~ The beauty of nature lies in its imperfections ~

Monday, October 27, 2008

Muddy Cakes!

25 Oct - Mansfield Game Reserve to Port Elizabeth

200km day. We rode out of Mansfield going through gravelly roads & some good tarmac. Lunch was at Schotia Game Reserve, where we went for a 4x4 ride through to see the animals. Warthog stew was served during lunch.

The last leg of the day was a police escorted convoy of all the teams into Port Elizabeth. We were expecting an uneventful highway ride when we were let to turn off a final off road section! A surprise planned by the organisers to let us all have a go at the sandy motorcross trail. All hell broke loose. There was so much sliding & wheel spins amidst the jumps ... All agreed it was the sting in the tail for this event. Ros managed to do a few jumps & was getting the hang of it with a big smile when she misjudged a landing & fell hard on on the side just a short distance from the end point.

With that section cleared & sand in our boots, we got to the final hotel for our stay. The night of celebration & final pictures with the friends that we've all made in the last gruelling week together.

24 Oct - Katberg Inn to Mansfield Game Reserve

260km today. Climbed a mountain pass outside the hotel, ascending a rock strewn jeep track, with loose cabbage sized rocks causing the bike to bounce violently. On the descent, the trail reminds of Camerons backroad. Riding was almost at max speed of the bike, sun shining but wind chill sufficient for everyone to put on raincoats. Even the Dainese D-Dry was zipped up to the top and that was barely enough. A free lunch at Grahamstown KFC as the manager thought the British royals were with the orange team!

After lunch, Red team attempted to filter thru our group and Seung stuck onto the tail of Prince William. Turns out he is an excellent rider, Seung having to use the mountain bike racing skills and max revs a couple gears to keep up. At the end of the 10 minutes, we came to the regroup point and William was looking thrilled for the ride. He was also suitably impressed by the speed at which the Johnson girls were riding at. Descending the roads, Kirsty had a spill just minutes from the resort... Evening at Mansfield private reserve, on an open air platform in 12 degrees temp with 10 other people in double deck beds.

During dinner, made it a point to have a short chat with William, just talking about bikes and riding in our respective countries. Turns out he owns a Ducati 1098 and rides in the UK with just two body guards in tow. "i'm not like the President of America with 1000 body guards.", he said matter of factly and with a regal smile.

23 Oct - Morgans Bay to Katberg Inn

290km on a scrambler on country roads! Leave Morgan Bay in the morning, cross country riding on 30km of super muddy jeep tracks. What a waste of freshly laundered riding gear.

Stopped by The Internal Combustion Museum. This place showcases various i/c engines, especially a single cylinder diesel engine with displacement of 27 litres! Then we headed to Thomas River historical village for lunch. At this place, there was also a small museum of antique cars & vans. Unlike anything we've seen. The day rolled on and Seung managed to try out Eddie's CRF250. So much more power, lighter, longer suspension! Ironically it would be less tiring to ride that bike. Last 1 hour to the Katberg nature reservce was a bad combination of sun in our eyes and dust plumes in glowing orange. Ros went too fast in a left corner, headed into the bushes instead.

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