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.

Monday, November 26, 2018

West Coast Toy Run

We used to attend the annual toy run in Capetown every year and in fact I attended for seventeen consecutive years before the local one was started, after which I decided that it was better to give our toys to local children.
Last Sunday again saw the running of the local toy run under the auspices of the Westcoast Motorcycle Association (WMA) and we gathered at our usual place; Juffroushogte for an early breakfast as the local riders gradually poured in.

At 10h45 we rolled out onto the R27 and headed at a nice steady pace, in staggered formation up to Velddrif. Someone said that there were almost 100 bikes in the mass ride but it certainly seemed like more.  I'm not a huge fan of mass rides because of undisciplined riders but this one was pretty well organised and there were no mishaps along the way.

Many bikes festooned with toys
Us centre with Murray and Laureen behind

Road Marshalls provided by Megaforce kept the intersections open for us and we rode into Velddrif and along to the Golf Club.
 The Golf Club was a good venue and a nice place, I had not been there before, there was plenty of space and the beers were cold.
A few stalls had been set up alongside the trailer for the toys, it was by then pretty hot so people gathered in the shade - it's always hot in Velddrif!
 This picture epitomizes what this is all about; bikers care for children.
and these girls helped throw the toys into the trailer, a lovely day out with great people doing good things. Apparently there were 240 people at the end venue and certainly most, if not all of the local clubs were represented.
There are only a couple of events left on the biking calendar now, let's see what 2019 brings, stay safe and keep the rubber side down.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

As the year comes to a close, 34 shopping days 'till Christmas

The biking calendar for 2018 is coming to a close, few events remain now, we have just had our year end function at the Eland's Bay Hotel. On that subject let me just say that the Eland's Bay hotel is a great place for functions, reasonably priced accommodation includes a great breakfast and the rooms are clean and comfortable with nice en suite bathrooms.
We organised a lamb spit-braai dinner with them and it was outstanding. The only negative I can think of on the evening, which had nothing to do with the hotel was that there were two rugby games on which people wanted to watch so our party had to be delayed a bit - bloody rugby mad South Africans! I have posted my photos of the party on my facebook page "Braais, beers and bikes" so if you want to see them "like" my page and have a look.
Also Gerrie posted his photos on our facebook page "Meeulanders MCC", take a look there too.
 The annual toy run in Capetown has just been held this past weekend but we now have our own west coast toy run which we will be attending on Saturday 25th, we will gather at Juffroushoogte for a mass ride out to Velddrif to drop off our toys. This is always a very enjoyable "feel-good" day with lots of happy children around and we are looking forward to that one. I will write that one up with photographs next week. Any Capetown bikers who would like to take part in another toy run please feel free to join us, I can assure you it will be a great day here on the Weskus.

Our final breakfast run for the year will take place on Sunday 2nd December which will be organised by the Club Vice President Willie as Janet and I will be in Capetown attending the BSAP regimantal association Christmas lunch. They will be gathering at Juffoushoogte as usual for kickstands up at 09h00 so if you feel like joining in just make your way there.
Then on the 8th December is the Gypsy Jokers Christmas party at our favourite biker bar, the Phoenix in Vredenburg. These are always very festive events, not to be missed - we will be there, that's for sure. (I will just have to pace myself, maybe alternate with a "Castle free" and a regular one throughout the day) looking forward to that one too. It's hectic being a biker in the Western Cape!

There will definitely be at least one more Book Club gathering this year, maybe two we'll see how it goes. It has been a busy year, a good year and it's not finished yet but I am confident that 2019 is going to be a great one, let's just keep our fingers crossed that the political situation can be sorted out amicably, that the levels of violent crime can be reduced but then I suppose that is already too much to hope for. This is such a beautiful country, it would be wonderful if all South Africans could live peacefully together.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Breakfast run, Book Club and biker Memorial service

Remember how I have been saying that the biking calendar is very busy at this time of the year? We can hardly keep up with all of the jols on the go, we rely on groups of members to visit the different events to "show the colours" and represent the club. It does tend to become a bit expensive so people have to chose which events they are going to attend every month, hence our low attendance at the dart run.
After a hectic October we now start with November and things are not going to calm down until mid December, then in January it all starts again!
We started with our monthly breakfast run on Sunday 4th, we gathered at Juffroushoogte for coffee and then rode up the R27 through Velddrif and to the Soverby Lapa which is halfway between Velddrif and Dwaarskersbos. Unfortunately we did not have our traditional "tea break" stop because we couldn't find the "cups" which have been temporarily misplaced since the dart run, I'm sure they'll come to light but we missed the stop.
The Soverby Lapa
pic from a previous visit

The Lapa was rebuilt after a devastating fire destroyed the old rustic place, it now, at first glance resembles a church more than a restaurant but it has a very nice deck and is within a stone's throw of the beach. It is very spacious inside and is under new management so it was good to visit and sample the breakfast.
Sampie, Kathy and Hein
Gerda and Janet

Bev, Linicia and Willie

Twelve of us enjoyed a couple of drinks and a good breakfast, certainly better than the one in Philadelphia on the last run. We had a chat with the owner and assured him that if he were to make an Offal Pot we would be there for lunch.
Linicia shows off her tee shirt
Good breakfast, R75 included coffee


As is customary we made our own way home after a very pleasant morning, a good ride and a good bunch of people.
Wednesday 11th was the second meeting of the newly formed "Book Club" and the five founder members met at the Phoenix bar at 14h00. 
The founders; l to r - Anton, Murray, Willie, self and Daan
Allow me to explain how the book club came into being; two weeks ago also on a Wednesday I needed to visit a couple of the dart run stops to arrange for the groups and so I posted a message on our whatsapp group inviting anyone who wished to go for a ride to meet me at the Phoenix, these five retired gentlemen pitched up. During the course of our ride around I suggested that we make this type of thing a regular event and that we form a Book Club. The guys enjoyed the ride so much that Murray suggested once a week!
On this second meeting we rode from Phoenix to Charlie's Brewhouse in Port Owen and then a bit later to the Noordblinder pub in Saint Helena Bay. Many books were discussed and a lot of the world's problems were solved before we rode home after another successful meeting. We might have had a sixth member, and maybe Sooi will join us next time as there was a whatsapp message from him later ~ "Shit I forgot the book club meeting, sorry!"~  Anyway the club is not restricted to Meeulanders, anyone able to ride on a Wednesday afternoon is welcome to join, I will post the next meeting on the wider WMA group to see if it attracts more visitors.

This past Sunday bikers gathered at the Lighuis Church in Vredenburg for the annual memorial service to fallen brothers and sisters, always a solemn occasion and obviously a tear-jerker when the names of the fallen are called out. 

Pastor Errol is a biker himself and his sermons are always very inspiring and to the point, Janet and I are not congregating people, we attend the biker church once a month but I always enjoy his sermons.
Meeulanders attended in large numbers, three names on the board  unfortunately belong to us.

The board bearing the names is carried to the front and placed at the altar and then a minute's silence is observed while a recording of the Last Post is played.
Then the names are read out and friends and family come forward to place a flower in the vase, here Carlo and I place one for the late Divi DeVries, past President of the club. As I have said, it is a sad and sombre occasion and extremely difficult to hold back the tears.

After the service the name board is carried to the back of the building and the congregation files past it on their way out. No more names on this board please.
There is usually one or two group rides organised afterwards, usually for breakfast and a few of us decided to ride through to the Laaiplek Hotel. We had a good breakfast on the banks of the Berg River and the lively discussion and biker banter served to lighten the mood.
Ride safely friends, always bear in mind that the cager is out to get you!
Our next event is our own year end function on Saturday 17th, usually a lot of fun.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The 2018 Dart Run

Saturday was one of the hottest days so far! We had been warned by weather forecasts that we were in for a scorcher and for a change they were correct. Club members arrived at the Phoenix bar from around 10h30 to get things ready and still we had no idea of how many entries we were going to get, we had bought 100 braai packs and 100 pieces of boerewors but I wasn't concerned about leftovers as club members always buy what's left.
Everyone worked together to get set up and when the people started arriving we were ready for them,

Old school
1st dart, cold beer and boerie roll

Joe looks happy with his first dart.

At about 13h30 Vice Pres Willie led the riders out to the Wielhuis bar in Velddrif for the second dart and the idea was to keep them moving so that there would not be too much alcohol consumed.

Second darts were thrown with the "wrong" hand, much to the amusement of those waiting their turn, 
while others found ways to keep cool in the heat, especially in Velddrif! 
From there it was through to Juffroushoogte for the third dart and this was a more difficult one!
Anyone can win, not just the dart pros.
It took several throws!


The trophy

This young lady from the Clique Mcc eventually won the trophy for the worst (kak-est) dart score, ladies at the prize giving that evening and our own Daan (Road Captain) won the men's.
The fourth dart was thrown at the Pirate's Bar in Langebaan before heading back to Phoenix for the final dart, prize giving and braai.
Thanks to hard work by the club members we managed to get a lot of sponsored prizes so there were a lot of  winners and as we had only received fifty two entries the chance of winning a prize was high.
Clique Pres. Wayne for best represented club.
Antoinette won some vouchers

The Clique did well
Daan collects his trophy

While the incidental prizes were being handed out members calculated the scores from the dart sheets and eight prizes were awarded from that, then it was time for the main lucky prize draw which was a bottle of whisky and R1,500 in cash;
by an amazing coincidence this was won by Monique of the Clique who won the main lucky draw prize last year as well!

After the prizes and hand outs it was time for the braai, by all accounts the people had fun in spite of the debilitating heat and it was time to relax.

That's it for another year, as I mentioned in previous posts we suffered from an over crowded biking calendar with far too many events for bikers to choose from. To those bikers from Capetown who came up for the event and to those other clubs who supported us, a huge thank you. We were tired and hot, but we all had fun and perhaps we will consider a day earlier in the year in future.