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, July 24, 2013

R.I.P. our brother Freddy Swart

Today our brother Freddy Swart passed away, taken by a cruel, debilitating medical condition which weakened him over the years since I have known him. He took it all in his stride and carried on with his life as well as he could and had a biker sense of humour 'till the end.
On the 2010 Polar Bear run (centre). I met him before this, he was on the 2009 run but unfortunately he was not in any of my photos on that one.
Fooling around at the bonfire, always ready for a laugh and like me a great fan of AC/DC music.
His number was drawn for the Polar Bear ride, up and down the road in the early morning in jocks and boots, he had no problem, game for anything.
For the 2011 Polar Bear run he had a green "Mohawk".

and he won the "Character of the run" floating trophy, he had also won this trophy at the 2009 run.
Me, Freddy and Frank on the 2012 Polar Bear run, by then he could no longer speak but he could still party and he did.
This was the last time I was to see Freddy, at the "Alles wat Mal is" jol at Vlakvarkgat, a party of note held in his honour and man did he party! Especially when the DJ played anything by AC/DC.
And he got lots of love from his brothers and his sisters. The Western Cape biking fraternity has lost a true brother and we offer condolences to his wife and family.
A biker 'till the end. We're all going to miss you my brother, especially now that the sixth Polar Bear run is being held this coming weekend and you would have ridden with us if you could have. We will dedicate this run to your memory - ride on.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fog 'n speeding fine

Well today turned out to be a day of mixed fortunes! I had said to Janet that if the weather turns out decent we should go for a ride, she was as usual up for that and so this morning I opened the curtains and gazed expectantly through the window. It looked clear although there was a rather heavy fog.
I tend to forget that I can use this computer to access the weather sites to find out beforehand what the day is going to be like. Note to self; check the long range forecasts for the Polar Bear run, but on the other hand do I really want to know? We are going anyway, maybe it will be better just to ride with the wet weather gear easily accessible if it's not already raining on Saturday morning.
We rode out of Saldanha this morning in patchy fog, sometimes thick enough to reduce my speed to 80kmh in places but we could see that it was burning off and the sky was a clear blue, no wind and the promise of a lovely day. Great stuff, we hadn't ridden anywhere for a while and I suggested that we head out towards Piketburg because that is my intended breakfast stop next weekend and I wanted to get the distance.
Saldanha to Mooreesburg is by now so familiar, a nice fast run along the R45 to the Mooreesburg turnoff and then a slow cruise for about 20kms to avoid the bumps and potholes before riding into the town, quiet on a Sunday morning.
I see that the new road is under construction, that will make things a lot more pleasant when that is completed.
I behaved myself cruising through Mooreesburg and out towards the N7, I took a left and then accelerated up to 120kmh forgetting that that area has an 80kmh restriction and there ahead of me I saw a traffic cop stride out onto the road to stop me - bugger!
We were one of several other dejected looking groups that had been stopped, the only bikers (so far) but I must admit that the female traffic officer was very polite and courteous and far nicer to deal with than her male counterparts have been on my previous dealings with them. Not that I often have dealings with traffic cops, you understand - just occasionally.
After receiving my fine for R1,400 we proceeded on towards Piketburg, this was going to make it an expensive lunch! We hit more fog patches, some very thick,
but still it was an enjoyable ride. I kept to the speed limit - because of the fog and slowed down at the outskirts of Piketburg and sure enough there was another traffic vehicle on the side of the road with a laser camera, alright he wouldn't have been able to get me because I don't have a front number plate but still I felt like the traffic cops were ganging up on me!
There were several bikers at the Spur restaurant when we pulled in, this always raises my spirits and I felt much better when I recognised some friends,
Steven and Carmen from the Meeulanders were riding with a few guys from the newly formed "Knights of the skies" out of the airforce base near Langebaan, the club had only just been registered but the guys had obviously been riding for a while and there were some nice bikes,
like this very good looking K6 GSXR. We had a very pleasant lunch at the Spur, I didn't bother to photograph any of it because Spur meals are Spur meals, usually good value for money.
While we were finishing up another group of bikers arrived, it is a popular venue for the Sunday riders so you'll always see bikers there which is a good recommendation as far as I'm concerned,
and we will be here for breakfast next Saturday.
Our ride home was very pleasant, we cruised along the very bumpy Velddrif road at 80 - 100kmh and were in the little town roughly an hour later. From there I was able to speed up through to Vredenburg where I checked the pubs to see if there were any other bikers around, none - so we headed home. 201 kms for the day, not very much by our standards but lovely to be out on the bike again and I'm looking forward to next weekend.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bad weather blues and a unicycle

It has been a whole month since my last missive! I think this is the first time that I have neglected this blog for such a long time but nothing has happened! We're well into our winter now and the weather has been really crap, admittedly there have been some lovely days and we have taken the bike out for a local cruise mostly just to blow the cobwebs out of the zorst pipe, but nothing to write home about.
Although I suppose it can be said that any ride on the motorbike is worth a write up, it is certainly something to celebrate and one can't help wondering just how much longer a motorbike is going to be a transport option as we advance towards the "Golden years". Having said that though, I draw consolation from the fact that my biking buddy Frank is ten years older than me and still going strong.
But I digress, I was talking about the weather and because it has been so miserable there have also been no braais, on the positive side though I have consumed a fair amount of beer so all is not lost!

I am well into the planning for the the sixth annual Polar Bear run which is to take place next Saturday 27th July, and I must confess that I am hoping that the weather will again be as good as it has been on each of the previous runs. We will be gathering at the Engen One Stop on the R27 this year and I am looking forward to a party of note again, rest assured I will write all about it.

And now for something completely different; my son in law sent me an article on the "Electric Unicycle", the "Ryno" and I found this extremely interesting;
This amazing looking machine uses accelerometers and gyros to accelerate and brake and to stay balanced, it claims a 20mph top speed and a range of 20 miles on its lithium iron phosphate battery and according to the website was scheduled for release in early 2013 at a price of USD4500! 
I want one! I can just imagine arriving at a rally on one of these, obviously I would have to transport it to within a few miles of the rally site but it would certainly grab attention.
"Unlike the Segway" says Christopher Hoffman who heads the Portland, Oregon based outfit, his creation is "very gentle and responsive and feels like a part of your body."
I have family living in Portland, Oregon - maybe they can get one for me?
We'll speak again soon, with photos of the bikers misbehaving on the Polar Bear run - stay safe.