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, May 30, 2017

SA Bike Festival in Johannesburg visited

Last Friday I flew up to Johannesburg to attend the 2nd Annual S.A.Bike Festival at the Kyalami race track, I had hoped to ride up but I just didn't have the time, I had a bike club meeting on the Thursday night and anyway it was far less expensive to fly. My sister met me at the airport and I stayed over at her house. 
I arrived at the festival site at around 10h00 on the Saturday and already the place was buzzing;

As I was quite early I had a good chance to wander around the many bike related stalls before the place really started filling up as it did towards midday. The whole event was really well organised with only stalls related to bikers, from helmets and equipment to tyres and clothing and a myriad of really good food stands which were all to do a thriving trade as the time passed.
Pretty much all of the bikes available in the country were on display in the main building with many of the new models available for test riding around the track.



If you have a spare R390,000 you too can own one of these Indians! (To see any of the photos full size just click on them.)
By midday my feet were sore and my throat was dry, only one thing for it; find a place to sit and drink beer!

There was a very nice beer garden area which was by then doing a roaring trade, I secured a cold beer and looked for a place to park off for a while, that's how I met friends Carl and Kay, I asked if I could have a space at the table and we got chatting;
You meet the nicest people at a biker jol, it wasn't long before another group of guys asked if they could sit with us;
Ridley and Piet were another good couple of biker guys we ended up chatting with and Ridley will be down in my neck of the woods for the Harley Rally later on this year so I'll have to go and see if I can meet up with him, that is if they let BMWs anywhere near!
The obligatory pretty girls photo, and let me tell you there were plenty of pretty girls around! 
I had a very pleasant day at the festival, I wandered around some more, watched what I could see of the Superbike race and attended the podium ceremony with Clinton Sellar getting first place trophy and by the time I had been there for six hours I needed something like this to take me home;

I have now seen the bike festival, would I go again next year? I asked myself the same question of Africa Bike Week and I think that the answer to both would be no, been there, done that. Had a great time though.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rear footpegs, up or down?

I came across this short article on a facebook post the other day and although it doesn't credit the author I felt that I was able to quote it here as it is in the public domain;

 ~Riding with the rear pegs down.
This superstition takes a lot of forms and meanings but is usually brought up for discussion after an older rider tells a newer biker they should only have the rear pegs down if someone else is riding on the motorcycle with them.
The most basic superstition has a rider giving the dreaded motorcycle gremlins a place to put their feet while riding along and waiting to cause mischief. This does lead us to question whether your Ride or Guardian Bell isn’t strong enough to ward off the gremlins before they have an opportunity to get comfortable with your rear pegs.
Another version warns a biker invites spirits to ride with them by leaving the passenger pegs down while riding solo. Its an interesting superstition as riders are asked to do just that if they are involved in a funeral procession for a biker who has passed away. As with humans, bikers should be picky which ghosts they let ride with them it seems.
The most humorous response to this superstition are the bikers that tell you the only reason keeping the rear pegs down are bad luck comes from something definitely living. Having a biker’s other half ask who they’ve been letting onto the back of their motorcycle seems too much of a curse to let the rear pegs be anything other than up when riding solo.~

I personally put the rear pegs up if Janet is not going to be riding with me but that is not through any superstition, just a habit and I had not heard of the tradition of leaving them down during a funeral procession either.

It's an interesting topic for discussion though, what do you think?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Riebeek Valley Olive Festival and the May Breakfast Run

This past weekend saw the annual Olive Festival in the little town of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West and our friends Peter and Amanda who live conveniently close to the main square in the pretty little town of Riebeek Kasteel once again invited us to join them. We have been up to many of the festivals now and always have a really good time, Peter and Amanda also invite other friends for the weekend so it turns into a party and not much time is spent at the festival, sometimes only a couple of hours on the Saturday and the rest of the weekend is a party at the house.
This year was no exception, it was a party of note! We rode through from Saldanha on the Friday evening and the weather was pretty lousy, cold with patches of light drizzle but it's only an hour's ride so it wasn't too bad.
The "Elderly People" photo has become a tradition ever since I took a picture of Janet standing in front of the sign way back on the first visit, I need to dig them all out and post them on Facebook for the people to see.

It was a good weekend thanks to our hosts and to the others who made up the party, everyone left on the Sunday morning and as our monthly Club breakfast run was scheduled for this weekend in Tulbagh which is nearby, we arranged to meet up with the riders on the way.
Daan, the Road Captain phoned me at 09h00 to say that they were leaving and that there were twenty two people coming, a great number! I phoned the restaurant to let them know that they had twenty four with the two of us coming for breakfast. Just before 10h00 Janet and I went to a spot just outside of the town, it was a lovely day for riding, partly cloudy, cool but with no wind.

We didn't have long to wait before Daan led the group to the stop, we could see down into the valley and it was an impressive sight watching the bikers turning onto the road and accelerating up towards us. At that moment I was filled with pride to be involved with this fine group of people, Daan handed the ride over to me and we headed out for the breakfast destination, "Kuierbossie Restaurant" in another small town some 30 kilometres further.
It is a lovely riding area, verdant farmlands and vineyards as far as the eye can see, sweeping bends and a mountain pass seemingly purely designed for the rider's pleasure kept us happy until we pulled into parking spaces reserved for us outside the restaurant.
The restaurant did well, we didn't have to wait too long, drinks arrived timeously and the chat and banter flowed freely, the breakfast was good and by midday we were all finished and on our way. As is usual custom people made their own way home, some going visiting, we rode with Daan and Bev and Sooi and Linicia back to a small pub in Moorreesburg for a beer and were soon joined by some of the others.
From there it is roughly a forty five minute ride home, obviously depending on how fast you ride, I stuck to a comfortable 140kmh, just above the legal limit and we were home mid afternoon after a fantastic weekend.
Thanks once again to our hosts Peter and Amanda for the festival weekend and to the bikers who made the breakfast run such an enjoyable event.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mohicans sleepover

This was the second annual Mohicans Club sleepover, I was away visiting the Africa Bike Week in Margate last year so I missed the first one. Incidentally in the interim Africa Bike Week moved to East London in the Eastern Cape and from what I have read so far the number of visitors was way down on last year, a sign of the times?
Chatting to my friends who visited this sleepover, the numbers also appeared to be lower than last year, what I did see was a lot of Capetown riders at Plaasmol even though it was a terrible day, gale force Berg winds with dust blowing all over and very hot.
A few of us; Craig and Monica, Daan and Bev and Frank following in his car, only arrived around 15h00 and of course the party was well under way. The central bar area was pretty crowded and there was a band playing good biker music.

Altogether fifteen Meeulanders attended, a good show of support for the Mohicans and I noticed that many if not all of the local clubs were represented.
Here Fungis, whom we hadn't seen for a long time, Brett, Frank and Davrin share a joke together.
Those of the Meeulanders who were staying over set up a nice camp and the party moved there for a while,
I was not able to stay for long as we were entertaining family at home but I am sure that a great party ensued, good luck to the Mohicans on their second event and may it continue from strength to strength.