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.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

National Braai Day

Tuesday 24th September was a public holiday here in South Africa; Heritage Day when we are all supposed to celebrate our heritage. A few years ago the then Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who loves a braai (Barbeque) himself declared that there was no better way for a South African to celebrate his or her heritage than with a braai and so National Braai Day was born.

So it is that all over the country, in every City and town the smoke from countless braai fires can be seen and the delightful aroma of sizzling boerewors fills the air. Friends and family gather for a day in the sun and a delicious meal prepared by a braai aficionado, nowadays the results can be seen on the social media sites the next day when we compare our results.

It was no exception in our backyard where I braaied a sumptuous lunch for my lady and myself, having just the previous day returned from a visit to Johannesburg I had not had the time to arrange for a large group of friends to attend the braai as is my wont, nor were we invited anywhere else so it was a small private affair.
As it was just the two of us I prepared my vegetables; a potato each, cut "hassleback" style with butter, Aromat spice and garlic flakes wrapped in tinfoil, a gemsquash cut in half with butter and black pepper and an onion, also cut in half and sprinkled with Balsamic vinegar, both also wrapped in tinfoil. (I think this would be aluminum foil in America.) These then all went underneath my firebox when I first lit it so that the resultant hot coals drop down on them.  

Once I have enough hot coals to start cooking my meat, the vegetables will be pretty much ready. This time I had some lovely thick cut Pork loin chops and some good "Spek and onion" boerewors from the butchery in Hopefield.
The chops go onto the grid sprinkled with Aromat, garlic and herbs and I brown each side on high heat, after a couple of minutes when the chops have a nice colour I "paint" some cooking oil onto the rinds and sprinkle with salt,
then I balance the chops against a piece of wood with the rinds facing down over some nice hot coals to crisp them up, taking care not to let them burn.

Once the rinds are nice and crisp I lay them down again and build the coals up for the boerwors, which does not take long but needs good hot coals. The meat then rests for a few minutes in my braai dish while I refill the wine glasses and then we eat!
I'm no expert but I do enjoy a braai and this was a good one. I don't do it often enough.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

We visit the Deneysville Motorcycle museum and biker pub.

Just last week we traveled up to Johannesburg for the 130th reunion of the founding of the original company that resulted in the establishment of the British South Africa Police, the Rhodesian Police force that was acknowledged at the time to be one of, if not the best Police force in the world. I am proud to have been a member of that fine band of brothers.

We landed in Johannesburg on Saturday morning and were collected by my good friend Rory who took us out to his place on the Vaal Dam where we would spend the weekend. What a good weekend that was, and I was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Historical Motorcycle Museum in the nearby town of Deneysville. I had heard of the museum and the associated biker bar before so was excited to visit.

We arrived in the town around 11h00 and went straight to the butchery for supplies and then headed to the bar as it had been quite a long drive.
 The Biker bar attached to the Inn, a rustic and cool refuge from the heat with cold beer.
Adjacent to the bar is the museum and the owner John Boswell's very interesting workshop.
We sat in the bar for a bit and then Rory went off to open up his site, we stayed behind to visit the workshop and the museum.
John had been working on this one, sounded sweet
John showing us his workshop projects.

The museum is small but very interesting with well over 100 bikes on display, most belonging to John with some on loan or being stored.
Honda CBX and Kawa Z1300
Lovely KZ1300

Red Yamaha 1.1 in the lineup
Janet has, by association become a fan

 My old friend the late Des Pistorius' million kilometer Honda Goldwing is on permanent display there, donated to the museum by his family.
 Des and I used to have late night Skype chats when he would call me up around 23h00 if he saw me online, his name is still on my skype list and I haven't the heart to delete it.
Honda 550 Four K
I love this Kawasaki 750

Well known name.
1922 Sunbeam TT90

We spent a happy hour and a bit in the museum, it is a very interesting place nicely laid out with lots of information, if you haven't been there yet you need to go - I'm glad I did.
 From the Museum it is an easy fifty or so metres to the other happy place, the biker bar where, as I said; the beers are cold and the open sided thatch structure makes a welcome respite from the Freestate heat.
 We chatted with John and his lovely wife Charmaine and some of the locals. We spent time there on Saturday when we arrived and also on Sunday afternoon after a boat trip on the dam. Bikers and locals came and went, an eclectic bunch of friendly people and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you haven't yet been to the biker bar then you really should go, thanks to my old diving and drinking buddy Rory here we got that opportunity. Another item on my bucket list checked off.
To see the photos full size, and a lot of them are worth seeing full size, just click on them. Cheers for now and thanks for popping in.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Biker church and a very good breakfast

It has been very hot these past couple of days, especially Saturday but according to the weather forecast Sunday would be a couple of degrees cooler. We got up at 06h00 to get ready because the church service starts at 08h00 and as it got lighter we could tell it was going to be another warm day, I didn't think that the "couple of degrees" were going to make much difference.

It was a pleasant ride through to Vredenburg, only 13km up the road, I saw another bike catching up in my rearview mirrors and soon my brother Willie and Antoinette joined us riding through the town to the "Lighuis" (Lighthouse) church where bikers were already gathering.
Thirteen members of the Meeulanders
ATGATT? Shorts and crocs! 

Quite a large congregation made up of club riders and non affiliated bikers as well as some members of the public, Pastor Eroll's services are popular and topical as he rides a bike himself. People were helping themselves to the rusks and coffee which are always freely available before the service.

Half an hour later we were discussing where to go for breakfast, usually clubs ride together to a venue nearby after church and we decided on "Vis Vlekhuis" in Laaiplek.
Getting ready to leave Vredenburg
Lined up in Laaiplek harbour

It's only about 26km so it doesn't take long, it felt like the wind was going to be an issue though, there was a strong north westerly blowing and by the time we rode into Laaiplek it was bringing a serious chill with it off the sea.

Thirteen club members and our friends Mike and Barbara occupied most of the tables out on the fairly spacious veranda with a nice view of the sea close to the harbour mouth, the usual pleasant conversation and friendly banter along with a cold beer or two occupied our time while we waited for our breakfast. It wasn't a long wait, the staff seems to be geared up and efficient even though we hadn't pre-booked.

That was a very good breakfast; two eggs, lots of bacon, a cheese russian and a pile of chips for R46! I'll definitely do that again and have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending the place to you, there is also a pleasant bar on the premises, everything that a biker could want!

We all split up after breakfast but Willie and Antoinette and the two of us rode through to nearby Dwaarskersbos to check out another restaurant we had heard about for future reference.  Thereafter a pleasant ride home, after again a lovely morning out. I'm going to leave you with these words by my brother Gerrie which I quote from a post of his;
~"This is what I personally enjoy about riding for a club - attending functions (in this case biker church) and then going on a breakfast run. It's not just the ride, but the company that makes this most enjoyable."~

My sentiments exactly.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Another busy biking weekend

As you all know bikers are generally altruistic, whether they are club affiliated or not and this is certainly true of the bikers and clubs on the west coast where I live. This past Saturday we held our annual "Tin Run" and we are not the only club that does this, we stand outside local supermarkets and ask members of the public to donate an item of non-perishable food. We usually do this at the end of the month when people are more likely to have a little money.

This time we targeted four of the supermarkets; Pick 'n Pay at the Laguna Mall in Langebaan, at the Weskus Mall and the IPIC centre, Vredenburg and then the Spar in Saint Helena Bay, four members stood at each place from 09h00 until 13h00. Once we have finished the goods are handed over to the local chapter of the Round Table Association for distribution to those in need.
Heine, Gerda, Janet and I were at Spar
Frank, Adrie, Murray and Laureen at Ipic

Floors, one of the four at Weskus Mall
Roleyn and Antoinette at Laguna

It was a long time to be standing around, we found that a lot of people went into the shops after agreeing to bring us something but then rushed out avoiding eye contact, also we all agreed that the poorer segment of the community seemed to be the most generous!

We packed up at 13h00 and loaded the goods and headed for the storage facility, we will have a formal hand-over to the Round Table with a breakfast at a later date but my impression was that it was a better collection than last year.
That is a large quantity of food and it will certainly bring relief, as I said we are not the only club doing this, others will have their own collections on different dates. This was a great effort by the club members, it's not always easy to give up one's time for this sort of thing.

After that it was time for a bit of a get together for a drink and some lunch so we all met up at one of our favourite spots; Juffroushoogte just outside of the town.

It's always a good time when we have any sort of get together and this was no exception.
Gerrie and Frank
Meeulander patches

Good food as usual
Feeling proud

Many members went on from there to the Joker's party at the Phoenix pub but that's another story, I intended to go but by the time I got home I was feeling a bit lazy so I decided not to. At least Meeulanders were well represented.

Sunday dawned bright and clear, the day of our monthly breakfast run and some had suggested a visit to the "Fynbos Skou" at the agricultural grounds in Hopefield and as this is only about fifty km we decided that kickstands-up should be at 10h00 and not our usual 09h00 as the beer tent would only open at 11h00.

Fourteen of us headed out from Jufroushoogte on eight bikes followed by Floors in his car for the short ride and we parked our bikes on display in front of the pavillion, apparently we were supposed to get free entry for doing this but not all of the organisers or helpers were on the same page.
Meeulander "bloemetjies"

This huge machine impressed me

We wandered around for a little, there were a lot of home craft, food and flower related stalls as well as the usual plastic junk ones you always find. Our real interest was in the food and beer tent which we soon found and settled into.

Meanwhile the menfolk were busy with the braais, getting food ready for the lunch time rush and the smells coming from there were awakening my taste buds.

Gerrie grabbed an ice cream and Willie had a Creme soda, they were two of those who went to the Phoenix party the previous night and were obviously still feeling the effects!
Notice the chandeliers?
Hanging bunches of Fynbos.

The place gradually started getting busier as more folk arrived for the day, it was a pleasant atmosphere with a couple of muzos playing some quiet mellows, not over poweringly loud so you couldn't chat.

The food was good and reasonably priced, I had some fried calamari with "slap" chips, Sooi had a bowl of offal and I saw someone else with what looked like a big steak, good variety. It was good to support local enterprises and we had a pleasant afternoon.  Thereafter a nice ride home and a brief stop at Pirate's bar for an A.B.F. Once again a great day out and the weather is only going to get better. Click on the photos to see them full size.