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, March 30, 2010

Swallow's Rally 2010 - Day one

The 220km ride to Worcester was sublime! I managed to finish work fairly early after delegating part of it to a younger employee and I met up with Frank at 12h00, after a short greeting we pulled out together onto the all too familiar R45 heading for Moorreesburg, and then through to Riebeek West on the R311 and our first scheduled stop at a nice little pub that we had visited on a previous ride. The weather was perfect, warm and with a gentle wind and as we blasted along through the open farmlands I was once again singing into my helmet, extremely happy to be out on the bike with my buddy's headlight in my rearview mirror. It looked like the forcasts for showers had been wrong, I had been in two minds about going to the rally but by the time I had settled into the ride I was glad I had decided to go. Bring it on!
It is only an hour to Riebeek West and by the time we parked the bikes outside "The Farmer's Arms" pub I was ready for a beer. We sat and chatted for a while and then got back out onto the road, it was a fast ride the rest of the way blasting past the slower traffic but as we got nearer to Worcester I could see the heavy black clouds backing up against the "Kleinberg" and "Fonteintjiesberg" mountains which separated us from the town.
Sure enough, as we rode through the town heading for the rally site we encountered almost gale force winds and by the time we had negotiated the rally entrance and located a place to erect our tents, the wind was howling.The first thing we do at a rally is get our tents up, then we unpack the bikes and get everything into the tents, experience has taught us that if you leave all of that until the early hours of the next morning you have a major problem! Rule number one in the biker scum handbook; Set up camp first and then go party.The trouble was that the wind was blowing so strong that there were already tents that looked like this! Once we were set up we took a stroll down to the main site and already the shennigans were under way, the "Tarmac Teasers" were busy with their burnouts and donuts with two GSXR750s which they had trailered in especially for the rally. We were later to discover that we had inadvertantly set up camp too close to them which was a bad mistake because those guys don't sleep at rallies and they don't like other people to sleep either! Rally main road was fairly quiet on Friday afternoon, but it wouldn't be long before the site was pumping with just over 8,000 happy bikers. As is usual with this rally there is an abundance of diverse food stalls and the prices are really reasonable, no shortage of good, cheap food for hungry bikers. As per usual Frank and I quickly got into full party mode and moved out to find out who was around, our favourite rally/celebrity chef Dalton was there and his tent restaurant again became the base of our operations.As soon as I walked into the tent Dalton shouted; "Hey Doos, taking photos will cost you R500!" (For my foreign readers "Doos" is a slang word in Afrikaans which refers to a particular, rather intimate part of the female anatomy and is pronounced like "do-us") We just ignored him and shouted for food.
We met up with the usual suspects during the evening, here are a couple of guys from the Saldanha/Vredenburg area and I think it was probably from here that the evening degenerated into a serious piss-up. Maybe "degenerated" is the wrong word? How about "Elevated"?

Since we had arrived the music had been blaring out of the main tent, unfortunately over the years the music has changed with the demographic of the bikers, where it used to be the old Rock classics it has now become mostly the crap enjoyed by the younger generation, but occasionally the DJs or the band can be persuaded to play the right stuff and even then the youngsters groove to our sounds!They held the "Miss Swallows" contest, (and that is not what you are thinking!) after that was over this young lady was the first to take her shirt right off for the wet tee shirt competition, there was also a very enjoyable strip show, so all in all the guys were kept amused.While I was busy doing my investigative journalism thing Frank met and fell in love with this very attractive young lady, unfortunately for him it wasn't to be a very long relationship because she was already involved with someone else.

It wasn't long after this that the bar was declared closed, I think it was about 3am but we didn't care because I had my bottle of whisky (or what was left of it!) and Frank had his bottle of Cane (or what was left of it!) and I think it was at about 0430 that we eventually stumbled into our tents. I still had to pump my mattress up and I struggled with that for some reason.

Day one had been a great day and as I settled onto my too hard and too small mattress and went unconscious I was happy, let's see what the next two days will bring..................................

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