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 25, 2013

My Sixteenth consecutive Toy Run

The weather bureau forecast for the weekend was HOT and man were they on the money! Saturday was hot but with a light southerly wind which was rather pleasant and it must have been quite comfortable for the brothers and sisters in the Cape who were involved in a "Bikers against Tolls" ride, well done you're doing good work.
Sunday dawned still and clear, we were up early and we could tell it was going to be a scorcher!

I considered riding like this, at least for the mass ride part once we got to Capetown but it was too hot and rather uncomfortable so I made another plan;

I attached the mask to the front of the bike, I thought it looked rather cool but I got a rude comment from a reader on my Braais, Beers and Bikes facebook page saying, and I quote "That is one plug ugly ride." - he's Australian.
He's entitled to his opinion but I love my bike as do all bikers, I would never disrespect a brother's bike in public but I suppose it takes all kinds....moving on.

At the Engen One-Stop a large group of bikers had already gathered, there were a lot of "Meeulanders" as well as other clubs and solo riders with bikes coming and going in a noisy cacophony of our favourite sound, the sheer music of the high revving internal combustion engine.
Brother Wessel with his beautiful Goldwing, the music system on that thing is incredible! Soon the riders were on their way, we followed after;

The ride down to Capetown was uneventful and rather pleasant, because of the bloody speed gantries every twenty kilometres I set my cruise control to 127kmh and just let the bike do the work. The temperature was by then already in the mid twenties.

We went to the Viper lounge to meet up with our friend Janet who was going to be riding to the toy run with Frank, it was quite a busy scene and for the first time I saw a couple of the Victory motorbikes riding out of the car park. Although the Viper lounge has had the Victory agency for quite some time I have never seen one on the road, I don't know if these were demo models on loan or privately owned but they looked and sounded good.

We decided that as it was so hot we would ride the back way directly to the end venue at Maynardville so as to avoid punishing our bikes too much, it's far more pleasant but you do miss out on the spirit of the run, if it's not too hot next year I'll do the whole mass ride again.
It was just about 10h30 when we threw our toys into the trailer, not many people about as the mass ride was still on its way, they would soon fill up. We headed off in search of liquid refreshment.
Due to the new, more stringent liquor laws the organisers had had to change the beer tent set up, no longer were we allowed to wander around the grounds with our beers but had to either drink them in the tent which, although huge, was like an oven, or in the too small adjacent beer garden which unfortunately had very little shade.
Luckily the Meeulanders had arrived earlier and had secured two shady tables and we happily joined them,
We spent a pleasant hour and a half or so cooling down, chatting to new and old friends. By then the crowd had swelled considerably and space in the beer garden was at a premium, if you got up to leave for any reason your space was immediately taken. If the Toy Run is held at Maynardville next year they'll have to make a bigger beer garden with more shade, please guys?
On our way out and nearly two hours later the trailers were filling up, I believe that somewhere in the vicinity of 34,000 toys were collected, amazing, heart warming stuff people.
We went back to the Viper lounge for another beer and then had a very mediocre lunch at a steak house that I'm not even going to bother to name, I won't be going back but it's directly above the "Ocean Basket" which had a queue outside so we chose the other unfortunately.
Unbelievably hot riding home, I saw 37 degrees on the R27! Again I set the cruise control at 127kmh but we uncharacteristically rode in our tee shirts, our jackets stayed in the panniers. We don't often do this but have on similar occasions, I will continue to take part in that event for as long as I can, kudos to all involved.
The Cape Times newspaper article this morning alluded to the fact that this is the largest motorcycle charity event in Southern Africa if not in the world. More than 100,000 bikers in different centres in South Africa riding for underprivileged children on the same day, amazing stuff and amazing people bikers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's that time of the year again........

Toy Run 2013 is upon us! Sunday 24th November sees the 31st annual run when more than 100,000 bikers in towns and cities all over South Africa gather to donate toys to underprivileged children, it is an event that is very close to our hearts and this one will be my sixteenth consecutive run.
The event has grown considerably over the years that I have been taking part, where in earlier years it was a bikers only function with members of the public lining the roadsides and freeway overpasses to wave encouragement and even to hand over small toys but leaving the party at Maynardville to the bikers, now the end venue is a massively crowded event with non-biker families rubbing shoulders with the leather clad road warriors.
The event was started by the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club 31 years ago and is still organised by them but now several other organisations assist with the massive job of distributing the thousands and thousands of toys that are collected.
It is a "feel good" event, it transcends all boundaries as in fact do most biker related gatherings and I wouldn't miss it for the world. This year the two starting points are in Ottery and at the Grand West Casino car park, the mass ride can take up to about an hour with lots of brake/clutch riding and stops to let engines cool down but there's cold beer, food and music at the end venue, we'll see you there!
For those of you not taking part I will tell you all about it in my next post, stay safe out there!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ek & Djy Vissery and the "Vlakkies" Rally

A lovely sunny and calm weekend prompted as much two-wheeled time as possible and as there was a rally at "Vlakvarkgat" there were lots of bikers in the area, this is always a good thing as far as I am concerned.
Janet and I saddled up for a local cruise after I had given the big red machine a thorough wash and we headed out to Velddrif to see what was happening at "Ek en Djy Vissery", my old biker buddy Des' place on the banks of the Berg River.
The place was buzzing! Des now serves breakfast and lunch and the place is licensed, it was good to see bikers coming and going and to chat with our friends. It really is a pleasant spot, well worth a visit.
We sat on the shaded jetty and relaxed with a cold one for a while and then it was time to move along.
We stopped for a lunch at Pearly's in Langebaan and then it was time to take Janet home, she didn't feel like going to the rally, I on the other hand wanted to see what was going on and I knew that several friends from the Meeulanders and the Kreefsmokkelaars Clubs would be there.
The rally site is well maintained, rolling lawns and plenty of shade trees and it was full of happy bikers doing what bikers do best; partying. Two of the first people I saw there were Div., the Meeulanders president and Alan a friend from many Cape rallies.
Those of you who attend rallies in the Cape will no doubt have seen Alan wandering around like this! Not a care in the world, a really pleasant guy.
I moved along to the second of the three bars in the campsite and found a pretty young barmaid with a nice "decolletage", this was where I was to buy my drinks from then on.
I met up with Joe and Kettings in the bar, Joe is trying to cope with the recent tragic loss of his son Llewelyn and was getting much love from his brothers and sisters.
Time to move on, no good standing around drinking with the boys just because there's a pretty barmaid!
The rest of the Kreefsmokkelaars arrived and set up camp which is what I should have done.
Des lends a helping hand.
Shaun seemed to be battling with his tent until Jean's girlfriend helped him set it up.
I wandered around for a bit longer chatting to friends but I didn't want to stay much longer, I had already had a couple of drinks and it was either leave now or stay the night.
I had a nice fast ride home towards the setting sun, it's only about twenty kilometres so it didn't take me long, it was a very nice rally from what I had seen, next year I'll take my tent.