Frozen Ass Run 2019
(21 - 23 June 2019)
A drove of lady bikers decided to go down to Van Reenen on the shortest (or as close to it as possible) day of the year. They would all meet up in Pretoria and ride down on the Saturday. But being the Tank Girls, we do like to squeeze out every available minute a weekend can possibly tick over.
So… Skinny and Chikita already left on the Friday after work, shooting straight down with the shortest route.
The rally was called the Frozen Ass Run… CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! We were going to be the biggest Jenny-holes for the entire weekend.
And boy – did we kick off this weekend with a bang? At the first petrol garage we found a 1200 parked in a caravan parking spot, obviously to just ride through after he visited the twalet. Bet ya, when he came out and saw Chikita had parked him in, he probably needed that twalet again.
We like a good sunset but not watching it drown from the side of a busy highway. We had to rush to find the perfect spot.
And then we found it – a deserted garage. We had to ride through the veld, around the locked gate, to get in. Why would you lock a garage that has no petrol??? Like robbing a bank that has no money.
Lady-Day-Torch did not disappoint…
But it was getting cold, BRRRRRRAYing cold!
Gallopping past the 16-roundlegged-beasts
We were entered into a twilight gymkhana, trying to avoid direct contact with these beasts’ grills. The white and yellow lines obviously didn’t mean much to them…
We made it in one frozen piece to the Green Lantern Inn. The original Van Reenen Hotel was built in 1892, which in 1948 was renamed The Green Lantern Inn. In the old days, a green lantern was hung at the top of the pass to signal to travelers that they had reached the summit as it was often very foggy.
There was a fire glowing in the pub, a cat on the counter, and whisky in a glass.
And then… a donkey walked into the bar!
“What’s with the long face?”
Her name is Bojangles and we gave her a spot at the counter. You’ve got to ‘hand’ it to her, she knows how to hold her liquor.
We had the whole of Saturday to ride the hills and passes of the area.
You can draw a pie-chart of my soul. It only has two colours; one colour for adventure, and one colour for cold temperatures... The bigger the cold slice, the smaller the adventure slice. We got going when we got going.
Not far in, we met Albert and his ride. Nice wheels dude!
We gaited some more…
Donkeys and horses have the same gait, but donkeys are rarely seen running. Naturally occurring in warmer areas, the donkey probably found running a truly unnecessary activity in high temperatures. Clever little horsies!
We were on our way to kick off our day-adventure wit the Donkey-Pass, but the security would not let us through??? Apparently you can enter if you have a car (even with a trailer), feet, a bicycle, or a delivery truck – BUT NO MOTORCYCLES!
Off to buy a pizza – for delivery…
However, they did not fall for that one. So we skipped the donkey’s back.
On the horizon we saw a stofstreep, led by jacks, cuddies, neddies, dickies and mokes. And before we could even come to a complete stop, we were mids in a photoshoot. All the herders ripped out their cellphones and took photos with the ladies; on our bikes; asking me to turn my head a bit more to the sun. I was surprized nobody ripped out reflectors and lights.
When you have little – little is enough.
Next up was the Bezuidenhout’s Pass.
The route took us through a farmer’s plaas. He was out in the field and stopped us for a quick chat. Told us that Bezuidenhout’s is best riding down, and then riding Tintwa Pass back up. All good and we were off… just to get stopped at a locked gate…?!?
Guess we must have gotten lost – the best way to travel!
Turning back with the sun now dancing in front of us, was like riding a brand new path.
What freedom to be tied up, and still have the capability of ignoring ridiculous, silly conversations.
ROM ROM ROM!!!
You can lead a donkey to water…
In the distance we heard music, loud doef-doef music. In Africa, we dance. We dance to say we are happy; we dance to say we are kwaad; we dance to say hello; and if you don’t dance back, you’re a Jackass!
Two she-asses and a Zamalek, this trip was going GREAT!
The saddest period in the history of donkeys in South Africa was the massacre of thousands of donkeys in Bophuthatswana (a former homeland) in the early 1980s. A few big chiefs believed there were just too many donkeys roaming the land. Those stupid, blêddie, halfasses probably felt threatened. Lots of people whose donkeys were shot during this time lost their only means of survival.
Lunchbreak under Acacias with a cow as company.
THE DONKEY: People could have chosen anything, a cow, goat, sheep, frog, worm... They could have lashed out at any living creature, they could have belittled and humiliated any other animal... But no! The people had chosen the poor donkey. They load it with derogative adjectives about being stubborn, lazy and dumb. They really have it in for the donkey, the endearing worker, four-legged working-class renowned for its short stature and dusty colour and the pose of a lone philosopher. Most patient among the patient ones, most enduring among the enduring ones, most tenacious among the tenacious ones, the long-eared and long-tailed master chaser of flies.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED…
I popped my cherry, I did the dirty, I lost my noobginity!
In all my years of riding, I got my first flatty. AND, for the first time ever we had all the tools with us. You can call it ‘luck’, but I do believe Karma likes to watch girls suffer…
Pop the champers – we changed the tyre, we didn’t pinch a tube, not even cracked a nail.
A donkey is happy with the little things, even when it ‘sings’ its own serenade in a key only known to his species. It is not aware of its happiness. It's as if happiness is fleeting to a donkey and unnecessary in excessive amounts.
Rushing back up Van Reenen’s Pass, they closed the lanes to one up and one down with all the roadworks going on. Lanes were marked with temporary chevron boards. Slow trucks, narrow lanes, hobbly road surfaces, oncoming cars, and the sun in your eyes made overtaking risky. I saw a gap, twisted the throttle to full-back… and POW!!! – got smacked between the eyes with a chevron sign.
I completely forgot about those!
We can’t all and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.
*Wise words from Eeyore*
Another burning-globe falling behind the edge before we called it a day.
Back at the Inn, the other hinnies were already warming the stable.
Horses may ‘around’, but donkeys ‘between’!
The Green Lantern Inn, dished up warm delicious food, and specially supplied gold tequila and Sol beers. The girls kuiered a hind leg off a donkey.
The van Reenen area is just breathtaking. The next morning we rode around town to shake the hair of the donkey.
Early 1400’s, a physician listed riding backwards on a donkey as a cure for scorpion stings. And they call an esel oblivious???
We were escorted by a legend – MORAG CAMPBELL!
Back in 2016, she was part of the first ever female team to compete in the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy.
We considered taking her to the biggest Black Wattle tree stump we could find and testing her superpowers of chucking a 1200 over it with one fowl swoop. But she had a sticky clutch and our own sprockets were still suffering from a faint bout of babbelas.
If you can’t make it over the stump, dig under it.
Donkey years ago, this was an old railroad tunnel – short, dark and haunted!
Sometimes people might think we have a ‘skroef los’, but if you travel with sanity, you’ll find her quite dull.
In town you’ll find the smallest church in the Southern hemisphere. It is the smallest Catholic church in the world and only seats eight souls.
Landaff Oratory (1925)
We spent a weekend of doing nothing that we planned, and absolutely everything wonderful. The ground rules of planning is to pretend knowing exactly what your tomorrow will entail. Adventure is the exact opposite.
The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things.
Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about.
The Frozen Ass Run: A ride to Van Reenen. We didn’t do anything we planned, and so much more. We didn’t see any of the places on our map. We never met any of the people on our list. We didn’t get to ride a donkey. BOY – did we have fun!
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