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, December 31, 2012


As 2012 draws to a close and we look forward to all of the riding that we will do in 2013 I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who bother to read my blog an absolutely wonderful celebration, a happy and successful new year and may the best of the past year be the worst of the new one.
I'm not one for "New Year Resolutions" but I do intend to do much more riding and writing this coming year. We have been talking about the possibility of upgrading the bike during the second half of January, the conversation developed whilst we were relaxing in the spa bath, where all of our good conversations start, and continued from my question; "Do you think it's time that we bought a car?"
We don't own a car, haven't had one since about mid 2000 when I sold my V6 3litre Ford Sierra, we have a company pick-up which called a "bakkie" here that we use for local trips but the majority of our travelling is done on the motorbike, which to us is infintely preferable.
We were both pretty unenthusiastic about buying a car, I'm not a car person and the conversation turned to upgrading the motorbike for the last time, this was exciting! The upshot of this is that in the second half of the month we are going to visit the dealerships to look at getting a new RT, I have looked at the 1600GT but I think I would prefer a newer model R1200RT, so we're going to test ride.
We are on holiday with our family now, all of whom are on a three week visit from the UK, so there won't be many blog posts from me during the first part of the month but I will let you know what happens with the new bike.
Stay safe, ride sober and keep the rubber side down.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Local toy run

Monday 17th December was a public holiday so a bunch of bikers decided to put it to good use, I got a phone call from Des in Velddrif to say that a large number of toys from the Capetown toy run which took place on 25th November had been allocated for distribution in the area - spread the word!
Apparently a very busy children's home in Velddrif needed a lot of toys for Christmas, they had tried to organise donations last year but didn't receive any toys, this year the bikers were going to be involved! We were to meet at the school car park in Vredenburg and ride together through to Velddrif, Janet and I were the first ones there but it didn't take long before bikers started arriving;
 Vincent and his lady with their new very cool looking R1
 My old riding buddy Frank was next on his FJR
Mercier and Alec arrived on their bikes, Alec is still recovering from a nasty accident, he was parked off the road standing next to his bike when some cager idiot slammed into them. He had a badly broken leg which as you can see is still in a frame;
Alec is a real biker and you just can't keep a good biker down! Just be careful with that lot Brother.

Soon there was quite a large group, all geared up and ready to do something good once again for needy children.

The weather was lovely, quite a hot sunny day as we set out in our usual staggered formation for the thirty-odd kilometre ride through to the little town of Velddrif on the banks of the Berg river.

 At the garage there was an even bigger group of bikers assembled, wonderful people, we wandered around meeting and greeting;
 A rather younger looking Santa was there ready to join in the mass ride,
 A new young potential biker ready to ride!
The lady who runs the children's charity gave a brief talk thanking the bikers for their generosity and then it was time for the mass ride through Velddrif to the home;
 There's Des on his Suzuki side-car rig with a bunch of passengers.

Followed by Santa Claus on the white BMW Police bike, not his usual mode of transport but perfect for this particular occasion.

 I didn't count the bikes but it was a large group, a wonderful turn-out - there's Willie on his new 1300 BMW.
Alec seems to be managing just fine on his new Kawasaki. We rode down through the town and then out to the children's home'
 There was quite a party going on, each child received a small gift from Santa, the 3,000 toys from the Toy Run would be handed out to the children the following week on Christmas day, making sure that each child would have a happy Christmas thanks to biker generosity.
We spent a while there with the kids and then headed off in search of sustenance, the group split up, some going to the "Wielhuis Pub" and the rest of us to Des' "Ek en Djy Visery" on the banks of the Berg river.
 We've been there many times because Des is a biker buddy of ours, he's constantly making improvements to the place.
 There were quite a few tourists in the area as well, they didn't seem to put off by the arrival of a mob of bikers.
 A beautiful pair of Ninjas!
 One of the improvements that Des has made is to include a kitchen that provides light meals at very reasonable prices, my hake and chips was excellent and very good value, Janet had a hamburger which she really enjoyed.
What an extremely pleasant setting in which to enjoy a light meal, a beer or two and some conversation with like minded people, we are lucky in that we live close by but it's not too far for you Capetown people to come and visit, you won't be disappointed I promise.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Meeulanders are at it again

Saturday morning at about 10h30 the temperature was already in the high twenties and there was no wind, in fact it was quite humid which we don't often get here, more like Durban's weather. We pulled on our riding jackets happy in the knowledge that in about ten minutes time we would be taking them off again.
We were heading through to the bike shop in Vredenburg, "West Coast Yamaha" for a look at some new clothing, a new big scooter which I was keen to ride and some free boerewors rolls. Sadly the open day was not well attended but the boerewors rolls were nice. 
The new Yamaha Scooter was certainly nice looking;
 Very aggressive and macho styling and certainly the "face" was more like a superbike than a scooter,
I took it for a ride but I'm afraid it was only a short ride, I didn't like it at all but to be fair it goes like the clappers and is capable of 180kmh (apparently), I didn't try it. It is a "twist and go", no gears so while I was riding I was very careful not to grab a handfull of the left lever which on this bike operates the back brake. I did not like the fact that my feet were in front of me and close together like at a school desk and when I had to make a turn my hands on the bars came up against my knees. Feeling very wobbly and nervous I took it back to the shop, it is for smaller people and for them it would be great, the build quality is fantastic and it certainly is sporty - if you're into scooters this would be a great one.
Monica said that if I rode the big one I would also have to ride the small one, no way! If I was nervous on the big one then this one would terrify me!
This was much better, I took Janet for a ride on the new 1200 Super Tenere', I did a write up on this when it first came out and I enjoyed it then. Janet really enjoyed it, she said the pillion was very comfortable but she would have liked a back rest - which comes as an aftermarket part in the form of a topcase. This bike has a lot of torque and although I rode most of the time in "Touring" mode there was a lot of grunt, I also liked the seating position with the relatively high handlebars, very comfortable - I wouldn't mind one of these in my garage!
We spent a pleasant couple of hours with our friends, also the "Rooikraans pub" is conveniently just across the road so we popped in for a cold beer to counter the effects of the heat, just the one and then it was time to join the club for their ride to the children's home where they were to donate toys that had been collected at their year end function.
Sadly only a handful of the members turned up but the children were very excited to see us, and obviously the presents too.
Craig and Monica went in their van with all of the presents and we all carried them into the house, a lovely big collection of toys and games.
This lovely young girl on the right gave a wonderful "Thank you" speech that had some of our ladies teary-eyed, it's the kind of reaction that makes it all so worth while, before we left everyone gathered outside on the veranda for a group photo.
We met up afterwards at "Juffroshoogte" outside of town, it's a farm/guesthouse and I'm not even going to try to tell you how to pronounce that! We had a very reasonable lunch there but unfortunately because it is a farm the flies were a huge problem, we had to eat quickly before they carried the food away.
It was a lovely day out with a great bunch of people and on Monday, which is a public holiday we will be joining another local toy run........aren't bikers the best people?!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Of restaurants, good and bad, my sister and my friends

It has been a lovely weekend, great summer weather and a nice ride down to Capetown to meet my sister for lunch at "Cafe Orca" in Melkbosstrand, unfortunately the lunch was very mediocre; I had deep fried soft shell crabs for a starter but it could have been deep fried cotton wool or deep fried anything at all as there was no flavour whatsoever. The whole grilled fish I had is not worth mentioning as there was no texture to the flesh at all, however the fact that we met with my darling sister who was down for a visit from Johannesburg and whom we haven't seen for about five years made the whole trip worthwhile.
We spent a lovely two hours chatting, laughing and reminiscing before heading for home again, it had been lovely spending the time with her and I'm just sorry that we live so far apart. In fact all four of my sisters live far away from me, three in South Africa and one in the USA and my brother, whom I haven't seen since 1996, lives in New Zealand - anyway, enough about my family.
The ride down in the morning and back again in the afternoon was great, good summer weather but with a rather strong wind and I'm afraid that the R27 is very familiar and rather boring so I tend to do it fast with both of us keeping a keen eye out for speed traps.
Today, Sunday the Meeulanders had a charity run after a memorial service at the biker church but as it was starting at 08h00, which was almost the very time that my cat woke me up, I decided to give it a miss - I kicked the cat off the bed, turned over and went back to sleep, I am habitually an early riser so when I do get the chance to sleep late I really enjoy it.
We got on the bike at about 11h00 and went cruising around the local pubs and restaurants in search of the bikers who were supposed to be out and about, but Frank's phone was on voicemail all day,
 There can't be many of you who don't know who Frank is by now, he is my riding buddy here in typical pose with the ubiquitous cigarette paper stuck to his lip, he rolls his own. With him is another reprobate and local riding buddy; Fungis with whom we have been to many rallies and day jols.
here heard telling Janet; "You know, your husband is a f*#%ing asshole!" Ah but what the hell, I love these guys, they're my brothers!
We were not able to find any of them and after a very pleasant local cruise we ended up at one of our favourite local restaurants; The Slipway in Saldanha harbour. We go there often and I have written about it before, as soon as we walk in our bottle of wine is opened and brought to the table and my favourite starter, mussel and bacon bites, which we share, is prepared without me having to say anything;
These are fresh mussels from my farm, wrapped in bacon and fried in fine crumbs, delicious. We were the first ones there and it really is a lovely setting;
right on the water's edge and overlooking the yacht club moorings, it didn't take long for more diners to arrive.
We relaxed over our bottle of wine, my main course was succulent Dorado fillet while Janet had a dish of Snoek pate'
 Janet's meal was actually another starter portion but she declared it perfect for her appetite.
A thoroughly enjoyable meal, the bill for two starters, one main course, a bottle of Darling Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, a whisky Dom Pedro (hers) and a coffee (mine) came to R320 with the gratuity - value for money in my book. Give them a call on 0227144235 and tell them I sent you, or better still let me know when you're going and we'll go with you!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Just a Thursday evening ride

It's that time of year in the western cape when the wind blows out of the south for days on end, it gusts up to 100kmh down on the foreshore in Capetown, young girls either get blown off their feet or their skirts get wrapped around their heads so depending on your outlook and your transport, it can be a good time or a bad time to be down there.
It is however, a very difficult time to ride a motorbike there, you can quite easily be blown over and this nearly happened to us one day, how I managed to hold the bike up without busting a poopstring I'll never know, just sheer desperation I guess.
Now as we come into December things start calming down, the days are much longer; daylight lasts until after 20h00 and one needs to take advantage of lovely warm, calm summer evenings. People have various ways of doing this, some have a braai, some go for walks, although why anyone would walk when they have a perfectly good motorbike is beyond me! And so it was that yesterday evening we decided to go for a ride, we were both home fairly early from work and it was one of those beautiful still evenings with that peculiar quality of light from the setting sun that gives a brightness to the horizon but a chilly dusk to one's immediate surroundings.
Comfortably attired we roared out of town, the setting sun to our left as we headed out towards the next town; Vredenburg. I had no destination in mind, the intention was to ride for a while and then decide on somewhere to have dinner. It was a lovely feeling, the road was not busy, most of the local people were already at home and the big red machine was performing effortlessly, as we neared the town I lifted my visor and shouted to Janet "What about Modo Mio in Paternoster?"
Paternoster is what was once a small fishing village some 15kms from Vredenburg, when we first moved into the area it was a 15km gravel road and the place remained quaint and relatively unchanged but then the road was tarred and things changed drastically. Suddenly literally hundreds of holiday homes sprang up, several restaurants and guest houses appeared and the place lost its special charm. It is still well worth a visit though.
Modo Mio is one of our favourites and Janet was happy to go there again. As we cruised down towards the coast long shadows crossed the road and a heavy fog bank hung over the sea.
I used the ride as an opportunity to further test my action camera and I must say the results are pretty pleasing, some nice shots of Paternoster in the evening.
At the restaurant Janet went for the "Modo Mio steak", a piece of sirloin wrapped in bacon and fried in breadcrumbs, very tasty and with lovely thin, well fried chips - most of that steak is in our fridge now for me to eat!
My Seafood platter consisted of mussels, hake, prawns, calamari and those same thin, well fried chips - very good, and we will be back.
We sat for a while chatting and finishing our wine in the fading light and then it was time to kick-start the big red machine and head for home.
Long shadows by then and quite cold but very refreshing and what a pleasure to be out on a motorbike, 15kms to Vredenburg and 13kms to Saldanha.
I wound it up on the way into town but apparently not fast enough for my lady, when we pulled up outside the house she said "I thought you were going to open it up a bit on the last stretch!"
What a pleasant end to the day and the thing is that if we had a car we wouldn't bother to go out, there's something special about this kind of trip on a motorbike which is quite difficult to explain, I do try and I will keep trying to put it into words......stay with me, but those of you who do ride will know what I'm talking about.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Viper Lounge 4th birthday

You all know by now that the Viper Lounge in Tableview is one of our favourite spots on the planet and that we often pull in there for breakfast or just for a beer or several when riding in that area, so it was good to get notification of their fourth birthday celebration and Victory motorcycles open day which was taking place on Saturday 1st December.
Our friend Janet was to meet us there and accommodation was arranged, her daughter Taryn of SuperwheelsSA, the soon to be launched online biker magazine offered us her home for the night, only five minutes away from the Viper Lounge we were unlikely to encounter any roadblocks. 
We were up reasonably early on Saturday morning, I was keen to get going so I was moving things along. I was particularly pleased to see that the weather was calm and sunny because the whole week had been really bad with gale force southerlies and I was afraid that Janet would not want to go.
The ride down the R27 was uneventful and rather enjoyable, most of the traffic was heading up our way from Capetown so we had a virtually clear passage at speed and it was just after 10h00 that we pulled into the car park outside the Viper Lounge.
There was already a good crowd and there were already four bikes in line for the bikini wash, I wasted no time in getting the big red machine into the line! Time for a beer, there was no entry charge and everyone was given a ticket that entitled them to a free boerewors roll and a small draft beer, very cool.
The bikini girls were very sweet, I moved them out from under their awning so that I could get good photos and they had no objection to a dirty old man hanging around taking pictures, at least I didn't have sweeties in my pockets!
Some TLC for the big red machine from a pretty girl, I enjoyed myself and there was more to come later in the day.
My friends Nancy and Pieter were there for a while, on their way to another day jol in the Southern Suburbs,
we met solely through this blog and through facebook and are now firm friends meeting up at various biker events, it just goes to show the power of the internet.
While all of this was going on they started braaiing the boerewors and man did that aroma get the juices flowing! All credit to Dieter and the crew at the Viper Lounge, they kept the rolls going right through the day and they were very good.
Jan tries a Sportster 883 on for size, mark my words; It's not going to be too long before you see this lady out on the road and in the wind.
By midday the parking area was full of bikes and the party was in full swing, I saw quite a few really interesting machines;
How's this for a fancy orange metal flake Davidson?
This is nice! A Honda Valkyrie, basically a naked Goldwing, a great looking machine, I really like this one.
A stunning Ivory or Ice-white Suzuki Boulevarde, plenty of chrome to polish there!
An extremely radical Chopper, not sure how comfortable that ride would be but certainly a work of art.
By early afternoon the place was pumping and then it was time for the "Black Widow ladies"!
Suddenly Dieter himself was caught off-guard by the beautiful young ladies in his pub, they had come to administer shots of "Black Widow", a Vodka based drink and I was determined not to miss out!
The drink was not too bad, if you had a shot you had to face the "Cat-o'-nine-tails" or pay for the shot, I opted for the whip, much to the amusement of the two Janet's, one of whom would, I am sure have liked to have wielded the whip herself! (No names, no pack-drill.)
A second shot of the Vodka and coffee drink and a second lash and I was beginning to enjoy this! Funnily enough I only saw one other guy going for the whip, what happened to the other tough bikers? If you look closely at this picture you can see the whip curling around him and the slightly worried look on his face, I'm sure that the normal pubs that these ladies go to only require them to "stroke" the patrons but here at the biker pub the shouts were to "Swing the bloody thing!"
 Fabulous legs and a short leather mini-skirt, I mean really what more could you ask for?
 We left shortly after this to get settled into our accommodation and to go for a meal, a hot spicy chicken and prawn dish at Cubana which I really enjoyed, then a double Jamieson Dom Pedro on the pavement outside "Atlantico"
The three of us sat and sipped our Dom Pedros and watched the sun set over the iconic mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world! A fabulous evening, from there we went back to the Viper Lounge but things were tapering off so we had an A.B.F. and headed home, it had been a lovely day and I'm sure a great success for the Viper Lounge and may there be many more birthdays to celebrate, we'll be there.
We actually got on the road quite early on Sunday even though Janet(dh) and I sat up quite late talking crap, I was drinking Johnny Walker Red, I don't know what she was drinking, Janet(wife) had gone to bed quite a while ago.
By the time we were halfway up the R27 the weather changed to cold, we stopped so Janet could put a jersey on and then raced the weather home arriving just after 09h00. What an enjoyable weekend so far we still had all of Sunday ahead of us, and I wasn't in trouble!