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!