Citrusdal Bike Trip – Motorcycle Trip to Middelberg Pass.
The Citrusdal Bike Trip is a Gravel and Tar trip that started from Du Toitskloof Pass and headed towards, Matroosberg, Die Dorp op die Berg and return through Citrusdal. It includes some great gravel passes; Bo-swaarmoed, Buffelshoek, Middelberg.
Route Map:Get it on Google Maps
Citrusdal Bike Trip Highlights:
- Du Toitskloof Pass
- Slanghoek Rd
- Mitchells Pass
- Bo-Swaarmoed Rd
- Bo-Swaarmoed Pass (Gravel Pass)
- Droekloof Rd – (Gravel Road)
- Buffelshoek Pass (Gravel Pass)
- Middelberg Pass (Gravel Pass)
Citrusdal Motorcycle Trip Report:
This trip was planned with the idea of Snow Hunting. The snow however was a bit over-eager and fell a couple of days earlier than I could go on the trip. Still managed to view some snow on the peaks though.
I started a bit late in the morning considering I had to do 480km for the day and knew that the stretch of gravel road/passes into Citrusdal was going to be a nightmare due to the extremely poor condition of the road. Received multiple warnings from everyone I know who encountered this road. Needless to say I needed to see it for myself. Tick box checked.
My aim was to get to the check-point of my route at least by lunch time to be able to complete the entire trip and I barely made it throught Du Toitskloof Pass, then Mitchells Pass, filled up in Ceres and then reached my goal point at Bo-Swaarmoed Rd.
Bo-Swaarmoed Rd is a tar road that later on turns into Bo-swaarmoed Pass (gravel pass). The road is what you would expect extremely scenic as far as you ride. Various viewpoints from where you can view the surrounding mountains and as in my case the snow!
I was more than eager to set onwards to get to Bo-Swaarmoed Pass. This gravel pass may not be one of the longer passes out there but I have to tell you that every single kilometre on this pass is a joy! The road is in amazing condition and the views are breath taking. Near the end of the pass you reach a fork in the road. If you keep left you return towards Ceres / Prince Alfred Hamlet, and if you turn right you continue towards Tankwa / Touws River. I kept left as the next stop was Droekloof Rd that starts right about where Bo-swaarmoed Pass ends. (Just a very short stint on the R46).
Now Droekloof Rd. You will not find this name on any roadmaps. This road has no name. There is a board at the turn-in for this road that says “Droekloof”. So for that reason we’ll call it Droekloof Rd.
This was another gem of a dirt road and included long long long straights, some nice easy bends, tighter twisties, and some steep inclines. The condition of the road itself was pretty good. Experienced some minor mud but nothing major.
Droekloof Rd ends between Prince Alfred Hamlet and Die Dorp Op Die Berg. It was all the way tar from there on out before I reached the start of the gravel road to Buffelshoek Pass. Buffelshoek Pass apparently turns into Middelberg Pass. With all honesty I did not see where. I was more focused on not loosing my front teeth or the loss of weight (Vibro-Shape)….
This road was bad…. That is an understatement… This road was probably one of the worst roads I have ever laid eyes upon.
Potholes, rocks, large stones, marbles, “sinkplaat”, more potholes… There was absolutely no way of missing a pothole. I ended up dreading my life at 10 to 20km/h and worried that the sun would start to set. I knew I did not want to be stuck on that road after dark and simply pushed on (turning around was not an option as I would not have enough fuel).
I hated myself for the next hour until I reached the summit of Middelberg Pass. While I enjoyed the spectacular views it suddenly felt all worth it. It was truly beautiful from up there.
It was time to ride onward to Citrusdal. I continued down the pass at a steady slow pace and reached a lovely stretch of tar. For a moment life felt good and I thought this was to be the way it would be all the way to Citrusdal. I was fooled.
The tar stretch lasted a mere kilomtre or less and the road returned to its splendour of potholes… This part of the road on the Citrusdal side turned out to be even worse than the part from Die Dorp op Die Berg’s side.
The maximum speed I could reach on this road was 20km/h. I am sure you would be able to do it faster if you wanted to break every single bolt in your bike, change flats and dented rims.
This would be the case with the rest of the road. It changed from dirt to tar a couple of times to get hopes up. When I finally reached the end of the road I realized that I would not be close to home before dark. But still that views and sections of the road near the summit of Middelberg Pass was all worth it and I would definitely do it again but plan better to not be as rushed.
Citrusdal was time for the quick fuel stop before heading home. I made one final stop just outside Moorreesburg where I enjoyed the sunset.
Enjoy the videos below. Note that the video for Middelberg Pass is not the best due to all the vibrations on the videocam.
Citrusdal Motorcycle Trip Videos:
Buffelshoek & Middelberg Pass:
Citrusdal Bike Trip Gallery:
Tips For This Bike Trip:
- Make sure you have more than enough time (Do not trust the time on Google Maps).
- Plan ahead for fuel consumption as the only two stops for fuel are at Ceres and then again at Citrusdal.
- Remember you will need to take it slow at Buffelshoek & Middelberg Pass.