Bains Kloof, Villiersdorp, Rooi Els – day trip (tar)

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1. Total distance of route and date of ride?

388km

2. How long did it take to complete? Were you going fast or travelling leisurely?

From 09:15 to 18:00, with plenty of stops – breakfast, lunch and late afternoon coffee.

3. Why are you recommending this route? What’s special about it?

This was Harley-Davidson’s official 110th year Anniversary Model Launch route. The route takes in a number of mountain passes, fast bits, twisty bits, scenic routes and more.

4. Please tell us how the route runs.

From Tyger Valley Harley-Davidson take the M16 Malmesbury Road then use the  R312 to Wellington. Over the Bain’s Kloof Pass via the R44, via Slanghoek through Rawsonville and stop for lunch in Villiersdorp (via the R43). Then from Villiersdorp to Botrivier take the R43, then to Kleinmond (R43), round Rooi Els (R44) to Gordons Bay. The next stretch from Gordons Bay via the N2 and past Macassar via Strandfontein on the M9 to Muizenberg. Last leg to Harley-Davidson Cape Town via Steenberg (M3) and the M3/N2 into Cape Town.

5. What kind of motorcycle is the route suitable for?

We rode the route on a selection of Harleys and my pick on this trip was the FLHX Street Glide. The route is suitable for anything with two wheels.

6. Please name significant points of interest along the way, e.g. eateries, supermarkets, accommodation. 

We stopped for lunch at the Aphrodisiac Shack Smokehouse (www.ashack.co.za) just outside Villiersdorp where Sean provided us with a veritable feast. We had burgers or steaks with a selection of tapas from the smokehouse – all five star quality. Our host provided us with small wooden blocks to rest the stands of these heavy bikes on while parked on the grass – a sign of being clued about biker support (pun intended). Villiersdorp is a good halfway/overnight stop. Visit www.villiersdorptourism.co.za

7. Are there petrol stations along the way? Do you know of any motorcycle repair shops along the route or in the area?

Petrol stations can be found in Rawsonville and Villiersdorp and again in Kleinmond. From Gordon’s Bay the fuel stations are plentiful. Somerset West has a Yamaha dealer: 021 850 0080.

8. Are there any dangers along the route, e.g. loose gravel, potholes, sharp bends, oil spills, wild animals or angry locals? 

The Bain’s Kloof Pass has some potholes to keep an eye out for, but nothing serious. Special care should be taken in shadowy sections, as they sometimes mask wet spots where water runs off the mountain. As always, look out for children in the area – some will throw stones for now reason. Also be cautious of stray animals wandering onto the road.

9. What did the trip cost in fuel, meals and accommodation? 

Expect to pay anything from R50 to R100 for a decent breakfast anywhere on this route. Add about two tanks of fuel and you have your day’s budget worked out.

10. Did you use any special gear, e.g. fuel bags, that made your journey possible, easier or more enjoyable?

Light-weight waterproof jackets and pants came in handy as we had some rain.

11. Any must-do activities on the route?

The bridge over the Theewaterskloof dam offers a good photo opportunity. The top of Bain’s Kloof pass has a paved rest stop, ideal for taking in the breathtaking view. Stop for a moment on the back roads between Slanghoek and Rawsonville to listen to the sound of silence (after the exhaust notes have died down in your ears). Best enjoyed at a leisurely pace, this route is ideal for a two up ride.

12. Do you have any other comments or advice about the route?

Take your time on this route – a full day out with good friends and decent breaks in between will add to the flavour of this awesome ride. It is quite long and takes in the best roads this part of the Western Cape has to offer. Carry a decent camera and cool drinks for the rest stops. Beware of snakes on the Bain’s Kloof pass as they tend to slither across from time to time.

13. Are there any doctors and/or hospitals in the area that you know of?

Make sure you have the local cell phone emergency number (082 911) on your phone – emergency medical services run from Franschhoek and are only a few minutes away. The nearest hospital on this trip is in Worcester: +27 (0)23 348 1100.

The rider –  Mukhtar Mukuddem

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