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, December 27, 2016

A heartwarming tale of biker caring, Logan's ride.

We interrupt this riveting narrative from the past to bring a heartwarming tale of biker generosity and caring from the Eastern Cape, especially heartwarming at this time of the year.
There is a youngster living in Capetown who was on holiday with his family in a little village  called Komga about fifty or so kms to the north of East London, his name is Logan and he is a big fan of motorcycles, according to people who know him he is an awesome little guy who is unfortunately losing the use of his legs.
As it was his birthday Carol, a family friend contacted the Christian Motorcycle Association in East London to ask if it was at all possible for them to do anything special for this little boy. Now we all know what bikers are like, they will jump at something like this and so it was that a bunch of guys and gals from East London rode out to Komga to meet and greet little Logan.
Logan was given special badges and gifts and was taken for a ride on one of the bikes.
The riders spent some time with the family, offered a prayer and even gave other children a ride as well,
Here is my great nephew (my nephew's son) Colby also having a ride.
Well done to the guys from the C.M.A in East London, this is what being a biker is about and congratulations to Logan on his first ride, let it not be the last my boy - go for it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Part two of the 1984 tour

In my diary I noted that we left Kuruman at 10h00, obviously not in too much of a hurry then but we had a long way to go. It was hot there in the southern parts of the Kalahari and the road was pretty much arrow-straight, we rode for hours through the heat seeing the road ahead shimmering in the distance. Over a slight rise and there ahead another dead straight road.
Eventually the town of Upington appeared in the distance, green "oasis-like" on the banks of the Orange river and it was a pleasure to cruise into the clean streets, we sought and found a nice place to relax and drink a cold beer but it was too early to stop for long. Press on! Back out into the baking hot countryside, more dead straight roads,
Just before the village of Ariamsvlei where we stopped to refuel, we crossed into South West Africa and so it was that in the late afternoon, with no previous arrangements we arrived at the intersection with the N7 and the dusty little enclave called "Grunau". We rode down a short gravel road to a rather nondescript looking hotel and as I stopped the bike Janet got off and declared "We're staying here tonight!" After 660kms on the bike she wasn't going any further.
Eddie went in to check if we could get accommodation and after about twenty minutes came out carrying four frosty cold cans of Windhoek Lager, man did they go down well! He had also secured two double en-suite rooms so all was good.
 After finishing our beers we showered and got comfortable and met in the bar, it was a Tuesday evening and there was nobody else there, we had the place all to ourselves and after another couple of drinks we went into the restaurant, also empty, the hand written menu offered "boiled meat", "roast meat" and vegetables we all opted for the roast and it turned out to be the most delicious Karoo lamb that we had eaten in a long time.
I asked for a wine list as we wanted some wine with our meal and was asked; "Do you want a big bottle or a small one?" and when I asked what kind of wine they had the waitress gestured for me to follow her, through in the bar the wine fridge was opened and there were big and small bottles of Grunburger Stein, nothing else so I selected a big one and we had another later. The meal was excellent.
After dinner we returned to the bar, which was still deserted and we were told that it would close at 22h00, that the lights would go out but we could take out glasses to the room, no problem then?
We sat happily chatting until just before 21h00 when suddenly we heard the sounds of many vehicles roaring into the gravel parking area outside the hotel! What the hell was going on? The doors were flung open and about twenty people crowded into the bar, families, children, khaki clad farmer types lined chairs up infront of the TV and the shouts of "Dubbel brandewyn en coke aseblief" (Double brandy and coke please" filled the bar as the all too familiar strains of the "Dallas" soap opera theme tune was heard above the din!
We couldn't believe it! Tuesday evening at nine, even up here Dallas took over. After the program was finished the families left as suddenly as they had arrived and true to the word the place closed, the generator was switched off and we stumbled to our rooms in the dark to finish our drinks by candle light.
We had a good comfortable night, the room and the bed was clean and I slept the sleep of the dead.
 The Grunau hotel at the junction with the N7, clean and comfortable and good Karoo lamb.
The next morning after a mediocre breakfast of cold eggs and thickly sliced bread we got ready to hit the road, this day we had decided to go all the way to Windhoek, the capital which was another 660kms away and again it was going to be a hot one. Loving it.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, have a great day and a lovely weekend and if you don't celebrate Christmas then have a great weekend anyway, all the best to you and yours.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A very long time ago

Nothing much happening around here as far as rides are concerned, we had the club's year end party and we were out of town when the last breakfast run for the year took place. I take the bike out and go for a run every now and then to blow the cobwebs out of the zorst pipe but we have no plans for any trips for a while. Also it is so bloody hot here at the moment, quite debilitating but that doesn't mean we won't ride.
Christmas is just around the corner, I am going to help out on the mussel farm for thirteen days from Monday while the boat skipper goes on leave so our next ride will probably only be sometime in January.
Janet and I were reminiscing over what she calls the best holiday she has ever had; our 1984 bike trip around South Africa during which we did 8,631kms in a month on the road. Thirty two years ago now, I find it hard to believe it was that long ago because the memories are still fresh.
At that time we were living in the Eastern Cape and we did an anti-clockwise trip around the country, up to the North-eastern Transvaal, across the country through Johannesburg and the Karoo to the North West, up through then South West Africa to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, then all the way back down the west coast to Capetown, up the Garden route and back to the Eastern Cape.
It started off badly, intermittent heavy rain for the first two days, I had painted the sign for the back of my bike and at that stop an older gentleman said to Janet "You can't tell me that you're having fun!" but actually we were.
Four of us traveled together; my late friend Eddie and his wife Althea on their Honda Silverwing 500, and the two of us on our XS1100 Yamaha.
 By the end of the second day the rain eased and then stopped and for the rest of the month we had excellent weather until the last two days when it rained again.
 A lot of our accommodation on the trip consisted of caravan park chalets and a lot of our catering consisted of braais. Some days we rode 600 to 700kms and others only 100 to 200kms depending on the area and the sight seeing. We did not book a single night's accommodation before the trip but instead we would pull into a town after a long ride and decide to stay there for the night so then we looked for the accommodation, a bottle store and a butchery. The only plan we had was rough idea of where we wanted to go and it all worked out perfectly.
Breakfasts were usually a festive affair, getting rid of the extra food and drink from the previous night!
 The North Eastern part of the country is fabulous, both in terms of the roads and the incredible scenery and we spent three days there just on sight seeing before heading across to the hectic hustle and bustle that is Johannesburg. I needed a new tire and we visited with my sister and brother in law for a couple of days. Eddie and Althea also had people to visit so we met up on the Monday morning just outside of Krugersdorp to continue our journey.
That was a hot day, from Jo'burg 530kms to Kuruman in the Northern Cape, we stayed in caravan park chalets and had the usual braai but it got very cold at night. By that part of the trip we had completed 3,000kms.  
We were certainly feeling "bike-fit" by then and really enjoying riding unknown country. One of the best parts of a journey like that is starting off the next day going somewhere else instead of going home. The next part was to be South West Africa, also completely unknown to us.