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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014, part one - the journey and the party

The long awaited day finally arrived, the weather forecast was favourable, I had packed all of my gear excitedly the previous afternoon and by 06h00 I was ready to roll. I left home at 06h30 and rode through to the Engen One Stop to meet up with Frank.
Our friend 'Cois (short for Fancois, pronounced "Soy") and his good lady were also there, and over a cup of Wimpy's famous coffee we discussed our route. Frank and I had decided to make a day of it and take a bit of a longer route, we were heading for breakfast at the Wimpy in Ceres while 'Cois was going to turn off at Wolseley and head through to Worcester for breakfast, we would ride together until then.
By 07h15 we were thundering along the R45 towards the rising sun, I consciously relaxed my shoulders and took a few deep breaths, I was happy. I was in front, setting up a fairly relaxed 140kmh pace which ate up the kilometres through Mooreesberg and Riebeek and before long we had left the straight roads behind and were enjoying well known winding roads through the mountains and valleys of the Swartland.

I waved farewell to 'Cois and his lady as they turned off towards Wolseley and the two of us blasted up the beautiful Mitchell's Pass towards Ceres and our now well anticipated breakfast.
Janet and I always like to eat breakfast at a Wimpy, the food is always consistent and always good value so I see no reason to go anywhere else.
That was just about two hours on the road so it was good to stop and stretch saddle-sore muscles.

After a hearty breakfast and some more coffee we were ready to roll, out along the R46 up the "Saalberg" Pass and by then it was getting pretty hot. We joined the N1 and turned south and almost immediately came up to a "Stop/Go" road block, oh well at least they are doing something about the roads!

Actually it wasn't too bad because it gave me a chance to stand up while we waited for the other traffic to come through, there was another fairly long section under repair before we got to the R318 turnoff to the Koo Valley and Montagu.
Frank needed petrol there and also a smoke so we stopped for a while, man it was hot. I had been riding with my cut on but I took it off there as it was restricting the air flow through my "Cortex" jacket, I would put it on again at the rally.

From Montagu we were on the wonderful R62, it's a fast road so we treated it as such and after about forty kms we pulled off into the dusty parking area of the Karoo Saloon, there were several motorbikes parked outside which is always a good sign for me;
those of you who do read this will know that I am not an HD fan but occasionally I see one that I like and this was one of them, a lovely custom job. Inside we met up with friends and I had the first two bitterly cold Castle lagers of the day.
After a brief stop, just enough time to absorb two beers we were on our way again, through Barrydale and past the (in)famous "Ronnie's Sex Shop" where many bikes were parked, and then down the R323 through the Karoo and the fantastic "Garcia's Pass" into Riversdale.
Onto the N2 and by then my bum was sore, 85kms to go, I needed to stop and later found out that Frank was sending me messages; "Andrew stop somewhere for fuck's sake!" So I did,
this restaurant and bar is only about 35kms from Mosselbay and by the time I pulled in I definitely needed to stop, my concentration was not as good as it should have been on a big powerful machine and it had been quite a long haul from the last stop. More beer and a chat with other bikers, there is usually a Police road block close to Mosselbay so I didn't want to overdo it.
We did get stopped by the traffic cops but they just wanted to see licenses and discs, no problem and it wasn't long before we were cruising into Mosselbay, heading for the rally site. We had ridden 625kms and by the time we arrived I was feeling it!
The gate was crowded, here my friend Chris Hamer rides in on his Can-am Spyder, I didn't get a chance to greet him and didn't see him again as the site was absolutely crowded. I had pre-entered so I was through quickly, we found the Meeulanders camp and discovered that they had already erected our tents, which we had sent down with a bakkie, what a pleasure! That is always a chore at a rally.
Divi, the Meeulanders President here in discussion with Frank just before we set off to find out what was happening in the main tent.
Two old biker scums getting ready to party, it was in full swing in the main tent and we were just in time to see the wet teeshirt competition finale and actually meet the (worthy) winner.
Steve invited her over to join us, good man that!
Her tee shirt was still wet, a pretty and friendly girl with a dirty old man.
 Lots of fun, and as I said - a worthy winner.
The party raged on through the night, the band played excellent biker rock music and then suddenly we were joined by "Shooters girls",
 pretty girls can easily talk old bikers into drinking pretty much anything, what a party!
 For some reason I took a photo of these nice people, I hope they read this!
And then Frank was dancing on the table. I made it back to my tent because I woke up at about 04h00 with a dry mouth and feeling cold, I pulled my sleeping bag out of its cover and pulled it over me, I took a few slugs of my water bottle and tried to get back to sleep over the noise of people talking and motorbike engines reving. Ahh rally!
I think I slept again, at least for a little bit - I had to be on my best behaviour for the mass ride because my friend Alan's daughter was riding with me, still a few hours to go.
Plenty more rally to come.


George Ferreira said...

Lots of fun, wish I could attend these rallies in SA. Lovely t-shirt she has ;-)

the rider said...

Hi George, yes SA rallies are good, bikers here know how to party and yes what a t-shirt!