I'm not sure why but only twelve members met on Sunday morning on the veranda of the "Juffroeshoogte" resort, perhaps it was the weather, there was a low leaden grey sky with the feeling of imminent rain but Janet and I were that keen on a ride that we were the first ones there.
For my overseas readers I'm afraid that I cannot easily tell you how to pronounce that word or what it means but if you sound it out phonetically you may be close!
We sat on the veranda enjoying a cup of coffee in the chill morning air and by 08h35 our President Divi arrived followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the eager riders.
The usual good natured chat and banter ensued among people who, like family are comfortable with each other and that is what I have experienced being a member of the club, I was way too long non- affiliated thinking that I didn't need club membership to ride but am now revelling in being a part of this biker family.
My old biker buddy Frank, of whom you have all read and seen is a retired man and a divorcee' of many years, he lives alone and has always said that had it not been for the club he would have been an old man sitting at home with a blanket over his lap years ago, now he has many people who love and care about him.
Kick stands up at 09h00 and we roared along the R45 in staggered formation the short distance to the first stop/go section, we caught it at a good time as we only had to wait about five minutes before speeding off in front of the line of cars, ahead we could see patches of blue sky as the clouds began to part, my spirits lifted in time with the kilometres flashing inches below my feet.
The third section was open to us, the traffic light on a now sunny Sunday morning and by the time we stopped at the fourth stop/go, the last one on the road to Malmesbury it was warm and clear and I was singing into my helmet.
"Yeah man I'm gonna make it happen, take the world in a love embrace - fire all of the guns at once and explode into space!"
For anyone who knows this area there are a few long sweeping bends just before the R45 meets the N7 and us poor deprived west coast bikers who have to ride for an hour before we get to any bends, really enjoy that section, hooliganism is unleashed, throttles are twisted open and it's every man for himself as the sides of our tires get a little action.
We usually stop at the Caltex garage in Malmesbury for the cruiser riders to fill up and for the smokers to get their fix, there we discuss the ride and embellish our experiences, the mood was light and thus far I was a happy man, more to come.
Gerrie and Frank light up, Janet cleans our visors. By then the weather was warming up nicely, promising to be a great day for biking. It was just after 10h00 and I was already feeling the first pangs of hunger, looking forward to the rest of the ride but also to the breakfast.
From the left; Linicia, 'Cois (pronounced Soy) and Gerrie.
After enough time had elapsed for people to fuel up, smoke, ablute, chat and stretch saddle muscles we hit the road, through Malmesbury and down into wine country, the magical ride down the pass into the Riebeek Valley where Divi moves aside to let Gerrie dive through the bends, high speed shenanigans to the Hermon intersection, the busy 17 kilometre straight to the Nuwekloof Pass where baboons are a constant speed check, and then out the other side to the turn off to the little town of Tulbagh.
Although fairly quiet on a Sunday Tulbagh is in the middle of the wine area and is thus popular with tourists and bikers, Divi had pre-booked our tables at "Kuierbossie" restaurant, we lined our steeds up outside, divested ourselves of our now warm jackets and settled down for some chow.
We have been there before, it is a busy little restaurant with a fairly small veranda but a lot more seating inside, we had veranda tables which were more in demand in this type of weather, bad luck people, the bikers were there!One beer to clear a parched throat and then a bottle of "Flippenice Wine" of Tulbagh origin and I must say that it was a flippen nice wine and only priced at R55, a bargain indeed.
We had to wait a while after our orders were placed but that was not an issue, we were relaxed and happy and when the food did arrive it was good;
As is usual on these events, after breakfast the people make their own way home, some with other things to do and we made arrangements to meet at "Plaasmol" pub just after Hopefield for a last beer, we set off alone on a gentle cruise and I felt Janet fall asleep behind me within twenty minutes.
After some really enjoyable riding I went on past the pub where some had already stopped, Janet was having a good rest and I was not in the mood for anything else to drink. Pulling into to Saldanha we got briefly wet from a minor cloudburst, more like a wet mist or "guti" to use the colloquial term but it didn't matter, it could not dampen my spirits after what had been a really enjoyable outing.
Our next biking event is the club dart run to the Eland's Bay hotel on 24th October, there's a sleepover party that I am looking forward to, damn it's good to be a biker!