Women's Dual Purpose Rider Development Program
(25 January 2015)
The program is going to run over the next eight months and will focus on dual purpose, off-road, on-road riding techniques, motorcycle maintenance, teamwork, navigation and self-defense training.
Basically, they want to prepare ladies for whatever they might encounter on an adventure ride: Wild animals, crazy tsotsies, pap wiele and extreme road conditions.
BUT… only 12 chickens could get on the basting list.
Sunday morn the girls started rolling in, feathers all ruffled.
16 Chickens were ready to place themselves in a pecking order.
Some of the girls I have only recently met and had no idea about their riding abilities. I definitely came into this game over confident! Johan pulled us all towards ourselves and explained the rules of the game. Unfortunately, there was no ‘Get out of jail free’ cards available…
CHALLENGE 1: SKILLS RIDING
We had a quick glance at the skills track and all of a sudden I felt more like a lab rat running down a maize searching for a piece of Gouda. I’d be the rat on the right – already lost!
Anke was out first:
Skill 1: Ducking and diving between a plague of warthogs (riding between cones)
No – Brom is not sick! No – I did not forget to put fuel, again! No – this is not my new mode of transport, trendy however it is! I had an operation on my left hand in the week. Apparently Bac and Teria decided they needed a new home and what better place than a Skinny-knuckle. The ring(less) finger also had to be attached back onto said vrot knuckle. They call it boxers-knuckles… moenie met my sukkel nie!
The hand was still very tender and I only had the use of my index finger and a very capable opposable thumb.
Rules of the game was that you had to have a road worthy bike and Skutut made his very first show appearance. No clutch hand – no clutch – VOILA!
Skill 2: Escaping from a hoard of elephants without being heard (dismounting the bike, pulling it out of a tight spot, pushing it to a save spot, walking around the bike while holding it up and mounting it from the other side)
Believe me – she really is that small! Zanda shows us how she can pull a 220kg horse.
I only had to click my fingers… oh wait… no finger clicking available. Luckily my horse was just a filly.
Skill 3: Lane splitting in Diepsloot (riding between logs)
Skill 4: Making a quick U-ie when you see a road block (U-turn)
Skill 5: Grabbing a snake by its tail and wrapping it around a tree (using only clutch power and holding onto a rod you have to complete a tight circle)
No clutchy-clutchy, so I went and unwound the poor snake. My mom has also said I’m always stroom-op.
The were two tumbles – no injuries. But who can blame a girl for loosing control when a naked zebra jumps out of the bush?
Nien was up as quick as she went down. By the time the instructors got to her to help her up, she already had the kettle boiling for a quick tee-break.
Skill 6: Riding over crocodiles (in this case, they were fresh out of crocs so they used a few stumps)
Skill 7: The get-away drift around the café corner (fast as possible u-turn)
Go – go – go! I got the Chomps, did you get the Chappies???
Skill 8: Crossing a building site (sand riding)
Skill 9: How do you ride over Table Mountain? You start with a little one (riding up and over the table top)
Up was no problemo for Skutut, but then we came to a quick realization that the front breaks weren’t really anything to brag about and the back break was on my clutch hand!!! I knuiped my bum cheeks as that was the only proper grip I had, held on and hoped for the best. I didn’t fall, but gracefully… I would not call that.
Skill 10: Riding through the Amazon and cleaning up where all those undiscovered tribes throw their Simba chips wrappers (trails riding and cleaning up litter)
Home base – STOP THE CLOCK!!!
CHALLENGE 2: FIXING A FLAT TYRE
We each got a wheel (not attached to the bike). You had to get the tube out, check for a puncture, fix if there is a puncture, put the tube back, tyre back on rim and pump to 1.5 bar. All in just 20 minutes! Apparently if you stay in one spot for too long, you have to pay property tax. 20 minutes – that’s all you get!
Tyres came off…
Tubes came out…
And that’s where the fun started!
Where’s that pin-thingy that goes into the hole-thingy? It was here just now???
Where is the main switch? It’s in the corner, stupid!
Having only one hand, I got special treatment by being allowed to select one other hand. Said hand being connected to Plakkies.
It took me forever to find the gaatjie and with two hands working from two separate hard-drives, I just could not get the valve through that gaatjie. We finally got everything back in place, but I pinched a nerve and no amount of air would inflate the tyre.
I saw my gat on this challenge.
CHALLENGE 3: MISTERY BOX
We were kept in the dark about the last challenge. How much I hoped it would be a Sudoku game. You know… on a long adventure ride you have to keep your mind sharp. Or even a 5km run. You never know how far the next petrol station might be. Or even an eat-as-much-hotdogs-as-you-can contest. Sometimes you have to stock up if you don’t know when you’ll see edible food again.
Me, contemplating on how many hotdogs I can stuff.
On the last challenge for the day, we were divided into four teams with four members each. We we’re given a dead, heavy donkey to drag through the streets of Katmandu. The bike would not start and all we had was four body powers and two straps. The donkey had to be dragged through a ditch, over humps, round tight corners and over a channel laid with taxi spares (aka tyres).
We called our team the The Delinquents: I had only one hand, Barbara’s wrist was still in a wrap, Desere’s elbow was operated on in December and Michelle’s back was out.
The other teams dragged that donkey as if it was made out of marshmallows.
Our siekeboeg-span huffed and puffed…
…and rolled all the way down!
This is where the tear jerking moment of the day happened. While Desere and myself were spinning up dust trying to pull a donkey five times our weight up a hill, we all of a sudden felt movement?!? Did Barbara and Michelle eat their spinach?
When we looked back, the rest of the girls decided – STUFF THIS – and jumped in the ditch to help us pull the lazy esel out.
We made the 10 minute cut-off with seconds to spare.
I’ll cross the Sahara desert with you girls… but can we take a key next time?
After a long, uitmergelende, bliksese warm day the team was announced. The 12 chickens that got the Nando’s stamp of approval is:
Amanda Human (BMW F800GS), Anke Ferreira (BMW F800GS), Barbara Muszynski (BMW G450), Cindy Porobich (BMW F800GS), Daleen Dudley (BMW F800GS), Desreé Duddy (BMW F650GS), Elmarie Bierman (Honda XR250 Tornado), Esteni Steenkamp (BMW F700GS), Judy Hardy (KTM 640 Adventure), Michelle Kruger (Suzuki DR 600), Nina Nortje (BMW F800GS Adv), Zanda Gray (BMW F800GS)
Unfortunately my right hand just weren’t enough, but in all honesty I’m not sure I would have made the cut even if I had two working hands. These girls rode like superstars. I kept screaming at Judy to fall at least once, just so the rest of us wouldn’t look like complete failures. When Cindy got onto the track I turned around walking away with my head shaking, mumbling something in the line of… ‘How to make 15 other chicks look like tits.’
Good luck to the ADA team for ‘developing’ this group. They might show you guys a thing or two!
From this day on, when someone says YOU RIDE LIKE A GIRL… you say Thank You!
Sponsors for the program:
Motorradical, ADA, BMW Bavarian Motorcycles, GPS4Africa, The Mutate Coach, Acufin, Outdoor Medical
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Out – to develop myself some more!
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