Some photos from a training ride in the Karoo in early May with brothers Andre and Charl. These lads are seriously accomplished riders, with both having spent most of their lives in the saddle, and Charl having 25 Argus Cycle Tours to his name, the majority sub-3hrs. No rocket science needed to know I spent most of the 3 days in the Karoo punishing my tired legs while looking at the back of them as they disappeared over the horizon ahead, but they were very kind and patient and encouraging and were superb company out there.
A few years back I was lucky to crack the nod and join a group of friends as we climbed Towerkop – ropes and all, to the top. It is a spectacular rock outcrop and a very prominent feature on the skyline around this part of the world. Our ride would take us on a complete 360° of this peak. We started from a spot called Withuisie on a farm about 8kms outside Ladismith and took the back roads over the Klein Swartberg pass down into the Anysberg, then north through some really spectacular valleys up into the Witteberg where we spent the first night.
The next morning we headed east, a long day in the saddle lay ahead but we enjoyed the obligatory morning coffee stop about 6kms south of Laingsburg (after debating riding the distance to the Wimpy for a full breakfast) and enjoying conversations with chatty farmers along the way.By late afternoon we had cycled past Towerkop and Seweweekspoort, and as dusk fell we reached the top of the Bosch Luys Kloof pass, a glorious 27km downhill into night time to reach our stop at the Gamkapoortdam. With special thanks to Fox Ledeboer, the unofficially water bailiff at the dam and a really interesting guy to meet, for stocking up for us we were able to fill our bellies that night on chicken and steak over some good coals before passing out for the night.
The next morning we awoke to a glorious sunrise over the dam, before tackling the climb out of the valley, morning coffee at Café to Hell n Gone, then a magnificent and memorable ride down through the Seweweekspoort and via the back roads around into Ladismith. An epic weekend away, we are indeed privileged with opportunities like this right on our doorstep.