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, October 23, 2017

West Coast Motorcycle Association potjiekos competition

Moving on from the sadness as life inevitably does, Saturday saw the previously postponed W.M.A "Potjiekos competition take place at the Beach Club in Saldanha. It was a lovely early summer's day with a light breeze coming in off the sea and there were eventually, I think eight teams which took part. Some took it more seriously than others, erecting themed cooking areas with decorated gazebos while others took a more casual approach but all were there to have fun.
Teams had to bring their own equipment and the main ingredients of their pot, but vegetables were sponsored for all contestants by one of the local suppliers. The official start was at 14h00 with judging taking place from 17h00.
The Beach Club was a very good choice for the venue being well grassed with a lovely view and with a well stocked bar in the clubhouse, good music was supplied by Wayne of the Clique and by mid afternoon there was a good crowd in attendance. Many came for the good food which was dished out after the judging took place.

The Meeulanders were well represented by prospects Sampie and Kathy who prepared a delicious lamb tail and waterblommetjie pot.

Left; the judges had an unenviable task trying to pick a winner. Right; Antoinette and Willie sample Sampie's pot.

Left; photographer Gerrie in conversation with Greg and right; Dennis, president of the Clique and chairman of the W.M.A with his son in law who is recovering from a recent motorbike accident.
My friend and dedicated follower of this blog "Dots" enjoying the warm sunshine, whenever we see each other he's after me to "Update the blog!"  - Thanks Dots.

The afternoon progressed as did the team of judges, tasting food, sipping wine and turning down all sorts of attempts at bribery from the various teams, including, it is rumoured one contestant trying to slip a credit card into the lady's bra! 

 After the judging the people could eat and the food was good and plentiful, everyone enjoyed the day. Unfortunately there was one unpleasant incident which took place after I had left, and hopefully when most of the public had left, but this is being dealt with at club level so "No names, no packdrill", we don't need that sort of thing happening here.
My buddy Greg was there, now the organiser of the annual Polar Bear run which I hope to be a part of  from now on.
Here Dennis presents the trophy and R1000 cash prize to Johan of club Undaunted, the winners of the competition. (Photos by Thomas Ashbury)
Second prize, R500 here being presented to the Nimrods president, and
third prize, R300 went to the Highway Pirates. Well done indeed for a well organised and very enjoyable afternoon to the West Coast Motorcycle Association and to all who took part, I am sure this will become a very popular annual event.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Great photo of the mass ride

This great photo of part of the mass ride behind Mercia's hearse heading down the main street in Vredenburg to the church was posted on facebook, I had to share it. It gives a good idea of just how many bikers took part. Click on the photo to view it full size.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The funeral, Saturday 14th October

Bikers from all over the western cape as well as many from as far afield as Johannesburg, I saw the Mohicans' National President and his wife there, started gathering at the Phoenix bar from 09h00. Within minutes the huge parking area was crowded and they kept on coming, this was something the likes of which we had not seen before in Vredenburg, testament to the popularity of Mercia within the biking community.

Many, many Capetown clubs were represented with lots of them traveling up specifically for the funeral and then heading back afterwards to attend another biking event in the Cape.
The mass ride was a sombre affair, we formed up in a double column and followed the hearse slowly across town to the church, the Traffic department did an excellent job ensuring that we did not have to stop at traffic lights and intersections along the way.
 Someone said that there were 160 motorbikes in the mass ride, the streets were lined with people taking videos and photographs as the bikes proceeded slowly but noisily along, I saw women crying on the sidewalks, people with hands raised in solidarity and the tears dripped out of the bottom of my helmet. It was an incredibly moving experience.
Pastor Errol conducted the ceremony in a church filled to overflowing, people lined the walls inside and some had to stand outside. After the ceremony the coffin was placed back into the hearse which left through the columns of bikers holding helmets high in salute to our departed sister.
 Back at the Phoenix bar after the ceremony the crowd was enormous and the sombre mood lightened as Mercia herself would have wanted it.

We wish Alex the strength to overcome his loss, the amount of love and brotherhood surrounding him that day hopefully helped to ease his burden and he will not lack for support locally.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An obituary, sad beyond words, for Mercia

We lost this beautiful lady on Saturday, she unfortunately was in a motorcycle accident which claimed her life.
Mercia was a friend of mine and I, like many hundreds of bikers, loved her. She was the life and soul of any rally or dayjol and was extremely proud of the Mohicans MCC of which she was first lady.
Mercia rode her own bike and was very supportive and encouraging of any lady riders, she was a mentor to many new lady riders in the western cape.
She, with her man Alex attended many biker functions all over the western cape as a result of which the Mohicans dayjols were always extremely well attended through reciprocal visits, Mercia is going to be sorely missed and for certain the parties will never be the same.
We extend our sincere condolences to Alex and their family, words alone are insufficient to express the deep sorrow we feel.
Mercia's funeral will be held on Saturday 14th, we will gather at the Phoenix bar in Vredenburg for the mass ride to the church leaving at 09h40, sad times. Having known her I am certain it will be a massive crowd of bikers who gather to pay their respects.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Quite a lot of biking lately as the weather improves

Last Saturday we attended the Clique westcoast dayjol at their clubhouse, the Wielhuis pub in Velddrif and what an excellent turnout they had. We arrived at about 14h30 and by then the place was buzzing, the parking area crammed with bikes and happy bikers enjoying the warm sunny weather and the company of like minded people.

The bar was of course doing a roaring trade and biker music blared from a DJ set up on stage in the garden area.
I spent a lot of time meeting and greeting old and new friends as is always the case and it was good to see a lot of representation from clubs in Capetown. People moved between the garden, the shaded pub and the games area outside where the usual entertainment was on the go throughout the afternoon; the tire throw, slow races and burnouts, and as usual our own local Kreefsmokkelaars were good for the latter;

As you all know there's not a lot of action for filming or photos in the slow races;

but isn't it great to see the ladies taking part? Back in the garden it was time for the beer downing competition and Wayne of the Mohicans won the men's one as usual, I'm sure he was just there for the free beer!

Everyone's Uncle Frank arrived, here with Dan and Gerrie and as usual it took him about forty minutes to get from the carpark to the bar because everybody wanted a piece of him. 
It was a polished, well organised event with all of the Clique members pulling their weight to ensure that things went smoothly. Most, if not all of the local clubs were represented with twelve Meeulanders there and a large contingent of different Capetown clubs. Well done and congratulations to Dennis and his team for a most enjoyable day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Addo Elephant National Park

This story doesn't have motorbikes in it, I wouldn't like to ride through the national park on a bike! We did however drink lots of beers and had several braais and I wanted to share my photos with you. We joined my sister and brother in law on Monday last week for three days at the park and what an enjoyable time we had.
There are several types of accommodation, we were in the Rest camp in a very comfortable four sleeper chalet which included a bathroom, well equipped kitchen and most importantly an outside braai area.
There are nineteen national parks in South Africa and Addo is third in size after Kruger and the Kgalagadi trans border park. Originally founded in 1931 it was subsequently expanded to include the Woody Cape Marine nature reserve so if you're lucky you could get to see the "Big 7"; Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard, Whale and Great White Shark.
It is 38km from the N2 gate to the rest camp so as soon as you enter you are on a game drive and there are hundreds of Elephant, we saw plenty. You have two options in the park, to drive your own vehicle around or to go on different routes on guided game drives. We opted to do our own every day.

 As the name implies there are plenty of Elephant to see all over the park, including many delightful babies;
We got ourselves settled into our accommodation and had our first braai that evening. The camp area is fenced off from the main park so there shouldn't be any animals although of course that wont keep the monkeys out! One Vervet monkey got into our cabin and made rather a mess of the kitchen.
This little Bushbuck arrived silently on dainty feet right outside our cottage, foraged a bit and just as silently left.

It is extremely pleasant sitting around the braai in the evening listening to the sounds of the bush, we heard Jackals howling and on the first evening the distant roar of a lion.

The park is home to hundreds of Kudu, they are so plentiful that it became a case of "Ho-hum another Kudu." but they are beautiful animals. We saw red Hartebees and a few Buffalo, which poor creature seems to be the meal of choice for the Lion.
There are a few Rhino but we didn't get to see any, their presence is not advertised for obvious reasons.

There are plenty of Zebra and you have to be constantly on the lookout for the flightless dung beetle on the roads so that you don't run over them!
Our best sighting however was purely fortuitous, it was on the Thursday as we were leaving the park, I was driving towards the gate and as I passed the entrance to the "Vukani Loop" which I wasn't going to take, I saw the herd of Zebra up on the road. As I hadn't taken any photos of them I turned in and got some, then as we had time to spare I decided to carry on around the loop. What an amazingly lucky decision that turned out to be!
We came across this big old male Lion who had just taken down a young Buffalo right next to the road, I have seen plenty of wildlife in my time but this was the best thing that I had ever seen and not many people get to see the lion in this park.
He dragged the carcass towards a thorn bush thicket right next to us, stopping every now and then to regain his breath, we sat enthralled at the power of this beautiful creature.
Eventually he got the carcass into the shelter of the thorn bushes where he could defend it against the other predators, Jackals had already gathered and were following him. They would probably be followed later by Hyena.

It had been a most enjoyable three days in the park and we will certainly go back, if my family come out from UK next year we will take them. If you get the chance go and visit, you wont regret it.