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, September 24, 2015

Busy week and National Braai Day public holiday

It has been a busy week, darling friend Linda came up for her birthday which was on Tuesday and I did a Lamb potjie and Sadza for her and her son and my sister and brother in law, for those who don't know "potjie" is an Afrikaans word for the cast iron pot in which different types of stews are made and "sadza" is a stiff maize porridge which appears to be similar to American "grits". The only difference is that we take a handful and roll it into a ball and dip it into the gravy, a true test of whether it has been made properly is that it must not stick to your hand.
I learnt to make sadza a thousand years ago in Rhodesia as a young man and still enjoy making it for my friends today.
Today (Thursday) is a public holiday; Heritage Day which has turned into National Braai Day supported by our beloved "Arch"; Desmond Tutu who is known to love a braai.
Mike and Loretta, my brother in law and sister showed us how to use our bread maker, which we've had for a while but never used and the result was a wonderful loaf of bread;
We decided to start the day with an early "egg and bacon butty" for breakfast, and what a breakfast that was! There's something special about the aroma of frying bacon that gets the juices flowing.
That breakfast kept us going for the rest of the morning but by midday we were ready for a snack, Janet produced some garlic crumbed mussels which we all enjoyed so much that I forgot to take any photographs! The next menu item however was smoked Angel fish which I did remember;
Served with fresh brown bread it went down a treat. This fish is readily available here on the Cape west coast and I get it often, lovely for smoking it is also good baked in the oven.
We went out during the morning to see the local bikers taking part in the Heritage Day parade, bikers are prepared to give of their time to support local initiatives and this was one of them.
The bikers gather, in the centre is our Club President; Divi talking to one of the organisers, any of you who have been involved in one of these parades know how difficult it is for bikers to follow a marching band, it involves lots and lots of clutch and brake work and is very tiresome but they did a brilliant job, herewith some photos of the participants;
 Lady biker (and don't we all love a lady on her own bike?) on a late 70's model Honda, check out the whitewall back tyre!
 Divi and Carlo in the background on the Harley.
 My Bro. Gerrie, a biker from the old days in Jo'burg on his Yamaha.
 Daan on his FJR, he left his 1800 Goldwing at home.
My old rally buddy Frank on his FJR.

 Here are some pictures of the guys struggling with their clutches, trying to ride slowly behind the parade which is not what bikers are used to! Well done guys.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

South Africans braai anywhere

I posted this on my "Braais, Beers and Bikes" facebook page and it got a lot of interest, this just goes to show that South Africans will have a braai wherever and whenever they can even if it is out in the middle of the ocean on a submarine!
I have never been in a submarine and I cannot imagine what it must be like but when they surface the guys must be desperate for some fresh air, obviously they will not have any beers on board but they can make a plan for a braai, good on them!
Those readers who are not South Africans need to get over here for a visit, at the moment your money is bloody good and the first South Africans you meet will offer you a braai - come on over!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday breakfast run with the club

Last Sunday, being the first Sunday of the month was the Meeulanders' regular breakfast run and the weather started out great, clear and sunny if a little cold, in fact only 15 degrees when we rolled out from home to the meeting place at the Engen one stop on the R27. No wind though, and you can dress up for the cold weather, I was fully into it and looking forward to a good ride.
Eventually seventeen people on eleven bikes roared out of the parking lot at 09h30, I settled into the middle of the pack and we formed our usual staggered formation heading to the R45 and breakfast at "Die Oude Stoep" (The Old Veranda) in Moorreesburg via Malmesbury. We were well aware that we were going to encounter four "Stop/Go" sections on the R45 but what the hell?
The first of these was not even one kilometre from the start!
We sat patiently in the Queue, not even bothering to push our way to the front, at least the Western Cape provincial government is doing something about the roads in the province, not like the other provinces in the country, why would that be?
Within ten minutes we were on the go again and cars even pulled aside within the single lane sections for us all to gather together. We blitzed happily along, the stop at the second roadworks section didn't bother us and shortly after that our President, Div turned off into a large laybye for the first "Melktertjie" stop. This is a tradition on breakfast runs where we pull over for a small dop-stop which consists of a cream liqueur sprinkled with cinnamon, rather delicious! Also those that must smoke can have their fix.
 Here Daan carefully pours out the libations under the watchful eye of Carlo, actually he was busy sprinkling the cinnamon.
There were two other bikers from Capetown in the laybye when we all pulled in and we invited them to join us for a spot, in this photo by Gerrie Pieterse I have my back to the camera taking a photo of the others enjoying their milk tarts.
Janet picked a Spring daisy for the bike and we were on our way again,
 The next stop/go was open for us but the last one caught us, it actually started getting a bit warm sitting there in the sun just waiting.
 Murray on his Gunston Orange LT.
Daan on his 1800 Honda.
The group all waiting patiently in the sun.
The last section ending at the N7 has a few long sweeps and Div let those who wanted to speed ahead go past him, unfortunately where we live we have to ride for an hour in any direction before we hit any interesting twisties so our tyres tend to wear out in the middle!
It is 31kms from the turn off to Malmesbury and the N7, particularly on a Sunday is a lovely ride, it wasn't long before we were turning off into Moorreesburg and parking outside "Die Oude Stoep".
 This place has recently come under new ownership and they were pretty busy, we arrived around 11h00 so there was a lunch time crowd arriving as well but they seemed to cope pretty well. That little dorp has a dearth of eating places on a Sunday so they should do well if they maintain standards.
Waiting for breakfast but got beer, not all bad.
This was the "In betweener" for R40, I've had better and I've had worse. By the time we left we had spent R156 including our drinks, we agreed on the shorter route taking the 22km stretch back to the R45 but that is a slow section for us because of the road works under way and the poor condition of the road.
Once we reached the R45 though the hooligans were unleashed and we travelled at speeds in excess of 170km/h before pulling in to the "Plaasmol" to finish off the last of the "Melktertjies".
Some of the guys, including Frank decided to stay for an A.B.F. at the bar but by then the wind had come up and was blowing strong gusts out of the North, a presage of the crap weather I was to have out on the boat at work for the next two days. We headed home leaning over to the right, the clouds were heavy and ominously grey above us, we didn't have any rain gear with us and I was certain we were going to get wet. What the hell, if you ride a bike you're going to ride in the rain. Some fifty k's ahead of us though I could see patches of blue sky and we blasted our way Westwards towards the coast, the wind was cold but man was it good being out there, the bike was purring along and I was thoroughly enjoying myself - bring it on!
Sure enough we cruised around the bay heading for home under cold but blue sky, life is good man, it had been an enjoyable day with a bunch of good people - I personally cannot imagine not being a biker.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Springtime on the West Coast

Spring has sprung.....in my last post I bemoaned the fact that it was winter and not much riding had been done, just the occasional mild to warm day for a local cruise, well now the weather is much improved and we're getting out a bit more.
Spring time in the western cape is flower time, for a short period - pretty much just August and September the area around here and further up the west coast is blanketed with wild flowers. It is a tourist time and local restaurants and accommodations do a roaring trade with people travelling from far and wide to drive around looking at the colourful spectacle.
We do it as well even though it is our own backyard and we don't have to travel far to see the best floral displays although I believe further up the coast it can be really spectacular.
 These photographs were all taken within a 100km radius of our home, on the coastal road to Eland's Bay. (Click on the photos to see them full size.)
Perhaps you need to come and check it out for yourself. The West coast National Park is always incredibly beautiful and worth a visit as long as you don't mind a long queue. Even just the road around the bay between Langebaan and Saldanha is worth seeing for a variety of spectacular colours.
Anyway that's enough about the sex organs of vegetables, let's get onto a more relevant subject; the weather was so good last Saturday that I was moved to have a braai! The first of the impending summer;
 An old favourite starter; Karoo lamb ribs spiced with "Six-gun grill", garlic, lemon and herb and braaied crispy.
 Followed a while later with a chicken "flatty" marinated in peri peri oil, whisky, mixed herbs and a chili spice with some braaied potatoes, this went on well into the mid afternoon washed down with a nice Sauvignon Blanc from the wine areas which are also close to home. Actually when I come to think of it we live in a pretty good place!