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 24, 2008

The Country Pumpkin

We were in the last week of a wonderful holiday, our kids and their kids had gone back to England and we still had a week left so we decided to get out on the bike. At that time we were riding a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, an American lookalike and I think I know what the problem was; I had had some spotlights fitted on either side of the headlight, I wanted that cool cruiser look but they were linked to the high beam and connected directly to the battery, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Janet was extremely comfortable on that bike, she had a comfortable pillion saddle and a good sissy bar so that when she fell asleep after a lunch and a couple of glasses of wine, she was leaning backwards, I had to check in the mirror to see if she was still with me. Not like now on the big red machine where I need a rubber pad on the back of my helmet, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We had a wonderful ride along Clarence Drive, unfortunately it is a difficult road to ride because of the large number of motorists and when you do get a gap you don't know whether to ride fast to enjoy the bends or ride slowly to enjoy the scenery, I'm seriously considering a motion to make that a bikers only road. We arrived in Rooiels in the late afternoon and after a couple of beers in the pub, we decided to stay there - not in the pub, in the area!
After exploring the little village we found a reasonable B, on the gate it was advertised as a B&B but they no longer did breakfasts but that suited us anyway and after a comfortable sleep we got on the road nice and early.
We had a nice breakfast in Hermanus at a friendly little restaurant that was prepared to serve beers at that time of the day, I did notice that we seemed to be the only ones taking advantage of that but those people must have had their own reasons for drinking tea and coffee.
Pressing on we went through to Stanford and along the amazing R326 to where it joins the N2.
That has to be one of the best biking roads! Ok there are lots, but it is a wonderful surface with a minimum of traffic which winds through the wheatfields alongside the "Klein" river, we have ridden that road quite often and you can haul along there until you get to the main road, we stopped in Swellendam for couple of beers and then headed along the N2 until the R324 through Suurbrak.
By now we were quite bum sore but it wasn't far to our destination which was the Country Pumpkin at Barrydale, I had read about the place in the Bike SA magazine and had booked for the two of us. Anyway, there we were riding through the Tradouws Pass when all of a sudden I got that feeling that all bikers get after a while, that macho and stunning feeling so we decided to stop and take photos of me.
We spent a half an hour there and took a good few photos and when it came time to leave the f**king bike wouldn't start! Those two spotlights!
There's no way you can push start a Vtwin 1500! Janet's a big strong girl, but not that strong so we sat there looking at each other thinking what do we do now!?
Nokia! I phoned Dereck and told him the story, "Is there a mechanic in the area who can help me?" To cut a long story short, after telling me that there was no one to help, he arrived with a trailer, loaded the dead Vulcan and took us back to the Country Pumpkin. We tested the battery and found it to be completely dead but Dereck said that he had a new bike coming up from Capetown the next day and he could organise a new battery for us, the only problem was that it would only be arriving in the evening. We had not planned on spending a whole day there but Dereck offered us the use of his new R1200GS for the day while we waited for our battery!
What a day we had! It was such a jol blasting around on the GS because we could go off road, we visited the hot springs resort and Ronnie's Sex Shop and cruised the local area.
The next day we set off with a new battery, got home and sold the bike! Since then the Country Pumpkin has become a regular place for us to visit - okay one time it was full and we ended up in a gay guys B&B where we were the only boy/girl couple at breakfast the next morning, but that's another story.
Stay on two wheels guys!

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