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 27, 2015

Dart run part two - the party

It was actually a pity that the rugby world cup semi final was on that evening because it slowed things down a bit. We all moved into the pub to drink and watch the game, which only started at 17h00 so the fires for our dinner braai only got started late.
But anyway herewith a pictorial essay of the evening;
 In the bar Alex, the Mohicans President chats with Stephen, whom we hadn't seen for a while.
Our lovely Monica, I took this photo for Frank because he just loves her, she takes such good care of him.
 In the meantime Steve was outside helping to get the fires going.
 Another random sign that amused me; "Silence please" in between the ladies and gents toilets, what normally goes on here? Are they usually noisy?
Soon the fires were roaring, it was actually very cold that evening so they kept people warm while the meat was being readied for braaiing.

Mike, Stephen and Murray (among others) did an excellent job braaiing all of the meat so that it was ready for everyone after the rugby had finished, which was unfortunately a bit late for some of us who were starving by then!

 I caught Mercia digging into the potato salad while she thought that nobody was watching!
Dammit I love this lady biker, she is one of the characters of any event, a real party animal.
 My brother Sooi was outside enjoying the spectacle.
It was around 21h30 when the dinner was served and there were a lot of hungry bikers by then but there was plenty of good food to go around.
In the pub just before midnight they called last rounds so as is usual we all ordered three last drinks to take outside, that was when Mercia arrived with this sign;
 "No drinks beyond this point" - which point? I'm going to be with these people again at the Beaver rally on the weekend and you just know that it's going to be one hell of another party!
This last picture was taken at midnight, I cannot remember who took it but it started to rain shortly thereafter and I used that as a good excuse to call it a night and head off to bed.
It had been an excellent party once again, the last photo of last year's dart run was quite similar! I'm afraid that I did not pay attention to the prize giving although I do remember that my bro Alex won the booby prize for the worst score.
We had a good breakfast the next morning and a very pleasant ride home, we called in at Frank's on the way to give him a nice packet of biscuits for his tea and to check that he was alright, he had been missed at the party with lots of people raising a glass to his speedy recovery.
I believe that 60 people took part in the dart competition! It was a sterling effort by the club President Divi and his team to organise such a well run event, we just pitched up and enjoyed ourselves but many others worked their butts off to make sure that it ran smoothly, well done to you all.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Meeulanders Dart Run 2015

Okay so I'm a biker........Isn't this a great picture? This lovely young woman agreed to pose with a dirty old man, but I'm getting ahead of myself, this picture was taken late on Saturday night at the hotel in Eland's Bay (Janet had already gone to bed) and what a party it turned out to be!
We arrived at "Die Wingerd" dance hall and bar in Vredenberg at 11h30 and already I was seeing 24 degrees Celsius on my readout, there was quite a good crowd already and the dart throwing was already taking place under the watchful eye of Jolene;
I was surprised that Janet took part, she doesn't play darts, neither do I for that matter and we didn't feature in the prize giving.
Murray Harris concentrating on his throw
In the meantime the guys were busy outside braaiing the boerewors for our "boerie rolls"
and somewhere around 13h00 it was time to get the mob on the road for the next destination, the R45 pub at the "Plaasmol",
Lovely biker chicks in Stormers country; from left Wendy, Mercia, Janet and Monica.
We blasted through to the R45, still very warm and as it was already quite a sizeable bunch of bikers it was difficult to stay together through the Saturday traffic but it didn't take long to get the next dart on the go.
After a short time spent at the pub we were back on the road for the very pleasant ride through from Hopefield to Velddrif, that road has been repaired and what was once a very bumpy, slow ride is now really worth using again.
We took it easy, cruising along at about 120kph and as we approached Velddrif we rode into coastal fog which dropped the temperature by a huge eight degrees.
We were soon lining the bikes up outside the "Wielhuys" pub for the third dart of the day.
Under the strict control of Divi and Jolene the competition got underway immediately, anyway most of the guys wanted to be at the hotel in time for the semi final game between the Boks and the All Blacks.
Some of the participants;

    The Harris' on their LT
 Heinie and Gerda and the new Triumph
Stephen and Carmien on their Yamaha


The next part of the ride was about forty kilometres along the coastal road to a small farm stall called "Skooltjie" (little school), the road is notoriously bad with several patched pot holes that can give a serious jolt, especially to the pillion passenger so I just cruised along enjoying the now chilly weather. At that stop there was another boerie roll for everyone, making sure the stomachs were well lined.

The next throw was an undignified one with which I had considerable difficulty, it took me many throws to hit the board and I kept feeling like I was going to fall forward onto my forehead! Eventually I got a dart to score but I could see by then that I was not in the running.
A short ride from there to the hotel, again a rough patchy section of road over which I took it easy and by 16h30 we were parked at our destination for the night, we got settled in to our room and then got ready for the party.
Obviously they often have bikers staying over!
I'll tell you all about the party in my next post shortly, watch this space!

Friday, October 23, 2015

We visit Frank

This afternoon was one of those feel good days, after finishing work I took a ride down to Ancorr pub and parked the big red machine out front where all of the Harley riders could see it, had a beer and watched all the bikes passing by.
It was pleasant sitting in the sun but after only one beer it was time to ride through to Velddrif to meet up with the others who had organised the visit to Frank's house. I had an enjoyable cruise, being early I wasn't in any hurry and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
As it turned out only four of us met at the garage for the ride back to Vredenburg and on arrival at Frank's house we revved our engines to let him know we were there.
Eduardo and Fungis arrived shortly after us and Frank was in his element. The bikers have been good to him during his recovery, especially the lovely Monica who really takes care of her "Uncle Frank", he would be lost without her.
 We sat and chatted for a couple of hours, the usual bullshit that only guys, especially bikers can talk and Frank thoroughly enjoyed himself. He's in good spirits in spite of quite a lot of pain from the fractured ribs. Here from left clockwise; Eduardo, Frank, Dan, Rory, Fungis and Eugene - bikers all. Well done guys.
I feel that I must mention that I had a run in on the way home with a drunk driver, at least he seemed to be drunk to me; I was riding just above the legal limit in the right hand (fast lane) when I saw this car coming behind me and moving to my right he forced his way past me! As he went past I indicated my displeasure with my middle finger and set of in pursuit. He proceeded to swerve through the traffic at high speed with his hazard lights flashing and I caught up to him at the traffic lights in town.
I pulled up nest to him and signalled that I wanted to talk at which time he lowered his window by two inches and I invited him to get out. This idiot then raised his hands in a submissive kind of gesture but did not want to talk to me, I told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him but decided to leave it at that. When I told Janet the story she said no wonder he didn't want to get out of his car, seeing a huge angry biker would make anybody stay in their car.
I felt great after my afternoon, I felt alive after spending time with my brothers and after a high speed chase! Tomorrow we are off on the dart run and I will tell you all about that.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Harley Owners Group rally in Saldanha

 Heading home from work on Wednesday I saw several Harleys parked outside the Saldanha Bay Protea Hotel, I was aware that the annual H.O.G. rally was being held here and that the Protea had been completely booked out as had most of the other hotel in town and several B&Bs. These guys don't camp!
Meanwhile across the road at Ancorr pub I saw this sweet KTM;
I had occasion to chat with Corr, the biker owner of the pub, he rides a Hyabusa and I asked him if he was anticipating extra business from the rally, his words; "I hope so but you've been a biker for many years, you know what these guys are like, they don't mix with us." Unfortunately true, if there are any other makes parked outside they probably won't go in.
Look I am not a Harley fan as you will know if you have been reading my stuff, but even I have to admit that they do look and sound good but that's it, I wouldn't have one unless I could afford to have a lot of bikes - there are many others I would park alongside my beloved BMW before a Harley.
Today, Thursday is the official start of the rally and a lot more had arrived by the time I drove past, I had to stop and take some photos in spite of the risk of looking like a wannabe!
 This one I like, although I wouldn't like to travel behind it for any length of time!
 Another nice looking custom job.
 Nice older model, I saw my first trailer - not good enough to ride up from Capetown?
 There were already plenty of these full dressers, I imagine that many more riders will come in later tomorrow after work and by the weekend the town will be full.
On a completely different matter now, my old riding buddy Frank dropped his bike two weeks ago when his foot slipped out from under him whilst doing a slow U turn, he broke his collar bone and fractured four ribs. Before you all ask; his bike is not badly damaged, a few really small scratches and a broken mirror.
I got a message on my phone yesterday that bikers are gathering at the garage in Velddrif tomorrow afternoon for a ride to Frank's house to cheer him up, bring your own beer and from there the group will move on to the Phoenix bar. You know that I keep on saying this; Bikers are good folk and the brotherhood is strong here, I'll show you photographs later, stay safe!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The beginning of the love affair.

I grew up in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, a small country in (lower) central Africa that has a common border with South Africa and Mocambique to name but two. It was a prosperous country with huge exports of tobacco and maize and my formative years were happy and although my parents struggled to make ends meet, relatively care free.
My Father worked on the Rhodesia Railways for many years so we lived in the Salisbury (now Harare) suburb of Lochinvar and it was there as a young teenager that I had my first two wheel experiences that were to sew the seeds that would later germinate into a love of motorbikes.
I found this picture on the internet;

A friend of the family owned one of these Lambretta scooters and for some reason had no problem with me riding it, I spent many happy hours roaring around the streets of Lochinvar on that scooter, learning the riding skills that would serve me later.

The other early experience was on the Velosolex upon which you would start pedalling and then lower the motor onto the front wheel and it would take over, I remember it being quite cumbersome with all of the weight on the front but it saved a lot of energy.
After high school, in 1968 I joined the Rhodesian Police force; the BSA Police and there received formal motorcycle riding lessons and my licence and started riding "proper" motorcycles such as the BSA 650cc twin and the Matchless 500cc single;

This photo shows my late friend Paul Weinel on one of the Matchless 500s, a really nice motorcycle to ride, a bitch to start when it was cold but I would love to have one today.
After a couple of years the British bikes were slowly replaced with Yamaha 350s, they didn't have the "soul" of the Brit bikes but they were incredibly fast! And so began my love affair with motorbikes that continues to this day. Hopefully I have a good few years to go.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Monthly breakfast run

I'm not sure why but only twelve members met on Sunday morning on the veranda of the "Juffroeshoogte" resort, perhaps it was the weather, there was a low leaden grey sky with the feeling of imminent rain but Janet and I were that keen on a ride that we were the first ones there.
For my overseas readers I'm afraid that I cannot easily tell you how to pronounce that word or what it means but if you sound it out phonetically you may be close!
We sat on the veranda enjoying a cup of coffee in the chill morning air and by 08h35 our President Divi arrived followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the eager riders.
The usual good natured chat and banter ensued among people who, like family are comfortable with each other and that is what I have experienced being a member of the club, I was way too long non- affiliated thinking that I didn't need club membership to ride but am now revelling in being a part of this biker family.
My old biker buddy Frank, of whom you have all read and seen is a retired man and a divorcee' of many years, he lives alone and has always said that had it not been for the club he would have been an old man sitting at home with a blanket over his lap years ago, now he has many people who love and care about him.
Kick stands up at 09h00 and we roared along the R45 in staggered formation the short distance to the first stop/go section, we caught it at a good time as we only had to wait about five minutes before speeding off in front of the line of cars, ahead we could see patches of blue sky as the clouds began to part, my spirits lifted in time with the kilometres flashing inches below my feet.
The third section was open to us, the traffic light on a now sunny Sunday morning and by the time we stopped at the fourth stop/go, the last one on the road to Malmesbury it was warm and clear and I was singing into my helmet.
"Yeah man I'm gonna make it happen, take the world in a love embrace - fire all of the guns at once and explode into space!"
For anyone who knows this area there are a few long sweeping bends just before the R45 meets the N7 and us poor deprived west coast bikers who have to ride for an hour before we get to any bends, really enjoy that section, hooliganism is unleashed, throttles are twisted open and it's every man for himself as the sides of our tires get a little action.
We usually stop at the Caltex garage in Malmesbury for the cruiser riders to fill up and for the smokers to get their fix, there we discuss the ride and embellish our experiences, the mood was light and thus far I was a happy man, more to come.

Gerrie and Frank light up, Janet cleans our visors. By then the weather was warming up nicely, promising to be a great day for biking. It was just after 10h00 and I was already feeling the first pangs of hunger, looking forward to the rest of the ride but also to the breakfast.
 From the left; Mike, Floors, Barbara, Heinie and Divi.
From the left; Linicia, 'Cois (pronounced Soy) and Gerrie.
After enough time had elapsed for people to fuel up, smoke, ablute, chat and stretch saddle muscles we hit the road, through Malmesbury and down into wine country, the magical ride down the pass into the Riebeek Valley where Divi moves aside to let Gerrie dive through the bends, high speed shenanigans to the Hermon intersection, the busy 17 kilometre straight to the Nuwekloof Pass where baboons are a constant speed check, and then out the other side to the turn off to the little town of Tulbagh.
Although fairly quiet on a Sunday Tulbagh is in the middle of the wine area and is thus popular with tourists and bikers, Divi had pre-booked our tables at "Kuierbossie" restaurant, we lined our steeds up outside, divested ourselves of our now warm jackets and settled down for some chow.
We have been there before, it is a busy little restaurant with a fairly small veranda but a lot more seating inside, we had veranda tables which were more in demand in this type of weather, bad luck people, the bikers were there!
One beer to clear a parched throat and then a bottle of "Flippenice Wine" of Tulbagh origin and I must say that it was a flippen nice wine and only priced at R55, a bargain indeed.
We had to wait a while after our orders were placed but that was not an issue, we were relaxed and happy and when the food did arrive it was good;
A very nice omelette stuffed with ham, cheese and mushrooms it went down singing hymns!
As is usual on these events, after breakfast the people make their own way home, some with other things to do and we made arrangements to meet at "Plaasmol" pub just after Hopefield for a last beer, we set off alone on a gentle cruise and I felt Janet fall asleep behind me within twenty minutes.
After some really enjoyable riding I went on past the pub where some had already stopped, Janet was having a good rest and I was not in the mood for anything else to drink. Pulling into to Saldanha we got briefly wet from a minor cloudburst, more like a wet mist or "guti" to use the colloquial term but it didn't matter, it could not dampen my spirits after what had been a really enjoyable outing.
Our next biking event is the club dart run to the Eland's Bay hotel on 24th October, there's a sleepover party that I am looking forward to, damn it's good to be a biker!