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, November 26, 2012

Toy Run 2012

I was really looking forward to the toy run on Sunday, anticipation had been building through the week and bad weather forcasts notwithstanding, I was going, it was to be my fifteenth consecutive run and I did not want to miss it.
 Saturday the weather was abysmal, strong winds and intermittant heavy showers, I hoped that it would all clear up through the night and give clear weather. Linda came up from Capetown on Saturday morning and as she was staying over Janet used that as an excuse to duck out of the ride, she doesn't mind riding in the rain but hates strong winds.
I got things ready that evening, the bag of toys and games fitted easily into the pannier but I wanted Spidey to ride up front. He looked so cool there in the windscreen that I briefly entertained the idea of keeping him!
Sunday I was up early, the sky was partly cloudy with some heavy grey clouds around but there was no wind, it was pretty cold though. I said goodbye to the ladies and rode out of town just after 07h00, happy to be out on the bike, I was comfortable with a jersey under my summer jacket.
I filled the tank at the Engen One-Stop, quite a few bikes already parked, and went to get a cup of Wimpy's famous coffee.
Willie and his good lady arrived, their BMW bedecked with fluffy toys. As the garage forecourt filled up with bikers there were many more blasting past on their own or in small groups.
Meet and greet, talk crap, drink coffee and kick tires - I love it. Talk about kicking tires;
look at this extreme modification to a Hyabusa, a home garage modified extended swingarm and fat back tire, when I asked my brother what it was like to ride he said "Kak!" (An Afrikaans slang term for "not very nice" or "shit")
We headed out just after 08h00, Div in front setting a fast pace as we settled into our staggered formation, between 30 and 40 bikes blasting down the R27 at 150 to 160kmh  under a cold grey sky. It was a lovely ride, a few isolated spots of rain made no difference to my enjoyment and an hour later we were cruising into the outskirts of Capetown. Most of the guys pulled over for a smoke break but Frank and I carried on to the Viper Lounge for a pre-arranged rendezvous.
Leaving Spidey to look after the bikes we went in search of beverage, also our friend Janet was meeting Frank to ride with him on the toy run.
After a brief break we were back on the go, Frank with pillion and baby(?)
The mass ride is a little tiresome but rewarding with the hundreds of people lining the route to wave encouragement, there is a lot of clutch-brake-foot down-foot up-gear change-clutch-brake, watch the youngsters on scooters who have very little experience or road sense whilst keeping a wary eye on the temperature guage, but in the end it's all good.
The traffic department did a great job keeping the traffic flowing with dedicated lanes for the bikes, here's a lady cop looking cool on her Honda ST1300.
Riders continued pouring in to the Maynardville gathering area, it is a very large site but it was soon bursting at the seams.
The first thing we do is throw our toys into the trailers, it doesn't take long before the two huge trucks are overflowing with toys for underprivileged children. An amazing thirty years of toy runs started originally by the Italian Motorcyle Owners Club and now a nation-wide event - bikers are good folk!
A really good band was churning out classic and heavy rock numbers but we were on our next mission, the beer tent!
The beer tent was already doing a roaring trade, at the toy run if you want to see friends you just hang around outside the tent, everyone goes there! We saw many friends from rallies and day jols but over the past few years more and more non-bikers are attending the toy run just to get involved in the whole "feel-good" atmosphere, and possibly to mingle with the bikers too.
We wandered a bit, visiting the trade stalls, here Martene and Taryn greet people at the "Superwheels" stand, very soon the online biker magazine will be launched, for which yours-truly will be a regular contributor, I will let you know as soon as it is online.
Pretty soon it was time to leave, we'd had our fill of the trade stalls and the beer tent and it was back to the Viper Lounge for a toasted sandwich,
I parked the big red BMW outside the front of the Harley Davidson and Victory dealership to lend the place of touch of class, the toasted sandwich was delicious and good value.
We'll be back there next Saturday for the fourth birthday celebration and also a Victory motorcycles open day, maybe I'll take a test ride.
It had been a very good day, I love being involved with the Toy Run and with the wind pushing from behind I had a fast, enjoyable ride home taking exactly one hour from the Viper Lounge to my front door, my fifteenth toy run done, I hope I can do another fifteen?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Steel putty mounting bracket

I wrote previously about the action camera that I had bought, well I've had a few problems trying to mount it onto the bike. I located a place on the fairing next to the windscreen where it would fit and I managed to attach one of the mounting brackets with a strong bonding adhesive, so far so good.
We went out for a test ride but the camera was very wobbly in the bracket and as I increased my speed the wind blew the camera out of line, I would be taking photos of the sky!
On Friday I purchased a pack of "Pratley Steel Putty" and made some serious modifications to the bracket, I took the bike outside onto the road and aimed the camera to get a good shot of the whole road and then I stuffed the putty all around the bracket so that it could no longer move.
The putty has set good and hard and now it can be filed, shaped and coloured black so that it looks like a one-piece bracket. (Pity the camera's blue - I didn't think about the colour when I ordered it!)
Sunday next week is the Annual Toy Run in Capetown, this will be our fifteenth consecutive run and I will definitely be using the camera then, what this means is that I have exactly one week to learn how to use the camera!
Looking forward to the Toy Run - I'll show you the photos..........I hope!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Beneath" by Simon Wood

I know this has nothing at all to do with braais, beers or bikes but I thought "Hell man, this is my blog", there are over 31,000 readers out there from 161 countries and I applaud you, I really do, for sticking with me since I started this in 2008 and so I thought I would use this platform to promote something that is really close to my heart;
 This is my son with his debut novel which has just been published, check it out, buy it, read it and give me your comments - Come on, really do you blame me for using my blog to give my son's book a bit of free publicity? He is really close to my heart.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meeulanders and Olifantskop

It has been a busy weekend friends, on Friday afternoon we left home at about 16h30 and headed down to Capetown on the big red machine, what should have been a pleasant hour was ruined by a raging south-easter that buffetted us unmercifully all the way in to Linda's house.
The occasion for this trip was Janet's coming of age birthday and our 39th wedding anniversary, a double celebration at the "Dias Tavern" in town with six of our friends, for which purpose we very sensibly organised a taxi - and what a party it was! The food at Dias Tavern is great Portuguese fare such as fried tentacles and sardines, spicy hot chicken and espetadas and delicious Irish coffees and Dom Pedros with double Jamiesons to finish, replete and somewhat inebriated we made far more noise in the taxi on the way home than we did on the way there.
Saturday morning, feeling somewhat jaded we made our way home rather than partaking of our intended ride out and a stayover somewhere and the rerst of Saturday was quiet and restful. It's rather sobering to realise that we are no longer able to party like we used to, or rather that the after effects of serious partying take much longer to dissipate than they used to! Oh well, what can you do?
The weather was much better today, Sunday; quite overcast with no wind to speak of. Lovely weather for the bike. I had heard that the Meeulanders were going to do the hand-over of the foodstuffs collected on their tin run to the local Round Table organisation so we decided to pop in there before going to lunch.
Div, the president of the Meeulanders told me that the members had done an excellent job on the tin run, of which I wrote about a short while ago and had collected 1,4 tons of foodstuffs, tins and packets! That is a phenomenal amount of food which will be distributed to those in need by the Round Tablers;
There was a display representing the food collected by that worthy club which was officially handed over. Congratulations to Div and the members of the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club who worked so hard to make a difference in the lives of people less fortunate than others.
I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it; ~ Bikers are good folk.
We stayed for a while chatting with our friends, had a couple of beers with them and then it was time to head off in search of sustenance.
A short but exhillerating blast through to Langebaan brought us to the "Olifantskop Farm and Restaurant" just outside of the town, it was many years since we had last been there and time to visit again.
"Live rugby in pub" ?! Could be a bit rowdy! A lot has changed since we were there last, particularly the accommodation, the friendly manageress told us that they can now accommodate up to 100 people in en-suite rooms and chalets and the restaurant and outdoor eating area had been enlarged considerably.
Unfortunately we were the only people there for lunch, Janet ordered a starter of lightly battered prawns  with a sweet chilli sauce dip and the prawns were very nice, fresh and crispy.
My Peri-peri chicken livers were delicious, the livers were not over cooked and the sauce had just enough of a spicy background to get the endorphins flowing slightly, I really enjoyed that one. Our hostess recommended the pork spare ribs, apparently the chef has a reputation for them and that was good enough for me, "The large protion please!"
 The ribs were oustanding, quite frankly the best I have had for a long time, they were lightly honey-glazed not sloshed or drowned in a sweet barbeque sauce as is so often the case. The slight honey flavour delicately complemented the pork and they were wonderfully tender, the bones just pulled away from the meat, a lovely meal with nicely cooked chips.
Janet's hamburger with a "home made meat patty" on the other hand was a disappointment, the meat patty was small, compressed and rather dry, she enthused over the pepper sauce though and I tasted it, fabulously peppery with chunks of ground peppercorns.
I ommitted to get their phone number so we'll have to go back, I look forward to it because of those spare ribs. Give then a try, you won't be disappointed and apparently there is live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, just outside of Langebaan opposite the Club Mykonos turn off, see you there.
Our bill for a bottle of wine, two starters and two mains was R300, excellent value.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


After our last ride together Janet decided that as my current photography technique is a bit dangerous and as she does not like taking photos, perhaps I should buy an action camera.
I must confess that perhaps my methods are not all that safe, maybe I should let you be the judge; Before setting off I put the camera's string loop around my right wrist and then drop the camera into my jacket sleeve and do up the velcro tab closing the sleeve.
Once on the road if I decide I want a photo I then engage the cruise control, leave go of the handlebars, undo the velcro tab and drop the camera out of my sleeve, take the photo or photos, drop the camera back into my sleeve, pull up the velcro tab and then disengage the cruise control - easy!
I had perused the action camera websites before but was put off by the prices, now with the member-in-charge's permission and encouragement I went back in and this is what I bought;
 The "Oregon Scientific ATC5K Action Camera" delivered to my door for just over R2,500.
It comes with a variety of mounting brackets and straps and appears to be aimed more at the bicycle crowd but I think it will be ideal for my requirements, it comes with a remote control and can take either video clips or stills and most important of all, it is water-proof. Certainly if it can take the rough treatment dished out by mountain biking it should easily be good for a touring bike.
This gives a better impression of the size, it apparently has a wide angle lens for those "group therapy" shots. There are several straps for attaching to the crash helmet but I think that tends to look a bit "dorky" so I am going to attach one of the brackets to my fairing just next to the windscreen with a strong bonding putty, this means that if I ever sell the bike the bracket will have to go with it, maybe even the camera!
We are riding this weekend so I'm hoping to get it fitted and tested and I'll share the results with you, watch this space.
I'm going to leave you with a photo that epitomises Cool - I borrowed this from "Spirit Leather" via "Bike Life" on facebook, I reckon that if it's out there on the social network then I can use it;
Come on, how seriously cool is that dude? Safety concerns aside you have to admit that that is really cool.