterhoek Mountains" was a slight over-exaggeration on my part

Having a break
Looking towards Citrusdal
When we arrived in Citrusdal we learned that the people there also went to the dead horse's funeral at Oppie-Berg. Everything was closed. The only place we knew we were going to find something open was the Spur at Piketberg. That was three quarters of our total trip, about 120 kilometres from Cape Town. Had we done the route the other way around we could've stopped there earlier in the day and probably continued the ride for fun and not for food. The food at the Spur was good and well worth the wait. 

After "breakfast" which we had at 12:15 we headed home. This was N7 and a other piece of boring road. Cruising between 140 and 150 km/h made up for the boring part. When I arrived home my watch on my arm said 2:30 and the clock on the bike said 423 km. After all it was really nice to get out again, despite the disappointing pictures. Doing a 400-km trip in 6 hours is not bad, considering the stops we've made. I will definitely have to ride soon again to get that camera sorted. Pictures below shows the effect of dust on the lens.

After lens was cleaned
Before cleaning lens

No comments:

Post a Comment