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, May 4, 2010

Ride the beast - HBYC

During the week I sent a text message to Dick; "Why don't we meet at the Viper lounge Sat or Sun for b'fast." and immediately got a phone call; "Shit Man, I don't know why I didn't phone you but we are having a bike day at the Hout Bay Yacht Club on Saturday, breakfast, a ride around the peninsula and then a spit braai..............why don't you and Janet come and stay over?"
We established that the breakfast was at 08h00 and the ride would be from 09h00, difficult for us because Janet was working late on Friday so we could only leave on Saturday morning, also I was playing pool on Friday afternoon so we would have to leave early Saturday; "No problem" says Dick, "Just get here as early as you can and I will tell them to keep breakfast for you!"
While on the subject of the pool; Des and John (Lobster) from the infamous "Kreefsmokkellars" pitched up at the Phoenix bar while we were playing and they made the serious mistake of challenging me and Frank to a game of doubles, well to keep a long story short we trashed them! It was a great afternoon of bullshit and banter, a thoroughly good time and some good pool.
My alarm sounded at 04h45 Saturday! This early rise meant that we had to skip the spa bath with the bottle of bubbly which is our normal weekend ritual.
By the time we had everything ready it was 06h15 when I wheeled the big red machine out of the garage, still dark and at least an hour before sunrise as we headed out of Saldanha but it was a clear and calm morning and the stars were bright in the dark sky.
I love riding at night, the headlights cut a bright swathe through the darkness...actually too bright because even on the low setting they cause motorists to flash their brights in my face all the time but at least they know we are there.
We took it easy for the first hour because of the very real danger of animals running across the road but even so it was a lovely ride, we rode under the clear dark starry sky through occasional patches of cold fog and just enjoyed the experience of being alone in the darkness, four wheels move the body but two wheels move the soul, I was looking forward to two days on the bike.After a very enjoyable ride we arrived at the Hout Bay Yacht Club, which actually seemed more like the Hout Bay Motorcycle Club at about 08h15, just in time for a really good breakfast and in time to meet up with old friends and make new ones.
It really is a spectacular setting and the weather was beautiful, perfect for a nice long tour of the area. Dick was to be the Road Captain for the day and he handed out the route map and listed the refreshment stops and shortly thereafter we mounted up for the ride. There were about fourteen or fifteen bikes in all, varying from the big tourers like ours to old Vesper scooters and scramblers, so we were told that it would be a slow cruise with regular stops to regroup.The two Pats on their BMW ready to leave, soon we were cruising through the beautiful Cape countryside towards our first rendezvous point in the picturesque Tokai forest. It really is the most wonderful area in which to ride and although Dick set a fairly sedate pace, I wondered how the scooters would be able to keep up.The first stop in a laybye in the forest took care of that, gradually everyone arrived and once we were sure that all of the riders were accounted for we set off again.We eagerly mounted up because the next gathering point was the "British Bulldog" pub in Kommetjie, a pub where I just knew there were cold Castles waiting!
We lined the bikes up outside the pub, the two BMW R1200RTs together and went into the courtyard to get a cold beer.It wasn't long before all of the riders were sitting together enjoying their beverage of choice, it had been a lovely ride over the "Ou Kaapse Weg" and down through Noordhoek to the little village of Kommetjie.
The next part of the ride was to a gathering point at the top of "Red Hill" where we would decide if we were going to go to Cape Point or back around to Hout Bay, depending on the wind on that side. Just the one beer and we were on our way again, past the "Slangkop" lighthouse where just two weeks ago I had attended the rally, through Misty Cliffs and Scarborough, beautiful riding country.
At the intersection left to "Red Hill/Simonstown" right to "Cape point" the club Commodore who was in front of me turned right, so did I not realising that all the others in front had turned left! We ended up at the gate to the Cape point Nature Reserve with nobody else in sight and had to go all the way back to the intersection and take the other turning, oh well it was a nice ride!By the time we arrived at the gathering point, to much applause, even the scooters had been there for some time! I had to explain that actually we went on a recce to see what the wind was like down there! The general concensus was that we should all start heading back to Hout Bay and go check on how the spit braai was coming on, the view down towards Simonstown was spectacular but we could see that the wind was very strong over False Bay and at Cape point it would be even worse.The ride back to Hout Bay over Chapman's Peak was just as enjoyable and by the time we got back to the yacht club the lamb was roasting nicely with the fat dripping down onto the potatoes, the delicious aroma certainly got the juices flowing again. Rather than hanging around drooling we decided to go for a stroll through the nearby craft market. The Hout Bay harbour is a colourful, interesting place with a lot of tourist attractions,
like this fellow who sits on the quay feeding this huge seal with fresh fish, apparently the authorities decided that this was not a good thing so they caught the seal and transported it all the way around to Gordon's Bay and released it there but within a week he had returned,
obviously he decided that it was better in Hout Bay where he gets free food all day without any effort!
By the time we got back the lamb was ready and we sat down to a delicious meal of spit braaied lamb with roast potatoes and salad.
At the prize giving later we won a box of Castle lager beer glasses for the longest ride, having come down from Saldanha specifically for the event! What a bargain and what a great day, we ended off at Dick's house listening to good music and much later before turning in for the night he had a message for the whisky bottle which had been causing us problems!
The ride home on Sunday was great, our plan originally was that Dick and Janet would ride through to the Viper lounge for breakfast with us but he was not feeling so good! We were back in Langebaan in time to have lunch on the veranda of the Driftwood's Restaurant, one that is high up on my list of favourites. I had a succulent yellowtail fillet which ended off a fantastic weekend on a good note.

What's next? Winter has set in, we were extrememly lucky with the weather, since the weekend it has been raining and blowing gale force, we'll ride again soon.


Anonymous said...

Hey Andrew,
We certainly "Rode that Beast" - awesome day, good food, great company and a leka rock party to end it all - musta been the whisky that was "off" that caused me the hangover hee hee !! thanks for coming down and joining us

the rider said...

What a jol - and even a late night "Please turn the music down" phonecall from a neighbour - good times!