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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A quiet and simple meal, but a braai nonetheless

Saturday, a bit windy but warm and sunny so I decided to have a braai. I've been taking flak from a couple of my friends since I bought my gas braai for the back veranda so I decided to let them see that if the weather's good I still do a traditional braai. I didn't invite them, I just let them see.
My contention is that with the gas braai outside on my back veranda I can still do outside cooking even if the weather's bad and in fact Janet used the gas cooker to do her amazing sweetcorn fritters.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I have just recently bought a new braai to replace an old one that Janet and Linda managed to ruin with a huge bonfire, but enough of that, so I lit a big fire in it this morning to burn off all of the new paint and to get it ready for cooking lunch.
It's a handy size, made out of half an old geyser with a grid and legs that fold up and can be secured underneath and for which I paid R480 - a bargain for me because I am not capable of making something like that.
Once my fire was ready I slapped on a lovely slab of lamb rib, my favourite meat. I am a meat eater, I eat all meat but I really think that lamb is the one.
Once the rib section was browned well on both sides I took it off and sliced it into individual ribs,
 These then go back onto the grid to be seasoned and "crisped", I used Aromat, garlic flakes, green onion spice, mixed herbs and lemon pepper and kept turning them until they were nice and crispy. We ate the ribs as a starter and then I braaiied a lovely piece of boerewors which Linda got for us, absolutely delicious, boerewors is a South African staple and you will hardly ever find a braai here without some boerewors sizzling on the grid as the juices drip onto the coals.
In fact there is nothing quite like the smell of boerewors on the braai to get the taste buds tingling and in many a supermarket car park the smell of "boerie" greets you on most Saturday and Sunday mornings as vendors greet the morning shoppers offering them the ubiquitous boerewors rolls.
So lunch was a relatively simple affair today, but it was delicious as those type of affairs often are. We relaxed on the back veranda and enjoyed each others company, drank some good wine and partook of a simple meal and we'll do it again soon you can bet on that!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Eye Candy at West Coast Yamaha

Nothing much been happening lately bike-wise, we have been to Capetown on two consecutive weekends but they were both shopping/collecting trips so we were not able to go on the bike. Altogether now..........."Awwww"!
Whilst down there last weekend we visited the famous "Chappies" (Chapman's Peak Hotel) for lunch and this machine was parked outside;
a rather cool looking trike but what was interesting was that it had a CFG registration number, that is the Saldanha/Vredenburg area where I live, but I have certainly never seen this one before. The hotel dining room and veranda was absolutely crowded so I didn't see anyone who could have been the owner, curiouser and curiouser.
Last Friday afternoon we started the weekend off with our usual pool games at the Rooikraans pub, I met Frank at the West Coast Yamaha shop beforehand to check out the new stock just arrived, new motorbikes are serious eye-candy.
A brace of aggressive looking R1s, just look at that face! These things look fast just standing still.
The new 1300FJR, I rode one a couple of months ago about which I bragged in an earlier post, what a powerful sports tourer that one is!
The very tall 660 Tenere' standing next to it's bigger brother the 1200 Super Tenere', the latter machine I also rode and wrote about some time ago, a very nice machine.
That 660 is a very interesting bike but its sales must be restricted by the fact that it is incredibly high, I am tall and I was able to put my feet flat on the ground on either side of the bike but my legs were almost straight, anyone slightly shorter would have a serious problem, I'm not sure how I feel about that machine, maybe I'll get a chance to ride one, it's a nice looking bike for sure.
It seems like Stephen, one of the Meeulanders Club members who has appeared in photographs several times in various stories here was also impressed with the new models, he is selling his cruiser and has bought a new Super Tenere'. Congratulations brother, enjoy!
I feel a serious need to get back out onto the road on two wheels, maybe this coming weekend?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - Tata Madiba - 1918 to 2013 Rest in Peace Tata.
A sad day, 6th December 2013, the day I heard that Madiba had passed away. A day of sadness, relief, gratitude and hope; sadness obviously, relief that his own suffering was over and he was at peace, gratitude for the enormous legacy that he has left us and hope that all South Africans can live up to that legacy.
Who could ever forget that amazing moment? What an incredible man he was and we South Africans are the beneficiaries of his legacy, all of us.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Sixteenth consecutive Toy Run

The weather bureau forecast for the weekend was HOT and man were they on the money! Saturday was hot but with a light southerly wind which was rather pleasant and it must have been quite comfortable for the brothers and sisters in the Cape who were involved in a "Bikers against Tolls" ride, well done you're doing good work.
Sunday dawned still and clear, we were up early and we could tell it was going to be a scorcher!

I considered riding like this, at least for the mass ride part once we got to Capetown but it was too hot and rather uncomfortable so I made another plan;

I attached the mask to the front of the bike, I thought it looked rather cool but I got a rude comment from a reader on my Braais, Beers and Bikes facebook page saying, and I quote "That is one plug ugly ride." - he's Australian.
He's entitled to his opinion but I love my bike as do all bikers, I would never disrespect a brother's bike in public but I suppose it takes all kinds....moving on.

At the Engen One-Stop a large group of bikers had already gathered, there were a lot of "Meeulanders" as well as other clubs and solo riders with bikes coming and going in a noisy cacophony of our favourite sound, the sheer music of the high revving internal combustion engine.
Brother Wessel with his beautiful Goldwing, the music system on that thing is incredible! Soon the riders were on their way, we followed after;

The ride down to Capetown was uneventful and rather pleasant, because of the bloody speed gantries every twenty kilometres I set my cruise control to 127kmh and just let the bike do the work. The temperature was by then already in the mid twenties.

We went to the Viper lounge to meet up with our friend Janet who was going to be riding to the toy run with Frank, it was quite a busy scene and for the first time I saw a couple of the Victory motorbikes riding out of the car park. Although the Viper lounge has had the Victory agency for quite some time I have never seen one on the road, I don't know if these were demo models on loan or privately owned but they looked and sounded good.

We decided that as it was so hot we would ride the back way directly to the end venue at Maynardville so as to avoid punishing our bikes too much, it's far more pleasant but you do miss out on the spirit of the run, if it's not too hot next year I'll do the whole mass ride again.
It was just about 10h30 when we threw our toys into the trailer, not many people about as the mass ride was still on its way, they would soon fill up. We headed off in search of liquid refreshment.
Due to the new, more stringent liquor laws the organisers had had to change the beer tent set up, no longer were we allowed to wander around the grounds with our beers but had to either drink them in the tent which, although huge, was like an oven, or in the too small adjacent beer garden which unfortunately had very little shade.
Luckily the Meeulanders had arrived earlier and had secured two shady tables and we happily joined them,
We spent a pleasant hour and a half or so cooling down, chatting to new and old friends. By then the crowd had swelled considerably and space in the beer garden was at a premium, if you got up to leave for any reason your space was immediately taken. If the Toy Run is held at Maynardville next year they'll have to make a bigger beer garden with more shade, please guys?
On our way out and nearly two hours later the trailers were filling up, I believe that somewhere in the vicinity of 34,000 toys were collected, amazing, heart warming stuff people.
We went back to the Viper lounge for another beer and then had a very mediocre lunch at a steak house that I'm not even going to bother to name, I won't be going back but it's directly above the "Ocean Basket" which had a queue outside so we chose the other unfortunately.
Unbelievably hot riding home, I saw 37 degrees on the R27! Again I set the cruise control at 127kmh but we uncharacteristically rode in our tee shirts, our jackets stayed in the panniers. We don't often do this but have on similar occasions, I will continue to take part in that event for as long as I can, kudos to all involved.
The Cape Times newspaper article this morning alluded to the fact that this is the largest motorcycle charity event in Southern Africa if not in the world. More than 100,000 bikers in different centres in South Africa riding for underprivileged children on the same day, amazing stuff and amazing people bikers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's that time of the year again........

Toy Run 2013 is upon us! Sunday 24th November sees the 31st annual run when more than 100,000 bikers in towns and cities all over South Africa gather to donate toys to underprivileged children, it is an event that is very close to our hearts and this one will be my sixteenth consecutive run.
The event has grown considerably over the years that I have been taking part, where in earlier years it was a bikers only function with members of the public lining the roadsides and freeway overpasses to wave encouragement and even to hand over small toys but leaving the party at Maynardville to the bikers, now the end venue is a massively crowded event with non-biker families rubbing shoulders with the leather clad road warriors.
The event was started by the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club 31 years ago and is still organised by them but now several other organisations assist with the massive job of distributing the thousands and thousands of toys that are collected.
It is a "feel good" event, it transcends all boundaries as in fact do most biker related gatherings and I wouldn't miss it for the world. This year the two starting points are in Ottery and at the Grand West Casino car park, the mass ride can take up to about an hour with lots of brake/clutch riding and stops to let engines cool down but there's cold beer, food and music at the end venue, we'll see you there!
For those of you not taking part I will tell you all about it in my next post, stay safe out there!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ek & Djy Vissery and the "Vlakkies" Rally

A lovely sunny and calm weekend prompted as much two-wheeled time as possible and as there was a rally at "Vlakvarkgat" there were lots of bikers in the area, this is always a good thing as far as I am concerned.
Janet and I saddled up for a local cruise after I had given the big red machine a thorough wash and we headed out to Velddrif to see what was happening at "Ek en Djy Vissery", my old biker buddy Des' place on the banks of the Berg River.
The place was buzzing! Des now serves breakfast and lunch and the place is licensed, it was good to see bikers coming and going and to chat with our friends. It really is a pleasant spot, well worth a visit.
We sat on the shaded jetty and relaxed with a cold one for a while and then it was time to move along.
We stopped for a lunch at Pearly's in Langebaan and then it was time to take Janet home, she didn't feel like going to the rally, I on the other hand wanted to see what was going on and I knew that several friends from the Meeulanders and the Kreefsmokkelaars Clubs would be there.
The rally site is well maintained, rolling lawns and plenty of shade trees and it was full of happy bikers doing what bikers do best; partying. Two of the first people I saw there were Div., the Meeulanders president and Alan a friend from many Cape rallies.
Those of you who attend rallies in the Cape will no doubt have seen Alan wandering around like this! Not a care in the world, a really pleasant guy.
I moved along to the second of the three bars in the campsite and found a pretty young barmaid with a nice "decolletage", this was where I was to buy my drinks from then on.
I met up with Joe and Kettings in the bar, Joe is trying to cope with the recent tragic loss of his son Llewelyn and was getting much love from his brothers and sisters.
Time to move on, no good standing around drinking with the boys just because there's a pretty barmaid!
The rest of the Kreefsmokkelaars arrived and set up camp which is what I should have done.
Des lends a helping hand.
Shaun seemed to be battling with his tent until Jean's girlfriend helped him set it up.
I wandered around for a bit longer chatting to friends but I didn't want to stay much longer, I had already had a couple of drinks and it was either leave now or stay the night.
I had a nice fast ride home towards the setting sun, it's only about twenty kilometres so it didn't take me long, it was a very nice rally from what I had seen, next year I'll take my tent.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meeulanders MCC annual Dart Run

I've just had a really nice jol with the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club, it was the occasion of their annual "Dart Run" which is very similar to a poker run except that you throw a dart instead of drawing a card. I must just clarify that skill at darts does not count here, you'll see why, I am hopeless at darts and even I stood a chance of winning......I didn't though.
We met at a dance hall/pub in Vredenburg called "Wingerd" where the first dart was thrown and boerewors rolls were served to line the stomach, a good idea because there was bound to be some drinking.
While the first darts were being thrown others were busy with the boerewors outside on the fire.
Alex and Steve waiting for there chance to throw a dart and to eat a roll, they didn't wait to get a drink!
Div the President kept everything under tight control and at 13h30 we saddled up, thirteen motorbikes and two cars and headed down to the Beach Club in Saldanha for the second dart.
This time the board was hung from a pole and we all had to throw left-handed, here Frank has his go.
A little bit of wrist action from Willie.
Stephen looks like he knows what he's doing but he's a "lefty" so he had to use his right hand.
Time only for one drink and we're on the way again, this time back up to Laaiplek to "Die Visvlekhuis", it was a lovely warm and calm day, no wind, a lovely day for riding. We thundered along in a staggered formation to the harbour at the mouth of the Berg river.
 The third dart was an awkward throw with some people having to try a good few times, Frank's first dart missed the board and flew into the road, luckily no one was driving past!
 You can see now why I said that anyone had a chance although I was pretty much out of the running, by this stage I had only amassed a score of 24.
From there we rode out along the coastal road towards Eland's Bay, unfortunately this road is being ruined by heavy vehicles and has some serious potholes so we took it easy. We stopped at a factory site about halfway between Velddrif and Eland's Bay for the fourth dart, one of the cars had been carrying a cooler box full of ice cold beers for this very occasion. Another indication of the first class organisation!
 Frank and I discuss tactics over a cold one.
We suggested that for this round Div should hold the board but he very wisely decided against it!
Carmen lines up her throw while Div keeps score, only a short while spent there, time only for one drink and we're on the road again. A short ride through to Eland's Bay, a relatively slow cruise and soon we were lining up outside the hotel.
 The bar was crowded with visitors and locals and they only had one barlady! It was a bit hectic trying to get a drink, the reason was the Currie Cup final game between Western Province and the Sharks, we settled down a bit once we got our first rounds in,
Steve got it right, when he got the lady's attention he ordered two double whiskys, one for now and the other for now-now.
 Once the (disappointing for most) rugby was over the crowd thinned out and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Bonfires were lit outside and it was time for the final dart.
 As the evening progressed the prizes were dished out and the dinner was prepared, here Willie takes care of the meat while Gerrie and Div look on hungrily, actually the food was bloody good; Karoo lamb chops, boerewors and salads, it went down very well.
After that things got a little hazy, gradually people went off to bed until there were only five die-hards left;
Me, Alex, Frank, Gerrie and Mercier, by then the lights had gone out, the fire had gone out and the bar had closed long ago. It wasn't long until we had finished the extra booze we had bought at closing time!

Alex and Mercier, a really nice biker couple who were both riding their own ZX14's

I faded at around 02h00, it had been a great party and it was time for a couple of hours sleep.
I was awake at 06h00, I got up and dressed and went in search of some coffee but there was no sign of anyone around so I thought I might as well get going, only 100kms home and I could get decent coffee there, I didn't feel like hanging around for breakfast.
No biker jol is complete without a picture of Frank sleeping! He just crashes, this picture is blurred probably because either he or I was still pissed!
 I rolled out of the parking area at exactly 07h00 into a heavy fog, it was cold but really enjoyable, I had to take it easy anyway because of the bad road so I settled down to a cruise.
 I was in fog all the way to Velddrif, sometimes extremely heavy but halfway between there and Vredenburg it lifted revealing a sunny sky, and that last part of the ride I opened up, flying along through the chilly early morning - just me and my shadow.
Thanks to Div and the members of the Meeulanders for taking me along, I had a blast with a great bunch of people.