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, July 29, 2019

To braai......or to barbeque? That is the question.

As you will know by now it is winter here in South Africa and here on the west coast where I live, July and August are our worst months in terms of miserable days. Granted we do have nice days in between, days when we can ride comfortably or when we can rush out and have a braai and we do take advantage of them.

Here most braai aficionados are scornful of the gas braai - "That's not a braai, that's a barbie!" will be the shout as you open the gas bottle valve and generally the weather will have to be really bad before most of them will condescend to use one. Here a braai is sacrosanct, firewood only and very few will even use charcoal. I however do not fall into that category, I love to cook outside but I will resort to using whatever is the most convenient and that is how I came to be using my gas "braai" on Sunday.

I had bought some lovely aged Ribeye on-the-bone, thick steaks and was determined that they should be cooked in flame rather than a pan but the weather was miserable.
I marinated the steak in olive oil, fresh garlic and thyme for a couple of hours, and then applied the flame;

A steak of this quality deserves to be treated with respect and the application of flame is the best way to give it that respect, this steak was perfectly done to our taste, medium rare  and the boerewors also reacted very well to the flame. It was a delicious meal.

I do enjoy a traditional braai, using a decent hard wood to make long lasting coals is the best way but in inclement weather I will still cook outside. How do you feel about this?

Monday, July 15, 2019

A cold ride, thick fog, biker church and breakfast

The very next day it was biker church. I am one of the lucky few who do not suffer with hangovers, even though we had left the Phoenix bar around 21h00 it had been a great party and obviously a good few drinks had been consumed. The church service starts at 08h00 so it is necessary to leave home by 07h30 so it is necessary to set the alarm for 06h30 and I was in a deep sleep when the bloody thing went off.

It was damn cold as I dragged myself out of bed, Janet agreed to go with me - "Are we going on the bike?" - "Yes dear, we are." I replied although the temptation to go in the bakkie and use the heater was real. However we are bikers.
This is the temperature that showed when I started up and maneuvered the big red machine out of the gate however the fog was lying thick and dense on the road up to Vredenburg and there the temperature dropped to 5,5. It was an invigorating ride and I enjoyed it, I had dressed for it so I was fairly comfortable.

When we arrived at the church there were already a lot of bikers with more arriving as we went into the hall to get a nice, welcome hot cup of coffee. 

It turned out that many more people arrived than had been expected, in spite of the cold weather and more chairs had to be hastily arranged to seat everyone. Pastor Errol gave an interesting sermon as usual after which a few of us decided to go through to Juffoushoogte for breakfast. 

I did not feel like riding far in those foggy conditions, and even on that short ride maybe five or six kilometers the fog was incredibly thick, reducing visibility to a few meters. I feel much more vulnerable on a bike in those conditions, made even more so by the fools in cages who still think it is alright to speed with no lights on!

We all made it in one piece, ordered more coffee - too early for the bar and then placed our breakfast orders. Juffroushoogte is a popular place for meals, as I have mentioned before, good food and reasonable prices and my huge "Mini moerse burger" was as tasty as ever and a good value burger for R85.
Once again a pleasant morning out with a great bunch of people.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

My buddy and I celebrate 148 years of age

My birthday was on 29th June and Frank's birthday is today, Sunday 14th July so Anna suggested a combined celebration which amounted to 148 years of age. It was appropriate that we celebrate together too because we go back a long way, we have done many rallies together, gotten drunk together and partied together - him usually more of a party animal than me!

We arrived at the Phoenix bar just after 16h00, a few people there but more arrived later on with people popping in to have a couple of drinks and as they left others arrived and so on. I think that at any one time there were about thirty people there.
Meeulander ladies Janet, Bev and Laureen
Daan, John and Lindsay from Velddrif with Frank

Our own local DJ Splinter, Henrico also a member of the Meeulanders had his mobile set up there and provided his usual compilation of good biker music and the bar did a roaring trade with the odd shooters coming our way, luckily not Tequila!
Janet's reaction to a "braai tjoppie" shooter
Floors and Frank, two original club members
By this time Eduardo and some of the members of the Gypsy Jokers were busy getting a fire going and pulling coals out for the chicken potjie, it was pretty cold by then too so people gathered there.
The pot was ready around 20h00 and it was really good, it went down a treat lining the stomach against the alcohol being consumed, after that the delicious chocolate cake making a rather sumptuous meal.
 Janet with Alex, Pres of the Mohicans chapter, Janet has always had a bit of a soft spot for this tough biker, thinks he's good looking.
Frank and Alex, he's a good man and we've done many rallies and dayjols in the Mohicans' company, on one occasion Alex assigned his prospects to look after me at the Beaver rally for reasons that I will not go into here! Suffice it to say that I was "under the weather".
Thanks for a great party Anna. She's a lovely, caring lady and we love her to bits but let me warn you; do not get on the wrong side of her or you'll know all about it.
There will be more pictures to follow as others post theirs, I will borrow them for you. A big thank you to all involved and to those who popped in for a visit, a memorable occasion indeed.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

July breakfast run and the first wildflowers for the season

Sunday dawned cold and overcast, weather forecasts were split between rain and partly cloudy, Murray told me that if it rained they were going to have breakfast at Juffroushoogte and if it didn't they were going to ride down to the Westcoast Farmstall on the R27.

I really enjoy the monthly breakfast runs, we don't usually ride far, often locally within a one hundred kilometer radius so as not to put too much strain on members' wallets. With our continuous charity work their wallets are under enough strain as it is. I wasn't expecting many people, some are away on holiday, a couple are recovering from operations and the weather would also put people off, I couldn't get Janet out of bed again........."Leave me, you go, I'll be fine here." she mumbled from under the blankets as I dragged myself out of my nice warm pit.

Fourteen Celsius as I rode out of town, I noticed that during Saturday night someone had slammed into the back of the parked Capetown bus. There was no sign of the other vehicle but it must have been badly damaged! Fridays and Saturday nights here in Saldanha Bay, drunken shenanigans!

Three other bikes and two cages at the start point, two BMWs mine and Willie's, Daan and bev on their Yamaha FJR and Heine and Gerda on their Triumph Trophy. Johan was in his bakkie.

Murray's bike wouldn't start so he and Laureen were in this little car, nine of us on the run and we set out just after 09h00, heading south on the R27. The weather seemed to be improving and there was virtually no wind, one of those lovely mild mid winter days that are ideal for biking. It's not far but it was a lovely ride, we pulled into the usual layby for our tea break.

I had considered some sort of penalty for Johan for not riding his bike but he brought a lovely bottle of  "Bokshot" liqueur so I guess that lets him off, no one had brought the glasses so we had to pass the bottle cap around. That Bokshot was damn nice, will have to get some.
Heine was first in line
Then Johan

Vice Pres Murray enjoys a cuppa
Bev's turn

Willie seems to be imploring; "When is it going to be my turn?" as Johan gets another cup.
From there a short hop to the Westcoast Farm stall, we chose a sheltered table as we had ridden through a brief, light spattering of rain.
Next to me, Johan then Heine,Gerda and Laureen
Murray, Daan, Bev and me again

The Westcoast Farmstall has had mixed reviews, some have complained of poor service although I have not noticed that, I have also always found the food to be good and reasonably priced although we did walk out one day when we took friends there for lunch and there was no white wine available, I found that inexcusable because they are less than 20km from the wine suppliers in Darling.
This huge and delicious egg and bacon sandwich was only R70 and there was plenty of bacon too.
We rode back through Langebaan where we stopped for a beer at the Pirate's Bar and then went our separate ways, another great breakfast run.

Wednesday was again a lovely day and I had to go through to drop some things off in Vredenburg so I decided to go on the bike, I took the long way as we who ride bikes are inclined to do.
I was surprised to see a few patches of wild orange daisies near the road, I didn't expect them this early, perhaps that bodes well for the flower season this year.
It's great to be back out on the bike, Saturday is the combined 148 year birthday party for me and Frank at the Phoenix bar although I won't be going on the bike. Pop in and give us a kiss if you're nearby. Stay safe, stay upright.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

I'm ba-ack, after a great overseas holiday

We're back in South Africa, back to the cold weather of the western cape winter and to the negative news about ongoing political upheaval in this beautiful country, the ongoing farm murders and the hatred being spewed out on social media and news sites. I love this country but I worry about where it is headed. But enough of this negativity for now!

Firstly I wish to apologize for the long gap in posts, I had fully intended posting while overseas but for various reasons including eating, drinking and making merry I never got around to it.

I have already done some riding, I missed my motorbike while I was away, particularly because it is a beautiful summer over in the UK and there are plenty of bikes to be seen, groups of riders winding their way through the fantastic country roads and lanes, parked outside pubs and coffee shops,
or lined up in restaurant car parks as seen here at one of the hillside viewpoints.
But I think I will tell you about my rides here first and then go back to some stories and pictures from our travels;

We arrived home late on Thursday last week, Janet spent Friday at home and I went to the Phoenix bar to see my friends and to play some pool, and what do you think happened there?!

Anna and Eduardo and Tequila, that's what happened!

Ok Anna also made a second shot out of some other, and in my opinion more palatable liqueur, which was sprinkled with pepper, Aromat and some chili sauce and which was delicious!

I played some pool, not much but I had a great time.

I'm smiling but that's tequila, with Eduardo and Murray.

Saturday was a sad occasion in the morning, it was a cold and grey morning which was somehow appropriate as we were taking part in a memorial mass ride to honour Bettina, wife of the Megaforce vice President, who had recently passed away. I did not know her well but I had had the privilege of meeting her at the recent Megaforce back patch party, about which I wrote earlier. She was a lovely lady, well loved and respected by those who knew her and I know she will be sorely missed.

We took part in a mass ride from Langebaan to the Lighuis church in Vredenburg where the memorial was conducted, attended by many bikers as well as friends and family.
Megaforce members raise helmets up and rev their engines, may her dear soul rest in peace.

From there I rode through to Velddrif with Heine, Willie and Antoinette to have a look at the Berg River carnival which is held to coincide with the end of the Berg river canoe marathon. It was a pleasant ride, though still cold, my temperature readout was 15 Celsius.
The carnival was bustling with revelers crowding the stalls, particularly those selling food, I was hungry but the food queues were daunting.
This person was braaing fresh local "harders" (mullet) which were making my mouth water,
and these were doing "roosterkook", a bread roll browned over the coals, local delicacies - I wandered off in search of cold beer and found other like-minded bikers with whom I could chat, but the amber liquid although refreshing, did not quell the persistent hunger pangs.
The wind seemed to be freshening up, even colder and I decided to call it a day. I would eat at home. The ride through to Vredenburg and then Saldanha was lovely in spite of the cold and even after standing (with a trickle charger) for nearly two months the bike was performing well. 
Tomorrow our scheduled club breakfast run, we would see what the weather brings, maybe I will be able to get Janet out of bed for that one!