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, 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?

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