Saturday, April 2, 2011

Biking the Ouberg Pass

A beautiful Saturday morning in the Karoo - perfect for a trip out to the Ouberg Pass...  1404 m above sea level & about 600 m above the valley below, this part of the escarpment feels like the edge of the world.

Not everyone's content to simply enjoy the view - Keith had decided to cycle down & then up the pass & it was up to us to document his insanity.

Scary enough to hand oneself over to gravity like that, but to still peddle on the way down?!  It was hard to watch...

This really isn't a bad place to be - especially if you don't have a bicycle to contend with.

Eben & Sam had a much better strategy for dealing with the pass...

Having driven part of the way down, you get a wonderful view back up towards the top.

In fact, the views are just superb no matter which direction you look!

After a while, curiosity got the better of the support crew so the KTMers set off to find Mr Brown.

If you look carefully you'll see the motorbike, heading downhill, about to meet the cyclist hauling steadily uphill...

The support team needed to be particularly vigilant about dehydration while they stood out in the sunshine watching their charge's painful progress back up the pass.

Here he is, having made it around the nasty hair-pin bend...

& then popping up behind where we'd parked.

Time for a quick stop & some half-hearted abuse from the astounded spectators!

Soon our hero was off again, still determined to make it all the way back up to the top...

& so he did - just an hour & 40 minutes after he'd disappeared down the road!

Vic, the eternal philanthropist, was on the spot to hand over first (& second) prize to the thirsty guy in the awkward shoes.

GPS & heart-rate monitor data from the two stages of the tour were downloaded & graphed to tell the story.  Noteworthy is the fact that Keith's highest heart-rate was recorded during the downhill ride - shortly before reaching a rather tricky corner...

Eben & Sam decided to take a more scenic route back to Sutherland, but were eventually thwarted by a flat tyre.  This led to Sam's first ever foray into the world of hitch-hiking, followed by a recovery mission that ran aground at the Sutherland Golf Club's notoroius 19th Hole.

Despite our best efforts, we were unable to console Charl, Oom Andries & Oom Gert who had, yet again, lost the morning's round of golf to Willem 'Seekat' - the one-armed barman/proprietor...  Only in Sutherland ;)

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