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, July 19, 2016

Berg River Marathon, seafood lunch and a Monday ride.

It has been a busy couple of days, the famous "Berg River Canoe Marathon" took place last week and was due to end in Velddrif on Saturday afternoon. Every year the townsfolk organise a festival to coincide with this internationally supported event and local bikers were invited to do a mass ride with the classic car club on the Saturday morning.
We all know that it doesn't take much to get bikers out on a ride and they came in from all directions in spite of the chilly weather, several of us were blasting along between Vredenburg and Velddrif at 170kmh with the temperature reading a bitter 8,5 celsius and I was wearing my cut-off gloves!
 There were a lot of bikes and several clubs represented, I didn't count them and I don't know if there was any official count but it was great to see such a good turnout.

There were some lovely old cars and we followed them in a slow procession around the town, riding through the suburbs so that the folks could see (and hear) us.

 The bikers had a good time and the festival seemed to be a great success, a large variety of food stalls, craft stalls and a busy beer garden were all being well supported. I stayed for a couple of beers with my mates and then headed home.
Sunday the weather was much better, no wind and quite warm and we had a bunch of biker friends coming round for lunch; I did a big pot of fresh steamed mussels, Janet made her world famous oyster soup, then it was cheese and biscuits and dessert.
 Sooi and Gerrie were the first ones at the mussel pot but it didn't take long for the others to join in, we had a very pleasant afternoon with much banter and bullshit as there usually is with a bunch of bikers.

 Divi dished out his homemade "melktertjie" shots after the dessert and had no shortage of takers; Murray, Gerrie and Janet seen here.
Quite a while after everyone had left I had to use the "magic words" to get Frank to go home but what a lovely afternoon it had been, I really enjoy entertaining and will use any excuse to host a gathering.
Monday dawned calm and clear and as I said on my facebook page; the best thing about being retired is that I don't have to go to work after a party Saturday but I can go for a ride instead so that is what I did. At one point I stopped next to an Ostrich farm and the curious birds came walking up either to see what was going on or to check out the bike.

I cruised around for about an hour and a half, just enjoying the calmness and the solitude. The Spring flowers are starting to show and it won't be long before the area is carpetted in colour and full of tourists. (Click on the photos to see them full size.)

I should have given up working a long time ago!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Food glorious food - mussel and bacon bites

Again a post which has nothing at all to with braais, beers or bikes - well you could drink beer with it, I'm talking about food but not on a braai, mussel and bacon bites to be precise.
One of my favourite local restaurants has this on their starter menu and I have it whenever we go there, but I had always thought that I could do them myself, also having been in the mussel farming industry I had easy access to the main ingredient. On Wednesday I would try them out on my buddy Frank who was coming round for dinner, I've often used him as a guinea pig for my food experiments:
Take a piece of rindless streaky bacon and thin it out with the back of a knife,
carefully wrap the bacon around a pre cooked mussel, taking care to cover as much of the mussel as possible, and secure it with a toothpick, there were twelve pieces of bacon in the packet so I made up twelve bites,
 then roll the bites in flour, beaten egg and then seasoned breadcrumbs, I used Cayenne pepper and mixed herbs in the breadcrumbs,
place them in the fridge for an hour or so to set,
then deep fry and eat! We served with a "Thousand Island" type sauce to dip but you can use ordinary mayonnaise or sweet chili sauce, they were delicious and we will definitely make them again, easy to make just a bit "fiddly".

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uncle Frank's 75th birthday jol

The Phoenix Biker Pub in Vredenburg was the scene of a get together for bikers to help Uncle Frank celebrate his birthday, the event started at 16h00 and Frank arrived in style on the back of Gerrie's Super Tenere'.
Here he is in all his glory, the legend, the one and only etc., etc.
Anna had organised a birthday cake for him, no room for 75 candles though. There were a good few people there at the start but they kept flocking in as the evening progressed.
Frank was in his element, soon chatting with the young ladies and with his friends who all wanted a piece of him.
 Here with the same attractive young lady and Divi., the Meeulanders President.
With Alex the Mohicans President and First Lady Mercia, the Mohicans were very well represented as were the Gypsy Jokers, the Clique and several other local clubs.
One of Frank's special lady friends, Jenny rode pillion with him often.
Frank gets lots of kisses! He also got a big one planted on his forehead.
 Here with his friend who cooks dinner for him almost every Wednesday evening. It was a great party, the booze was cheap and there was plenty of good music, we spent about two hours or so there and then called it a night.
These two lovely ladies were kept busy behind the bar, Anna (left) the owner also did most of the organising to make sure that Frank had a good party, Gail has a ready smile and a quick comeback for rowdy bikers, thank you ladies, see you again soon.
Any of you Capetown and surrounding areas bikers who are up here on a weekend, especially those who might be travelling up over the flower season, the Phoenix Pub is well worth a visit, see you there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The new Road Captain.

At the last monthly meeting of the Meeulanders Motorcycle Club I was honoured to accept the office of Road Captain, the post has been vacated by Frank who has decided that the time has come to hang up his helmet and Div., the President nominated me for the post.
I will do my best to follow in the footsteps of everyone's "Uncle Frank". Except being the last one to leave  biker jols in the early hours of the morning, I don't think that falls under duties of the Road Captain!
In an emotional handing over speech Frank assured everyone that he would still be a member of the club and will still attend local biker functions, none of us want to lose Uncle Frank, an iconic member of the local biking scene.
I am hoping now that I have given up working that I will be able to devote more time to riding and will be able to take part in some rides from which I was previously excluded. I think that my rally days are pretty much over, after the big one; Africa Bike Week about which I posted earlier, I'm pretty much "rallied-out", I had long been fed up with the over-crowded Buffalo Rally which I first attended way back in 1982 and had settled down to attending two of the smaller rallies per year; the Beaver Rally in Montagu and the Freedom Road in Struisbaai/Agulhas but now that Frank, who was my rally mate is no longer on the scene I will have to see.
We've had some serious parties together and perhaps we can get him to drive the back up vehicle with the kit, that will keep him involved.
Uncle Frank's birthday jol is being held at the Phoenix bar in Vredenburg on Saturday 9th July from 16h00, he is sharing the day with Johan who rides for the Gypsy Jokers, this promises to be a party of note - see you there.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Giving up work

Well now the time has come, I have given up work. It was with mixed emotions that I spent my last day on the mussel farm, I have been on that farm for 26 years with two different companies and it has been a good job, most of the time a pleasant job which I have enjoyed.
 Driving boats around, especially when the weather is good, is actually quite pleasant so I will certainly miss that side of it. When the company launched the first boat; the Mussel Cat in 1994 I was the first person to drive it and when she was decommissioned last year I was the last person to drive her, taking her to the jetty where she was cut up for scrap. 
Last year at the end of July the company bought a new, bigger catamaran; the Blue Ocean and I had the pleasure of being the first pilot, bringing her on a six hour trip from Saint Helena Bay where she was built around to Saldanha Bay.
 In winter you get to see glorious sunrises because we were working long before the sun came up.
 In summer it's daylight before we start and most of the time the weather is good, we didn't lose many days due to gale force winds.
 So that's it, the end of an era and the start of a new exciting chapter, I will be doing more riding and writing now and will still be interested and involved in the aquaculture industry if anyone needs me.
I had my friends around for the weekend where my old buddy Rene' enjoyed the fruits of my labour, I have been assured by the new manager that I can get mussels whenever I want and my friends at the Saldanha Bay Oyster Company gave me a voucher for "Oysters for life", an unbelievably generous offer which quite floored me.
Then last Saturday we catered for a group of our friends in Capetown at Linda's house to celebrate my giving up work and what a party that turned out to be! So there you have it, I don't plan on doing much during July and August because my family are coming over from UK for a visit, then on 16th of August Janet and I will be spending three nights at Botlierskop luxury private game reserve courtesy of the company, so In think I will just chill until September!
And do more of this!