The Great Lakes Geocaching Team Challenge

Hello fellow and future Geocachers

Start plotting your crafty strategy, rally your friends and prepare for a day of geocaching like no other. It’s time for an exciting day out with mates, hopefully full of adventure.

Now for those of you who are wondering what Geocaching is all about, here’s the low-down. Basically it is a high tech treasure hunt that utilizes GPS (global positioning system) enabled devices. You know that voice in your car that tells you when to make a turn and how far you are form your destination? That is utilizing GPS technology. Geocaching is using hand held devices that assists you to navigate to a specific set of coordinates where someone else has hidden a geocache. Most ‘Smart Phones’ support geocaching. The geocache itself need not be anything elaborate and quite frequently is nothing more than a waterproof container such as Tupperware or old used 35mm film canisters, which are called micro-caches. The may contain nothing more than a pencil and paper for you to record your name and the date you found the treasure or they may contain a various assortment of goodies. The rule of thumb when taking something from a geocache container is to place something else of equal or greater value in return. You can then go home and comment on your find and log it in your account on a geocache-listing site. It is at these listing sites that you can obtain the list of coordinates of geocaches that are in your area. Geocaching is a worldwide adventure so even if you are traveling you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

The format will be as follows:

• This is a team event so you need to get your mates involved, minimum of 2 per team. (Make sure your whole team can fit into one vehicle to make things easier.)
• Each team will have to come up with a team name, and flag. These will have to be submitted and approved before the event.
• At least one member will have to register on to be able to find geocaches and log your finds.
• The search area will be limited to the Highway/Kloof/Hillcrest area. Anything outside on this area will not count towards your tally for the day, however you can still log the find on
• The date will be either the 9th or 10th of August if everyone can make it, or we’ll do it the following weekend.
• The day starts at 8am and all geocaches must be found with all team members together.
• The day will end with a braai at The Lakehouse, byo meat and drinks.
• We will have a facility for everyone to log there finds for the day.

How to win:

• The winning team will be the one to find and log the most geocaches on the day.
• Each geocache found must have a photo for authentication, with team members in the picture, obviously one of the members will be taking the pic.
• All caches must be found in the pre-determined area. A list of available caches can be made available.
• Always abide by the geocaching rules and guidelines.
o Cache in, trash out.
o Always leave the cache as you found it.
o Beware of “Muggles” – don’t compromise the cache.
o Be careful and use stealth and subtlety.
• All caches must be found between 8am and 4pm on the day.

What do you win:

• Noddy Badge
• High Five
• Thumbs up
• Bragging rights

Who’s in???


The weekend’s activities

An update on the weekends efforts.

Started the great strip-down on the magnifiscent XR250R. To be honest, i was having second thoughts about this bike during the week, stressing about how bad the motor condition is going to be, stressing about the availability of spares and what the cost will be to get this bike to the condition i want it. And doubting my ability to do it myself which is ultimately what i want to do. With this in mind, i’m going to need a lot of input from those of you who have been down this road before. Id rather learn from the mistakes made by others.

So once the new Tusk clutch was fitted to the CRF i started with the XR. As expected, lots of miss-matched bolts and nuts and some tight, rusty, and semi-seized, so plenty of penetrating spray was used, and from time to time the trusty hammer helped.

First off – the plastic bits. No problems here, and I was not surprised to find the filthiest foam air filter i have ever seen.


Next was the exhaust, again no problems here either

Getting some of the motor mounting bolts loose took some serious persuasion (hammer) but i prevailed and without much fuss she was out.

Did a good visual of the frame and found no cracks or serious damage, so once everything is stripped off she’ll go for a good re-spray.

The motor still frightens me, but I have a workshop manual and I’ll put on my big boy pants and have a good go at it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Once the motor was out I decided to pack it in for the day so that’s as far as i got. Will spend some time on the plastics in the evenings seeing if i can get some new life out of those tired old things. Lots of elbow grease and i’m sure they’ll be back to there original beauty or pretty close at least.

Any tips or advise is always welcome, no matter how trivial.

The weekend

Saturday has been declared a bike fixing day.  All “pink” paperwork is in order and the “refreshing beverages” are in the fridge.  My buddy Dave is coming around to do a carb rebuild on his DRZ400 (Which is for sale if anyone is interested).  I’ll be completing the clutch replacement on the CRF.  Was very sad when Honda quoted me R1600 for the replacement clutch plates for my little 230,  Startline can get you a Motrix one for R450 but I couldnt bring myself to putting one of those in my baby.  So to eBay we went and found a “Tusk off-road racing” complete kit (plates and springs) for R650.  So that goes in this weekend and if there is time I’ll either start on stripping the XR or go for a ride on the CRF.Image

Lets build a motorbike

OK, here’s the story. I’ve been on a 2006 CRF230F for the last 5 years, and i must admit that it is the most willing and capable bike anyone could ever hope too own. But given that we’re riding in the Inanda valley most of the time, and that in full kit i’m up near the 100Kg mark, I’ve always felt that i was asking a little too much of the little beast. And at 6ft tall i did feel like i was too big for the bike. The other draw back apart from the frame size and the suspension was definitely the drum brake at the back. Over the years I’ve adjusted my riding style to never rely on the rear brake, always only the front brake or motor compression, this made for some very close calls at times. But regardless of all the above, this little CRF took me everywhere any of my KTM or WR mates went, maybe not as fast but she always got me there in the end with very little complaining and always with the rubber side down, just the way i like it. She’s now available for sale if anyone is interested.


So, for the last couple of months I’ve been looking around at possibly getting an XR400R, (I have a little thing for XR’s) But never found anything worth giving up the CRF for, until now. I’ve managed to find a 1990 XR250R in OK condition at a reasonable price. So I collected her and brought her home so that i can get started on my first re-build project.

I’m having to commit to 6 months of no bush riding so that i can give myself enough time to get this project done properly, so the KLR will have to scratch that itch.

Condition of the bike as she stands now:
Disk brakes front and back in good nik
Tyres will need to be replaced front and back
Rims are perfect
Fork boots are vrot
Fork seals will need replacing
After-market bars and bar-riser fitted so that’s sorted
De-compresion cable and lever non-existent
Clutch feels very stiff so will need to have a look at that
Rear suspension will need to go to DC Suspension for an over-haul
Frame is sound but will get a powder-coating
Foot pegs will get replaced with wider ones
Gear changer is buckled – will replace

Plastics are all intact but as can be expected, covered with various random stickers and very weathered, so those will need some TLC. A good mate of mine has a printing company that specializes in vinyl bike sticker kits so I’ll get that all sorted and looking awesome again.

The motor, even on a very cold northern KZN morning, started on the second kick without the benefit of the de-comp. My biggest concern is the very noisy top end. She sounds like an industrial sewing machine at the moment so the motor will need some serious looking into. I’m hoping it’s not too serious (expensive). If anyone has been down this road before or has any advise, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment – all are welcome.

The KLR goes to the doctor


Sadly my KLR650 had to do to the motorbike doctor this morning.  Image


I bought the new sprockets and chain and had every intention of doing the job myself but was found wanting when it came to my tools.  I just don’t have the right one’s for this job.  So she’s gone off to a professional to get everything sorted and have a little once over before the trip to the midlands this weekend.    Looking forward to getting back on the bike regardless of how cold its been in the mornings, nothing beats a good bike ride in the mornings.




I’m a bad blogger….

I must admit that I’ve been very slack at keeping this thing up to date, so I’ll try and make a bit of an effort.

We’ll start with the craft beer situation. All is quiet on the brewing side but the joys of the drinking are in full swing…. I see that my last brewing post was just before i bottled the cider. At this point i must hang my head in shame – the cider was a bit of a fail. I bottled too soon and started having bottles popping all over the place, needless to say, it got messy. As far as the drink-ability goes,,,,,, I’m not overly excited. It’s very much like a traditional cider in that it is rather dry and crisp, but i think that some more time in the fermenting vat would have helped the apple flavour to develop a little more. I still have a few bottles left and have one from time to time but i wont rash to make another batch of that.

After that was a Mexican cerveza which turned out very very nicely. I fresh crisp beer with a very slight fruity flavour to it. A great beer for a hot summers afternoon, the only problem was that it went down far too well and before i knew it, it was all gone. No problem, we just make some more.

The next one was a Lion Lager, now lion hasn’t been on the market in SA for many years but i was keen to try the recipe kit and see. This one was the best I’ve produced ever, and i’ll make it again, and again, and again. It was really that good. And sadly that too didn’t last too long. The braai side buddy’s have now decided that the craft beer is actually rather good, and surprisingly cheap (because they aren’t paying for the stuff) so they gladly help to deplete my stocks.

So now I’m down to my last few bottles. Last week i drank the last bottle of my Munich Lager, this was from my first ever brew and had been in the bottle for nearly 8 months. It was superb, The flavours had developed beautifully and it was a pleasure to drink, it really was a top quality tasting beer.

I still have 1 bottle of the Draught left and i’m looking forward to smashing that during this weekends rugby fiesta.

As a little side note, I was given a magnum (1.5l) bottle of Zonneblom Shiraz 1996 vintage. This was open and consumed a few weeks back while away in the KZN midlands. It was truly the most amazing bottle of wine i have ever experienced. I was worried that at 17 years old it would have turned, but it was absolutely amazing. I’m ruined for cheap wine now.

Ok, i think this has been a pretty good effort. Now to repeat it more often.

Bottoms up beer drinkers.