First I would like to posts some statistics from the T.A.U. (Transvaal Agricultural Union) based on confirmed attacks on farms from 1st January 2017 up to 17th March;
In that period there have been 101 attacks which resulted in 23 murders, between 1st and 17th March alone, 29 attacks have resulted in 3 murders. During these attacks, which have not only been on white farmers but also a smaller percentage of black farmers, in some cases particularly brutal methods of torture have been carried out. This, which some are calling genocide, is not being reported in the media.
We here on the west coast were informed, through social media, of an initiative to help raise awareness of this amongst the biking community which would be in the form of a mass ride. Bikers by their very nature will jump at the chance to support a worthy cause and there is not one much more worthy of our support than this one.
Five Meeulanders; Gerrie, Willie, Sooi and Linicia and myself were the only representatives from the Weskus, we rode down the R27 to the Viper Lounge in Tableview with my dash readout showing 29,5 celsius at 09h00! It was going to be a hot day.
We arrived at the Viper Lounge just after 10h00 and already the place was crowded, cold beer went down singing hymns! Unofficial estimates put the number of riders at 200, hopefully we will hear an official number but it was indeed a festive and enthusiastic bunch.
The ride through to the Moonshine Tavern just outside of Stellenbosch was very pleasant, facilitated by members of "Scattered Links" who did a great job and who also obviously had great fun speeding ahead to block traffic for us, well done those guys! We formed up just outside Stellenbosch for the final few kilometers to arrive in formation, and what an impressive formation it was.
By the time we arrived the temperature was already over 40 celsius and the Moonshine Tavern got a huge cash injection selling cold beers and boerewors rolls to the hot and hungry bikers.
A very good muzo/DJ kept the crowd entertained and the organisers gave us a brief explanation of their hopes and aspirations for the future of the rally, particularly the wish to make it national and annual with some fund raising for the benefit of the victims, good work indeed and we all wish them success in their endeavours.
The ride home that afternoon was hot! Sooi and Linicia headed into Capetown to visit family so Gerrie, Willie and I sped through to Malmesbury where we stopped for a refuel. We decided that a stop at Plaasmol for another cold beer was mandatory and I must confess that that seemed like a very long stretch on the bike when in fact it's only about 60kms! By the time we parked under the trees at Plaasmol my saddle muscles were painfully clenched!
This picture epitomises despondency, Willie contemplates the ride home without beer as we discovered that the Plaasmol pub was closed!
This is us putting on a brave face, just about to mount up again when we received the welcome news that we could get beer from the restaurant!
Standing under mist sprayers we waited for the beer, it had been an interesting day but one of the hottest rides and it definitely takes its toll. We said our goodbyes there after a break and went our separate ways, me to a cooling shower at home. A big thumbs up to the organisers and especially to the hundreds of wonderful bikers who supported this cause, we will watch with interest to see how this develops.