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, June 15, 2017

Looking back to past rides

Before the digital age ushered in the demise of the camera shop where reels of film were developed I, like many of you I'm sure, amassed hundreds of photographs, some of which were neatly arranged in photo albums and many more were chucked into a handy drawer.
I have been recently going through that drawer and those photo albums to work out what I want to do with those old memories, a lot of them obviously involved motorcycles and some of those I want to share here;
This was the second Honda Goldwing that we owned, a 1982 GL 1100 which I bought privately in Capetown. I was perhaps a bit hasty because it was not an Interstate, the fairing, panniers and top box were added aftermarket and unfortunately were not mounted very well. The person who did the job had used threaded bar to make the brackets and one of the pannier brackets kept breaking, also when I got it there were eight small keys on a ring for each of the eight locks. As you can imagine this was a nightmare so one of the first jobs I had done was to standardise the locks.
In spite of the problems, such as poor brakes and lousy suspension which had to be pumped up at a garage every now and then, Janet and I did a lot of happy mileage on this bike.
 One of our favourite things was to ride out with no agenda, no fixed destination and no accommodation booking, we would arrive in a town after a good day's riding and then look for a place to stay which was usually a caravan park chalet or self catering unit. Once we had set up we would then go off to buy supplies; beer, wine and food, then with the bike parked nearby with our favourite music playing over the sound system we would have a nice braai. We did a lot of that and they were memorable trips.
Occasionally when the circumstances warranted it we would splash out on expensive accommodation such as this fancy lodge in Cape Agulhas but that was for one of our wedding anniversaries so it was well worth it.
On our various motorbikes over the years we have traveled extensively around South Africa and Namibia and have loved every minute of it, in fact our one particular road trip about which I posted quite recently was Janet's favourite holiday. Time, I think for another road trip.
It will have to wait a bit though, winter is fast approaching so we'll wait for warmer weather and then see what we can do. Stay safe my friends and keep the rubber side down.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Westcoast Motorcycle Association (WMA) sleepover 2017

The western cape has been seriously dry for a long time, desperately needing rain so when during the week we had some really good rain it was cause for celebration. Unfortunately last Saturday was the day set aside for the W.M.A annual sleepover and it rained on that day as well, and man did it rain!
Janet and I had volunteered for early gate duty so we had to be there by 10h00, in the morning I looked out at the sky and it didn't look too bad but the  weather app. forecast showers and knowing that there was a 3km dirt road leading to the rally site I decided to be a biker in a cage (Shame!). As it turned out I was glad I did because we were not even half way there when the skies opened up and by the time we reached the site I was happy with my decision.

To add insult to injury the wind was freezing cold as well, this did not bode well for the WMA, many people would be put off coming out in this weather. 
Gradually cars and bakkies started arriving and up until midday when several people had arrived there was not a single motorbike, until;
these two brave bikers arrived from Capetown and negotiated the by then very wet dirt road on road bikes. They caused quite a stir and were given a very warm welcome, causing many including myself to think "Damn I should have come on my bike!"
They were followed shortly after by our own Stephen on his KTM, perhaps a bit more suited to the conditions, even with his road tyres. Eventually there were four bikes in total with Slang of the Mac's also arriving on his BMW road bike, well done you guys.

Towards midday and early afternoon we were relieved of our duty and were able to join the party and try to warm up a bit, unfortunately it was only to be around forty people at the party with some of the local clubs not represented at all. Those of us who did make it had a very enjoyable time.
 Eventually sixteen Meeulanders in total made up a high percentage of the numbers and won the prize for the best represented club, an excellent effort by a great bunch of people.
Stephen accepts the club prize.
Due to the circumstances the games were of an indoor nature and caused a lot of laughter amongst those unwilling to actually take part;

After the men's and ladies drinking competition, which was also dominated by Meeulanders although Slang joined the ladies line just to get a free dop, Janet quickly pointed out to the organisers that the ladies had won overall because they had to drink a 500ml wine which contained seven percent alcohol whereas the men had only to drink a beer which was four percent, thus it was that the ladies were named the champions. Way to go lady bikers!
Dennis, President of the "Clique" and Chairman of the WMA with Slang of the "Mac's" and a committee member.

 Don't be fooled by Stephen's mug, that wasn't coffee! Henrico, Greg and Corne chat infront of the bar, which in spite of the shortage of people did a good trade. The place "Schaaftplaas" lends itself well to parties and I'm sure that in summer we will be back. Well done to the Westcoast Motorcycle Association for the excellent organisation, as I said those that attended had a ball.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June breakfast run

I am really enjoying the monthly club breakfast runs, because of my past experiences camaraderie is very important in my life and the biker lifestyle and bike club life provides that in huge measure. So when we get together for any function with my brothers and sisters, I am in my element.
It was just so on Sunday last when we gathered for coffee at Juffroeshoogte in the chilly early morning, winter is coming fast now so bike runs will be affected, perhaps because the morning looked very drab and grey with steely clouds overhead few people attended the run.
 Heavy Metal! Interestingly only one Japanese bike among the German and British machines.
 We sat drinking hot coffee on the wet veranda, it had rained slightly during the night, while we waited for "kickstands-up" at 09h00. Eventually I led eleven members and our visitor Chris followed by Sampie and Kathy in their car (their bike's rear brake was giving trouble but to their credit they still attended the run) out onto the R45.
A chilly 17 celsius showed on my readout as we headed towards the rising sun but the sky was clear if a little pale and there was no wind. It was going to be a good ride, I concentrated on relaxing my shoulders, settling into the rhythm of the machine and the road and set a medium pace to keep everyone together. I felt myself smiling in my helmet, the sheer pleasure of being out on the open road on a motorbike with my lady behind me was almost overwhelming.
The usual midway stop was at the service station at Moorreesburg after a very pleasant 45 minute ride, I should have put petrol in at this stop!
From there to Riebeek Kasteel is only about 40 km and then another 10 to the restaurant and farm shop at Du Vlei and when we arrived my range was showing that I had only 40km left with the fuel that I had. "No problem, I'll put fuel in at Riebeek West on the way back."
As we turned into the restaurant parking area I heard the unmistakable sound of the Triumph 675 triple that Gerrie was riding speeding past to take the banked left hand sweeper, as we were getting off the bikes he came flashing back, tucked in behind the screen, engine wailing he had obviously been frustrated by the slow speed at which we had been riding and the lack of fast corners.
Du Vlei is a pleasant place, just over an hour's ride for us it is a popular breakfast destination for bikers from the Cape, but this day it was very quiet and we virtually had the place to ourselves.
 Old bikers gathered to chat, many years of biking experience in this photo; myself, Anton, Floors and Willie.
 The usual jokes, banter and discussions in the period before the food arrives.
The food and the service was good, the beers were cold and a nice cup of coffee to finish, as is our usual custom we make our own way back. I had to get petrol and Gerrie thought that he should as well, his bike did not have fuel guage so he wasn't sure. 
The service station at Riebeek was closed! It would re-open at 16h00, no good for us, my readout was now showing 30km and it was 35km to Moorreesburg so we pressed on at 80kmh which wasn't totally unpleasant. We refuelled and carried on, Gerrie still had plenty of fuel in his tank so it was a learning experience for us both. 
A fast run along the excellent R311 and there ahead I could see some heavy clouds hanging ominously over the road, as we joined the R45 heading west it started to rain but after only enough to wet the screen it stopped and as we pulled into the parking lot at Plaasmol there was no sign of it.
Our friends were already there and we settled in with a cold beer.

This place also was very quiet, in fact we had not seen many bikes on the road at all, perhaps the weather was to blame but those who chose not to ride that day missed a great one.