A week long bicycle micro-adventure.

There is a small crowd of us who are members of a Facebook group called "S24o Bicycle Microadventures" we regularly do Sub-24hour-overnight bicycle camping trips. These S24o's have proven to be about the most fun you can possibly have with a bicycle. As a result most of the regulars have become really good friends and a few of us started speaking about extending the fun by doing a week long microadventure.  We felt that it would be good to go in a group of between three and six people as any more would possibly make it a bit more tricky to wild camp, get bookings at campsites, restaurants, guest houses etc. After a few phone calls we had six people who were keen and available.  A planning braai was called for and we all got together to finalise dates and plan a rough route. After two planning braais (that generally involved more eating and drinking than planning) we had a start point, a middle point for a rest day and a cottage booked for the final weekend. That was all we really wanted to plan because part of our plan was to make it up as we went along. We also thought it would be great to mix up a bit of camping with staying in the odd guest house or a motel so that we could enjoy a restaurant meal and a proper bed for a few of the nights. Basically we had rough plan that we could change as we went along and that didn't put us under pressure to achieve any goals, except have a good time.

The original idea was to catch a train to Worcester and start riding from there, as we wanted to get out of the city and onto gravel roads as soon as possible. Unfortunately the train from Cape Town to Worcester only goes in the evenings. So we had to make last minute arrangements for a shuttle to take us to Worcester. This ended up being good fun and allowed us to leave early on the Saturday morning.

Anyway what follows is a short photo essay of our adventure, hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

Day 1: Woodstock Cycleworks to Worcester by shuttle, then cycle from Worcester to Montagu.

The mandatory pre-adventure group shot. 

The mandatory pre-adventure group shot. 

Bikes packed and ready to go.

Bikes packed and ready to go.

On the road at last, with a bunch of roadies sitting in our slipstream.

On the road at last, with a bunch of roadies sitting in our slipstream.

We would always take gravel roads where possible.

We would always take gravel roads where possible.

Our first lunch stop at Saggy Stone brewery, with Clayton ordering the second round of beers as soon as the first round arrived. We all agreed that it was the best beer we had ever tasted and as you know six thirsty cyclists can't be wrong. 

Our first lunch stop at Saggy Stone brewery, with Clayton ordering the second round of beers as soon as the first round arrived. We all agreed that it was the best beer we had ever tasted and as you know six thirsty cyclists can't be wrong. 

David can't stop grinning.

David can't stop grinning.

Stop number about seven at Number one Chinese shop for cold drinks and sweets.

Stop number about seven at Number one Chinese shop for cold drinks and sweets.

Beautiful rock formations heading into Montagu.

Beautiful rock formations heading into Montagu.

Setting up camp for the night in Montague.

Setting up camp for the night in Montague.

Damn this campsite was full of "duiveltjes" or devil thorns. I think all of our punctures for the whole trip were as a result of this campsite. 

Damn this campsite was full of "duiveltjes" or devil thorns. I think all of our punctures for the whole trip were as a result of this campsite. 

Making supper, telling stories and fixing punctures.

Day 2: Montagu to somewhere in the Karoo for some wild camping.

Pre ride lube, remember no double-dipping in Paul's tub of milking cream.

Pre ride lube, remember no double-dipping in Paul's tub of milking cream.

A nice easy start before the Ouberg pass.

A nice easy start before the Ouberg pass.

Looks like Paul may have packed too much weight at the back of his bike.

Looks like Paul may have packed too much weight at the back of his bike.

Heading up the Ouberg Pass.

Heading up the Ouberg Pass.

What looked like it had to be the top proved to be only halfway up. 

What looked like it had to be the top proved to be only halfway up. 

View from the top of the Ouberg pass looking back at the last bit of the climb.

View from the top of the Ouberg pass looking back at the last bit of the climb.

A well earned rest on top of the pass with some welcome coffee and shade.

A well earned rest on top of the pass with some welcome coffee and shade.

Coffee and sandwiches.

Coffee and sandwiches.

Some of the best riding I have ever experienced - good gravel roads, endless gentle descents and a slight tailwind.

Some of the best riding I have ever experienced - good gravel roads, endless gentle descents and a slight tailwind.

All Round happiness.

All Round happiness.

Thankfully some road workers had left this water tank, without it I think we could have been in a bit of trouble.  

Thankfully some road workers had left this water tank, without it I think we could have been in a bit of trouble.  

Tyrone chilling.

Tyrone chilling.

Shade, beds, and a shot of whiskey in our coffee, what more could you want? 

Shade, beds, and a shot of whiskey in our coffee, what more could you want? 

Rolling in a row.

Rolling in a row.

Clayton with his fishing rod. 

Clayton with his fishing rod. 

The lack of signs, reception and a detailed map made for some tricky decisions at every fork in the road. We ended up taking the right fork and eventually had to backtrack 10km as we hit a private game reserve and were not allowed to cycle through it because of the lions. We were willing to take our chances but the guard at the gate was having none of it.

The lack of signs, reception and a detailed map made for some tricky decisions at every fork in the road. We ended up taking the right fork and eventually had to backtrack 10km as we hit a private game reserve and were not allowed to cycle through it because of the lions. We were willing to take our chances but the guard at the gate was having none of it.

We found a great secluded spot to wild camp in a dried up riverbed, it did however involve us having to portage our bikes over some tricky log sections. 

We found a great secluded spot to wild camp in a dried up riverbed, it did however involve us having to portage our bikes over some tricky log sections. 

It was a beautiful warm evening but after seeing a few cape cobras on the ride none of us were brave enough to sleep out in the open, so we set up the tents without the top layer.

It was a beautiful warm evening but after seeing a few cape cobras on the ride none of us were brave enough to sleep out in the open, so we set up the tents without the top layer.

Wolverines and the wardrobe.

Wolverines and the wardrobe.

Campfire stories.

Campfire stories.

Day 3: Karoo to Barydale.

Jourg preparing his legendary oats with whiskey for breakfast.

Jourg preparing his legendary oats with whiskey for breakfast.

Tyrone perfecting the art of snapping from the saddle.

Tyrone perfecting the art of snapping from the saddle.

Clayton's Double Cross now has an elegant figurehead.

Clayton's Double Cross now has an elegant figurehead.

Some welcome shade for a coffee break.

Some welcome shade for a coffee break.

Apparently Wolverines and Zebras get along just fine in the wild.

Apparently Wolverines and Zebras get along just fine in the wild.

Paul enjoying a sliver of shade as he waits for everyone to catch up with him.

Paul enjoying a sliver of shade as he waits for everyone to catch up with him.

First beers in three days.

First beers in three days.

A little nap after a few beers and burgers at Ronnies Sex Shop.

A little nap after a few beers and burgers at Ronnies Sex Shop.

Ronnies Sex Shop a legendary oasis for travelers on route 62.

Ronnies Sex Shop a legendary oasis for travelers on route 62.

Probably one of the hardest bits of our ride, already done over 100km, strong headwinds, a few beers and burgers under our belts and wanting to get to Barrydale in time to find some accomodation.

Probably one of the hardest bits of our ride, already done over 100km, strong headwinds, a few beers and burgers under our belts and wanting to get to Barrydale in time to find some accomodation.

Barrydale has to be just over that next hill, 

Barrydale has to be just over that next hill, 

Checking into the Karoo Moon Motel for the night and going out for pizzas later. 

Checking into the Karoo Moon Motel for the night and going out for pizzas later. 

Day 4: Barydale to Malagas.

Big breakfast at Diesel & Creme, known for their legendary milkshakes.

Big breakfast at Diesel & Creme, known for their legendary milkshakes.

 A fun, fast descent down Tradouw pass.

 A fun, fast descent down Tradouw pass.

Crossing the Breede river by pont at Malagas.

Crossing the Breede river by pont at Malagas.

The last climb of the day was just a bit much for Craig's tired legs. 

The last climb of the day was just a bit much for Craig's tired legs. 

Fish braai for supper. 

Fish braai for supper. 

Rest day and bike checks at the River Queen guest house on the Breede river.

Rest day and bike checks at the River Queen guest house on the Breede river.

Day 5: Malagas to wild camp somewhere near Napier.

Mid morning break for coffee and hardboiled eggs. 

Mid morning break for coffee and hardboiled eggs. 

Lunch stop in Napier.

Lunch stop in Napier.

A friendly landowner said we could camp on his land but offered us the use of a barn he had set up for functions. We had intended another night of wild camping but after considering it for about 30 seconds we decided to go for the luxury of the barn.

A friendly landowner said we could camp on his land but offered us the use of a barn he had set up for functions. We had intended another night of wild camping but after considering it for about 30 seconds we decided to go for the luxury of the barn.

Day 6: Napier to the cottage we had rented in Klein Baai.

Catch of the day.

Catch of the day.

Almost there, about 4km from Klein Baai our final destination we decided that we all deserved a Chock 99. 

Almost there, about 4km from Klein Baai our final destination we decided that we all deserved a Chock 99. 

Tyrone enjoying a well deserved and well coordinated rest.

Tyrone enjoying a well deserved and well coordinated rest.

Friday evening, hooking up with our partners at the cottage we had rented for the weekend, this turned out to be a wonderful end to an amazing microadventure.

Friday evening, hooking up with our partners at the cottage we had rented for the weekend, this turned out to be a wonderful end to an amazing microadventure.

After this experience, we all just kept speaking about where to go for our next adventure.  I would highly recommend that you try something similar, it really is about as much fun as you can have with a bicycle and it makes for great stories, amazing memories and builds strong friendships.