Welcome!

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.



Friday, May 12, 2017

Rear footpegs, up or down?

I came across this short article on a facebook post the other day and although it doesn't credit the author I felt that I was able to quote it here as it is in the public domain;

 ~Riding with the rear pegs down.
This superstition takes a lot of forms and meanings but is usually brought up for discussion after an older rider tells a newer biker they should only have the rear pegs down if someone else is riding on the motorcycle with them.
The most basic superstition has a rider giving the dreaded motorcycle gremlins a place to put their feet while riding along and waiting to cause mischief. This does lead us to question whether your Ride or Guardian Bell isn’t strong enough to ward off the gremlins before they have an opportunity to get comfortable with your rear pegs.
Another version warns a biker invites spirits to ride with them by leaving the passenger pegs down while riding solo. Its an interesting superstition as riders are asked to do just that if they are involved in a funeral procession for a biker who has passed away. As with humans, bikers should be picky which ghosts they let ride with them it seems.
The most humorous response to this superstition are the bikers that tell you the only reason keeping the rear pegs down are bad luck comes from something definitely living. Having a biker’s other half ask who they’ve been letting onto the back of their motorcycle seems too much of a curse to let the rear pegs be anything other than up when riding solo.~

I personally put the rear pegs up if Janet is not going to be riding with me but that is not through any superstition, just a habit and I had not heard of the tradition of leaving them down during a funeral procession either.

It's an interesting topic for discussion though, what do you think?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Riebeek Valley Olive Festival and the May Breakfast Run

This past weekend saw the annual Olive Festival in the little town of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West and our friends Peter and Amanda who live conveniently close to the main square in the pretty little town of Riebeek Kasteel once again invited us to join them. We have been up to many of the festivals now and always have a really good time, Peter and Amanda also invite other friends for the weekend so it turns into a party and not much time is spent at the festival, sometimes only a couple of hours on the Saturday and the rest of the weekend is a party at the house.
This year was no exception, it was a party of note! We rode through from Saldanha on the Friday evening and the weather was pretty lousy, cold with patches of light drizzle but it's only an hour's ride so it wasn't too bad.
The "Elderly People" photo has become a tradition ever since I took a picture of Janet standing in front of the sign way back on the first visit, I need to dig them all out and post them on Facebook for the people to see.

It was a good weekend thanks to our hosts and to the others who made up the party, everyone left on the Sunday morning and as our monthly Club breakfast run was scheduled for this weekend in Tulbagh which is nearby, we arranged to meet up with the riders on the way.
Daan, the Road Captain phoned me at 09h00 to say that they were leaving and that there were twenty two people coming, a great number! I phoned the restaurant to let them know that they had twenty four with the two of us coming for breakfast. Just before 10h00 Janet and I went to a spot just outside of the town, it was a lovely day for riding, partly cloudy, cool but with no wind.
 

We didn't have long to wait before Daan led the group to the stop, we could see down into the valley and it was an impressive sight watching the bikers turning onto the road and accelerating up towards us. At that moment I was filled with pride to be involved with this fine group of people, Daan handed the ride over to me and we headed out for the breakfast destination, "Kuierbossie Restaurant" in another small town some 30 kilometres further.
It is a lovely riding area, verdant farmlands and vineyards as far as the eye can see, sweeping bends and a mountain pass seemingly purely designed for the rider's pleasure kept us happy until we pulled into parking spaces reserved for us outside the restaurant.
The restaurant did well, we didn't have to wait too long, drinks arrived timeously and the chat and banter flowed freely, the breakfast was good and by midday we were all finished and on our way. As is usual custom people made their own way home, some going visiting, we rode with Daan and Bev and Sooi and Linicia back to a small pub in Moorreesburg for a beer and were soon joined by some of the others.
From there it is roughly a forty five minute ride home, obviously depending on how fast you ride, I stuck to a comfortable 140kmh, just above the legal limit and we were home mid afternoon after a fantastic weekend.
Thanks once again to our hosts Peter and Amanda for the festival weekend and to the bikers who made the breakfast run such an enjoyable event.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mohicans sleepover

This was the second annual Mohicans Club sleepover, I was away visiting the Africa Bike Week in Margate last year so I missed the first one. Incidentally in the interim Africa Bike Week moved to East London in the Eastern Cape and from what I have read so far the number of visitors was way down on last year, a sign of the times?
Chatting to my friends who visited this sleepover, the numbers also appeared to be lower than last year, what I did see was a lot of Capetown riders at Plaasmol even though it was a terrible day, gale force Berg winds with dust blowing all over and very hot.
A few of us; Craig and Monica, Daan and Bev and Frank following in his car, only arrived around 15h00 and of course the party was well under way. The central bar area was pretty crowded and there was a band playing good biker music.




Altogether fifteen Meeulanders attended, a good show of support for the Mohicans and I noticed that many if not all of the local clubs were represented.
Here Fungis, whom we hadn't seen for a long time, Brett, Frank and Davrin share a joke together.
Those of the Meeulanders who were staying over set up a nice camp and the party moved there for a while,
I was not able to stay for long as we were entertaining family at home but I am sure that a great party ensued, good luck to the Mohicans on their second event and may it continue from strength to strength.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mohicans sleep over

I haven't posted anything for a while, we haven't been anywhere on the bike because it has just been too hot. This Saturday, however we will be heading out to Plaasmol on route 45 for the Mohicans jol.
This will be the second one, I missed the first one because I rode through to Margate in Kwa Zulu Natal for Africa Bike Week last year.
Hopefully there will be quite a bit of support from the Meeulanders for this, I will be leaving from Juffroeshoogte at 14h00 to head through. I am sure there will be good support from Capetown riders too, I will write it up with photos later - see you there!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Swartland Charity Rally

Last Saturday I decided to pay a visit to the annual Swartland Charity rally in Moorreesburg which is a little farming town only some 80kms away. Over the years it has grown in popularity and although it is not strictly a motorcycle rally the farming community welcomes us as long as we behave ourselves. Indeed the bikers make up the majority of the attendance so I doubt that it would be very successful without us.
Again it was incredibly hot last Saturday, Daan and Beverley had gone through on the Friday and were camping over on Saturday night as well,
besides them and myself, six other Meeulanders arrived on Saturday and I saw quite a few of the other local clubs represented as well as a very big contingent from several different Capetown Clubs. It was a good place to meet and greet old friends and make new ones, the beer was cold and the bar was doing a roaring trade in the stifling heat.


Stefanie, Johlene and Kathy, all Meeulanders seek shelter from the heat and in the second picture some Capetown friends including (on the right) Rob and Isobel of Odysseus whom we met at the B.E.A.Rally and then again at the Bikers Ride against Farm Murders run.
 


The stalls area appeared deserted but I think people were sheltering at that time and did their shopping a bit later, there was good food on offer from Hamburgers and boerewors rolls to spitbraai lamb and potjies so nobody went hungry, and believe me those farmers know their potjies. A great looking oxtail came out early but I waited..........and waited for the offal pot to be ready.
Most of the action took place here in the shade, there was a concourse d'elegance and a good disco on the go. Not sure if they went well together because the crowd was kicking up quite a lot of dust!


The food preparation area must have been hell! The biggest pot in the foreground was the offal pot and the other was the oxtail, then there were the two lamb spit braais at the back.
I kept on bothering this guy, "Is it ready yet?" but it was worth the wait, even if a little expensive at R70 and quite tasty though perhaps a little too "clean" for my personal taste. They have to please everyone though and I was very hungry by the time I ate.
This was made up of only the stomach, knuckles and feet where I prefer the use of intestines as well but I wasn't complaining and I think it sold pretty quickly.
Time to head for home before I got involved with too many beers, it had been fun but I was tired of the heat.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Anti Zuma Protest

 A lot has happened here in South Africa recently and although this is not a political blog it would be remiss of me not to comment, particularly as thousands of bikers have been involved in the country wide protests that have taken place.
Thanks to the actions of one man, two ratings agencies have downgraded South Africa to "junk status", this will have disastrous effects on the economy which has already been suffering due to the blatant corruption and mismanagement of the ruling party, foreign investment will also be adversely affected. The country is in crisis and Friday last week saw the biggest nation-wide march, with people of all colours coming together under one banner; "ZUMA MUST FALL" since the dawn of democracy in 1994.
There were protest marches all over the country and we west coast bikers met in Velddrif to do our small part.
 



I will let the pictures tell the story, estimates are that over 200,000 people were involved and as you will see it was not a racial event but a concerned South Africans event. Click on the pictures to see them full size. Several of the pictures were borrowed from facebook posts so I am unable to credit the photographers.



 











This photo shows just a part of the crowd in Capetown on Friday morning.



Where do bikers go after a hot day's protest action? Why to the nearest pub of course! Not to make light of a serious matter, but it was a very hot day for all concerned.
There are a lot of video clips posted to Youtube that are worth watching and will definitely give you an insight into just how many people got together. Just put in keywords "Anti Zuma protests" to have a look.
Where to now South Africa? Watch this space.
One possible positive aspect for foreign readers; South Africa is still a beautiful country to visit and your dollars and pounds will be worth even more here now, come over for a cheap holiday.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April breakfast run

I am continually both gratified and impressed by the members of the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club, which by the way is the oldest and largest motorcycle club on the west coast, established in 1997 (later in the year we will be having a twenty year celebration) and now with over forty members on the books.
The first Sunday of every month is the regular day for the breakfast run and again the April run last Sunday was an excellent affair, this was to be at the restaurant "De La Paix" which is adjacent to the Butterfly World at Klapmuts outside Stellenbosch and I had no idea of how many people to expect. Janet and I were the first to arrive at the meeting place; Juffroeshoogte just outside of Vredenburg at about 08h20, we ordered a cup of coffee and didn't have long to wait for the bikers to start arriving.
I had posted "Kickstands up at 09h00" on the "Whatsapp group" and by the time we were saddling up there were 16 members and 4 visitors on 12 motorbikes!
It was a lovely day for riding, warm and calm and I led the group out onto the R45 for the 88km stretch to Malmesbury, I set a fairly steady pace around 130km/h just enough to keep the group together and to stay ahead of the cagers. Unfortunately along this part of the ride Sampie and Kathy experienced problems and had to turn back, Daan the Road Captain made sure they were alright and told me at the tea break. It was a minor problem and they messaged me later that they had arrived home alright.
We stopped at a service station area for some to refuel, some to have a smoke and all to have some "tea".
Anton with Road Captain Daan

Melinda and Christo and their daughter in law

Metjie and Adrie
Jannie and Mike

 The ride from Malmesbury was much more interesting, we moved into wine country with the road undulating through verdant pastures and beautiful vistas. Unfortunately living where we do, we have to ride for an hour in any direction before we reach twisties so our tires tend to wear out mostly in the middle! Malmesbury to Stellenbosch is a joy, we merged into the traffic on the busy N1 for only a short time before taking the offramp that brought us to the restaurant.
Butterfly World is a very busy place, especially on weekends but the restaurant was not too busy and I had made a booking so they had the place reserved for us on the veranda.


Breakfast was good and reasonably priced and the beers were cold and afterwards everyone made their own way, Janet and I did the tourist thing as we had not been to Butterfly World before and I must admit it was interesting.
We left at about 13h30 and cruised home via Wellington and Malmesbury stopping for a cold beer and a leg/bum stretch at Plaasmol Bar just after Hopefield. It had been a very enjoyable ride and a nice morning out with good people, man I love being a biker!
This coming weekend is the annual Swartland charity rally at the showgrounds in Moorreesburg and I know that there will be quite a lot of Weskus bikers attending, see you there.