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 22, 2011

Buffalo Rally 2011 - Day one

I don't have to tell my biker readers that the best part of the weekend was the ride there and the ride back. The Buffalo Rally was great but the time spent on the big red machine was fantastic!Friday morning, having organised a day off work, I was ready packed and loaded by 08h15 and here you see the Big Red Machine ready to go; the beauty of this kind of bike is that I can carry everything I need (except a chair - about which you will read more later) in the panniers and top case with my tent strapped to the pillion seat.
I set off with a great sense of anticipation, the sun was shining and I was ready for another adventure. I was riding alone which is also great for me, I could set my own pace and make the stops that I wanted.
I settled into the bike and accelerated out away from the coast, away from the cool weather and into the Boland and the Klein Karoo and within the hour the wind started to blow! I am well aware of the nature of the beast that I am riding, incredible power under me barely controlled by wrist and foot action with a serious grater flashing inches beneath my feet....but what a feeling! A grin inducing sensation, it doesn't take long until I am in a comfortable position, slightly hunched forward, close up to the tank, shoulders relaxed and forearms parallel to the road and barelling along at an illegal speed. BRING IT ON!
The wind teased up dust devils in the parched wheat fields as I sped through and I had to close my visor in places as the dust covered the road, I was forced into an awkward sideways lean in some places as the wind hit me from the side but I rode on, opening the throttle even more.
After two hours, by which time my shoulders were starting to take a bit of strain I got to the east side of the mountain range and the wind died down, I was able to increase my speed and by the time I had done 345kms I was looking for a refuel and something to eat, it had been fantastic so far. I had decided to stay on the R62 through Montagu to avoid the N2 where there were many "Stop/Go" road closures and it appeared that many bikers had made the same decision, I joined a group of about 30 bikes riding into Montagu, mostly cruisers and after a brief beer stop at the Karoo Saloon I met up with them again at the garage outside of Barrydale.
After finding that my regular stop; the "Country Pumpkin" was crowded out by bikers I pulled in at "Clarke of the Karoo", a lovely restaurant run by Mike Clarke who incredibly remembered my name even though it was more than a year since we had last been there. I had a beer and a fantastic Karoo lamb burger for lunch.Because I was not in a huge hurry I rode the next twenty or so kilometres at a fairly relaxed pace and pulled into the iconic "Ronnie's Sex Shop" for a beer.
This place is now amazingly world famous and attracts bus loads of tourists apart from those in cars or on motorcycles, apparently it was an ordinary place called "Ronnie's Shop" doing a modest trade when a drunken friend added the word "Sex" after a piss-up weekend and since then the rest is history. Now it is a pub restaurant oasis in the middle of the Klein Karoo which is always busy and where a tin of beer costs R12!
Proceeding onwards I sped down through Gracia Pass in the company of several other bikers to Riversdale where I joined the ever busy N2 Highway and gleefully engaged with the cages in their pedestrian travels. Surely they must be able to see how pedantic their progress is compared to my energetic weaving, diving and dicing fun. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and pulled into Mosselbay energised and invigorated after some seven and a half hours on the road.
As usual the entry area was a chaotic mix of people and machines, all intent on getting through the registration proceedures and settling into the Buffalo Rally party and it wasn't long before I had progressed through the efficient pre-entry area and was in search of my friends.
It was still a bit windy as I set up my camp, but with the help of my friend Floors and his wife Marina I was soon good to go.
I wandered down to rally road in search of a cold beer, there was the usual plethora of good food stalls as well as clothing and accessories and it was good to greet old freinds and meet new ones on my way to the "Castle Lager" sign at the beer tent.
The tent was a massive affair and the band (one of three) was already playing excellent Rock and Roll music which they were to keep up the whole weekend. I bought three beers, one in hand and one in each pocket and went for a look around.
As usual there were excellent machines to see, such as this custom built V8 Thor trike, a truly awesome machine. If you've been reading my stuff for a while you will know that I am not a fan of Harley Davidson but even I was impressed with this very clean and understated Harley trike.
By the time evening came along I found myself outside Colin's Kudu Stall which was doing a roaring trade and for good reason, the food was great! I had a Kudu fillet burger which was outstanding, all of the meat was genuine Kudu and I determined to eat there again.
I found myself back at the campsite - because I wanted to get my whisky flask from my pannier - and Bernard was braaiing a lovely piece of rump steak which he cut up into chunks for us all to taste; delicious! After that we all walked back down to the main tent, by now I was getting seriously tired of standing and walking! There was nowhere to sit.
Sometime during the evening we were at an ice cream stall and this young lady took a fancy to Div and his badges, a real little sweetheart. We headed back to our camp, about a kilometre and a half from the main tent and then everyone turned in for the night.
I wasn't ready for that and normally I would have had Frank with me to carry on with the party but alone I wandered back (a k and a half) to the main tent, determined to let the jol continue. There I found the party animals in full swing and I submerged myself in the revellery, it was actually during this period that I found more friends, people whom I recognised from previous rallies and people who came up to me and put an arm around my shoulder, brothers and sisters who recognised me and asked "Where's your friend Frank?" and I loved the biker fraternity.
Arseholes closed the bar at 02h00!
I wandered back slowly demolishing a Kudu wors (sausage) roll and sipping whisky from my plastic bottle, I was very happy with my first day and I had a brand new inflatable mattress waiting for me - life is good!
I settled into my tent in the early hours of the morning with the sound of motorbike engines revving to the limit from different parts of the camp..............aaaahhh rally!


Raftnn said...

Great read, Interesting marketing straetgy.....add the word SEX and business takes off!

the rider said...

Hi Roger, yes from being a nondescript general dealer to an incredibly busy pub literally in the middle of nowhere!

George F said...

What a party, looks like everyone was having fun and the place was packed :-) yea, add "sex" and all of a sudden everyone wants a piece ;-)

GYMONR said...

Dam now that my idea of a Rally…But I with you…It’s more about the ride, nice post.
Big Al

the rider said...

Hi George yes the word "Sex" certainly changed that place.

Hi Al, thanks for the comment and I will write up the ride home next which was great.