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, July 19, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Meeulanders donation to hospice

I am extremely proud to be associated with this fine motorcycle club and if you have been reading this you will have read that our last President, Divi DeVries passed away last year. During his leadership in 2016 money was collected through various charity initiatives, some of which was earmarked for the Vredenburg hospice.
Due to his illness and his untimely passing the club was thrown into a bit of turmoil and the donations were not done, last week his first lady Carlo made the appointment with the hospice for Wednesday at 12h00, a time which suited them but which precluded many members from attending due to work commitments.
As I am now retired I took great pleasure in riding through to Vredenburg and did not expect many members to be there but amazingly eight other members were able to attend.
Carlo made the presentation to the chief sister; R5,100 which included a substantial amount that had been donated by Divi personally. It was very happily received and they assured us it will be put to good use. We all know the sterling work performed unselfishly by hospice.
Well done indeed to those members who were able to attend, and to those who were not able know that your club was well represented. More good work performed by the biking community.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bikers doing good work in their community

The west coast chapter of the Mohicans motorcycle club, which has grown considerably since they were established, recently hosted a braai for the residents of Huis Wittekruin, the retirement home in Vredenburg.
Elderly residents were treated to a delicious meal prepared by members of the club which was then served in the dining room.
Members of the club also donated a large quantity of toiletries to the residents, many of whom cannot afford small luxuries.
One of the ladies at Huis Wittekruin wanted to go for a ride on a motorbike so a helmet was found and she was assisted onto the back of Mercia's bike and taken for a little ride, something I am sure she will remember for a long time.
 "Put your feet here and hang on tight." A memorable occasion for this lady.
 Well done indeed to the President and first lady; Alex and Mercia and to the members of the Mohicans Motorcycle club for this initiative, I've said it before and you'll here me say it again and again; bikers are good people.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Winter blanket run, a bit late but better late than never

We managed to co-ordinate the winter blanket run with this morning's biker church service, a month late due to a mix up with the West Coast Motorcycle Association's sleepover last month but it is now winter and the blankets will be welcomed by those in need.
It was cold and wet this morning when I saddled up for the (thankfully) short, 13km ride through to the church in Vredenburg, it was raining slightly and the temperature was a low 12,5 celsius (55f) but even so it felt great to be out on the bike, I must say that the RT is running very sweetly and I was enjoying myself in spite of the conditions as I cruised up the relatively quiet road.
I arrived at the church just before 08h00 and although there were more cars in the parking area it was good to see quite a few motorbikes.
Meeulanders Hein and Gerda arrived at the same time as I did, they rode a bit further from Saint Helena Bay and Gerda said she was reluctant to get off her warm pillion saddle, I don't have heated seats, only the handlebar grips but that seat was very comfortably warm to the touch.
I am sure that the weather deterred many people from getting out of their warm beds and indeed while we were in the church the rain came down harder, the pile of blankets was not as big as last year but people will be able to take blankets in during the week.
The plan had been for bikers to ride around to Langebaan for breakfast, only some 30 kms but I decided to forgo that and headed home in the rain to a hot cup of coffee and a change of clothing.
I don't particularly mind riding in the rain, if you are a biker you will definitely do it often and I have, but the warmth and comfort of my home was only 13kms away and that was the better option right then.
There were thirteen Meeulanders at the church as well as members of other local clubs; the Mohicans, the Clique and Ancorr among others. Bikers are a good bunch of people.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July breakfast run, yet another good one!

This lovely picture by my brother Gerrie Pieterse shows many bikes already parked outside Juffoeshoogte when we arrived, the folks were already enjoying hot coffee and chatting and as we waited for the allotted hour for "kickstands up" more and more arrived until sixteen members and three visitors were ready for the ride.

As we saddled up to ride out this lady begged for a photo with Murray's big orange LT, much to the group's amusement she promptly climbed on so that her boyfriend could take a picture. That bike does attract attention.
In our customary tight staggered formation we cruised up the R45, I set a moderate 130 to 140kmh in order to keep the group together, it was cold, 13,5 celsius as we rode to the R311 leading to Moorreesburg. It would not get any warmer than 16,5 later in the day. At that stage there was no wind and we were dressed for the cold, I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
Our first stop was in Moorreesburg for our "tea break" at the service station, some needed to smoke and some needed to pee.

Anton warmed up with his flask but Johan had brought along a very tasty cream liqueur which we were all soon happily consuming.

Time to move on, thirty kilometers to Piketburg along the National road, the N7. Gerrie, Louis and our new member Bardo wanted to hit the twisties at speed so they headed off on their hooligan mission, the rest of us cruised along in a more sedate manner, still breaking the law but not by so much.

Arriving in the town we easily found the "Farmhouse Pub and Grill', owned and run by a biker who is in fact an ex member of the Meeulanders, he knew exactly what a biker breakfast should be.

We found Frans Nieman busy in his kitchen and he produced this excellent breakfast for the extremely reasonable amount of R35! The bar was open and reasonably priced so it was a very happy bunch of bikers who settled down for a warming meal.

You know you're in a biker restaurant when the owner's bike is parked in the dining room! We sat and chatted for a while and then gradually the people moved out, as is our usual custom riders are free to do their own thing on the way home but most opted to meet at the "Wielhuis pub" - the home of the Clique in Velddrif.
The newly re-surfaced 86km long road from Piketburg back to Velddrif is now a pleasure, whereas before we used to ride at 80kmh because of the extremely harsh bumps, it is now quite comfortable at 140kmh which we did, or even more which the hooligan group did! It was very cold on the last section of the road, with a bitingly cold wind crossing the open ground so it was a chilly bunch who gathered in the pub for an absolute bloody final drink (or two) before heading home.


Floors and Murray contemplate leaving, and the Meeulanders had just welcomed new members Bardo and his wife (she had not been able to join the breakfast run due to family matters) into the club at the previous week's meeting, so it was good to have him along.
I have no hesitation in recommending the Farmhouse Pub and Grill in Piketburg to other bikers for a breakfast run, it is great to support a fellow biker and the price is exceptional. Give Frans a call on 0714608944 and tell him I sent you. We'll definitely be back.(Click on the pictures to view them full size).

Monday, July 3, 2017

A cold start to a good day out on the bike.

I had decided to start the Sunday, the day of our regular monthly breakfast run, early this time by joining the dedicated group of riders who regularly take part in the "Sunrise cruise.", this had been initiated by the WMA (Westcoast Motorcycle Association) as a sunset cruise originally but for some obscure reason it was changed to a pre-dawn ride.
Winter is just around the corner so this probably won't continue for much longer, all the more reason to check it out, at least that is what I was telling myself as I climbed out of bed at 04h45. Janet turned over and went back to sleep, "I'll go on the breakfast run," she declared adamantly, "not both!"
In the chilly pre dawn I headed along the 13km stretch to Vredenburg, the temperature showing a very low 10 celsius. Johan was already at the garage when I arrived with Henrico pulling in at the same time, by 06h00 the other six, including one member of the Clique, Wayne, were ready to ride. In a tight group consisting of seven Meeulanders and Wayne we headed back to Saldanha where Johlene joined us in the parking area next to the beach,
some drank coffee and some sipped from pocket flasks, Old Brown Sherry is a favourite in cold weather, we chatted, listened to good music and waited like a bunch of Pagans for the sun to rise in the east.
which it eventually did as it thankfully does every day, I was home by 07h30 drinking hot coffee. Some from the group would also be on the breakfast run in a little while and it looked like it was going to be a good day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Looking back to past rides

Before the digital age ushered in the demise of the camera shop where reels of film were developed I, like many of you I'm sure, amassed hundreds of photographs, some of which were neatly arranged in photo albums and many more were chucked into a handy drawer.
I have been recently going through that drawer and those photo albums to work out what I want to do with those old memories, a lot of them obviously involved motorcycles and some of those I want to share here;
This was the second Honda Goldwing that we owned, a 1982 GL 1100 which I bought privately in Capetown. I was perhaps a bit hasty because it was not an Interstate, the fairing, panniers and top box were added aftermarket and unfortunately were not mounted very well. The person who did the job had used threaded bar to make the brackets and one of the pannier brackets kept breaking, also when I got it there were eight small keys on a ring for each of the eight locks. As you can imagine this was a nightmare so one of the first jobs I had done was to standardise the locks.
In spite of the problems, such as poor brakes and lousy suspension which had to be pumped up at a garage every now and then, Janet and I did a lot of happy mileage on this bike.
 One of our favourite things was to ride out with no agenda, no fixed destination and no accommodation booking, we would arrive in a town after a good day's riding and then look for a place to stay which was usually a caravan park chalet or self catering unit. Once we had set up we would then go off to buy supplies; beer, wine and food, then with the bike parked nearby with our favourite music playing over the sound system we would have a nice braai. We did a lot of that and they were memorable trips.
Occasionally when the circumstances warranted it we would splash out on expensive accommodation such as this fancy lodge in Cape Agulhas but that was for one of our wedding anniversaries so it was well worth it.
On our various motorbikes over the years we have traveled extensively around South Africa and Namibia and have loved every minute of it, in fact our one particular road trip about which I posted quite recently was Janet's favourite holiday. Time, I think for another road trip.
It will have to wait a bit though, winter is fast approaching so we'll wait for warmer weather and then see what we can do. Stay safe my friends and keep the rubber side down.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Westcoast Motorcycle Association (WMA) sleepover 2017

The western cape has been seriously dry for a long time, desperately needing rain so when during the week we had some really good rain it was cause for celebration. Unfortunately last Saturday was the day set aside for the W.M.A annual sleepover and it rained on that day as well, and man did it rain!
Janet and I had volunteered for early gate duty so we had to be there by 10h00, in the morning I looked out at the sky and it didn't look too bad but the  weather app. forecast showers and knowing that there was a 3km dirt road leading to the rally site I decided to be a biker in a cage (Shame!). As it turned out I was glad I did because we were not even half way there when the skies opened up and by the time we reached the site I was happy with my decision.

To add insult to injury the wind was freezing cold as well, this did not bode well for the WMA, many people would be put off coming out in this weather. 
Gradually cars and bakkies started arriving and up until midday when several people had arrived there was not a single motorbike, until;
these two brave bikers arrived from Capetown and negotiated the by then very wet dirt road on road bikes. They caused quite a stir and were given a very warm welcome, causing many including myself to think "Damn I should have come on my bike!"
They were followed shortly after by our own Stephen on his KTM, perhaps a bit more suited to the conditions, even with his road tyres. Eventually there were four bikes in total with Slang of the Mac's also arriving on his BMW road bike, well done you guys.

Towards midday and early afternoon we were relieved of our duty and were able to join the party and try to warm up a bit, unfortunately it was only to be around forty people at the party with some of the local clubs not represented at all. Those of us who did make it had a very enjoyable time.
 Eventually sixteen Meeulanders in total made up a high percentage of the numbers and won the prize for the best represented club, an excellent effort by a great bunch of people.
Stephen accepts the club prize.
Due to the circumstances the games were of an indoor nature and caused a lot of laughter amongst those unwilling to actually take part;

After the men's and ladies drinking competition, which was also dominated by Meeulanders although Slang joined the ladies line just to get a free dop, Janet quickly pointed out to the organisers that the ladies had won overall because they had to drink a 500ml wine which contained seven percent alcohol whereas the men had only to drink a beer which was four percent, thus it was that the ladies were named the champions. Way to go lady bikers!
Dennis, President of the "Clique" and Chairman of the WMA with Slang of the "Mac's" and a committee member.

 Don't be fooled by Stephen's mug, that wasn't coffee! Henrico, Greg and Corne chat infront of the bar, which in spite of the shortage of people did a good trade. The place "Schaaftplaas" lends itself well to parties and I'm sure that in summer we will be back. Well done to the Westcoast Motorcycle Association for the excellent organisation, as I said those that attended had a ball.