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Hi All

 

I'm planning on doing a 4 day bike-packing tour on my new gravel bike around the Klein Karoo area, specifically Riversdale - Oudtshoorn area, in a few weeks time.

- I'd appreciate any suggestions with regards my proposed routes, places to stay, places to stop for lunch etc. Trying to include a few scenic passes where feasible.

- I've kept the distances around 90km, it's going to be my first multi-day trip on my gravel bike so would rather be (relatively) conservative. Quiet gravel roads would be preferable to tar where possible.

- I've used Google Maps as my primary route source, but I'm a little concerned as to it's accuracy once you get off the major roads onto gravel.

- To keep weight down I'll be packing my credit card rather than a tent etc!

- Day 4 might get interesting but I've got an emergency escape vehicle (assuming I have cell signal) if things get too desperate..

 

Thanks!

NC_Lurker

 

Day 1: Buffelsjagrivier - Riversdale

Distance: 92km Elevation: 1450m

- Overnight in Stilbaai

post-1468-0-22270200-1536186827_thumb.jpg

 

Day 2: Stilbaai - Van Wyksdorp

Distance: 92km Elevation: 870m

- Overnight in Van Wyksdorp

post-1468-0-60850800-1536186809_thumb.jpg

 

Day 3: Van Wyksdorp - Oudtshoorn

Distance: 90km Elevation: 1200m

- Overnight in Oudtshoorn

post-1468-0-94487400-1536187166_thumb.jpg

 

Day 4: Oudtshoorn - Albertinia

Distance: 125km Elevation: 1750m

- Overnight in Stilbaai

post-1468-0-04020800-1536187092_thumb.jpg

Edited by NC_lurker
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It would be great if the cycling option makes its way to South Africa.  We used it extensively in Europe, but it did sometimes lead us onto private land.

 

As for the route, it looks good and please post a write-up afterward.

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I know that area well, and you have a good route. Day 4 you cross over Robertson pass, which could get sketchy with the traffic. There is no shoulder to speak of, and some people drive like complete nincompoops on that stretch. Take care if you do end up riding there. Have your emergency car chaperone you over that summit if possible.

[edit[ - on day 3 coming in Oudtshoorn you have chosen the R62. That road is straight as an arrow, and people are constantly trying to break the land speed record there. That too is a place to be alert.

Edited by Robbie Stewart
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Thanks for the comments all.

 

Looks like a lekker trip but trying to figure out your route? Do you sleep over then travel via car to another location to start as the stop and start between Day 1 and 2 is not the same?

Yup, on the first day I'll get my car moved from Buffelsjagrivier to Riversdale. I'll then drive down to Stilbaai to stay with my folks for the night. Next morning I'll cheat a bit & get a lift 18km back towards Riversdale (up the river rd) to cut the day's distance...just in case.

 

@ NC_Lurker I can't comment on the area, but google maps, using the walk function, is pretty acurate for secondary roads and it will tell you if any of your route accesses private land so you should be good to go. Enjoy.

Thanks, I used the walk function to access the elevation. I'll check the step by step route to check for private land.

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I know that area well, and you have a good route. Day 4 you cross over Robertson pass, which could get sketchy with the traffic. There is no shoulder to speak of, and some people drive like complete nincompoops on that stretch. Take care if you do end up riding there. Have your emergency car chaperone you over that summit if possible.

[edit[ - on day 3 coming in Oudtshoorn you have chosen the R62. That road is straight as an arrow, and people are constantly trying to break the land speed record there. That too is a place to be alert.

Thanks, ideally I'd like to avoid tar because of speeding vehicles. It's bad enough dealing with the white bakkies on the gravel!

 

Day 3 - I thought of staying on the gravel south of Oudtshoorn till I hit the R328 just near the Ostrich farm, but wasn't sure if there would be much difference. I suspect my eventual choice might be dictated by weather & how I'm feeling. R62 if I'm broken, longer southerly route if I'm ok.

I was wondering if there's a service road next to the railway line in the that area. I'll keep an eye open & if so will jump onto that. (We used this option heading from Botrivier area towards Caledon on a previous trip.)

 

Day 4 - I wasn't sure of what route to take. In effect I'm looking for the shortest (enjoyable) route towards Stilbaai. No chaperone option available, it's more of a "please pick me up I'm too broken to make the full 170km back to Stilbaai" phone call.

Without doing Robinson pass to get to Herbertsdale I'd have to do a pretty big loop to the west. Unless you have a better idea? I really don't know that area at all.

Thanks!

Edited by NC_lurker
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If you take a look at maps ,there is a road that leads south out of Calitzdorp. It veers towards the greener valley side . It runs almost parallel to the R62. It becomes a cement road if I recall correctly. Ends up near Oudtshoorn on the R 328. Takes you through a few villages and there are "escape" roads to the R 62 every now and then.

Just a thought . Eish missing the place.

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Thanks, ideally I'd like to avoid tar because of speeding vehicles. It's bad enough dealing with the white bakkies on the gravel!

 

Day 3 - I thought of staying on the gravel south of Oudtshoorn till I hit the R328 just near the Ostrich farm, but wasn't sure if there would be much difference. I suspect my eventual choice might be dictated by weather & how I'm feeling. R62 if I'm broken, longer southerly route if I'm ok.

I was wondering if there's a service road next to the railway line in the that area. I'll keep an eye open & if so will jump onto that. (We used this option heading from Botrivier area towards Caledon on a previous trip.)

 

Day 4 - I wasn't sure of what route to take. In effect I'm looking for the shortest (enjoyable) route towards Stilbaai. No chaperone option available, it's more of a "please pick me up I'm too broken to make the full 170km back to Stilbaai" phone call.

Without doing Robinson pass to get to Herbertsdale I'd have to do a pretty big loop to the west. Unless you have a be

Thanks, ideally I'd like to avoid tar because of speeding vehicles. It's bad enough dealing with the white bakkies on the gravel!

 

Day 3 - I thought of staying on the gravel south of Oudtshoorn till I hit the R328 just near the Ostrich farm, but wasn't sure if there would be much difference. I suspect my eventual choice might be dictated by weather & how I'm feeling. R62 if I'm broken, longer southerly route if I'm ok.

I was wondering if there's a service road next to the railway line in the that area. I'll keep an eye open & if so will jump onto that. (We used this option heading from Botrivier area towards Caledon on a previous trip.)

 

Day 4 - I wasn't sure of what route to take. In effect I'm looking for the shortest (enjoyable) route towards Stilbaai. No chaperone option available, it's more of a "please pick me up I'm too broken to make the full 170km back to Stilbaai" phone call.

Without doing Robinson pass to get to Herbertsdale I'd have to do a pretty big loop to the west. Unless you have a better idea? I really don't know that area at all.

Thanks!

 

Day 3 will be fine if you stay of the R62. When you hit the R328, you can veer to the right at the Ostrich farm and loop into Oudtshoorn below the airport. it's shorter, and safer in terms of traffic.

 

Day 4 should be okay, just take note that the road is long between Oudtshoorn and Mosselbay, and the stretch to Robertson Pass is isolated with not much happening there. Some farms in the area, but it is a lonely place. The climb to the top is a long, drawn out affair, and in some spots it is quite steep. I have not ridden there as of yet, but it is sure to end up being a highlight of the trip. Keep some energy left in your tank for that climb. Your reward will be found in the descent to Eight Bells Mountain Inn, where I would stay over for the night if I were doing this trip.If you intend to ride Oudtshoorn to Albertinia in one go, then ensure you are prepared for a long day in the saddle. Crossing that mountain is no mean feat. The Attekwa's MTB challenge crosses not far from there, and it is portrayed as the toughest MTB one day stage in SA for good reason. And then, wind. This time of year the South Westerlies still blow in that part of the world, so you may well end up with a strong head wind for most of that trip to Albertinia. Be prepared for slogging it out with nature.

 

But enough of the obstacles. This is a fantastic adventure, and one I am sure you will cherish for a long time. Enjoy the smells, and the sights and the experience. Not many people get to do these types of things these days.

Edited by Robbie Stewart
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There is some good advice already.

But I think you are underestimating some of the routes . Know them all well .

Suggest you give me a ring .

Arno

0833959038

I'm sure I'm underestimating all the routes! Hence me asking for advice before it's too late..

I'll definitely give you a call, much appreciated.

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....If you intend to ride Oudtshoorn to Albertinia in one go, then ensure you are prepared for a long day in the saddle. Crossing that mountain is no mean feat. And then, wind. This time of year the South Westerlies still blow in that part of the world, so you may well end up with a strong head wind for most of that trip to Albertinia. Be prepared for slogging it out with nature.

Day 4 is quite optimistic I agree! I'm not set on overnighting in Oudtshoorn so if there's somewhere else further south that makes sense I'm open to suggestions.

I'm not sure I want to extend an extra night given the increase in kit I'd carry, but if after day 3 I'm buggered there's nothing stopping me adding an extra night. It would then open up the possibility of riding all the way to Stilbaai & not having to get picked up at Albertina.

 

The wind is a concern, I've been hammered by that south westerly doing the Stilbaai river - Blombos Rd loop before & it seriously wasn't much fun..and that's only a 3hr loop!

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If you take a look at maps ,there is a road that leads south out of Calitzdorp. It veers towards the greener valley side . It runs almost parallel to the R62. It becomes a cement road if I recall correctly. Ends up near Oudtshoorn on the R 328. Takes you through a few villages and there are "escape" roads to the R 62 every now and then.Just a thought . Eish missing the place.

Yup, that's my intended route.

I was thinking I might drop down onto the rd past Calitzdorp spa to get a little more gravel before rejoining the cement Rd.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Day 1 underway.

Having a little snack stop about 30km short of Riversdale.

 

Sage, my Specialized Sequoia gravel bike although being a chunky girl, is proving to be awesome.

 

I've learnt there are a lot of diary cows between Buffelsjagrivier & Riversdale...and they don't do wonders for the consistency of the roads through the farmyards!

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