Story by Lorna Charles (O’B Bikers)
O’B Bikers decided to put their motorcycles to the ultimate test with an endurance trip of a lifetime to Katse Dam in Lesotho.
Rad Reddy, President of O’B Bikers, said the trip was also done to prove that their bikes, which included tour bikes ,Harley Davidsons and super bikes riders as well were able to tackle the gruelling 1268kms with 26 hours riding time.
“It took an overwhelming response of unity to achieve this milestone in the journey of O’B Bikers, in keeping with our motto of: Our Brotherhood of Bikers.
“The trip was an indication of our strength and abilities to embark on an experience of pure adventure, not many bikers endeavour to achieve,” added Reddy.
Twelve members left Durban on Friday morning, 15 March heading West on the N3 to Harrismith then West to Clarens on R717 they made stops along the way at Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River and Escourt.
The youngest biker was 39, while there were three veteran bikers in their sixties with the oldest 67.
The challenge of the ride to the destination in Lesotho’s Katse Dam saw the Durban bikers pass through Caledon Spoort border in South Africa to Butha-Buthe in Lesotho.
“It was an awesome experience to reach the border with a passionate dozen of our members and 9 of our bikes.
Katse Dam is on the Malibamtso River going through the 3090m high Mafika Pass with 120 major gradients, 728 bends and 550 gear changes. “The bends were a challenge but the highlight was knowing that all bikers were able to endure to the top,” added Reddy.
Each bike needed an additional 6 litres of fuel to get to the top, which was carried, along with a tube and tyre repair kit,as there is no petrol stations or repair workshops nearby.
The mass ride up Mafika Pass saw O’B Bikers riding in their staggered formation watchful of donkeys and falling rocks.
“The brakes on all the bikes were really put to the test coming down the pass.
The bikes were tested to the max and our riding capability put to the test with every bend offering us a new challenge, a real adrenaline flowing experience,” added Reddy.
The freedom of the open road, crisp, fresh air and wind blowing in their hair was only slightly marred by the mountain passes that gave them a big wake up call.
“It was a bikers dream and also a bikers nightmare but an amazing experience,” said biker, Kenny Charles.
“A real trip of a lifetime,” added biker Jackson Govender.
The weather held up really well for the club but the heavens opened up as they entered the pass and they were greeted by an hour of non stop rain. “As we got to the top we had a clear pass to Katse Dam.
When the bikers finally arrived at the entrance of the Katse Resort at the top of the dam, they were filled with an immense sense of achievement but realized they arrived at the wrong lodge but half an hour later they were finally able to rest.
“It was a real experience to have our brotherhood complete this treacherous terrain, which passes mainly wildlife and very few people in such deserted areas. As far as the eye could see there was no civilization until a seldom village or a lone person popped up from a rock to peek at us,” he said.
The club bikes that made the trip were Harley Davidson’s Electric Glide, Street Glyder, Soft Tail Heritage, Fatboy, Sportster, Soft Tail CVO and a Suzuki Bandit. The club members that endured the fantastic trip were President of O’B Bikers, Rad Reddy, Kenny Charles, Dr John Naidoo, Jackson Govender, Vasu Moodley, Derrick Archary, Selvan Govender, Radhi Pillay, Lushen Reddy, Ravi Govender, Kogilan Govender and Dicky Naidoo.