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, June 16, 2016

Blanket run 2016

With the onset of winter in the western cape comes time for the bikers to get together on yet another charity drive, this time the annual blanket run where bikers from all local clubs come together to give blankets to the needy.

We arrived at the biker's church just before 08h30, it was a cold day again but not quite as bad as the previous weekend, I saw 11,5 celsius on the readout. There was a good number of bikes parked outside and we waited for the service to end.
 A really good pile of blankets bore testimony to the goodwill of the bikers present and they were officially handed over to Pastor Errol (centre) by (from left) Etienne, Gerrie, Dennis and Divi. Very well done to all of the bikers.
From there the groups split up, the Mohicans were going to have breakfast in Dwaarskersbos at a new restaurant called "See Kaya" (Sea House) which we will have to check out at some later stage, while we, the Meeulanders were to gather at the garage in Velddrif to head for Eland's Bay.
 Two lovely ladies, Janet and Carlo - Meeulanders' First Lady - having a chat, it turned out that fourteen of us on nine bikes roared out of Velddrif for the coastal ride. A lovely clear, calm and sunny day's ride, the road is not too bad and there was virtually no traffic and after about forty kilometres of sheer enjoyment we arrived at "Venster Klip" (Window Rock) just outside of Eland's Bay.
 It is a charmingly rustic place, obviously adapted from what used to be old farm buildings, the walls are a couple of feet thick and constructed from rocks, luckily the bar was already open when we arrived.
 And the bikers moved in and made good use of it, sherry sold quickly and congenial conversation and laughter reverberated under the rough hewn beams and thick farm walls.
Some of the conversation moved outside while we waited for our breakfast, there is a chance that this might be the setting for the club's year end function, Divi was making enquiries, it would be a good place for that festive occasion, we'll see what developes.
 Breakfast was unfortunately rather mediocre and quite expensive at R75 and R20 for a cup of coffee but the company more than made up for it, a thoroughly enjoyable morning spent with good people.
We took it easy on the way home, calling in at "Draaihoek" to check their accommodation prices which turned out to be exorbitant so we'll leave that out.
How many times have I said this; "Bikers are good folk." I'm proud to be one.
Next is our monthly club meeting on Thursday 30th June which coincidentally is the last day that I will be working, after that I'm free to do what I want when I want and man I'm looking forward to that!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June breakfast run, cold start!

Three weeks and counting until my retirement, only one week to go as boat driver!
It's winter here in South Africa but you wouldn't think so, okay there's a definite chill to the air and it's cold enough to seriously damage a brass monkey in the early morning, but the days are mild and sunny and we certainly don't have to pack our motorbikes away like many of my foreign friends do.
Take last Sunday as a case in point, it was the first Sunday of the month which is the Meeulander's scheduled breakfast run and the meeting place was the garage in Velddrif, 08h30 for 09h00. We left home at 08h15 for the plus/minus 60km ride and it was cold! 8,5 celsius on my readout and to top it off I was heading directly towards the rising sun for the last 30kms. 
I rode with my helmet open so that I could use the faceplate to shield my eyes from the sun but that made my eyes water from the cold so I took it easy, I still wouldn't have been anywhere else though.
When we arrived Divi (club President) and his lady Carlo and Gerrie were the only ones there, Divi was ready with a bottle of OB's (Old Brown Sherry) to warm the cold riders up and it went down extremely well.
His Harley was set up as a serving station.
 Janet went back a couple of times for the warming liqueur - okay so did I, by the time we were ready to leave Metjie and his lady had arrived but there did not appear to be anyone else coming - all the more for us!
That was it, time to go and only seven of us on four motorbikes - too cold for the rest?
We had a very pleasant cruise past the little coastal village of "Dwaarskersbos" which I think literally means; "Crooked candle bush" but I'm not sure and out on the coastal road which goes to Elands Bay although we were only going about halfway.
Right next to the sand dunes after approximately 20 kms is a charming little place which we had always noticed on our rides but never visited called "Draaihoek";
It is almost a resort consisting of chalets, a house for rent, a conference centre and a central restaurant and bar and very neat and well established, certainly worth another visit.
 The beers were cold in the by then, warming sunlight and we sat chatting while waited for breakfast, just to be clear it was around 10h00 by then!
Breakfast was good if a little pricey at R65 but I particularly liked what they did with the mushrooms, we'll have to go back. They apparently have a "boma" on top of the sand dunes where they cater for groups and there is a wooden walk-way going over to the beach although one would not be able to swim there, the water is bitingly cold throughout the year.
 By the time we got back onto the bikes to leave the temperature had doubled up to a much more pleasant 17 celsius and we headed back, pulling in at the "Skooltjie" farm stall where they sell a large range of home made jams, preserves, biscuits and sweets, to name but a few.
 I had to take a photo of this sign outside, typical of the excellent western cape sense of humour!
Saddle up and head out. We split up in Velddrif, Divi and Metjie heading home, we went with Gerrie for a beer in the harbour after which we cruised down the R27. By then the temperature was a very pleasant 20 celsius and we parked the bike at home at around 12h30. What a lovely day it had been, those that didn't make it, for whatever reason, missed a good one.
Did I mention that I love biking?!
My friend Dick sent me a photo of his recent purchase;
He and Janet also went for a ride that day and he has changed his BMW for this lovely looking Honda Goldwing, I look forward to seeing it.
Stay safe my friends, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Second annual Westcoast Motorcycle Association dayjol

I haven't done anything here for a while now and by way of explanation I am now in my last month on the mussel farm and my boat skipper has taken three weeks leave, this leaves me with all of the boat driving and whilst this is a pleasant task it can be a long day, consequently I arrive home late and have not had the inclination to sit in front of the computer. My apologies to the few of you who read my stuff and have been waiting in anticipation of an update, herewith;
Last week Saturday was the selected date for the second annual W.M.A. dayjol and a lot of planning and preparation went into its success, although the numbers were down on last year it was a great day.
Dick and Janet (our friend) came up from Capetown to attend and spent the weekend with us. As Janet (my wife) and I were involved in gate duties and had to be there early we decided to line our stomachs with a hearty breakfast at the local Captain's Cabin restaurant.
The weather was perfect, it's the start of winter here on the west coast but we are blessed with wonderful riding days in between the bad ones and this was one of them.
We went out to the rally site to start our duties and our friends went for a ride and came to the site in the early afternoon.
Janet and Johlene were scheduled for the first gate duty from 11h00 but it would be a while before the gate actually got busy.
Between 13h00 and 14h00 the crowds started arriving and the gate was a hive of activity,
 Thanks to good planning by the committee and by Divi., the Meeulanders President and V.P of the W.M.A things went relatively smoothly and our ladies are a sterling bunch! We soon had a festive crowd.
 Everybody's "Uncle Frank" arrived and apparently it took him almost an hour to get from the gate to the bar because they all wanted to chat to him.
 Daan and Bev were there, look how much their hair and his beard has grown since the "Shavathon"! I'm sure that will be the next time that Daan gets a haircut.
 Time for the biker games, expertly overseen by Etienne, the slow race. (Photo by Elsje Stramrood)
Photo by Gerrie Pieterse
 Expert wheelie demonstrations. (Photo by Elsje Stramrood)
 An excellent (or should that be egg-cellent?) egg and spoon race. (Photo by Elsje Stramrood)
 The tyre throw and just look at this excellent action shot by Gerrie Pieterse! That's a bloody big tyre!
 Here in the ladies competition, also by Gerrie Pieterse, is one of my favourite biker ladies; Mercia the First Lady of the Mohicans, she takes part in all of the competitions, she rides her own bike and is a party lady of note!
 The usual burn-outs, lots of tyre smoke in this picture by Gerrie Pieterse.
There was plenty of good food available from hamburgers and "jaffles" to potjies, it's good to keep the stomach lined with food and the hamburger caravan did a roaring trade.
 Things I tend to stay away from these days; the "Down-down" competitions took place inside and there were some thirsty guys and gals I can tell you!
 My time on the gate was from !7h00 to 18h00 and it was a pretty easy shift, by then most of the people were already in, I was visited by a pretty young girl administering healthy injections of a delicious creamy liqueur which went down really well, what a sweetheart!
 By then it was our time to leave but these lovely biker ladies had other ideas; time to dance! We eventually managed to extricate ourselves - this party would carry on into the night, but without us. It had been a great day and we rode home through the dusk happy, another really enjoyable biking day spent with real people - bikers.
There are lots more pictures to see on the W.M.A facebook site if you are interested and if you want to see any of these full size just click on them.
Dick and Janet rode home the next morning, actually not a very pleasant ride because there was a thick fog all the way to Capetown but that's the way it goes. Biking memories.