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.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Cool Kidz Place of Safety, Lambert's Bay

For a couple of years now the members of the Meeulanders mcc have been looking after the Cool Kidz safe home for children in Lambert's Bay. The home has been taken on as one of  our beneficiaries so we help out where we can. Also due to social media members of the public have  stepped up and donated to this worthy cause and on previous occasions we have had group rides out there with a support vehicle carrying the goods that have been donated.

This year we haven't done any group rides because the road out there from Dwaarskersbos to Eland's Bay is in a terrible condition with three lengthy stop/go's and the section of road that is available is also in a terrible state.

It got to the stage though that our garage and spare room were starting to get rather full of donated items, so much so that we decided we had to do a trip (or two). On 3rd December we took a load out with our bakkie (pick up) - the road is not so bad in a vehicle.
This was the first load, with two car seats, one from a member and another from a lovely friend of ours who has given a lot herself and also encouraged one of her friends to donate as well. Also on this load was bulk cleaning materials and tinned and non perishable food items donated by members.
This was the second load on the 18th December; children's and adult's clothing, kitchen utensils and lots of toys, the latter caused a lot of excitement.
 There are four children in Tanya's care at the moment but she will soon be collecting another one, a baby with serious issues, all of the children here have issues related to drugs or alcohol or abuse and need constant care.
 Tanya with her children, I have covered their faces to protect their identities.  This is an amazing lady, she has so much love for these children. She has a continuous struggle to support them without any assistance, if on the rare occasion that a child is registered she can claim support but it is ridiculously inadequate, in the region of R27 per child per month - you cannot feed, clothe and medicate a sick child for a day on that let alone a month!
The Christmas tree and stockings in the lounge awaiting gifts, we would be helping with that too.

On our second visit a friend had donated two big bags of toys and because the children were so excited Tanya decided to open them straight away, the joy and the excitement of these little children was heart warming to see.
Might I suggest that if you are going through to Lambert's Bay for any reason, such as to visit one of the very nice restaurants there that you just take a little something along with you to drop off with them, they are always in need of children's special milk formula so a tin or packet of that would be very well received;
 Also always needed; anything to do with babies or small children, general tinned or non perishable food, fresh food, cleaning materials etc., etc., whatever you feel disposed to give will be gratefully received and thankfully applied. We'll be back in the new year.

Happy New Year everybody, stay safe out there.

Monday, December 16, 2019

2019 drawing to a close

The year is rapidly drawing to a close, eight days to Christmas and two weeks until the end of the year. It has been a good year, a busy year as far as the bike club is concerned and we have done a fair amount of riding. I am however seriously thinking about a bit of a bike trip sometime in the new year, nothing serious but maybe just a week out on the road, we haven't done a trip in a long time now.

During the year I completed three years as a pensioner and I am still loving it, as one of my buddies said; ~"If I had known how good retired life was going to be I'd have done it after school."~ I agree with him wholeheartedly. 

I have just had my bike serviced, she's now nearly fourteen years old and has nearly 137,000 km on the clock and still running beautifully. There are a few scratches here and there, nothing serious but they are my scratches on my motorbike so I'm not worried about them, anyway it is a rider's bike and not a showpiece. Rayno, the mechanic said that she's in excellent condition and if she were his he would never sell, my sentiments exactly.
I've just been notified that I should enter my blog for the annual SA Blog awards again but I'm not going to bother with that this year, this blog is not good enough for any awards. Last year I wrote to them after the awards just to find out where I had come, how many votes I had received, was I tenth or one hundredth but they never replied so it must have been pretty bad. I'm pretty much just carrying on with it out of habit now.
Janet and I are doing a last trip out to Cool Kidz safe home in Lambert's Bay next week to take them some more goodies that have been donated by kind hearted people. A little bit of Christmas cheer for the children and some of the special food formula that they have to eat.

If I don't post again before Christmas here's wishing you an extremely happy Christmas and all of the very best for the new year, may it be another good one. Keep safe out there there's a lot of damn foolish motorists!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Mid week oxtail potjie

Oxtail was on special at our local Spar so I bought a couple of kilos. Another tradition besides the ubiquitous braai here in South Africa is the "Potjie" pronounced "Poy-key" which actually means the cast iron pot in which the stews are made, this is what I determined to do with our oxtail.

Traditionally potjies are done over fires and hot coals dating back from the days of the Voortrekkers when the same cast iron pots were used to make the daily meals. Occasionally I will do a potjie over a fire and purists will vehemently claim that this is the only way they should be done, that the best tasting stews are done the traditional way. Most of the time now I do mine over gas and I challenge anyone to taste the difference between that and a fire cooked pot. Gas is just so convenient and much easier to regulate the heat.

So last week Wednesday I fired up my trusty gas cooker and started cooking at around 12h00. Oxtail needs a long, slow cooking time, at least five hours simmering.
I tossed the meat in flour seasoned with mixed herbs and then browned it off in a very hot pot, once it was all browned nicely I removed it and set it aside.
Into a small amount of cooking oil I then added three small onions and one large green pepper, chopped and fried them off until soft and translucent. I also de-glazed the pot whilst stirring. Once done I added the meat back into the pot and stirred it around.
Next I added a tin of "Hot and spicy Chakalaka" and a tin of chopped tomatoes and stirred that in along with a tablespoon of crushed garlic.
All the while the heat is quite high to maintain a rapid bubbling, lastly I added a packet of Brown Onion soup powder stirred into a cup full of red wine, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Then I turned the heat down and basically let it simmer for four hours, I check regularly to make sure it is not too hot, don't want to burn it, I stir to make sure it is not sticking at the bottom. Smelling damn good by this stage!
Time to add the vegetables at around 17h00. Sweetcorn miellies, potatoes and butternut go in, stir them in and bring the heat up a bit to compensate for all the cold stuff. Once it's hot again turn the heat down a bit then I let it simmer for another hour to an hour and a half making sure the veggies are soft.
This made us three meals each and the left over potjie the next day is even better! Janet doesn't let me live it down if my veggies are not cooked properly so I always make damn sure of them before we serve. I enjoy doing potjies and have done many over the years.
I particularly enjoy doing seafood potjies for my friends. One of my favourites too.
This one was beef shin.
This is chicken and vegetable, quick and easy and delicious.
This one's lamb, we do this often too, I love lamb.
This one is venison; Springbok and Bushbuck mixed and if there are enough friends I will make a pot of traditional Rhodesian "sadza" to go with it, it is miellie meal made so that you can mold it into a ball in your hand without it sticking to you which you then dip into the gravy. A favourite with my ex Rhodie friends.
There you have it; food glorious food.Click on the pictures to see them full size and get your mouth watering.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pictures from the 1982 and 1983 Buffalo Rally in Port Elizabeth

 Some of these photos might offend sensitive readers, if so I apologize in advance and you should skip this post. The "Buff", as it is still called was a biker's rally back then and the guys, and girls, tended to misbehave every now and then. See if you recognize yourself in these pictures bearing in mind that you were 36 to 37 years younger!

 There was quite a lot of this "nekkid" riding then although I have had the pleasure of seeing topless ladies riding around at the more recent Buffs in Mossel Bay.

 This guy did a lot of wheelies up and down this strip and he was going well until the inevitable happened and he binned his bike.

 Several bikes got dumped, here's a nice 1000cc Goldwing.

Mass ride assembles.

 The author as a young man arriving at the 1983 Buff.

Greeting my mates

"Dimma's Mike-the-bike"

Pissing it up in the hotel

Dirk the Dutchman

Getting ready to ride home.

Traffic cops did good business that weekend.
In 1984 the Buffalo Rally moved away from Port Elizabeth, it was held in Maseru once and then in various places like Bathurst, Queenstown and then it stopped for a few years. I went back when it started up again in Mossel Bay for a few years, my last Buffalo Rally was in 2014. 

It is still an iconic rally and one of the main rallies in the western cape and again at a new venue in Hartenbos, it seems as though every few years the citizens complain about the bikers in spite of a massive cash injection into the town and a new venue has to be found. I may go again but these old bones are not so happy sleeping in a tent anymore!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Westcoast Motorcycle Association toy run 2019

It is fast approaching that time of year when children all over the world receive toys and gifts from Santa and/or from friends and family. Every year bikers get together on the same day at the end of November to take part in a mass ride and to donate toys and gifts for children who are, through various circumstances not as fortunate.

Here in South Africa bikers all over generally get together on the same day to decorate their bikes with toys, join a mass ride to a central venue where the toys are collected and then they party. We are no different. For seventeen consecutive years from 1999 Janet and I rode down to Capetown to take part in the toy run until the W.M.A suggested that local clubs and riders might like to donate the toys locally and so the West Coast run was born.

So it was that around 10h00 on Sunday 24th November we gathered in Vredenburg for a club group ride down the road to Juffroushoogte where the mass ride was to start.
Daan, Road Captain and Bev
Anton and Rinette

Eventually sixteen of us rode together along to the start point, there were already a lot of bikers heading the same way and when we arrived the parking area was already crowded.

Charl, the owner at Juffoushoogte had offered free coffee to the bikers, but most of us headed for the bar, we had a few minutes before the ride.

Time to go and Etienne, Chairman of W.M.A calls the riders in for a briefing; "This is not a race, (which some ignored) stay together, ride in staggered formation and watch out for the short dirt road near the end venue, it was supposed to have been graded but is quite rough."
These photos of part of the group coming over the bridge into Velddrif were taken by Gerrie pieterse.
Over the bridge into Velddrif
Us followed by Anton's Indian
Daan and Bev

Willie with toys on his BMW

Parking up at the golf club
The Golf Club turnoff

This was the second time that the Velddrif Golf Club was used as the end venue and it is well suited, plenty of space and a nice bar and kitchen. There were also a few biker related stalls.
Roleyn, Janet and a young helper
The trailer halfway though the day

Officially there were 148 bikes on the run, most of which will have had two up, also many attended in cars so there were probably between 300 and 400 people. We certainly got the impression that it was a bigger event than last year although we did also notice that many people did not stay but left after depositing their toys.

It was a hot day but it was a fun day and it is good to see that it is growing, last year they counted 120 bikes. This year also there were a lot of Capetown registered bikes so that is also good news. Congratulations to the W.M.A committee and members for a well organized event, may it go from strength to strength. 

Click on these pictures to see them full size and if you want to see the rest of the pictures please visit my facebook page "Braais, beers and bikes".