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.



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The blog is ten years old, we collect blankets and patch our youngest member

Those of you still reading this blog will no doubt have noticed that quite recently the posts have tended to feature more and more of the rides and events of the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club, I can explain;
Way back in 1999 I joined the then quite young club and was a member for two years but left due to other interests which occupied my time. Gradually those interests faded and were replaced with the happenings of the local motorcycle groups once again. Understand that I had not stopped riding during that period but was not affiliated. I found myself accompanying the Meeulanders club to many rallies and dayjols and was accepted in their group, to the extent that they would carry my equipment in their backup vehicle, allocate a place for me in their camp and even on occasions erect my tent for me. It wasn't long before their friendship, camaraderie and brotherly spirit made me eager to be a part and so I rejoined.
As with many men of my generation I am a veteran, there are several in the club and the brotherhood and camaraderie are things that we need and gravitate towards, if you reading this are a veteran then no further explanation will be necessary. A good motorcycle club fulfills a need for that bond.
Now the club is twenty years old, the oldest and biggest club on the west coast and I am proud to be its President, this club means everything to me and so do its members.
In the Meeulanders we patch our lady members, we are a family oriented club, our ladies do a lot to ensure the smooth operation of the club, the meetings and the fund raising events. Two of our ladies ride their own bikes as well so we see no reason not to patch them in.
So it was that at our last regular meeting I had the privilege of awarding our youngest member, our prospect Elsje her full colours. She is a very keen, bubbly young lady who loves riding her own and she will definitely be an asset to the club, well done Elsje you make us proud.











At the same meeting our members, in spite of the almost continuous calls being made on their charity donated an impressive amount of blankets and toiletries for those in need. I continue to be amazed at what big hearts bikers have compared to any other sector or group, these items will be donated after the biker church meeting next Sunday.
As a matter of interest, (well it is to me anyway) this blog is ten years old this month. 
Happy birthday to Braaisbeersand bikes, happy birthday to Braaisbeersandbikes etc., etc.
It's quite hard to believe that I started writing this way back in June 2008, thank you all very much for reading and for the occasional comments, especially to my good friend Brandy of that excellent blog "Trobiaritz' Tablet" who regularly comments here and whose blog you should go and read.
Stay safe, keep the shiny side up and keep reading.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Big hearted bikers at it once again, Animal welfare this time...

Just the other day I was playing pool with Frank at the Phoenix bar and we were discussing just how many charity events we bikers get involved in, how much of our time and our money we all give to the various charities. We agreed that there is no other group or organisation that does as much as bikers do, and this is not just limited to our group or to us in the western cape, this is national and indeed international. For some reason bikers will jump at the chance of supporting a worthy cause and a case in point was this past Sunday.
I had read an appeal on social media for assistance from the Saldanha Animal Welfare society, they were struggling to support the number of animals in their care and were appealing for donations of food for dogs and puppies. I took this to the West Coast Motorcycle Association meeting and was asked if I could organise it and post the date on the social media groups.
It didn't take much organising, bikers are animal lovers too. 
Reading this blog you will have heard mention of this place before, we frequent it quite often as do many bikers and members of the general public, especially on weekends. The food is good and great value for money. Charl, the General Manager contacted me earlier in the week to say that they would be sponsoring coffee and rusks for the bikers.
It was a cold day, our weather is changing as we approach summer, we arrived at about 09h45 and already they were gathering, those hardy bikers who don't care about the weather, and the number eventually far exceeded our expectations! 
Elsje, our very keen young lady rider
Even scooter riders were taking part












Eventually it was time to saddle up, many local clubs were represented and there were also many unaffiliated riders who gathered for the riders' briefing.
 Connie (left) from the Animal Welfare Society and I received, with gratitude, further evidence of Juffoshoogte generosity in the form of a huge bag of dog food handed over by the manager Carmen, and it was time to go.









We rode in a tight staggered formation, keeping the speed down to about 80kmh in the hope that the scooters could keep up, down into Vredenburg and through to Saldanha, probably about twenty kilometers in total, and then lined the bikes up outside the animal care premises.











Our numbers soon filled the relatively small space, we were able to meet and greet some of the dogs and puppies in their care, some were quarantined such as some Pitbulls that had been rescued from fighting. This disgusting practise is, unfortunately prevalent and takes up some of their time.











Our donations were gratefully received but they will only make a small difference, apparently they go through something like 25kg of dog food per day!
Pretty girl with happy dog
Antonio hands out treats













We spent about an hour there chatting with the staff, petting happy dogs who were extremely excited to see so many people around.
In discussion with Connie
Wayne (left) and Dennis of the Clique











Several of us went back to Juffroshoogte for a good lunch, it had been a feel-good day, I did not get a chance to count the number of bikes or people who braved the cold weather to offer help but several cars were involved as well. This, however was just a drop in the ocean, the number of dogs and puppies (and cats which are housed elsewhere for obvious reasons) changes constantly and the needs exceed the income.
I was told that many local residents regularly donate their time to the center as well as other necessities, anyone who wishes to make any donations will be welcomed with open arms. Perhaps this must also become a more frequent event? Sincere thanks to all who took part and who donated food even though they could not attend - bikers Rock!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May breakfast run to Dagbreek Plaaswinkel (Daybreak Farm Shop)

Last Sunday was excellent, the weather was perfect for riding; sunny and clear but with a crisp freshness that made me feel like heading off on a road trip instead of a short breakfast run. The Meeulanders' monthly breakfast runs are really good though, I find myself looking forward to each one. I feel that bond being strengthened by our get togethers, your club is your family after all and each month the group is different, on some occasions some can't make it due to other commitments and although many attend every run the dynamic is always different.
Kickstands up just after 09h00 and twelve of us on five bikes, with Floors and Marina in their car headed out along the R27 towards Velddrif where we would meet up with Elsje, our youngest lady rider.











We cruised along the R27 at legal speed, after all we didn't have far to go and there was no other traffic. We had chosen the short run specifically in case those that had attended the previous day's Buddy fund raiser were feeling a bit delicate, that didn't appear to be the case however.











On the road heading out of Velddrif we pulled into a picturesque layby overlooking the Berg river for our traditional "tea break", Janet, Kathy and Gerda did the honours.

Sooi enjoying a "cuppa"
Elsje is welcomed with a cup of tea












Time to move on, we saddled up again for the twenty kilometer run along the Piketburg road and arrived at "Dagbreek Plaaswinkel" after another enjoyable cruise.
 Hosts Poena and Leonie were there to greet us, in fact he was already busy with a very tempting "Offal potjie" for his lunchtime guests. We were set up in a very comfortable, shady area out back for our buffet breakfast.
 The breakfast was outstanding, a buffet with lovely fresh bread, juices, coffee and some real "Boerekos" touches like delicious, artery-clogging pork lard for the bread along with the crispy fried little chunks of pork fat that after left behind to sprinkle on top! Leonie couldn't do enough for us and made sure that there was plenty of food. That breakfast was good value at R70 per person when you consider just how much food there was.
I have no hesitation in recommending this place to fellow bikers, you'll love it. Booking is essential because they run a small operation, give Leonie a call on 0824625467 and they are not licensed so if, like us you like a beer with your breakfast,take it with you.
As a matter of interest, with Sunday being Mother's day Peona and Leonie are doing a special lunch and the menu looks tempting, give them a call - Janet and I will be going back for some Offal potjie one of these days.
We sat and relaxed after our meal, replete and contented and then made our way back, the group split up in Velddrif with some of us in search of another beer but the Wielhuis bar was not yet open, perhaps they were the ones who were feeling a bit delicate!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Money for the Buddy Fund, bikers look after their own

After a relatively quiet period for motorcycling, apart from taking off on my own for a cruise now and then, this past weekend was a busy one;
Saturday afternoon eleven of us attended the Westcoast Motorcycle Association's "Buddy Fund" fund raiser. The buddy fund is available to members of the various clubs that are affiliated and unfortunately has been pretty much depleted due to funerals. With a target in mind the W.M.A held a fundraiser at "Die Wielhuis" pub which is the home of the "Clique" Mcc in Velddrif.
It took the form of a "dayjol" starting at 14h00 with entry fees and profits going to the fund, it was relatively well supported with most local clubs represented.
Good to see bikes lined up at a venue
l to r; lady biker, Willie, Daan, Louis and me











We arrived shortly after 14h00 and the bar was full of thirsty bikers, there was a national rugby game on TV so that took up a lot of the guys' attention, they even had to keep the music down outside, there are serious rugby supporters in South Africa!



















A bit later the music resumed, those that were not interested in the game gathered outside, there is a very nice backyard area with a bar and the kitchen was selling hamburgers and hot dogs to keep the stomachs lined.
Here members of four different local clubs engage in biker banter.
The Meeulanders Club donated R2,000 to the buddy fund, two other clubs donated R2,000 and R1,500 respectively but unfortunately I didn't get the names. The Velddrif "Stoff-moffies" raised R1,200 so quite a bit was raised on the day. There is a W.M.A meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening where we will hear exactly how much was raised.










Some relaxed and chatted in the shade while some, with more energy, took part in the games.
Bikers came and went throughout the day, here Van and Eduardo (President) of the local chapter of the Gypsy Jokers arrived after one of their runs. I left at about 16h30 but from photos that have been posted it looks like the jol went on into the night. Well done to all involved and to the bikers that helped raise funds, this is the way bikers raise money - they do it while having fun!

Monday, April 30, 2018

April Breakfast run with data and battery problems

I haven't posted anything for a while, I've had data problems which now appear to have been sorted out so I'm back!
The weather has been beautiful lately though sadly we are still drastically in need of rain, I would gladly sacrifice riding and braaiing weather in exchange for a week of solid, heavy rain.
We haven't done much riding lately because I have had battery problems, unfortunately my battery did not stand up to the three months of inactivity even though my friend Craig ran the engine a few times, I put it on trickle charger at home and then went down to the garage to check tire pressures and fuel so that Janet and I could go for a midweek cruise. 
I refilled the tank and adjusted the tire pressures and when I pressed the starter there was just a "click", I got help from the garage and we took the battery out and put it on charge but I had to walk home! Not a happy biker. I ended up leaving the bike at the garage overnight so that the battery could get a good charge and collected it the next day.
The coming Sunday was our regularly scheduled breakfast run and now things seemed to be alright but come the Sunday morning, another beautiful day, Janet and I were standing next to the bike in our riding gear and it wouldn't start! We ended up going on the breakfast run in our cage, nothing else for it at that late stage.
At least the back of my pick up made a good table for our tea break stop in the layby!











Eleven of us on five bikes and two cars, Floors is still recovering from a knee operation, left Juffroshoogte that morning, for the relatively short run down the R27 to the Yzerfontein turn off, Janet and I bringing up the rear.











We pulled in to a convenient layby for the traditional "tea break" and raised a glass in salute to our fallen brother Anton from the Mohicans who lost his life in an accident not far from where we were parked.
Cactus Jack checks how much is left in the bottle and it was time to move on!











Road Captain Daan lead the small group back out onto the R27 and down to "Die Stal" pub just on the outskirts of Yzerfontein. The breakfast was alright, service was a bit slow and two of the orders were wrong but we still had a good time.
I ended up having to buy a new battery but luckily we have a supplier in the area, Battery Pro in Vredenburg stocks bike batteries and I got a new gel one for a very reasonable price so we're happy again and things are returning to normal after our extended time away.