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, December 24, 2015

Cuddly bears for the aged

Here's a short story about bikers spreading Christmas cheer, I know they do it all over the world but this one involved bikers bringing "cuddly" cheer to an old age home.
On Wednesday morning a small bunch of bikers (those that didn't have to work!) got together to take some teddy bears to the local old age home to cheer up the residents. They had to be careful not to make too much noise as they rode into the parking area or they would scare the poor old folks living there.
 What a wonderful thing for these hardass, leather clad riders to do. Just another example of what bikers are prepared to do for people in need, Happy Christmas guys and gals, you brought happiness to some lovely old people there, may your Christmas be just as blessed and happy.
You've heard me say it before and you'll hear me say it again; Bikers are good folk. (Photos, except for the last one, by Gerrie Pieterse.)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday lunch, biker party and Sunday braai - how cool is that?

This past Saturday we were invited to the Gypsy Jokers Christmas Party at the Phoenix bar in Vredenburg, fairly recently opened the Phoenix is already making a name for itself as the local biker bar and we will be visiting a lot more often in the future, that's for sure.
Janet and I decided that Saturday was the ideal opportunity to have one of our favourite lunchtime meals at the nearby "Vlakvarkgat resort"; the offal potjie. For those of you who do not yet know what that is, offal is the stomach, intestines and yucky bits that normal people either throw away or feed to their pets. Some people eat tripe but tripe is too clean for us, I remember when my late Mum used to make tripe for the family and it involved washing the stomach lining something like three times, throwing the water away and then using a scrubbing brush on it until it had absolutely no flavour at all. The way we eat it is an acquired taste but we love it.
 After that wonderful lunch with a bottle of local wine we went back home for forty winks before heading off to the Phoenix bar. Old folks gotta get their afternoon nap you know!
We arrived at the Phoenix bar at about 17h45, there was a slight breeze but otherwise the weather was perfect and about half a dozen tents had been erected on the grass patch in front of the bar already.

Not many people there but lots of freinds already and we moved around meeting and greeting and making our way to the bar.

Inside the bar was pretty busy and Anna and the bar ladies were being run off their feet keeping the thirsty bikers satisfied.
We found Frank cosying up to (or molesting?) Miss Christmas!
We enjoyed the music, Enrico the DJ was playing proper biker rock that had the joint bouncing and the booze was cheap, it looked like it was going to develope into another good biker party.

By the time we decided to leave it was just after 19h00 and we said goodbye to our friends, Janet cuddled up to Alex on the way out and he said to me "Hey you're behaving yourself tonight, Oh the wife's here!" Yeah, yeah - I'm not that bad? I love these events but I've learned when it is time to leave, not like on a rally!
Sunday I put a different hat on;
we had some non-biker friends coming over for lunch, good friends who are leaving this week to go and live in the UK, we're going to miss them. Time to make a nice lunch for them so that they can see what they are going to be missing.
First, crunchy pork tasties and here you can see the pork rashers are balanced with the rinds. which I painted with cooking oil and then sprinkled with salt, directly over the coals to get them crispy.
Chopped into bite sized peices and sprinkled with salt my friends love these and they crunch on them while we get the main course ready.
 I de-bone a leg of lamb myself to save a few pennies and then liberally coat with olive oil and a good mixture of herbs and spices and let it marinate in the fridge for a while.
Hot coals, crunchy on the outside but medium rare on the inside and then I slice it into an enamel dish to carry on cooking and the resultant juices are incorporated into a gravy.
And here's the (first) plate with Janet's creamy potato and butternut bake, a bit of fetta and pickled peppadews and a ciabatta bread, rather good actually.
I forgot to mention that the weekend started on Friday afternoon with my usual pool competition with my buddy Frank so all in all another great weekend.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sunset Cruuze 9th December

The President of the Clique Motorcycle Club in Velddrif had a great idea to get bikers together in the middle of the week during the good weather months and started holding the "Sunset Cruuze" on Wednesday evenings, they became very popular, bikers would gather at the service station in Velddrif for a short ride leaving at 19h00 and stopping at a different location each time for a sundowner and a chat before riding home. On occasion a braai was organised and as winter closed in the sunset cruuze was placed on the back burner.
Luckily for us bikers down here in South Africa, winter is a very short affair and so last week the Sunset Cruuze was taken down from the shelf, dusted off and put back on the events calendar. We were unable to attend last week but this week we were determined to join in.
So it was that just after 18h00 on a glorious warm summer's evening we saddled up and headed for Velddrif some 55kms to the North. The slight breeze was behind us and I settled into a comfortable albeit slightly illegal 140kmh just to keep ahead of the traffic. The sun was still relatively high above the horizon and would not be setting for almost another two hours as we pulled into the parking area of the Engen garage.
Already there were about twelve people gathered, most of whom were known to us. It was good to see a group of youngsters (mid-twenties?) were joining in, usually these things are mostly us older bikers.
Just on 19h00 we were side-stands up and heading out of Velddrif back down towards Saint Helena Bay but now we were heading directly towards the setting sun which made things a bit uncomfortable, 21 kms to the turn off and another 17kms into Saint Helena Bay and we rode down to a house right on the shore;
What a beautiful, tranquil location and the braai fire was already on the go,

The guys and girls settled down to their favourite beverages and the usual biker conversation, it was such a pleasant way to spend a Wednesday evening away from the pressure of work, girding the loins for the rest of the week.
Time to get some food on the go, I was braaing the last of our Eastern Cape boerwors (sausage) from my Sister and Boet, we brought bread rolls and that was our rather delicious dinner. Everyone had brought their own food.
We relaxed over a final drink and then bade our friends a fond farewell, it had been a very enjoyable evening and as we headed out of Saint Helena Bay the stars were shining brightly over a calm sea. My headlight opened the darkness ahead of us but I took it easy, wary of the wildlife in the area having nearly run into a fully grown and fully extended porcupine one night!
It was just after 21h00 when we arrived home, I had thoroughly enjoyed the night ride, as had Janet, we don't do much night riding but hopefully we will do some more Sunset Cruuzes, we'll have to change Frank's dinner evening though because he normally comes over on a Wednesday, let's see how it goes.
Thanks guys, bikers rock!