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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wellington for lunch

It's Tuesday evening, the weather yesterday and today has been absolute crap, the southerly wind has been howling non stop since late Sunday night and with my job; out on the mussel farm that is the absolute pits! I spend the entire day staggering around on a heaving deck and the constant buffeting from the wind makes me seriously bad tempered. Don't get me started!
The weekend, however, was absolutely fantastic! Friday afternoon was the usual pool get together with Frank and Danny at the "Rooikrans" pub, made all the more enjoyable because I won most of the games.
Saturday after a local cruise we met Joe and Annie at the "Voorstrand" restaurant in Paternoster for a disapointingly mediocre and overpriced lunch, I've now got that place out of my system, it is a fabulous setting, right on the beach but the last time I was there, which was admittedly quite a long time ago, the fish was fantastic - not so this time.
Sunday; after the spa bath with the chilled bottle of sparkling Sauvignon Blanc which really gets the day started, it was time to do some shopping.
Women love shopping. We went early to get it over with and I drive the trolley, following Janet down the aisles while she picks up an item, compares it with another, looks at it again and puts the first one in the trolley. I share a sympathetic smile with other guys leaning on their trolley handles while their wives scan shelves comparing prices and choosing things that weren't on the shopping list.
I consider it a personal triumph if I can steer Janet past one of the aisles, either by deliberately nudging her with the trolley or by saying blatantly "We don't need anything from this aisle dear."
Usually she shoves the trolley aside or says "You shut up!" and sets off happily to study shelves of stock. I managed to get her out of there in time to meet Frank at the Engen One Stop by 11h00 but it was a close call!
There were quite a lot of bikers around, homeward bound after a rally in Saldanha. We had a cup of famous Wimpy coffee while we waited for Frank to join us.
It was a fantastic morning, just a gentle breeze and a lazy sun, not too hot but by the time we got out on the road it was 20 degrees. I had decided on a ride to Wellington for lunch at the "Gecko Lounge", Frank and I had eaten there when we sussed out the route for the last Polar Bear run but Janet hadn't been there yet.
The R45 to Malmesbury, as I've told you before, is quite a boring road and it is one that we normally do fast, this time we did it at about 140kmh, no particular rush we were just enjoying the lovely weather and the clean, powerful feeling of the big red machine eating up the kilometres.
After about 70kms of virtually straight road through flat farmlands you come to the first interesting corners just before the N7, you can't help opening up and plunging happily into those last ten kilometres, sheer biker bliss.
We rode down the N7 and then through Malmesbury to take the R302 towards Durbanville, a much nicer road through more verdant farmlands with signs of the wineyards to come and at the turnoff I found a place to stop for a leg-stretch and a place for Frank to have a smoke.
Me and my old riding buddy, where would I be without him? By then the temperature was in the high twenties and we were having an absolute jol!
On the road again, Frank bringing up the rear and the weather was fantastic - my words are not good enough to tell you how much I was enjoying that ride; the big red machine was performing flawlessly, there was a song in my head and there was the promise of a good lunch. Many more miles to ride with my lady behind me, life is good.
That is not a fast road, it is particularly rough especially around the "Perdeberg" wine estate, but it is a seriously picturesque road and is therefore best travelled at a steady cruise, we were not in any hurry but by then I was feeling some hunger pangs and it was with a sense of anticipation that we rode into the small Boland town of Wellington, the town which has the dubious distinction of having the highest incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome in the country!
We parked our steeds in the parking area of the "Gecko Lounge", Janet's big smile is because she saw that the doors behind her were the entrance to the "Slots gaming area" from which we immediately banned her! We didn't have that kind of time available although she is very good with those infuriating money gobbling machines.
I can recommend the Gecko Lounge to you in all good faith, it is not a fine dining restaurant but more of a diner or even a "dive" in the good sense, I had a wonderful Sirloin steak, perfectly medium rare as I ordered it, unfortunately it was basted/sloshed in the same sweet sauce as Janet and Frank's chicken wings and also my fabulous roasted mushrooms, I suspect that everything from the ribs to the burgers suffer that same basting sauce.
Frank paid R440 for the meal which included the gratuity, not at all bad for three meals, one beer, a bottle of wine and two double Cane and coke - R147 per person, I'll go again but next time I will remember to ask them to ditch the sauce.
We took the short route home, I refuelled in Malmesbury and still the weather was sublime. My thermometer registered 30celsius while Frank's measured 35, Janet had a rude comment for Frank about the difference between BMW and other makes when we pondered the discrepancy.
We hit the R45 homeward at speed and pulled into the farmstall after Hopefield for a delicious cup of coffee in the bush, genuine "moer-coffee" out of an enamel pot.
Coffee in the bush, in retrospect we rode home from the farmstall in a steadily increasing wind, a precursor of that wind that has bothered me since. What a memorable day though, 302,5kms of sheer blissful enjoyment - if you don't ride than you don't know.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meeulanders Mcc Dart Run 2012

I had occasion to ride with the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club again this past weekend, it was their annual "Dart run", along much the same lines as the well known poker runs held by many clubs. With this run, however, instead of drawing a card at each of several organised stops you throw a dart.
We met at the "Wingerd" pub and disco in Vredenburg at midday and by the time I arrived there was already quite a large gathering.
Some of the guys were already busy braaiing the boerewors, included in the modest entry fee was a badge and two really good boerewors rolls with a delicious tomato and onion relish.
Mark and Charmain were in charge of the dart competition and they made sure that no time was wasted, everyone was called up to throw their dart, here it's Daan's turn and he looks confident.
Frank glares at the board after his throw, this was the only place where the board was at regulation height, at all of the other stops the board was either on the floor or just above it so that dart champions didn't have an advantage.
After that the boerewors rolls were served and very nice they were too! Kick stands up at 13h30 and a brisk ride through to Hopefield, twenty five bikes in a well-disciplined staggered formation - a stirring sight, we lined them up outside the Hopefield Lodge.
There were only three or four people in the pub but we sure took the place over! I'm not sure how many people were on the ride but most of the bikes had pillion riders so somewhere around forty, a nice cash injection for any bar.
Here the dart board was on the floor, leaning against the wall and the dart had to thrown with the "dumb hand"! I'm hopeless at darts at the best of times so I wasn't doing too well at all.
Dierdre's turn, once everyone had thrown their darts it was time to move on, not too much time spent at the various places, don't want the people drinking too much.
Anton's ride, a nice paint job and masses of gleaming chrome. From there we rode some fifty odd kilometres to Malmesbury, a fast pace through the wheat farming area, wide open spaces and virtually no traffic and there to a pub previously unknown to me.
This was a very difficult throw, here Marina tries to aim her dart.
Willie's turn. I had to throw five darts before I even hit the board and then scored a measly eight! I definitely was not in the running for any prizes.
Ed's Diner at the Barn in Riebeek Kasteel was the next venue in the competition, only about 22kms but much better riding country into the wine area and down into the Riebeek valley. The place was packed so we set ourselves up outside;
Mike's turn, with a young audience. Next venue was the hotel in Mooreesburg where the people were to stay over for the night. A good ride, only some thirty kilometres and it was there that I peeled away from the group and thundered off for home. Janet and I had plans for the next day and I wasn't in the dart competition.
I had had a very pleasant afternoon with my friends, some good riding although the whole loop was only 247kms, I left them to the party and enjoyed my ride through the approaching evening, arriving home just after 18h00.
I spoke to Div, the club president who said that the party had been very enjoyable, he only went to bed at 06h00 for about an hour and Frank told me that he didn't bother going to bed, he went straight from the bar into breakfast! Delinquents, neither of them could tell me who eventually won the dart competition but kudos to all concerned for a very well organised event.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meeulanders Mcc tin run 2012

If you have been reading my stuff you will have seen that I pontificate about how bikers are such good people, this is not because I myself am a proud biker but because this is something that I firmly believe to be a fact.
Take now a case in point; This past Saturday several members of the local "Meeulanders" Club spent five or more hours outside the entrances of various supermarkets persuading the general public to donate food items, either tins or packets of rice/noodles/pasta etc., which they were collecting for underprivileged families living in the area.
Sterling stuff you people, you should be well proud of yourselves. I spent part of the day riding around to the different locations chatting to my brothers and sisters and offering encouragement.
When I arrived at the Pick 'n Pay in Vredenburg they were nicely set up with Frank's bike and a trolley which was already half full of goodies.
Frank always likes to get his head close to attractive ladies! "You smell brilliant!"  Here with our Bro Bernard who will soon be deserting us for some small island where they play good rugby, we're going to miss him.
The lovely Monica from our local bike shop, she was good at talking the guys into donating food.
From there I went over to the Shoprite-Checkers branch just down the road, Charmaine was well into the swing of it with husband Mark. They had one of the bikes parked in the passage and were busy collecting.
 They had an eye catching set up right outside the entrance to the supermarket, here with Malcolm and Elise and were doing a good job of collecting, although I thought at that stage the Pick 'n Pay customers were the more generous ones.
From there I moved down to the West Coast Mall to the Checkers supermarket and this was the sight that greeted me, or should I rather say assailed me?
Willie, Floors and Daan appeared to have been doing alright but I think that the public had been flinging tins into their trolley in sheer terror! I mean really, would you give anything to these guys? You'd try to avoid eye contact and duck around them wouldn't you?
Willie's good lady was also there, a more inviting alternative trolley than those three hooligans, and I think hers had more tins in it anyway.
It was good to see the public donating generously, here another two terrified citizens are forced to throw tins into the trolley.
I spent a bit of time with these reprobates and then took a leisurely ride through to Langebaan, to the Laguna Mall where I found two of the ladies doing an excellent job.
I stayed with them chatting for a while, where were the guys? As I was leaving I got this photo of them;
Standing outside drinking energy drinks! Obviously they had been working very hard up until then and needed to get their energy back up - hope I didn't get you into trouble guys!
What an impressive job these Meeulanders have done, I hope to be at the hand-over when the collection is presented to the charity organisation who will do the actual distribution so that we can see how much was collected. I'll keep you posted.
We ended off the weekend with lunch at "Beira Mar", a superb restaurant in Saint Helena Bay about which I have written many times before, suffice it to say the food was again outstanding;
My starter; Portuguese sardines on a bed of roasted bell peppers and onions - to die for!
My mains; eight large prawns, lemon butter sauce, chips and salad - succulent is the word, juices dripping off the elbows.
Happy biker trash. Good value; two beers, two starters, two mains and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc all for only R355 including the gratuity, that's less than R180 per peson for such good quality!
Beira Mar restaurant, Saint Helena Bay 0227361393. We'll be back.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day of the Dead

My brother Paulo sent me this invitation via email, four of the Capetown clubs are getting together again to host the Day of the Dead;
This is a very worthy cause, unfortunately I will not be able to attend this one due to prior commitments but I urge Western Cape bikers to go along, have a jol and contribute to the families of fallen brothers.
I went last year and what a jol it was, I met up with lots of new and old friends, beer prices were reasonable, good food was on sale and rock music was blaring - in other words a typical biker party.
I wish the brothers a successful day and I wish you all safe riding, sorry I can't make it this year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meeulander Mcc Annual Dart Run

Just after I had said there was not much going on on the biking scene I received this notice from Div., the President of the local Meeulanders Motorcycle Club.
The annual "Dart Run" is taking place on Saturday 20th of October, this is a lot of fun for all and if you live here in the western cape, including in Capetown you should consider giving this a go.
It operates on a similar basis to the well known Poker Run but instead of being given a card at the different venues, you throw a dart. The scores are recorded and the person with the highest score at the end venue is the winner, to make sure that it is not only the dart fundis that will win the boards are not placed at regulation height at most of the venues, sometimes it is just resting on a chair or it  may even be held up by the club President at one of the stops, you never know!
I went on one of these runs a couple of years back and it was a very festive occasion, a start at the "Wingerd" in Vredenburg for the first dart and then a looping ride through Malmesbury and Riebeek Kasteel with three other dart stops and then the end function and final dart at the hotel in Mooreesburg, thereafter a typical biker party and a gentle ride home after a good breakfast the next day.
Come along, have a jol - phone Monica or Elize and join the West Coast bikers at a party of note, see you there.