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, March 19, 2015

Sunset cruise

Yesterday evening I was feeling lazy, Janet was in Durban on business and I was intent on having a quiet time. I had received a "Whatsapp" message from Divi earlier, a reminder about the sunset cruise, but I didn't think I was going to bother, relax with a couple of glasses of wine man!
Just after 18h00 I opened the front door and had a look outside, it was a wonderful warm and calm evening, just perfect for riding and suddenly I had the urge to go. I had to be at the Engen garage in Velddrif before 19h00 when they would be leaving, it was only about 40kms to Velddrif and at 200kmh that wouldn't take long.
It was a splendid ride, warm and calm and the bike was performing beautifully. Recently serviced in Capetown and wearing new rubber it felt solid and planted but responsive and agile at the same time and between Vredenburg and Velddrif I did indeed hold it at 200kmh arriving at the gathering point with plenty of time to spare.
This sunset cruise is a new initiative by the members of the newly formed West Coast Motorcycle Association, I suppose that could be "re-established" association because there was an attempt to form the association some time back but it didn't get off the ground, these guys seem to have it right and may it go from strength to strength.
I didn't count the number of bikes (twelve?) or the number of people but a fair bunch thundered out of the forecourt at exactly 19h00 and headed down the R27 but after only some 10kms we pulled off into a large tarred laybye and parked the bikes.
Good enough, this was a social event and not a mass ride and soon the bottles and flasks were produced and conversation flowed.
Divi, the Meeulanders President chats with Ettienne of the WMA. It was around this time that Divi pointed out that my favourite flask that I had bought in Scotland in 2003 was leaking and the precious liquid was dripping onto the tarmac! In times of crisis plans are urgently formulated and I kept my finger over the neck and held the flask upside down in between sips but how much of the lovely amber liquid had been wasted? I ask you with tears in my eyes.
All is not lost though, I do have another flask which my lovely family bought for me when they went to Las Vegas last year, I will try that one next time, might have to sleep in the laybye though!
As the sun set the guys decided to make a bonfire, cautiously bearing in mind how dry the veld is at the moment, it was good to feel the warmth of the fire and share the camaraderie that only bikers know.
I took my leave of my brothers and sisters, it had been a very pleasant experience and one which I will repeat as long as the weather allows, winter is just around the corner! The ride home was sublime, I cruised not wanting to tangle with any small buck or porcupine that usually come out to play at this time of the day, I had forgotten how much I enjoy riding at night.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Mohicans at the Rooikraans

Last Friday afternoon I was playing pool with Frank as usual when we heard the welcome and exciting sound of multiple bikes arriving outside the "Rooikraans pub", the sound heralded the arrival of several members of the newly formed west coast chapter of the Mohicans club who popped in for a drink and a quick game of pool.
Most of the guys we know and it was good to see that there were a few new young members and that the chapter was growing, good luck guys and may the Mohicans go from strength to strength.
Terence on his new machine, he bought this beauty in East London.
Some serious eye candy there!
The late Quintin Vermeulen tribute bike, now being ridden by his brother a new member of the chapter, ride safe brother.
Isn't that a heart-warming sight? A beautiful bunch of heavy metal parked outside the pub.
Friday afternoon was the usual very enjoyable prelude to the weekend, a couple of drinks, a good few games of pool and a lot of good natured banter after a hard week's work. I look forward to my Friday afternoons and if for any reason I can't play pool I feel very hard done by.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Breakfast run March 1st - Darling!

Sunday was the scheduled day for the club's monthly breakfast run and as we got up in the morning we could hear the wind blowing, I was expecting Janet to say something like; "You go, I've got things to do around the house and I don't like the wind."
I kept quiet, let her get on with her morning stuff and got dressed for the bike. She came along and although the ride through to the Engen One-Stop was quite windy it wasn't as bead as we expected. We were a bit early but I like my Wimpy coffee.
Time to meet and greet, this picture by Gerrie Pieterse shows Janet just bringing me my coffee from the shop. The wind wasn't too bad by then but already it was hot, we were due to leave at 09h00 and Divi kept it to that,
There was time for me to get a photo of Steven's brand new KTM 1190, he was loving this bike, and how about this "Gunston Orange" BMW?
I love the colour man, reminds me of the 70's.
Kick stands up at 09h00 as advertised and ten or eleven bikes with seventeen people roared out of the parking area and onto the R45 headed for Malmesbury, it turned out to be a brilliant ride, warming up but the wind was not an issue and we maintained a moderate pace through to the N7 and through the town to a garage parking area where the smokers could feed their habit.
Soon after we were back on the road, under the N7 and down to Darling on the much improved, re-surfaced R315. We kept to a steady 120kmh, keeping the bunch together and it wasn't long before we were gathering the bikes together in the parking area of "Brig's Barn" in the town.
As we gathered Janet was already telling people how glad she was that she had come along and how good the ride had been, I could only listen and agree, it had been fabulous - we had maintained a reasonable pace and stayed together, except for close to Malmesbury where there are a few sweeps, I could not keep up with the fast guys but had enjoyed my own experience, that's what it's all about - your own experience.
In the restaurant parking lot I organised the three BMW touring machines for a photo;
Anton on his K1600GT, me with my R1200RT and Murray with his K1200LT (although in retrospect I should have had the orange bike in the middle for the colour progression, maybe next time) but then my brother Gerrie Pieterse took a far more dramatic photo of the three bikes, and this is a classic photo;
Click on the picture to see it full size, it is already my desktop background - well done Gerrie!
Breakfast was festive affair as it always is, the tables were spread out in the shady garden or you could eat inside, we elected to eat out in the garden as it was so hot by then.
 Mike and Barbara waiting for their food, actually the restaurant did very well considering the size of the group, we did not wait long for our food.
Janet and I both had a "three-egg omelette", a great breakfast at a reasonable price, our friend Murray struggled with his meal which I'm sure fed him for another couple of days.
Look how worried he looks! If you're looking for good breakfast venue, give them a call at "Brig's Barn", we've eaten lunch there too and it has always been good value. 
The road from Malmesbury to Darling is now in good condition so it is a very pleasant ride, from Darling to the R27 is a slow one, not so good but we all made it in good time and were able to "tank it" to the first speed gantry.
Our agreed destination was "Vlakvarkgat" which you have heard me talk about before,
this was our "absolute-bloody-final" place, actually I had two - the beers were bitterly cold, the company was great, they were bikers after all and it had been a very enjoyable day.
Next, I think will be the Swallows Rally in Worcester, lots of the guys are going to the Buffalo Rally but I have said for a long time that I am not going to the Buff again, let's see what happens, the Buffalo Rally is 20th-22nd and the Swallows is 27th - 29th March - I haven't been to the Swallows Rally for a long time.
By the time we got home Janet was tired but happy that she had come along and that for me is a bonus.