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.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

26th Annual Toy Run

Sunday 30th November was the 26th anniversary of the founding of the Toy Run by the Italian Motorcycle Club when some 73 bikers got together to donate toys to needy children. Now it has become a national event and bikers from all over the country congregate in their respective towns and Cities to do a mass ride which culminates in thousands and thousands of toys being collected.
This was our eleventh consecutive Toy run and on Saturday we rode down to Hout Bay to spend the night with Dick and Janet where we had a very enjoyable braai. On previous years we had rode down from Saldanha to Capetown en masse on the Sunday morning.
On Sunday we teamed up with another couple on a Harley, Dick and Janet were on a very noisy Honda Shadow so we let the four of them get far enough ahead so we weren't deafened by the exhausts as we rode through to the gathering point at Ottery.
There was a massive crowd assembling there and we wandered around a bit looking at the bikes and watching the usual shennanigans as guys performed donuts and burnouts for the crowd. I'll never understand why they want to rub a couple of thousand kilometres off their tyres, I'd never do it myself but I enjoy watching.The atmosphere on the ride is unbelievable with thousands of people lining the road wanting to touch hands with the bikers, clapping and cheering our procession and lining the bridge overpasses waving to us. The traffic department controls the mass ride very well, ensuring that all of the intersections along the nearly ten kilometre route are kept open for us to sweep through.
It is a bit of a dangerous ride and a little tedious with all of the stop/start, hanging on the clutch and a lot of bikers have to pull over now and then to allow overheating motors to cool down, but soon we arrived at the end venue at Maynardville where the party takes place.
This year there were far more people, thousands and thousands and an incredible pile of toys was collected in the two huge trailers;This picture shows the smaller of the two trailers but both were soon overflowing.
A TV cameraman decided to climb up into the bigger of the two trailers and film the toys being thrown up but it became a bit difficult for him as everyone started using him as a target, he was actually getting a bit agitated but luckily for him they were mostly soft toys.
In spite of the crowds we managed to meet up with our friends and had a beer or two in the huge beer tent, there are always also a variety of trade and food stalls but we usually go off and have a decent lunch somewhere, I am not really into standing in hugely long queues for a mediocre take away meal.
After lunch we met up with Frank at the garage on the R27, he had his friend Natalie who was on a short visit from UK on his bike with him and she had been thrown into the deep end of one of the major South African bike scenes. Not really a biker she was exhausted and was lying asleep on the grass bank still in her crash helmet, Frank had to kick her a couple of times to wake her up!
From there we visited Dave and had a cup of coffee, it was good to see that he is slowly mending and was actually getting around slowly on a pair of crutches. He is already talking about getting back on a bike in a few more months, once a biker always a biker!
From there it was a fast ride home, Janet slept as usual and I enjoyed the west coast road with the wind behind us. It had been an enjoyable weekend and a good toy run and we will definitely be there again next year.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; "Bikers are good folk." Go out and hug one.


Christie said...

I will give you a hug in August!

andrew said...

I'm really looking forward to that my presh, but are you sure you don't want to go out and hug some other biker in the meantime? Next time you see one just think about it!