Welcome!

Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rest in Peace my brother Des Pistorius

My old friend Des Pistorius has passed away after an illness, he was a legend in biking circles and will be sorely missed, I first met him at a Ulysses Rally in Colesburg in 2002 but had occasionally seen him before then. At that time he was with his fourlegged friend "Widget" who used to ride everywhere on the bike's tank with Des, after Widget moved on Des trained Boswell to ride with him.
Des was an incredibly adventurous rider and in 2011 he passed through my area of the Western Cape while on a trip around South Africa on a Vespa towing a trailer! We were able to spend a bit of time together before he moved (slowly) off continuing his trip.
We spent many an evening chatting on skype and I always used to look out for him at the big rallies, I was keenly aware of the fact that he wasn't at the 2014 Buffalo Rally where I had seen him the previous year.
A little while ago I wrote a story on this blog about Des having done more than one million kilometres on this Goldwing and the last time we spoke he was telling me that he was thinking of getting a sidecar to fit to the bike, what a character we have all lost, an iconic figure whose passing is going to affect thousands of people.
(photo stolen from facebook) My condolences to his family, to the Ulysses Club in Durban and to all others affected by his passing, I hope Boswell is in good hands. Rest in Peace my old friend, I will miss you.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A braai at home and another visit to Sunset Blues bar

So now it's the Easter weekend, four days of nothing in particular to do. We opted to stay at home for the weekend instead of getting all hectic, we'll no doubt go for a ride or two, we'll braai and we'll drink beers a plenty. We just thought that sometimes it's better to relax than to go travelling for the weekend and already I'm happy about that decision and enjoying myself.
Last weekend we had a particularly hot Sunday and I decided to do a braai, as John (a friend) said, ~ "What better way to beat the heat than next to a roaring fire?" I hadn't thought of it like that and it was bloody hot.
When doing a braai everyone knows that the right meat is one of the main requirements, but of no less importance is the right hat, choose a hat that suits the occasion, I have plenty and this was the right one for that particular braai.
Obviously the next main element is the fire,  ( element - geddit?!) and I got a good one going with rooikrans firewood and a bit of charcoal.
The first item on the menu; Pork belly rashers, one of our absolute favourite braai starters and I rub the rinds with cooking oil and salt before I start,
I braai the rashers a bit on each side to brown them and to "stiffen" up the meat for the next phase, if you don't they are too soft to balance them for crisping up the rinds,
an admiring and hungry audience is always a good thing when doing a braai, balance the rashers against a handy sized piece of wood to get the rinds good and crispy, keep an eye on them - don't let them burn,
 finish browning them and then cut into chunks, salt to taste and wash down with a cold glass of Robertson's Sauvignon Blanc, as I said one of our favourite braai starters.
Our main course was some lovely thick cut Karoo loin chops, a particular favourite of mine which I marinated with a little Olive oil, Aromat, garlic flakes, crushed black pepper and mixed herbs.
 These were so good that I forgot to photograph the plate! Janet made some creamy Aromat potatoes and a coleslaw for a really enjoyable Sunday lunch, we'll do it again real soon.
We were recently back at the "Sunset Blues Bar" in Laaiplek for an evening meal and I had been thinking about their prawns for a while but they are also well known for their Portuguese food so I decided to go for the sardines as a starter;
 served with fried peppers and some fried miellie-meal cubes they are succulent and delicious. My main was prawns (again) and Janet had a Hake fillet,
 the food is great, the ambience is fantastic with the waves crashing onto the beach just outside the door and the decor is very pleasant especially in the outside casual restaurant part of the building with traditional west coast beach scenes painted on the walls,
 We'll certainly be back, sooner than later and I have no hesitation in recommending the place to you, have a chat with my mate Don, he's a great guy and he will look after you - see you there!
We had a lovely ride home afterwards, it's not particularly far, only about 60kms but it had cooled down quite a bit by then, on the home stretch Janet leaned in against me and I could feel her encouraging me to open it up and on the dual carriageway heading towards Saldanha I wound the big red machine up to 210km/h before I started running out of road, from 210 down to 60km/h as we rode into our home town I felt like I could have gotten off to walk it felt so slow! Janet's a bad influence.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Buffalo Rally follow up

I have just received some good news for those of you who were at the Buffalo Rally a couple of weeks ago, and for those of you who regularly attend the Buff......it's not moving! I don't think I mentioned the fact that there were rumours flying around that the site had been sold and that the Buffalo Rally was moving to Parys. I am not sure where the rumour originated but I heard it on Sunday before I left.
I have just been in contact with Luderick Jacoby, President of the Nomads mcc, and he told me that the municipality is meeting on 24th April to consider another three year contract to hold the Buffalo Rally in Mosselbay. I am sure that the businesses in the town are fully in favour of the amount of cash that flows into the coffers over that weekend and that there will be at least another three rallies for us to attend, good news indeed.

On a separate note thanks for the feedback comments on my previous post, I was starting to get the feeling that I was wasting my time but as long as I know that people are reading this I will carry on.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Comments

Why don't I get any comments on my blog? I've read less interesting blogs, in my opinion, and they get lots of comments, I don't understand it. Any comments?
I'm losing interest

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swartland Charuty Run, Mooreesburg

It's April now and the weather is supposed to be cooling down but man we've had some scorchers! This last weekend was one of those, I met up with some of the Meeulanders at the bike shop, West Coast Yamaha in Vredenburg at about 09h30 on Saturday. They were riding through to Mooreesburg for the Swartland Charity run and sleepover and I decided to tag along for a short visit.
 There's always eye-candy at West Coast Yamaha, how about this "TMax" scooter, a big step-through easily capable of 120kmh! I must check with Craig and see if I can take it out for a spin.
 The 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere' has all the bells and whistles including cruise control and heated hand-grips, multi-adjustable suspension, adjustable windscreen and aggressive good looks.
Just after 10h00 we hit the road and immediately Divi, the Meeulanders President set up a very fast pace as if knowing that it was only a short ride he wanted to make the best of it, and he was on his Harley! We blasted along the R45 and at times I was having to do 160kmh to keep up, we turned onto the 22km stretch of the R311 to Mooreesburg and settled into a slightly more sedate pace but only because it's such a bad road.
Cruising down into the town we waved at friends drinking beer at "Die Ou Stoep" pub and went to the showgrounds to book in, it was already quite warm as we unloaded at the site where the "Knights of the skies" had already set up a camp.
Some of the guys had arrived on Friday evening from the airforce base just down the road.
Time to wander around, see what's going on and most importantly get a cold beer down the neck!
The potjies were being prepared for the evening meal, you can bet those old guys know what they are doing, those pots were being done the right way, slowly over the coals - mouth-watering I moved on.
Yards and yards of lamb chops and boerewors on traditional half-drum braais, the aromas coming from this area were amazing, I had to get something to eat!
One of my favourites; spit-braai Karoo lamb done over an open fire. This takes a couple of hours, not like in the stainless-steel contraptions that look like hospital equipment, here you can see the lamb slowly cooking. It was fenced off which was sensible because guys like nothing better than to sidle up and slice a tasty piece off the flanks, and we all carry knives - they obviously knew this.
The pub was doing a roaring trade and there was a pleasing line up of old scooters and motorbikes outside, someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make us feel at home, because this was not purely a biker event, it was open to the public but the organisers wanted bikers, people who know how to party and who aren't shy about spending money.
 I wandered around the stalls, some of whom had been at the recent Buffalo Rally, but by then I had had a couple of beers and it was time to get something to eat,
These people were selling lamb rolls, my friend Mark paid for my lunch - thank you Bro., on me next time. I felt much better after something to eat. There certainly was no shortage of good food.
The crowd settled into the party, there was good music and I thought it time to leave before I got too settled in, my friends were all sleeping over but I had decided that I was not staying, maybe next time.
The lucky draw prize, a 1200 HD Sportster and a crash helmet! This event is getting better each time and it is for a worthy cause, the elderly. I encourage western cape bikers to attend next year, bring your tent and sleep over, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014 - part three - bikes at the Buff and the ride home

I awoke early Sunday morning to the subdued sounds of people moving around, chatting and preparing to ride home, it was still dark but it was calm and clear and starting to lighten in the east. After my ablutions I walked down to the coffee tent, already there were a lot of people there and we greeted each other as I spooned Ricoffee into my styro cup, it still tasted good as I headed back to the campsite.
Already several people were up and about and to my surprise there was even movement from Frank's tent, he surfaced and went off for the first of many cups of tea. I packed my bike and then bundled the tent up and stuffed it into the rubbish bin, ready to go. (My tent had passed its "Use-by" date, two of the poles had split and the front zip had pulled apart, time to buy a new one.)
 As is usual with these rallies there were a lot of very fancy motorbikes to see and to drool over, several of these imported Honda 1800cc trikes were in evidence, not for me but still good looking.
My friend Wessel Strydom's seriously modified Suzuki Hyabusa was there, they use this on Breast Cancer awareness runs.
Fancy paint job attracted a lot of attention.

Some really nice Harleys and even though (as you will know by now) I am not an HD fan, this blue one was a real beauty. 
Look closely at the exhaust, there were two slightly longer pipes protruding out the back and these had gas burners, this bike attracted massive attention by emitting huge flames either when it was parked, as in this photo, or even more spectacularly as he was riding along. This guy must have invested a lot of money in this machine!

After bidding all of my friends farewell and a safe journey I saddled up, eager for the ride home. It was 06h30 when I rode out of the gate and I stopped for a sunrise photo over the harbour.
It had been a good rally and now it was time to get home. My original intention had been to head back to the R62 and have breakfast in Barrydale which I had done last year but that's a bit of a long haul and by the time I got to Riversdale I needed petrol and by then I was also hungry. Many of you will know that there's a very good Wimpy there so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I noticed that it was only about 100kms from Riversdale to Swellendam so I decided to stay on the N2, it wasn't that busy on a Sunday morning and it was easy to maintain a 150kmh cruising speed and I must say that the N2 is in very good condition, I really enjoyed the ride especially after being fortified by a good breakfast and some nice coffee.
From Swellendam to Ashton is a lovely fast road with only one relatively short "Stop/go" section at the beginning,
no matter, it gave me a chance to lift my bum off the saddle and to have a chat with the other bikers, soon we were blasting our way through the wide twisties on one of my favourite sections of road. I cruised slowly through Ashton and then Robertson, both places well known for speed traps and then I was on the fast 50km stretch to Worcester - man I love that road!
I didn't need to stop in Worcester, still enough petrol so I by-passed the "Whistle stop" even though there were several bikes parked outside, I was on a mission. Road works on the road through to Wolseley delayed the cages a bit but not me, I was thoroughly enjoying my self and maybe sensing that they obligingly moved aside to let me fly past.
Slowly though the small town and then out on the newly surfaced and widened road past Tulbagh and through the often baboon-infested "Nuwekloof Pass", by the time I got into Riebeek West I needed a leg-stretch, saddle muscles were cramping slightly but man I was happy! I fueled up and walked around a bit, I was still too early to stop for a beer as pubs and restaurants only open at 11h00 so I pushed on, only an hour to Saldanha, I would be in time to take the "ladies" out for lunch.
It was 11h30 when I parked the bike outside the house, exactly five hours to do 490kms with two stops, not too bad I reckon, and what an enjoyable ride. What's next?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014 - part two - the mass ride, lunch and a quiet afternoon

I stumbled out of my tent and headed to the ablution block just after 07h30, I had had a bit of a sleep but I'm not sure for how long, anyway it was too noisy and by then too bright. There are some who just love to rev their bikes to the limiter and make them backfire and this goes on all through the night from different parts of the camp, as soon as one stops another takes over and so it goes. It's not easy to sleep when the air inside your mattress is vibrating!
I joined many other happy campers at the coffee tent and then wandered back to our camp, I had a couple of hours before the mass ride so I just relaxed. I was meeting Chelee, my friend Alan's daughter who was going to ride pillion with me at the gate so I had to be on my best behaviour. After another couple of cups of coffee I was as right as rain.
Our friends were a bit concerned about Frank, he hadn't returned to his tent but I had an idea where he might be so on my way to the gate I stopped off at the main tent and sure enough;
there he was, on his way back to the camp to go and get some sleep! I'm telling you there are not too many younger people who can keep up with this guy at a party, I'm pretty good but I have trouble keeping up with him.
The weather was great, the mass ride was crowded and it's a lot of clutch and brake riding but the roads were lined with other bikers and members of the public all waving and cheering which made it a very festive spectacle. After dropping the young lady at her car I went off to have some lunch and ended up at the "Anchor Restaurant" at Viking Fishing.
What I liked about this place was the casual atmosphere and that the food was braaiied over the coals to order, I ordered a piece of Marlin and this was braaiied to perfection.
 Lovely fresh Marlin steak washed down with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, I felt much better after that and headed back to the campsite, from then on it was going to be a quiet afternoon preparing for the ride home the next day, no more party!
By then Frank was up and about having had a sleep in one of the chairs, everyone was taking it easy for the afternoon before going down to the main tent for the lucky prize draw in the evening.
 Later on Steve braaiied some meat for the people at what must be the braai with the best view ever. I didn't stay long at the main tent, the prizes were won by other people anyway and by 21h00 I was dog tired, I climbed into my tent and dozed off but there was still a lot of noise and it was difficult to sleep, perhaps I could get enough sleep to feel good for the ride home the next day.