Proud stockists of Ural sidecars & spares

September Ride Along

On the 2nd Sunday of September we all met at the Sidecar Africa sign as has become tradition for the Ride Along's. The dirty riders were Ryno & Emma, Alpha & Klara, Jacquie & Jenna, Ray Eckstein & Bronwynne and Duncan with Claire. The ride started on a nice dirt road section in the Hennops area and everybody enjoyed this scenic section.

The first challenge came along a cattle path section which slopes the wrong way for about 500m. This means that the sidecar is considerably higher than the rider and this section was completed by everyone with flying colours – it felt a bit like flying the car though! Bronwynne, Ray's monkey and wife, was leaning completely out of the sidecar and they had great fun completing this section.

The second section comprised some dirt roads with a very curvy section through the veld. We stopped off at Skyview Garage where everyone and thing could fill up – from fuel to nicotine!

After leaving the garage we did more dirt roads and tracks and the highlight of this section was a small river crossing to prepare for the "Gauntlet", to be run later in the morning. Everybody made this ‘river’ crossing look like a picnic! We moved on to a cattle path which is designed to check if all the accessories are attached to the rigs properly. Going quite slowly this section was really bumpy and tested all those fasteners on the rigs. I am happy to report that nothing fell off or came loose - not even Ray's monster top box that his monkey can fit in!!

More dirt roads and country tracks through a beautiful area called Doornrandjies and then on to the "Gauntlet" - the name "The Gauntlet" is derived from a Geocache hidden there which challenges you to cross the river over the low level bridge when the water level allows.

We stopped, assessed the water level and discussed some strategies. The challenge to this water crossing is that a section of the bridge in the middle of the crossing has been washed away by the river and this poses quite a surprise when you arrive there surrounded by a fast flowing river.

The big trick to a river crossing is not to flood the engine so river crossings have to be done slowly! The entrance point to the bridge is quite steep and is covered in loose sand so when one lines up for the crossing you reach a point of no return. Ryno went through first and made it with no problem, then one by one the rest completed the Gauntlet. Everyone stopped on the other side and provided some moral support for the rigs doing the Gauntlet. It was great to see our Ural machines being put through their paces and everyone had a great time. No monkeys panicked and all the drivers kept their cool – pardon the pun. In fact Ray Eckstein was so cool he even got his feet wet.

From the river it was just a short bouncy trundle to Monaghan Farm’s entrance, where Ryno gave a quick demo on how to change the sidecar wheel without a jack.

We joined the R512 road at Lanseria Airport and went on by tar to our breakfast venue at African Swiss Restaurant where Erhard, Rosie and Noel joined us. A great meal was had by all ... another successful Ride Along to ponder on.