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, September 3, 2018

Busy weekend for bikers, tin run and breakfast run

On Saturday morning members of the club gathered at the entrances of the Pick 'n Pay franchise at the Laguna Mall in Langebaan, the Weskus Mall between Saldanha and Vredenburg and at the I.P.I.C centre in Vredenburg and also at the Spar in Saint Helena Bay.
The objective was to persuade members of the public to donate non-perishable food items for distribution to those in need. This is what we call our "Tin Run" and it is conducted annually, usually with great success. Other local clubs do the same on different dates, usually not too soon after one another so as not to put too much strain on public pockets.
This time we struggled. It would seem that people are feeling the financial pinch and definitely did not give as freely as in previous years.
The children love to give (Laguna Mall)
Adrie, Carlo, Frank and Stefanie at IPIC

We had agreed that we would be on site from 09h00 until 13h00 but some packed up earlier because it just wasn't working out.
Sampie, Floors and Elsje at Weskus Mall
Gerrie (photographer) left

I joined the small group out at Saint Helena Bay in front of the Spar where we had some success but still nowhere near as good as previous years,
This old replica attracted attention for us
Myself, Anton, Gerda, friend and Hein

We stayed on site until around 13h00 and then called it a day, I still count the morning as a success because the food that we gathered was still going to feed a lot of people and it was all food that we didn't have yesterday.
This was just from the Spar, this added to what was collected from the others would be handed over to the local Round Table chapter for distribution, well done to all who gave their time and to those non members who helped out, thank you very much.

Definitely the best part of the day was when most of the team got together afterwards at Juffroeshoogte for a couple of well-deserved refreshments and some banter.
Floors and Vice Pres Willie

Me and Gerrie
Bronwyn and Rene came from Capetown to support

It was a pleasant day all in all, a little disappointing as far as the donations were concerned, but what can you do? Even bikers cannot force the public to donate.
Sunday was the date for our regular club breakfast run and rain was forecast, I posted the details on the "whatsapp" group and then headed out to our normal meeting place on a chilly and overcast Sunday morning, 16 Celsius as I parked in the space in front of Juffroeshoogte. Hein's Triumph and Willie's BMW were already there.
That was to be it, our youngest member Elsje was traveling with her friend in a bakkie to carry the stuff we were taking along to the "Cool Kidz" safe home, kickstands up at 09h00 and we rolled out along the R27 to Veddrif and I could see the dark grey, heavy clouds hanging over our destination.
The traditional "tea break" stop
Hein and Elsje

More tea anyone?

It was a cold run through to Lambert's Bay and we got a few drops of rain but the indications were that it would only get worse.
The sky's still blue but just you wait!

Fried Hottentot and chips

We were seated in the small "Marylin and Elvis" room on our own, not sure if they wanted to separate the bikers from the civilians but it was pleasant and my food was excellent again.  From there we visited our friends at Cool Kidz and stayed for a bit of a chat but we could see the weather closing in, time to get going.
It was a seriously cold and wet ride home, the rain pelted down and the temperature hovered around the 13 degree mark, we plowed on through the tempest and still I found myself smiling into my helmet, it's great on a motorbike and these are the things that memories are made of.
I said goodbye to my mates and stopped at the "Wielhuis" bar in Velddrif for a warming glass of Old Brown Sherry before the last homeward stretch. I was chilled to the bone by the time I got home but it didn't take long before I was comfortable again.
 This is the fruits of our labour, still an impressive amount of food, much of which was bought by the members and our friends, it will still bring comfort.
An unofficial handover to Eugene, President of the Round Table Chapter, there will be an official handover later when members will get together for a breakfast. Well done to all who were involved.

Monday, August 20, 2018

We do a flower trip to Nieuwvoudtville

Spring is sprung, da grass is riz.......as my dear old late Dad used to love reciting, it's springtime on the western cape and this year the flowers are back. Last year was a disaster because of the drought, there was virtually nothing to see and people usually come from all over the country and some from different parts of the world to see the colourful natural displays.
We have been living in Saldanha Bay for the past 31 years and I have never bothered to take a trip up into the Karoo, I have always thought that we can see enough of the flowers around here anyway. This year because we are both now retired and we don't have to wait for a weekend when all of the accommodation places are fully booked, I suggested a trip to Janet and managed to secure a self catering room in Nieuwvoudtville for the Friday night.
We left home at 09h00 traveling in our bakkie (ute/pick-up) because I wanted to do some dirt road and our beloved RT does not like dirt roads.
175 kilometres through familiar countryside with not much to see brought us into Clanwilliam at around 11h00 and we stopped for a light lunch and some wine.

From there we drove up across the magnificent "Pakhuis Pass", the tar continues for about twenty kms and then the road changes to dirt and it's not that good, quite bad corrugations so I took it rather slow.
Weavers nesting in a thorn tree
The reason why we weren't on the bike

It was an interesting drive but there was very little to see, almost no flowers except for small isolated patches and it's a long drive, around 130kms until we rose up onto the plateau and got nearer to our destination., then we started seeing the lovely roadside splashes of brilliant colour.


Sixteen kms before Nieuwvoudtville is the farm "Maatjiesfontein" (pr: My-keys-fon-tane) and for R25 per peson you can spend as long as you like driving around, the flowers there are amazing, Janet was in her element.
I think flowers make women feel good, Janet was certainly happy
Selfie time!
 We spent a good amount of time driving around and taking photos in that beautifully picturesque spot on the planet and then headed into the little town to find our accomms. We were met and shown into our comfortable, clean and well-appointed self-catering unit, a hostel converted into flats which cost a very reasonable R350 per person. Call Debbie on 0837291501.
Dinner that night was at the restaurant "Neddersetting" a surprisingly up-market place in that dusty little town, the food was outstanding!
Karoo lamb platter
Lamb offal curry

I had the Karoo lamb platter, I was determined to eat lamb up there, it consisted of lamb spring rolls which I've never had before, lamb ribs, a tail, a "Skilpaatjie" (pr: skill-pie-key) which is a piece of the liver wrapped in spleen fat and several chops. It was absolutely delicious, a carnivore's delight. Janet had lamb curry offal which she also really enjoyed, this was washed down with copious quantities of local wine.
The next morning we stopped at the local butchery and bought some of the lamb leg chops, I had in mind a braai for Sunday, we also bought some beef dry sausage and some Kudu biltong. The drive home along the N7 was uneventful, no flowers to be seen there. We didn't bother to stop for lunch, choosing rather to munch on our dry wors and biltong.

We broke our trip and stopped for a cold beer at "Vensterklip" just outside of Eland's Bay, we both needed to walk around a bit and use the loo. we arrived home  mid afternoon after a very enjoyable trip.

What better way to spend a quiet, sunny Sunday than with a braai? I cooked up two of the leg chops that I had bought along with potatoes, onion and gem squash and some boerewors (literally "Farmer sausage) that I had bought in Moorreesburg.

What a great weekend! Click on the photos to see them full size, some of them are worth it. Now's the time to do a flower trip, they're not going to be out for too much longer.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Our favourite biker bar celebrates another year

 I arrived at the Phoenix bar at about 16h30 on Saturday afternoon to help celebrate another anniversary of this fine establishment but it was plain to see that people had been jolling all afternoon already. The place was packed! Motorcycles lined up on both sides of the parking area and cars an bakkies lining the street outside. A lot of people had ridden up from Capetown for the party, some of whom had even arrived on the Friday afternoon.
There were two food vans and a couple of other stalls selling biker gear and accessories, the crowd was festive. I parked my bike and wandered over to the bar, meeting and greeting friends along the way, my priority was to get a beer in hand and then have a look around at the stalls.
We've been frequenting this pub for four or five years now and I play pool here every Friday afternoon, it's the kind of place where a biker feels at home, it's not restricted to bikers but most of the patrons are bikers and we know almost everyone who walks in.
I was immediately approached by "Charlie" a pretty "shooter girl" who poured a spicy concoction made by Anna into my throat, that got me started and we made sure that Murray and Frank got the same treatment. I'm thinking one of the ingredients was tabasco sauce, lots of it!

Here she is with Eduardo and Dan
As one would expect the bar did a roaring trade

Uncle Frank chats with Alex
Yeah, you too!

It was a cold night so they made a big bonfire outside
It was great to see Henrico and Stefanie there
 A lot of people were camping over for the night, they had erected tents on the grass area out front and some, possibly the more sensible ones had put their tents inside the sheds. I had decided that I was either going to go home fairly early or if not I would put my tent up and sleep over but as it was I left just after 20h30 and had a refreshingly cold ride home, it's only 13 kilometres so I cruised along quietly.
Congratulations to Anna and Eduardo, and here's hoping the Phoenix bar carries on from strength to strength, we would be lost without it.