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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Toy Run 2010

Sunday we were up good and early and at the Engen One Stop by about 07h45, while I filled the tank my lovely lady went into the Wimpy to get me a cup of coffee and a hot chocolate for herself.
Unfortunately the "Cape Doctor", the south easterly wind had already started pumping and I think that put quite a few people off the ride, there were far fewer than anticipated.
By the time we roared out of the forecourt and settled into a staggered formation for the ride south we were twelve motorcycles, maybe eighteen people with a good lot of toys tied onto the bikes or packed into panniers for underprivileged children.
Frank met Janet in Capetown, she was to be his pillion passenger for the ride, and we headed to one of the gathering places at the Ratanga Junction car park.
My buddy Frank was more than happy to have an attractive pillion passenger on his Yamaha FJR for the day. One of the first changes that we saw was that there was a bar and boerewors rolls on sale, they were doing a brisk business! We have had to carry a cooler bag with a couple of cold cans of beer on previous runs, this was far more convenient.
The place was filling up quickly with all sorts of people on all types of motorbikes and there were all types of toys in evidence.
They start them young here, in a few years she will be doing the toy run herself!
At 10h30 the ride started led by the "Harley Owners Group", why they have to start it off I don't know, maybe it is the only time they don't get overtaken by other motorbikes on the road? It's chaos at first and we normally hang back for about half an hour just to let the huge bottle-neck at the gate clear before we tag onto the end of the throng of eager bikers.
The idea is that the crowd at the Ratanga Junction car park would be starting shortly before the mob at the Ottery Hypermarket so that we would not all converge on Maynardville at the same time, this apparently didn't work because the traffic was very heavy.
There was a lot of slow riding, lots of stops and my left arm got very tried pulling on the clutch all the time, also by the time we reached Maynardville my temperature guage was reading higher than I have ever seen it before! I was glad to park the bike and let it cool down. The place was absolutely crowded! Many hundreds, if not thousands more than last year, it was literally shoulder to shoulder with happy revellers. What I did notice was that there appeared to be many non-bikers in the crowd this year, this is great and they are all welcome as long as they bring at least one toy.
Our first port of call was to the trailers to get rid of the toys, as you can see the first one was already full and the second was nearly there. Janet handed our toys in and then we made our way to the beer tent, the band "Joe Public" was already rocking the crowd.
We found ourselves a spot just near to the entrance and soon met up with friends passing through,
Jean the El Presidente of the infamous "Kreefsmokellaars" went past with a slightly better crash helmet than he had on at the "Vlakvark" rally!
Once I got my first cold beer in hand I was alright, we hung around for about an hour or two, meeting and greeting old friends and finishing off the second beer and then we decided it was time to go. We had a much easier ride through town this time and headed for the Viper Lounge, one of our favourite Capetown biker pubs where we met up with Linda. After a quiet drink there and a chat with the locals we went around the corner for a wonderful seafood lunch at one of our favourite places; the "Ocean Basket"
We ended off a very pleasant day with a good, fast ride home along the R27 and an A.B.F * at the Phoenix Bar in Vredenburg. It had been an enjoyable and a rewarding day spent with good friends doing something that felt good.
This one was our thirteenth consecutive year on the toy run and it will certainly not be our last, we really love being involved in such a worthy project. I am convinced that the organisers; the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club achieved their target of 30,000 toys this year, I certainly hope so.
I have since heard that there is to be another Toy Run in our own area next Sunday, this is great and we will definitely be there. Any excuse for a jol!
* Absolute Bloody Final

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