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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Local is Lekker!

The weather was quite strange this past weekend, hot but windy and I was keen to do some riding, I met Frank at the bike shop; West Coast Yamaha on Friday afternoon and after a bit of a chat and a cup of coffee with Craig and Monica we walked over to the "Rooikraans Pub" for a couple of games of pool. Frank's game is definitely improving and I only just managed to scrape a win, last week he beat me!
We did just about nothing on Saturday, which can also be a good thing but then I start getting antsy about Sunday, I really have to get out on the bike.
Sunday morning the wind was definitely a factor so I said to Janet; "Let's just do a local cruise, go and see Des in Velddrif and then end up somewhere for lunch."
She was cool with that so after the spa bath and bottle of bubbly, which is where we relax and discuss all sorts of things, which also resulted in me having to drive through to the mall to buy a new iron for Pumi, our maid who had managed to break the last one, we were good to go.
I realy enjoy Des' shop at No 1 Bokkom Boulevard, there is always something new to see and now there are two ladies; "Die Bokkom Susters" on the front veranda. We took a bit of a long detour on the way out; up past the Langebaan Weg airforce base and back down to the R27 for a high speed run through to Velddrif. Then the wind was behind us so we didn't notice it, but any run heading west we had to lean into the gusts coming in from the ocean.
It was good to be out on the road and the big red machine was performing extremely well, it is not a very fast bike, it is a comfortable long distance tourer but it will do more than 220kmh (just), which is quite fast enough for me now, I'm not interested in going any faster than that anymore.
We sat on the pleasant, colourful veranda and had a beer which we had taken along with us/had left in the fridge the last time (delete inapplicable) because Des doesn't have a liquor licence so he may not sell beer, and admired the view while we chatted.
Des had his lovely Suzuki side car rig parked next to the river for passers-by to admire and he has completed the very inviting looking jetty area where his customers can relax with their meals.
Des and I discussed the upcoming fifth annual Polar Bear run and tentatively set the date for the last weekend in July again and then we took our leave, it was time to ride some more.
Perhaps if the wind had not been so strong we would have ridden further but as it was we ended up in Langebaan and after cruising around the beach front restaurants which were already full to overflowing we settled into a comfortable booth at the Cattle Baron, which was already pretty crowded anyway.
They have a buffet lunch on Sunday, but thankfully they also have their a' la carte menu, I prefer to be served my food than have to walk through the tables with a plate full to overflowing with all of the other diners craning to get a look at what I have chosen.
My Pork rib and Prawn Combo at R103 was absolutely delicious, the ribs were tender, the prawns were fresh and the garlic butter sauce was dripping off my elbows at the end. Definitely something that I will have again.
Janet went for crumbed chicken breast on mashed potatoes with a creamy sauce which she also declared to be delicious and as it turns out I will be eating that on a sandwhich tomorrow at work, I just love the way she can't finish these meals most of the time. In fact I feel a bit hard done by if she does eat all of her food at a restaurant!
We cruised back home and took it easy, a very pleasant day all withing a 60km radius but sometimes you don't have to go far to have a good time, just being out on the bike makes it all worthwhile.
Next I will be writing about the Capetown Bike Show on Sunday, I'll tell you all about it - by the way, what do you think of the new look for this blog? I've still got some tweaking to do but your comments would be appreciated, is it better to read with black on a white background?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Capetown Bike Show

I recently received a request from the organisers to promote the upcoming CAPETOWN BIKE SHOW which will be taking place on Sunday 4th March between 10h00 and 16h00 and I really feel that this is something that we bikers need to support.
Apart from the fact that the event, which was launched successfully in December 2010, has been planned as an annual fundraiser for "Living Way", I feel that we have to support any event of this kind that takes place in Capetown.
We have very little in the way of motorcycle related events to attend here in the Cape, the second annual "Ink and Iron Show" was at Timor Hall earlier, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I hope that it will grow from strength to strength. We unfortunately lost out on the "Capetown Bike Festival" in early December for various reasons, otherwise all of the big events go to Johannesburg or Pretoria - we need to support whatever may be planned for the Cape!
The CAPETOWN BIKE SHOW will start at 10h00 on Sunday 4th March at the "Living Hope Campus" on Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie, there will be onsite parking for motorcycles (cagers will have to find their own spots!) and entrance will be R35 per person which will include a metal badge.
There will be outdoor motorcycle exhibits and displays from manufacturers and suppliers, the usual biker related stalls as well as food and refreshments and all funds raised will be going to "Living Way" which works to provide opportunities for people to earn their way out of poverty, this sounds like a very worthwhile beneficiary to me.

Check out the websites; www.capetownbikeshow.co.za and www.livingway.co.za for more details.

Hopefully I will be riding down with a contingent from the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club and I hope to see you there, this event is not only for bikers but would also be good for those of you who are unenlightened to the joys of two wheels. Come along and meet, mingle with and hug some bikers.

I don't think Janet will be going, when I suggested the ride to her she asked "How long are you going to be there?" All she wants to do is walk quickly around, have a look at the stalls and exhibits and then leave, she is not into the whole chill, meet and greet scene. She will probably stay home and chill.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Curiouser and curiouser

What I didn't tell you about last weekend was that our friend Janet had come up for the weekend to visit with wife Janet, so I was now stuck with the two women! Saturday's weather eventually cleared up, I was still very worried about my bike but when I went into the garage later she started without any problem, curiouser and curiouser!
Sunday we decided to have a braai and I had been saving this lovely big slab of lamb rib for just such an occasion.
Soon it was sizzling and browning over the coals, I then cut it into individual ribs, seasoned them with Aromat and lemon pepper and put them back on the grid to crisp up;
One of our favourite braai "starters"; crispy lamb ribs - delicious! For our lunch course I braaied some A grade lamb loin chops and some lovely "Spek" boerewors from my mate Steve's butchery, he has unfortunately since closed his business so it doesn't look like we're going to get any more of his wonderful meat!
Here's friend Janet helping herself to the salad and creamy Aromat potatoes, it was a good lunch.

This weekend we had occasion to attend a wedding in Capetown so it was with a certain amount of trepidation that we set out on the big red machine yesterday morning. We were feeling pretty relaxed because we started our day in the spa bath with a bottle of bubbly but I still wasn't sure how the bike was going to behave. It started at the first touch of the button and the new "Scorch" pipe blatted loudly as I turned the throttle, it was just around 10h00 as we accelerated happily out of Saldanha and took the all too familiar R27 headed south.
It was a warm and calm mid-summer's day, the temperature in the mid 20's already and not a breath of wind, actually perfect weather for riding and the bike was performing beautifully. I took it up to 140kmh, a very easy cruise for the 1200cc mill which at that speed was only running at about 4500rpm. Cages moved aside for me all the way down and within an easy and enjoyable hour we were cruising into the outskirts of Capetown.
Sunday morning, not feeling too bad at all after the wedding we took Dave out for breakfast at the Viper lounge,
The place was buzzing with bikers coming and going all the time, we wandered around looking at the bikes while we waited for our breakfast.
This rolling work of art is priced at R195,000, not my cup-of-tea but if you like this sort of thing go and have a look.
Dave and I both liked this rather understated Victory cruiser, matt black with white detail and very cool white-wall tyres - nice!
The R49 breakfast was perfectly adequate; two eggs, two bacon, boerewors, baked beans with toast and coffee (and cold Castle!) after which we said our goodbyes and headed home. Another enjoyable hour on the R27 where some guy in a Jag thought he could stay with me - Hah! 
The big red machine performed flawlessly, started up without hesitation every time and was smooth and powerful, as I said earlier; curiouser and curiouser!
There's a couple of things coming up soon, like the 2nd annual Capetown bike show on the 4th March which I will talk about next, also Africa Bike week in Margate which I am sorely tempted to attend this year, I have heard something disturbing about this though which I have to confirm first and that is that the organisers don't allow "other makes" into the town, that there is a designated parking area for those of us who don't ride Harleys - can this be true? I can't believe that, can I have comments from locals who have been there please? Cheers for now my brothers and sisters, stay safe!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Something wierd

I was up at about 06h00 after the cat jumped on the bed but seeing as how my alarm goes off at 04h45 every weekday, that was a long sleep-in. I was excited and keen to get going and by 07h00 I was showered dressed and ready to go.
The sky was partly cloudy, the sun was already shining and I thought that it looked like a great day for the bike, not too hot, a relief from the heat wave we had endured for the past six weeks or so.
Jan came outside with me to see me off and to take a couple of photos, there's hardly ever any photos of me in my blog entries!
Colours jacket on, engine warming up, say goodbye to the little woman and get out on the road.
And he's off!
The first thing I noticed, which I should have taken care of before I left, was that my helmet visor was filthy! I couldn't see very well, not what you want for a four hour trip. In beautiful conditions I rode through to the Engen One-stop on the R27 and washed the visor, started up and headed off again and what a difference being able to see makes!
I pulled out of the garage and blasted up to the R45 towards Malmesbury with the intention of going along to Mooreesburg and through to Riebeek. While I was cruising that old saying came to mind; "Don't ride faster than your Angel can fly." and I thought well my Angel's gonna have to do 140kmh because that's where I wanted to be, I wasn't going to do any low-flying today.
As I was riding east, really starting to enjoy myself, I became aware of quite a heavy, dark cloud ahead of me and soon the sun was gone and it felt like rain, then I rode into the edges of the storm. For the past few kilometres I could see that the road was wet, so I was catching up to it.
Rain?! For the past six weeks or so we had been complaining of heat-wave and now on the day that I want to go to a rally it starts to rain!
I pulled over, switched off and got my rain suit out of the pannier, one thing that experience has taught us is to get the rain suit on before you really need it!
I got back on the bike turned it on and thumbed the starter button and it dragged and wouldn't start! Shit now what? I tried again, worse, flat battery! Can't be, I tried again, now it just clicked! I couldn't believe it, what do I do now? It was 07h45, too early to phone the bike shop. I got off the bike and walked around it, got back on and tried again, no that didn't help, still wouldn't start.
Eventually at about 08h00 I managed to get hold of Monica from the bike shop and told her of my predicament, "Could Craig maybe come out here with a new battery for me?" She told me he would phone me back in a few minutes.
By then it was really raining and I thought if I could only get it started I would ride home and get the battery sorted out later, one more try; I switched on and thumbed the button and it fired up! I phoned Monica back and told her I was on my way. I had a very wet ride back to the bike shop in Vredenburg where Craig tested my battery, there was no problem, it was fully charged and showing a good reading - WTF??!!
Back at home Janet said to me "You were not supposed to go on this trip!" Was this intervention? It has happened to us before, on more than one occasion, makes you think doesn't it? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rally fever

It's late Friday night, tomorrow I am riding alone some 400kms to Stillbay to join up with some friends at the Freedom Road rally. I am so looking forward to this ride, I have already loaded the big red machine with all that I will need, (hopefully) but I think that I need a permanent checklist posted on my garage wall so that I don't forget something important.
I write out a list, starting with the obvious items like; tent, groundsheet, inflatable mattress, pump and sleeping bag so that I have a place to crawl into after a day's debauchery, and obviously I set all this up immediately on arrival because there's no way it will be done later, either by me or by my friends!
Next on the list is not so important; spare clothing  etc., I don't care if I stay in the same jeans and tee shirt for the whole weekend.
Toiletries are next, my toothpaste, deodorant and a towel are usually all that is needed for a fresh up in the morning because usually the showers are either inadequate or crowded so we wet our hair and brush our teeth under a nearby tap.
I always carry a toilet roll because I found out long ago that small rally ablution blocks are not always that well maintained.
Whisky flask, very important because I cannot drink beer all night.
My chair, which I wrote about some time ago, and which I haven't been able to use yet, and various clothing items for comfort depending on the weather conditions.
I think I've got it all covered.
This is the exciting part of the trip for me; the planning, loading and organising. I have my ride worked out and it's not going to be the shortest route, I am planning to avoid the N2 for as long as I can, I will ride through Montagu along the the R62, through Barrydale towards Ladismith and then cut down through Garcia's Pass into Riversdale. Then it's along the N2 for a bit, unavoidable I'm afraid.
It's after 10, I'm tired but most of the day I have been pre-viewing or imagining parts of tomorrow's ride and I am really looking forward to it, speak soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Back on line? (I hope!)

For quite a while now it appears that my blog was un-readable and I had no idea why, actually I still do not know what happened. Blogger pulled my adverts for some reason, it's not like I was making a fortune from them anyway! Trying to find out what happened is virtually impossible and very frustrating because you can't just phone someone and ask W.T.F.?! It seems like ever since then my blog went haywire.
I am not a computer boffin and every time I logged in to blogger my blog appeared just the way it always has done so for quite a while I had no idea that people couldn't read it, it wasn't until friends and family started talking that I found out. Hell I'm still going to have to phone around to find out if you can read this!
Anyway all of this resulted in me not doing any new posts until I could get it sorted, I have loaded a new template and it still needs a bit of fine tuning but I'm really hoping that you can read my stuff again, I really would appreciate comments on this people.

Not much has happened lately, it has been a very busy time but the silly season is over now and I am off on my first rally for the year. This weekend is the 31st anniversary of the Freedom Road rally in Stillbay and a lot of the local bikers are heading over there on Friday morning, I can't get away until Saturday but I am looking forward to a nice long ride on my own.
I intend taking the long way along the R62 through Barrydale and via the beautiful "Garcia's pass" into Riversdale, then along the N2 to Stillbay. I should be there by lunchtime when I will hopefully set up my tent with my friends.
I will let you know all about it later, stay with me friends and let's have those comments.