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.



Monday, November 13, 2017

Annual memorial service at biker church

Yesterday we attended the annual memorial service for fallen bikers at the "Lighuis" (Lighthouse) biker church in Vredenburg. This is always a very sombre and sad occasion and unfortunately, and I suppose inevitably considering the lifestyle we have chosen, the list of names on the memorial board keeps growing.
A large number of bikers from the various clubs as well as a few civilians attended the service which started at 08h00 and the Meeulanders were well represented as we had quite recently lost our beloved President of many years; Divi DeVries.
Pastor Errol, a biker himself conducted a very moving service and then the memorial board was carried to the front of the church.

 Thomas then called out the names on the board and the Last Post sounded over the loud speakers, many were obviously reduced to tears at this point. After the final prayer family members and then friends were invited to place flowers next to the board in tribute to their loved ones.










 We all filed silently out of the church and gathered in the car park outside reflecting on those who had departed, remembering how much they were loved and admired. A memorial ride had been organised and for those that wished to take part, a breakfast at the Captain's Cabin in Saldanha.
We rode in a well disciplined formation up to Velddrif then down the R27 to the Langebaan turnoff, over the new bypass and in to Saldanha and some thirty six bikers gathered for a very good and reasonably priced breakfast and as is the way with bikers the mood was by then relaxed and somewhat more festive.
 


Please Lord our memorial board has enough names.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Black Monday

Last Monday people of all races gathered together all over the country to show support for our farmers and to try and bring attention to the continuing murder of farmers in South Africa.









Seven club members met before sunrise to ride through to the gathering just outside of Paarl, myself, Gerrie, Daan, Willie, Elsje, Sooi and Linicia got on the road at 05h00 and arrived to an incredibly crowded scene just after 06h30. There were already thousands of people with a continuous stream coming in all the time.
 
 

 







The prayers were incredibly moving as were the testimonials and calls for peaceful resolution by the wife of one of the farmers who was recently killed and by his friends and neighbours.
From there the procession went in to Capetown, led by the hundreds of bikers that had turned up, followed by farmers in tractors and harvesters and then the massively long line of bakkies and cars. I heard later that it took literally hours before the last of the vehicles could get out.
Let me emphasize here that this was in no way a racial protest, these gatherings took place all over the country and concerned South Africans from all walks of life, "No Farmers, No Food!" was the call.


There have been some voices of reason in the South African government calling for an end to the attacks to stop the country degenerating into another Zimbabwe but a concerted effort is required. I read recently that the United Nations is now calling on Jacob Zuma to put an end to the farm murders or face sanction, we definitely need help.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Great weekend, Meeulander annual Dart run and sleepover

Saturday was the day for the annual "Dart Run" held by the Meeulanders Motorcycle club, where other clubs hold poker runs, we do it with darts, scores are recorded and prizes awarded at the end venue.










We gathered at the Phoenix biker bar which Anna and Eduardo set up nicely for us, the people were encouraged to throw their first dart straight away and soon the numbers were growing, we had a total of 79 entries which was fantastic.  Stephen braaied the boerewors rolls for the people who entered, each of whom got a roll, a braai pack for the evening and a ticket for the lucky prize draw later on as well as a "lucky packet" and a badge. Good value at R150 per person, accommodation was separate.

 From there it was a ride through to Velddrif and the Wielhuis bar, some sped, some cruised - Janet and I took it easy, it was very hot in Velddrif and the cold beers went down easy.
Janet is left handed so she used her right
 


This time it was a left-handed throw, the boards were never placed at regulation height at any of the venues to ensure that even non-dart players (such as myself) also had a chance of winning. We tried to keep things moving so that participants didn't spend too much time in the bar, the next venue was the hotel in Hopefield, a short twenty-odd kilometers away, we cruised along there too.
 

It was bloody hot in Hopefield too, the dart boards were placed in the corner and club members ensured that the people all had a throw and then we moved on to the end venue, "The Plot" down at Jacob's Bay where it was nice and cool. The final throw was taken care of and the scores tallied,  eight prizes were awarded; worst score male and female, third, second and best with our own Murray Harris winning best male score.
 Best represented club was the Mohicans with ten members, here their President Alex receives the prize of R1,000 cash, thanks for the support guys. I kept the "welcomes" and the "Thank yous" speech short and then it was time for the lucky prize draw. Third prize was R500 cash, second was R1,000 and the big prize of R5,000 was won by Monique of the Clique!
Thanks to all who took part, thank you to Dennis (right), chairman of the West Coast Motorcycle association who assisted with the draw to make sure it was all fair and square, then it was party time and man can those bikers party!
Malcolm calls the shots
Beauties and the beast











The fires were lit early so that people could braai whenever they wanted to, then later bonfires were lit and the folks sat around chatting into the wee small hours.

  

Somewhere around midnight there were two parties on the go, one at the bar and one at the fire pit. Excellent music was provided by our own member Henrico, "DJ Splinter" who, even though he had a gig on the next day kept the music going well into the morning.
I went to bed somewhere around 03h00, some stayed up longer but I had had it. It was a great party with a wonderful bunch of people, a big thank you to Elize and Malcolm and the club members who did all the work organizing and preparing and running the show, from feedback so far everyone enjoyed themselves. Sunday I needed to recover because a bunch of us were riding on Monday but more about that later. (Click on the pictures to see them full size and for more pictures of the run visit the Meeulander MCC facebook page) 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Farm murders in South Africa

I wrote a while ago about the Bikers Ride Against Farm Murders initiative which has since then gained nation wide prominence with bikers riding throughout the country raising funds and awareness. The killing continues and it is not making overseas news, our own government is doing nothing about it and there is a danger of this reaching boiling point.
People rally behind slogans like; "No Farmers, No Food." Farmers all over the country are feeling understandably insecure and vulnerable and already many have left. Farms are becoming fortified with electric fences, floodlights and the farmers are heavily armed, the Police force is severely stretched and in most cases unable to respond in time. There is a feeling of helplessness in South Africa.
In one of the latest incidents which took place here in the western cape last week intruders gained entry to the farm by raising the electric fence with logs and slipping under;
Once inside they shot the farmer, killing him in front of his terrified wife and child. The motive for these crimes is not hunger, they could take food and money easily but there is a common denominator which is the sheer brutality of the robberies, in many cases beatings of both men and women and torture.
There is a gathering which we will be attending on Monday, taking place on the R44 opposite Kanonkop before heading down the N1 to Capetown and it looks like it is going to be a big one, Farmers will be attending and the call is for people of all races to gather and rally against these murders, something needs to be done. The word needs to be out there in the international community.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How it all started for me, this love of motorcycles

When I think back to my teenage years growing up in Salisbury in the then Rhodesia, I was introduced to the joys of two wheelers by a family friend who owned a Lambretta scooter and who was quite happy to let me ride it.
I remember roaring, albeit quite slowly, around the streets of Lochinvar, the suburb where we lived back then. In those days we didn't worry about things like crash helmets or any form of safety gear and I certainly didn't have a licence but the seed was sown and I loved riding that scooter. 
At some stage a Velosolex came onto the scene, I cannot remember who owned it but I did use it to go to school a couple of times but eventually the engine packed up and wasn't repaired.
The first bike that was actually my own was a 1962 Jawa Manet and I thought I was quite the man on that one,
I was in high school in Bulawayo then so probably my parents bought it for me, I had great fun on it, here with my old school friend John on his Honda fifty.
I found this picture on the net and it could have been a picture of my bike, the same colour and general appearance, it was a scooter with motorcycle wheels.
When I finished school and started working I used it extensively and then when I joined the BSAP in 1968 I took it to the training depot in Salisbury with me. I was stationed back in Bulawayo after the training was over and used it then but gradually it deteriorated to the extent that one day it just died on the side of the road and I walked away from it. It stood there for about a week until one day someone took it and I never saw it again.
I got my licence in the Police driving school so I became a legal rider and rode the British bikes that we had back then; the Matchless 500cc and the BSA 650cc, both of which I really loved riding. After leaving the force and moving down to South Africa I soon acquired another bike and have been riding virtually continuously since then. Now it is almost fifty years since I got my licence and I am still riding.
and just look at me now! Hopefully there's a good few years riding left in me too.