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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Monthly breakfast run

I'm not sure why but only twelve members met on Sunday morning on the veranda of the "Juffroeshoogte" resort, perhaps it was the weather, there was a low leaden grey sky with the feeling of imminent rain but Janet and I were that keen on a ride that we were the first ones there.
For my overseas readers I'm afraid that I cannot easily tell you how to pronounce that word or what it means but if you sound it out phonetically you may be close!
We sat on the veranda enjoying a cup of coffee in the chill morning air and by 08h35 our President Divi arrived followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the eager riders.
The usual good natured chat and banter ensued among people who, like family are comfortable with each other and that is what I have experienced being a member of the club, I was way too long non- affiliated thinking that I didn't need club membership to ride but am now revelling in being a part of this biker family.
My old biker buddy Frank, of whom you have all read and seen is a retired man and a divorcee' of many years, he lives alone and has always said that had it not been for the club he would have been an old man sitting at home with a blanket over his lap years ago, now he has many people who love and care about him.
Kick stands up at 09h00 and we roared along the R45 in staggered formation the short distance to the first stop/go section, we caught it at a good time as we only had to wait about five minutes before speeding off in front of the line of cars, ahead we could see patches of blue sky as the clouds began to part, my spirits lifted in time with the kilometres flashing inches below my feet.
The third section was open to us, the traffic light on a now sunny Sunday morning and by the time we stopped at the fourth stop/go, the last one on the road to Malmesbury it was warm and clear and I was singing into my helmet.
"Yeah man I'm gonna make it happen, take the world in a love embrace - fire all of the guns at once and explode into space!"
For anyone who knows this area there are a few long sweeping bends just before the R45 meets the N7 and us poor deprived west coast bikers who have to ride for an hour before we get to any bends, really enjoy that section, hooliganism is unleashed, throttles are twisted open and it's every man for himself as the sides of our tires get a little action.
We usually stop at the Caltex garage in Malmesbury for the cruiser riders to fill up and for the smokers to get their fix, there we discuss the ride and embellish our experiences, the mood was light and thus far I was a happy man, more to come.

Gerrie and Frank light up, Janet cleans our visors. By then the weather was warming up nicely, promising to be a great day for biking. It was just after 10h00 and I was already feeling the first pangs of hunger, looking forward to the rest of the ride but also to the breakfast.
 From the left; Mike, Floors, Barbara, Heinie and Divi.
From the left; Linicia, 'Cois (pronounced Soy) and Gerrie.
After enough time had elapsed for people to fuel up, smoke, ablute, chat and stretch saddle muscles we hit the road, through Malmesbury and down into wine country, the magical ride down the pass into the Riebeek Valley where Divi moves aside to let Gerrie dive through the bends, high speed shenanigans to the Hermon intersection, the busy 17 kilometre straight to the Nuwekloof Pass where baboons are a constant speed check, and then out the other side to the turn off to the little town of Tulbagh.
Although fairly quiet on a Sunday Tulbagh is in the middle of the wine area and is thus popular with tourists and bikers, Divi had pre-booked our tables at "Kuierbossie" restaurant, we lined our steeds up outside, divested ourselves of our now warm jackets and settled down for some chow.
We have been there before, it is a busy little restaurant with a fairly small veranda but a lot more seating inside, we had veranda tables which were more in demand in this type of weather, bad luck people, the bikers were there!
One beer to clear a parched throat and then a bottle of "Flippenice Wine" of Tulbagh origin and I must say that it was a flippen nice wine and only priced at R55, a bargain indeed.
We had to wait a while after our orders were placed but that was not an issue, we were relaxed and happy and when the food did arrive it was good;
A very nice omelette stuffed with ham, cheese and mushrooms it went down singing hymns!
As is usual on these events, after breakfast the people make their own way home, some with other things to do and we made arrangements to meet at "Plaasmol" pub just after Hopefield for a last beer, we set off alone on a gentle cruise and I felt Janet fall asleep behind me within twenty minutes.
After some really enjoyable riding I went on past the pub where some had already stopped, Janet was having a good rest and I was not in the mood for anything else to drink. Pulling into to Saldanha we got briefly wet from a minor cloudburst, more like a wet mist or "guti" to use the colloquial term but it didn't matter, it could not dampen my spirits after what had been a really enjoyable outing.
Our next biking event is the club dart run to the Eland's Bay hotel on 24th October, there's a sleepover party that I am looking forward to, damn it's good to be a biker!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Clique day jol in velddrif Saturday 3rd October

What a well organised event that was, well done guys! I was amazed to see, when I arrived at the "Wielhuis Pub" in Velddrif, how many bikes and cars were parked in front and behind the premises. I got there at around 14h00 and the place was buzzing.
 The weather played along, it was a nice sunny day with a light breeze and I had enjoyed the ride out there and as I had a breakfast run the following day I was determined that I was not going to misbehave!
I wandered around the trade and food stalls greeting friends, I could see that a lot, if not all of the local clubs were represented and that there were many riders up from Capetown as well.
I paid the modest entry fee of R50 to get in to the pub and the beer garden and grabbed a bitterly cold beer to continue my wanderings, there was good biker music emanating from the beer garden which was also crowded with happy bikers.
There was a beer drinking competition, which I had learned long ago to stay away from!

 The guys competition was won by Wayne of the Mohicans (second from the right) who downed a quart of Black Label in a very quick time.
The ladies had to down two Brutal Fruits, won by the lady on the left.

Mid afternoon the crowd moved outside for the usual games; slow race and tire throw.
 This is Wayne again, shortly after his beer drinking win taking part in the slow race.
The Mohicans First Lady Mercia on the green Kawasaki, ya gotta love women who ride.
 Mohicans President Alex (right) and Terence (centre) watch and shout encouragement from the side.
Me and Louis giving Gerrie's wife a biker sandwich while watching the races.
 The tire throw is a popular one with the men and the ladies, not sure who won but here Terence almost threw the tire away! I hung around a bit longer but then decided it was time to call it a day, as I saddled up to leave I could hear the familiar sounds of a Suzuki being revved to the limit, I grinned in my helmet as I rode away, it had been an enjoyable afternoon and I was looking forward to the Club breakfast run tomorrow.
I heard from our President, Divi that a painting and a whole pig had been auctioned for local charities and the painting had raised an amazing R11,000! The person who won the pig re-donated to the Clique so that they could hold a spit braai to raise more money and apparently ten percent of the bar takings were also going to be donated to the charities.
I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it; Bikers are good folk!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Busy week and National Braai Day public holiday

It has been a busy week, darling friend Linda came up for her birthday which was on Tuesday and I did a Lamb potjie and Sadza for her and her son and my sister and brother in law, for those who don't know "potjie" is an Afrikaans word for the cast iron pot in which different types of stews are made and "sadza" is a stiff maize porridge which appears to be similar to American "grits". The only difference is that we take a handful and roll it into a ball and dip it into the gravy, a true test of whether it has been made properly is that it must not stick to your hand.
I learnt to make sadza a thousand years ago in Rhodesia as a young man and still enjoy making it for my friends today.
Today (Thursday) is a public holiday; Heritage Day which has turned into National Braai Day supported by our beloved "Arch"; Desmond Tutu who is known to love a braai.
Mike and Loretta, my brother in law and sister showed us how to use our bread maker, which we've had for a while but never used and the result was a wonderful loaf of bread;
We decided to start the day with an early "egg and bacon butty" for breakfast, and what a breakfast that was! There's something special about the aroma of frying bacon that gets the juices flowing.
That breakfast kept us going for the rest of the morning but by midday we were ready for a snack, Janet produced some garlic crumbed mussels which we all enjoyed so much that I forgot to take any photographs! The next menu item however was smoked Angel fish which I did remember;
Served with fresh brown bread it went down a treat. This fish is readily available here on the Cape west coast and I get it often, lovely for smoking it is also good baked in the oven.
We went out during the morning to see the local bikers taking part in the Heritage Day parade, bikers are prepared to give of their time to support local initiatives and this was one of them.
The bikers gather, in the centre is our Club President; Divi talking to one of the organisers, any of you who have been involved in one of these parades know how difficult it is for bikers to follow a marching band, it involves lots and lots of clutch and brake work and is very tiresome but they did a brilliant job, herewith some photos of the participants;
 Lady biker (and don't we all love a lady on her own bike?) on a late 70's model Honda, check out the whitewall back tyre!
 Divi and Carlo in the background on the Harley.
 My Bro. Gerrie, a biker from the old days in Jo'burg on his Yamaha.
 Daan on his FJR, he left his 1800 Goldwing at home.
My old rally buddy Frank on his FJR.

 Here are some pictures of the guys struggling with their clutches, trying to ride slowly behind the parade which is not what bikers are used to! Well done guys.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

South Africans braai anywhere

I posted this on my "Braais, Beers and Bikes" facebook page and it got a lot of interest, this just goes to show that South Africans will have a braai wherever and whenever they can even if it is out in the middle of the ocean on a submarine!
I have never been in a submarine and I cannot imagine what it must be like but when they surface the guys must be desperate for some fresh air, obviously they will not have any beers on board but they can make a plan for a braai, good on them!
Those readers who are not South Africans need to get over here for a visit, at the moment your money is bloody good and the first South Africans you meet will offer you a braai - come on over!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday breakfast run with the club

Last Sunday, being the first Sunday of the month was the Meeulanders' regular breakfast run and the weather started out great, clear and sunny if a little cold, in fact only 15 degrees when we rolled out from home to the meeting place at the Engen one stop on the R27. No wind though, and you can dress up for the cold weather, I was fully into it and looking forward to a good ride.
Eventually seventeen people on eleven bikes roared out of the parking lot at 09h30, I settled into the middle of the pack and we formed our usual staggered formation heading to the R45 and breakfast at "Die Oude Stoep" (The Old Veranda) in Moorreesburg via Malmesbury. We were well aware that we were going to encounter four "Stop/Go" sections on the R45 but what the hell?
The first of these was not even one kilometre from the start!
We sat patiently in the Queue, not even bothering to push our way to the front, at least the Western Cape provincial government is doing something about the roads in the province, not like the other provinces in the country, why would that be?
Within ten minutes we were on the go again and cars even pulled aside within the single lane sections for us all to gather together. We blitzed happily along, the stop at the second roadworks section didn't bother us and shortly after that our President, Div turned off into a large laybye for the first "Melktertjie" stop. This is a tradition on breakfast runs where we pull over for a small dop-stop which consists of a cream liqueur sprinkled with cinnamon, rather delicious! Also those that must smoke can have their fix.
 Here Daan carefully pours out the libations under the watchful eye of Carlo, actually he was busy sprinkling the cinnamon.
There were two other bikers from Capetown in the laybye when we all pulled in and we invited them to join us for a spot, in this photo by Gerrie Pieterse I have my back to the camera taking a photo of the others enjoying their milk tarts.
Janet picked a Spring daisy for the bike and we were on our way again,
 The next stop/go was open for us but the last one caught us, it actually started getting a bit warm sitting there in the sun just waiting.
 Murray on his Gunston Orange LT.
Daan on his 1800 Honda.
The group all waiting patiently in the sun.
The last section ending at the N7 has a few long sweeps and Div let those who wanted to speed ahead go past him, unfortunately where we live we have to ride for an hour in any direction before we hit any interesting twisties so our tyres tend to wear out in the middle!
It is 31kms from the turn off to Malmesbury and the N7, particularly on a Sunday is a lovely ride, it wasn't long before we were turning off into Moorreesburg and parking outside "Die Oude Stoep".
 This place has recently come under new ownership and they were pretty busy, we arrived around 11h00 so there was a lunch time crowd arriving as well but they seemed to cope pretty well. That little dorp has a dearth of eating places on a Sunday so they should do well if they maintain standards.
Waiting for breakfast but got beer, not all bad.
This was the "In betweener" for R40, I've had better and I've had worse. By the time we left we had spent R156 including our drinks, we agreed on the shorter route taking the 22km stretch back to the R45 but that is a slow section for us because of the road works under way and the poor condition of the road.
Once we reached the R45 though the hooligans were unleashed and we travelled at speeds in excess of 170km/h before pulling in to the "Plaasmol" to finish off the last of the "Melktertjies".
Some of the guys, including Frank decided to stay for an A.B.F. at the bar but by then the wind had come up and was blowing strong gusts out of the North, a presage of the crap weather I was to have out on the boat at work for the next two days. We headed home leaning over to the right, the clouds were heavy and ominously grey above us, we didn't have any rain gear with us and I was certain we were going to get wet. What the hell, if you ride a bike you're going to ride in the rain. Some fifty k's ahead of us though I could see patches of blue sky and we blasted our way Westwards towards the coast, the wind was cold but man was it good being out there, the bike was purring along and I was thoroughly enjoying myself - bring it on!
Sure enough we cruised around the bay heading for home under cold but blue sky, life is good man, it had been an enjoyable day with a bunch of good people - I personally cannot imagine not being a biker.