We only got to go to the Phoenix bar late on Friday because I had to work during the afternoon, I really hate it when work interferes with pleasure but what can you do? It was nice to see that there were a lot of people in the bar and my friend Fungis introduced me to Des Pistorius.Now most South African bikers will know of him and I have bumped into him at many rallies but have never really had the chance to sit down and chat with him, so it was great to talk one on one with him.
Des lives in Durban but is seen at rallies literally all over the country, he rides an old Goldwing 1100 which has amazingly just registered 1,100,000kms on the clock! I remember reading in the Bike SA magazine when he was up in Gauteng the year before last that there was a party to celebrate the bike just clicking over to 1,000,000kms.
He is 77 years old and just lives biking accompanied by his sidekick Boswell. Boswell rides on a soft pad attached to the bike's fuel tank and goes absolutely everywhere with Des. When I first met Des at the Ullyses rally in Colesburg in 2002 he had Widget with him, Widget subsequently died and was given a full biker funeral, complete with his own little leather waistcoat.
Des was passing through on a 7000km trip around SA on a Vespa scooter towing a small trailer and was staying over with Fungis, unfortunately the rig was not there for me to take a photo but I asked him; "Isn't that going to be a hell of a slow trip?" and he replied, "Man I've got all the time in the world."
Tragically Des lost his lady partner in an accident after last year's Buffalo rally when they hit some badly marked road works at night, he still tears up talking about it.
He will meet up with people in the little towns and says he will just sleep where he can, I know that many bikers will offer him food and accommodation and we wished him Godspeed and Bon Voyage, I was so happy to chat with him and I let him know that I have a great deal of admiration for him.
Sunday dawned warm and calm and we decided to go for a ride, I wanted to check out whether the new fuel pump that I had had fitted has solved the problems I have been having so we headed for the little town of Piketberg about 120kms away, we wanted to explore the mountain area "Bo-Piketberg" some more. We last rode that charmingly picturesque area with Dick and Janet and Rick on the way home from a sleepover at the Eendekuil hotel last year.
Just outside of the town you take the turn off to Bo-Piketberg and the road climbs amazingly quickly with five hairpin bends up to the plateau where you are rewarded with incredible vistas of verdant farmland with a narrow ribbon of tar winding through fragrant apple orchards. We spent a lovely hour exploring that beautiful area but it was getting HOT! We cruised back down the pass and settled in at the Spur restaurant for a beer and a burger and tried to cool down on the shady veranda. The ride home was incredibly hot, I read 38 degrees celsius on the bike's computer but the good news is that the big red machine performed flawlessly so our trip to East London in two weeks time is set.