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, June 27, 2012

Capetown's number ONE!

I read an AOL newsclip by Ruth Doherty that Tripadvisor has announced that our own "Mothercity", our beautiful Capetown has been voted the best holiday destination in the world!

One of my Canadian friends, Jeremy forwarded me the link; http://aol.it/y79RgC where you can check it out for yourself. Apparently we, and I say we because Capetown is only about 140kms away from where I live, pushed Sydney into second place, Machu Picchu came third, Paris fourth and Rio came fifth.
This is great news, look it is a beautiful City with a great deal to offer as far as holiday makers are concerned so I am not surprised by this at all. Come see for yourself!
We spend quite a lot of time in and around Capetown either staying over with our friends who live in various suburbs around the city or just "in and out" on a day trip.
Well done Capetown!

Dragon Lords Mcc Matric Drive and Sleepover;
And now for something completely different; well actually it is taking place in Capetown; on Saturday 21st July the Dragon Lords, a Capetown motorcycle club are hosting a "Matric drive and sleepover" at the Daytona Palms, Daytona Road, Killarney Gardens.
Remember how I was saying what good people bikers are? Well this club will be collecting Matric dresses and outfits for underprivileged school children who otherwise would not have been able to have an enjoyable matric dance.
How many people have got their daughter's Matric dress still hanging in the cupboard even though she left home many years ago and now has kids of her own? We do and we will be taking that dress, and hopefully a couple of others with us to the jol.
One of my Capetown biker friends Nancy recently announced on her Facebook page that she has so far managed to collect six dresses, Man I love bikers!
I haven't been to the Daytona Palms yet but apparently there is enough space for tents because many of the bikers made it known that they intend to party and don't want to ride afterwards, there will be live music and stalls and the musicians amongst you have been urged to take your musical instruments along because there will be jamming sessions. It sounds like it's going to be a jol of note, I may have to leave my bike there and take a taxi back to Linda's house!
How's that for a bit of really good news to end off with?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Advertise in Superwheels SA Magazine

The time for the launch of Superwheels SA Magazine is drawing nearer! Although I am only involved as far as submitting an article once a month is concerned, I cannot help but be caught up in the excitement, I am really hoping that this mag is accepted not only by the biking fraternity but also by the dealers and service providers who are needed for the vital advertising.
 Now there is a competition being run where those that advertise in the inaugural issue will be placed in a draw to win their advert free of charge in the September issue! What a bargain.
At the moment, as I said before this magazine is only being issued in the Western Cape, so this is only for the attention of my Western Cape readers - so pay attention both of you!
If you know of anyone, dealer, mechanic, service provider or club president - in fact anyone who has anything to do with our prefered lifestyle, direct their attention to this advertisement; Let's make it happen people!
What I would really like  is that you email me; oddsandsods@telkomsa.net  (cc info@superwheelssa.co.za) with your favourite rides, breakfast run venues and general favourite spots so that I can visit them and write them up in forthcoming issues, you will receive credit for the suggestions and maybe we can visit the place together. It could be a total jol!
Give it some thought brothers and sisters, we bikers can make it happen and we could soon have our own free biker magazine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, a day on the bike

Wednesday afternoon the General Manager phones me; "Andrew we need to get tomorrow's sample to the lab in Capetown early, do you think you could take it on your motorbike?" Hmmm let me think about that.......Hell yeah!
The opportunity to do a weekday ride is a real pleasure which I don't get all that often, I phoned Frank and asked him if he was up for a ride, I wanted to check out the route for the Polar Bear run and suggested he meet me at the Viper Lounge between 10h30 and 11h00, he was keen.
Thursday morning was cold but it was going to be another one of those mild winter days, I checked! There was a bit of a mix-up in the preparation of the sample and I didn't get away until 09h05, a bit late but I was determined to be there by 10h30, so it was to be a high speed run then?
I actually made it through Capetown traffic and dropped off the sample by 10h25, one hour and twenty minutes later, a personal record! I also made sure that I dropped my speed down to 120kmh at the known revenue gathering spots so I should be okay and I got back to the Viper Lounge just before Frank arrived. A thoroughly enjoyable start to the day.
We sat and chatted over a cup of coffee and then saddled up, back out of town along the R27, right onto the M19 up to the N7 and left towards Malmesbury. The N7 was busy but we weren't on it for long, right onto the R304 past Philadelphia where we would be stopping for breakfast and then we were out of the traffic and into more picturesque country.
I took a wrong turn and we ended up at a dead end next to a wind farm, I actually didn't realise how big those things are;
 We retraced our route back to the intersection and were soon on the right road, I found what I had been looking for; a narrow ribbon of tar threading its way through the wine farms and the delightfully picturesque Paardeberg mountain range towards Paarl and Wellington.
By then the sun was high and starting to warm us up, there was not a breath of wind and at the next stop I had to remove my jersey. It was the most absolutely fantastic riding weather and to be out there in the winelands leaning into curves and cresting ridges, speeding down into yet more beautiful and fertile valleys was sheer pleasure as the big BMW ate up the mileage, our destination was Wellington for a bit of lunch.
 We eventually found "The Gekko Lounge" on the main road, a new place for both of us, it looked very neat and clean with a large outside area which would obviously be pleasant in the summer, we elected to eat inside. The fairly extensive menu certainly looked reasonable and we both opted for crumbed pork chops with chips and salad at R70, with a glass of dry red each the bill with the gratuity came to a very reasonable R180.
Feeling much refreshed and satiated we set out for the ride home, I had now established exactly what I wanted for the Polar Bear run and there was still plenty of good riding ahead of us. Wellington to Malmesbury is around sixty kilometres through the wheat fields.
Negotiating the single lane bridge outside of Wellington, we were soon back out on the open road and heading at speed for the fairly large town of Malmesbury which is in the centre of the wheat faming area.
Just outside of Malmesbury we arrived at what must have been the Mother of all "Stop/go" road works! There was already a queue of about forty cars as we cruised slowly down the shoulder to the front of the line, they see us rolling - they hating! We stopped right infront of the first vehicle in the queue which was a front-end loader, the next was an eighteen wheeler! Man that was going to be a slow line when it got going. The attendant changed to sign to "Go" and it was still creaking when Frank and I blasted away, oh the sheer joy of being on two wheels!
Malmesbury to Saldanha is just over one hundred kilometres and we decided that we were going to wind it up on that stretch, 160kmh is just right and thoroughly enjoyable and at 16h30 we pulled into the Beach Bar in Saldanha for an Absolute Bloody Final - or two. I had phoned Janet earlier so she met us there after work.
What an absolutely wonderful day it had been, and a golden opportunity to be able to spend a day out on the bike instead of working!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday and Monday riding

We have had the worst winter storm so far and there are no doubt many more to come but again Sunday dawned clear and calm albeit bloody cold! As I said in my last post we had been invited to attend a Dave "McFlash" MacFadden supporters day at the Viper lounge so it was a nice excuse for a ride, not that we need many excuses.
It was about 09h30 by the time we got onto the R27 and my thermometer was reading 10 celsius - Fresh! We both dressed warm and as there was no wind it was actually a very pleasant ride, somewhere around 10h30 we were ordering breakfast and drinking our first beer.
 It was a good opportunity for me to have a chat with the two young ladies who are heading up the new Superwheels SA Magazine; Martene left and Taryn right who both seem to be really fired up and very enthusiastic, it was a pleasure talking to them. It certainly is an exciting project and I'm happy to be a part of it.
We enjoyed a good breakfast and then watched Max Biaggi win the first race of the day, a really exciting and close race after which we took our leave.
As I have been tasked with planning the route for the upcoming fifth annual Polar Bear run I wanted to visit the place that I had in mind for breakfast on that Saturday so we headed for the "Pepper Tree Art Stable and Coffee Shop" in the little town of Philadelphia where I met and spoke with the owner, Annalet Aspeling, who was charming and only too happy to oblige with a set menu breakfast for 20 to 22 bikers in the middle of winter. I'm sure a group like that is a nice cash injection in what would normally be a very quiet time.
From there we took a fairly leisurely cruise up the N7 as far as Malmesbury, Janet pointed out the snow capped mountains visible to our right around the Ceres area, that's why it's so damn cold!
The R45 from Malmesbury was a breeze, no traffic to speak of and no wind and it was a real pleasure to cruise at a relatively sedate pace towards the coast and home. After a couple of beers (glasses of wine in Janet's case) at the Beach Bar where we were in time to watch Max win the second race as well, we arrived home at about 16h30, a very pleasant day and as I had been asked to take mussel samples to the lab in Capetown the next day I was looking forward to another ride.
The earlier the samples get to the lab the sooner the tests can be carried out and the sooner the results are available, but because of the horrendous early morning traffic in town it is considerably quicker to take the samples down by bike. It is an hour from Saldanha to the outskirts of Capetown, from there to the Rosebank area where the lab is situated it takes me half an hour on the bike because I can filter down through the snarled up lanes of traffic, in a vehicle that can take another hour and a half!
I love these "Sample run" opportunities! I left Saldanha at 08h15 with my dashboard thermometer reading 8,5 celsius! Wearing knee warmers, a jersey and my winter jacket and with my handgrip warmers turned on I was quite comfortable.
I set a fast pace down the R27, the engine purring at fractionally over 5000rpm at 160kmh we ate up the kilometres with the sun slowly rising in the pale sky to my left. What a fantastic ride, cars and trucks obligingly moving aside as I swept up behind them, I was in my element and thoroughly enjoying myself. I slowed down to 120kmh at the laybyes where the revenue collectors usually hide so hopefully I won't be making any contributions!
Sure enough, as expected I ran into traffic between Melkbos and Tableview but I am quite used to filtering the lanes, keeping an eye out ahead for cars jumping gaps and I had an interesting ride through to Rosebank arriving there at 09h40 - actually just less than an hour and a half, bloody good going!
By then it was definitely time for a breakfast so I made my way back to the Viper Lounge, R47:50 with two pieces of toast and coffee, very nice and the coffee warmed me up so well that I had another.
This Johnny Cash "Walk the line" chopper is on the sales floor, very cool indeed with what is obviously the great man's sentiment on the tank;
 I wish I could afford to have it as a second bike, I must admit I wouldn't mind posing around the Saldanha/Vredenburg/Langebaan area on that one - no further than that though, it must be a very uncomfortable ride for any kind of distance.
The ride home was absolutely great, considerably warmer by the time I hit the R27 - I would like to propose that the speed limit on the open road be increased for motorbikes to 160kmh, all in favour?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oxtail pot and lunch at Chappie's

We had a very good time last weekend, we went down to our friend Janet's house in Hout Bay to do an oxtail potjie for a bunch of friends. We drove down in the bakkie because I took my pot and my gas cooker which would have been very difficult to carry on the bike! Generally the weather was good although we did pass through some rain over "Suikerbossie"
Here the meat has been browned and I was frying the mixture of onions, green peppers and celery before putting the meat back in with some fresh garlic cloves.
Then it was time to add the special ingredient before letting the pot simmer for five hours. It was a very festive evening with a great bunch of people and they seemed to enjoy my pot.
Cleaning up the next morning was easy because Janet has an automatic pot cleaner which we put to good use, after a relaxed morning we had Peri-Peri Chicken at the Chapman's Peak Hotel before heading home.
The "Chappie's" veranda is a very picturesque place to have lunch, overlooking the bay and right next to the road which heads up over the iconic Chapman's Peak drive, there is a constant procession of motorbikes roaring past and also loads of beautiful South African girls arriving for lunch! Oh yes and the chicken was excellent!
During the past week we have had the first of our serious winter storms, Thursday and Friday were absolutely miserable! Today the sky has cleared and we may be in for a good weekend, tomorrow we want to ride down to the Viper Lounge in Capetown for a "McFlash" MacFadden supporters jol organised by the Superwheels SA Magazine team. No point in arriving for something like that in a bakkie!
I also need to plan the route for the Polar Bear run which is taking place at the end of July so I intend to ride that tomorrow afternoon, I'm thinking of organising breakfast in Philadelphia and then a loop through Malmesbury ending up at Porterville in the late afternoon with the cheese and wine stop somewhere in between, it's all good isn't it?
Just as a matter of interest and seeing as how it's Father's day on Sunday I bought myself this "Kershaw" folding knife, every man needs to carry a knife in his pocket for cutting biltong etc., and seeing as how my last one, a "Leatherman" multi-tool got stolen at work I decided that I needed another one - R800 at the Xtreme store which I thought was pretty good.
Stay safe and if you pass a vehicle with a "Think Bike" sticker give them a thumbs-up because they have our interests at heart.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Superwheels SA Magazine


Great news for those of us in the Western Cape! Superwheels SA magazine is being launched in August this year, this will be the first free biker magazine and will be dedicated to the biking lifestyle. Written by bikers for bikers its content will include articles on the racing scene written by a prominent racer, information on rallies, day jols and charity runs.
Advertising will be relevant and of interest to all of us, they will invite input from the public in the form of letters or emails and I have been asked to write a monthly article on local rides, restaurants and general places of interest to the biking fraternity.
This is all very exciting and long overdue and I am sure it will be eagerly adopted by the lucky Western Cape biking family. Plans are to go national a bit later.
Keep a look out for this magazine in August, closer to the time I will let you know who will be distributing it, we need to support this initiative brothers and sisters.