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, April 14, 2010

Samples to Capetown

The mussel farm has been shut down since Wednesday last week due to excessively high levels of PSP toxins, (Paraletic shellfish poisoning) this happens just about every year and we now have to get three consecutive clear sample results before we can re-open.
We keep busy doing re-roping work; taking young ropes out of the water and running them over the grid tables to separate the very small settled mussels and then re-binding the larger sized mussels back onto the ropes and hanging them back in the water. This gives us a very good quality rope after another few months. Also we have a lot of oyster sorting to carry out so there is no shortage of work, only income!
As with last year I get the opportunity to rush the samples down to Capetown, I choose to go on the bike rather than in the company vehicle because (a); it's more fun and (b); it's far quicker once I hit the town traffic. The trip that normally takes two and a half hours in the pick-up only takes one and a half on the bike and of course any excuse to do something different during the week is a bonus.
I set off just after 0700 but unfortunately there was a very heavy fog and by the time I got to the intersection with the main road, the R27, the visibility was down to about 50 metres! Crossing onto the main road was like playing Russian roulette because there is an amazingly high number of fools who drive with either no lights or with only park lights even in the worst conditions. By the time I got to the Engen One-stop I had been doing 60kmh in an almost complete white-out and I decided that it was just too dangerous, there was no way I could ride all the way to Capetown like that, I pulled in and sat in the Wimpey restaurant and after a couple of cups of coffee the sun had started to do its work. By the time I was halfway to town the fog had cleared and the rest of the trip became a pleasure, even the traffic was not a problem and I had the sample at the lab by 0920, plenty of time to get the test done.
On the way home I stopped in at the Viper lounge and had a toasted sandwich and another cup of coffee and then it was back on the road for the ride back to Saldanha, by then the weather was perfect, the fog had completely cleared and I enjoyed a relaxed cruise. A very nice change to the normal routine.
I was able to give my new front tyre a run in as well, the last one, a Michelin gave me just over 17,000kms which I think is very good but by the time I changed it it was pretty worn and was actually affecting the handling. I replaced it with a Bridgestone Battlax BT021 so I will see what this one gives me, it certainly makes the bike feel better!
Tomorrow I will be packing the bike for the rally on Friday, Frank and I will hopefully leave by 1100 and it is only about two and a half hours to the site so we should have camp set up by mid afternoon, the weather forcast is favourable so it should be a good one!
Of course I will tell you all about it.


Geoff James said...

Hi from New Zealand - excellent blog! We live within 1 km of mussel farms and the fishing round them is excellent. Motorcycling, fishing and seafood - doesn't get any better.

Best wishes,


the rider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the rider said...

Thanks for your comment Geoff, I visited NZ about ten years ago and the mussel farms around Coromandel and I also caught a nice couple of fish whilst out on the farm but I didn't get a chance to ride there, I hope to go back someday and do some riding, great roads and beautiful scenery.

Geoff James said...

That's exactly where we live and fish! The Coromandel Peninsula is also a superb riding road so if you do get back, there's always beds and good food!

the rider said...

I have to tell you that I had a serious hangover when we returned to Auckland and that road made me feel sick! I can imagine that if I was sober on a motorbike it would be fantastic! I will give it a try sometime and I will contact you when I get a chance to visit, thanks bro.

Geoff James said...

Funnily enough, I felt a bit nauseous when I rode own it yesterday and I was sober! Too little recent riding I suspect.

Sincerely meant to let us know if you're ever planning a return trip.