Sunday, April 15, 2007

Say Africa

'Though I may be walking in the streets of a city called Amsterdam, the dust on my boots and the rhythm of my feet, and my heartbeat say Africa..." (David Goldblum, Say Africa)

It's been a very long time since I've been able to really use my Gomoto for anything other than driving down to Spar to buy bread and milk or to do some business in town.

Today, I decided to change that.

I was not sure where to go. I planned to spend the whole day, but an unexpected appointment in the morning limited my options to either driving somewhere and paying for overnight accommodation or doing a reasonably local trip. I chose to drive from Somerset-West to Rooi-Els and to see where the road leads from there.

Clarens Drive compares very well to the famous Chapman's Peak drive and cyclists and bikers love that road. I stopped just above the Koggelbaai beach to take some pictures.

Today I tried something new. I have recently acquired a new cellphone, and it has the ability to play music. So I loaded 10 songs on the phone. I can only load 10 songs because I currently only have 64mB on the Memory stick in my phone. I got to listen to each song about 4 times. I need to just figure out a way to keep the earphones in their proper place as I put the helmet on.

This picture was taken between Betty's Bay and Kleinmond. Those mountains are in the center of the Koggelberg Biosphere reserve. Soon I would be on top of them.

Approximately 10 kms past Kleinmond, there is a gravel road that that turns up into the mountains on the left. It is marked, Highlands. The first 4 kms is in a terrible condition and I was worried that pieces would soon be falling off my bike. Two big touring bikes came rattling past me at this stage. After 4 kms the road leveled and the most beautiful part of my journey started on beautiful winding roads (The Highlands Road and the Valley Road) with mountains, apple trees, farm dams, and clouds all around me in the Elgin Valley. As I rode past the homesteads children would wave at me and shout remarks.

I was listening to David Goldblum's song, Say Africa from an old Splashy Fen CD. I thought it was the perfect music for the occasion. Definitely much better and more nostalgic than the infamous "De La Rey" song.
The highlands road becomes a tar road after about 11 km's. Far in the background between the clouds (not nicely captured on the picture) is the Helderberg mountain range where my home is.

Being on a Gomoto in the middle of nowhere makes a person's spirits soar.

A dam on the Valley Road in the Elgin Valley. It is one of about 4 spectacular farm dams on the same road. The krom-river, a tributory of the Palmiet river connect these dams. (A map of the area can be found on the wall outside The Orchard farm stall at the entrance to Grabouw.)

I felt so proud when I stopped next to the same three motorbikes that passed me at high speed somewhere between Rooi-Els and Kleinmond. The only thing that I envy about those bikes, are their more comfortable seats as I am still feeling the effects of the ride as I sit here typing this blog.

All in all a most satisfying outing. Care to join me?


Del said...

Unfortunately I couldn't see your pictures... :-(

Weiers said...

Hi Del, thanks for alerting me to this. I have no idea what happened to the pictures. When I wrote the post, I put the pictures in first and then wrote about them. But somehow they disappeared. I hope they are back now.

David said...

I'm looking to get a motorbike soon and am looking at a gomoto mainly due to cost and the fact that its based on one of the rock-solid old Hondas.

Anyway, I was wondering something. Whats the bike like driving in the wind (esp the South-easter) and up hills? I know that some chinese-made 125ccs, like the Zenshongs, go from 80kph to about 10 going up hills (lol)

Weiers said...

Hi David

Some people have commented that the bike is under-powered.

I currently way approximately 115kg (I know that is enourmous). I also live at the top of a very long hill and whenever I drive away from home I have to return up two or three km's of steep uphill.

I manage to reach between 40km/h and 50km/h up these hills. This is usually in 3rd gear. 4th and 5th gear is useless up these hills. (If you live in Cape Town, Irene avenue and Helderberg College Drive are the two uphills that I am referring to. They are long and steep.)

I once encountered strong wind on a long drive and it brought my speed down to 60-70km/h.

I hope this helps.


David said...

Hey Weiers, thanks for the info :)

Lucky I don't really deal with any major hills on my way to and from work. The reason I was asking about the hills is because if I drive to Brackenfell and Stells every so often and there are those two really steep hills on the N1 coming from town. Luckily I only weigh 80 though so hopefully my speed wont drop as much ;p

What is the top speed you get on that bike? I hear it's about 80 but some ppl say about 95

Weiers said...


My bike reaches 80km/h quite comfortably (at around 8000 revs). This is a bit of a speeding fine hazard in urban areas :-).

I have reached 95km/h, but I always feel that I am putting the bike under some strain when I do so.

By the way: I hope that you will pop in here frequently if/when you decide to buy the bike. I will be very happy to share your experience with others.



David said...

Ah, ok, 80 is a bit slow for me (its my cruising speed in my car, lol) but hey I'm not getting a bike for speed (mainly for fuel economy).

If I do get a GT125 I'll definately pop in. I'm getting my bike learners in July and will be doing the drivers asap. So, hopefully by the end of the year I'll be whizzing around CT :D

Francois said...

Hi Weiers and David,
I have reached 110km/h and even sometimes 118km.h but that is stretching the machine a bit.Mostly I do about 100km/h with my GT125 (3890km on the clock,ready for a service).I also use castrol actevo oil in the crankcase, if this means anything.



Weiers said...

Hi Francois!

It's been a long time no see! I've been very worried that you've stopped reading. I hope you are still doing alright.

118 km is an amazing speed! I've reached about 105 down a hill, but I always have visions of people picking up my whole body (except the part inside the helmet) from the tarmac with tweezers.



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