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.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

February Book Club, two extra riders join in for the first time

From humble beginnings back in September 2018 we have just had the sixteenth meeting of the world renowned "Book Club" and this time we were joined by two other Club Presidents, August company indeed; Eduardo Garnica President of the local Gypsy Jokers chapter and Wayne Moss, President of the local Clique chapter met us at the Phoenix bar.
l to r; Murray, Eduardo, me, Sooi, Wayne, Daan and Anton
I had advertised before that this club was not a part of the Meeulanders but was open to any guys who are able to ride on a Wednesday and who feel like joining us for a cruise around and a couple of dops so it was good to welcome these two. At their third meeting they will be recipients of the coveted breast patch which will identify them to the mundane world as being extraordinary!

We decided on a ride down to Paternoster for the afternoon, Anton had recently been to the newly developed "Crayfish Wharf" which none of us had yet seen. It was a very hot day, I saw 31,5Celsius on my readout so I was riding in shirtsleeves with my leather cut as was Murray and Anton, in fact Anton looked the part on his Indian cruiser.
There are still two Stop/go roadworks on the road down but it wasn't too bad for us, we cruise to the front of the queue and get away first and they are not long stops. That's going to be a very good road when it is finished.

It is a very interesting development with two restaurants, a bar and some arts and craft shops using part of the old crayfish factory that had been standing vacant for years. Paternoster has become a very tourist orientated place so this should be well patronized.
Biker attitude
The beers were cold but to Daan's dismay they didn't have any Red Heart Rum, no problem though he always carries his own in the form of miniatures, "Just bring me some coke and ice." he told the waiter who might have thought it strange that a biker was not drinking alcohol, the same waiter who tried to tell them that we were in a non-smoking area, "Just bring an ashtray!"
A beautiful part of the Cape west coast

From there we headed up the road to another comfortable, shaded veranda before the ride home, we lined the bikes up in a car park across the from the place so that we could keep an eye on them, this proved to be fortunate because Murray spotted youngsters climbing on them, he shouted and they ran off. We have no objections to kids sitting on the bikes but with permission and under supervision.

I had heard of the drink "Katemba" before but had not tried it, a 50/50 mix of red wine and coca cola, and being a fan of red wine but not of coke I had always eschewed it. There was no getting away from it this time though, Sooi and Anton insisted although Daan refused and stuck to his Red Heart rum and coke.

Sooi is a big fan of Katemba and I must say it was rather refreshing and flavourful but not something I could drink a lot of.

We sat there chatting for a while, sorting out the world's problems, many topics were discussed and we will pass on our decisions shortly - soon though it was time to head back.

It had been a pleasant, fun afternoon with a nice bit of riding thrown in, what more could one want? I hope that Eduardo and Wayne are able to do more Book Club runs with us. Cheers guys.

Monday, February 17, 2020

We show the colours at two different biker events

It is really hot on the west coast at the moment, this is always the case in January and February so we always limit our bike rides to coastal areas, this is why when Daan asked me if I was going to accompany them to the Freedom Road rally in Franschoek on Saturday 15th February, I immediately said "No!". I know what Franschoek is like in February and I do not like extreme heat so it was an easy decision.
Besides I reasoned; there's the Undaunted mcc 15th birthday bash on the same weekend and some of us have to "show the colours" there. They headed off into the shimmering distance on Friday morning and I met Murray at Juffroushoogte at midday on Saturday. It was still hot, virtually no wind and the beer was warm, some miserable sods had stolen the power cables overnight rendering the bar fridges useless. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in the New South Africa, but why there when we are desperately in need of cold beer?

We got back on our hot saddles and rode through to Pirate's bar in Langebaan which was on the way anyway, sort of. There, happily the beer was cold. The venue; "Schaaftplaas" is on a farm about 23,5kms from where we were so no rush, also the last 3,5kms is a dirt road for which my bike is not really suited, we would be taking it very easy. When we got to the start of the dirt road I suggested Murray take the lead as he was on a GS and could have sailed along but to him the letters GS stand for "Geen Sand" which in English means "No Sand" so he was happy to follow.

There were a few people there when we arrived and they continued arriving through the afternoon, I don't know the attendance figures but hopefully the Undaunted members were happy. Schaaftplaas is a very nice venue, well suited to large groups with a few cottages and they also rent out furnished tents, the club had things well organized with the only negative being the disco, and this is not just my opinion, it was a general negative. They were youngsters who had no idea about biker music and were happily playing very loud electronic "trans-type" for want of a better word, crap.

We all moved our chairs and tables out from under the tent into the shade of nearby trees where we could converse comfortably and take advantage of the slight breeze which made things a bit more comfortable.
"let's move our table outside too."
Cooler under the trees

Riders from Rebel Jack & Co
That's better

Some of the people had brought their own tents and were setting them up wherever they could find shade, this something we learnt from bitter experience; get your tent set up before you go and join the party otherwise you'll just be 'putting it on' in the early hours of the next morning!
Food and accessories on sale
The rent-a-tent village

 Well done to the President Etienne and the members of Undaunted, it was a well organized event, we stayed until the late afternoon and then headed for home, people were still coming in. On our way back to the tar road we passed another six bikes heading to the venue. It was still very hot, I saw 35,5 celsius on my readout.

In the meantime our intrepid team at the Freedom Road rally sent in photos, they were experiencing temperatures of up to 45 celsius but the site appeared to have a lot of trees for shade which is a big plus.

Not sure what's going on here?
Or here?!

By all accounts they had a great party too and it was good for Meeulanders to be represented at two different jols on the same day, well done everyone. Click on the pictures to see them fullsize.

Monday, February 10, 2020

February biker church and breakfast, another ride out

Meeulanders do a lot of riding but then isn't that what an mcc is all about?   My last post covered our monthly breakfast run after which four of our number; Daan and Bev on their FJR and Sooi and Linicia on their GS headed off for a trip to the Eastern Cape, they are currently in Jeffrey's Bay and will meet up with other members at the Christian Motorcycle Association rally in Franschoek this coming weekend.

Also this coming weekend some of our club will attend the "Undaunted mcc" dayjol at the nearby "Schaaftplaas" resort. We try to support as many local club events as we can in order to encourage reciprocal attendance at ours. That is how it works, we support each other

In the meantime yesterday was the monthly biker church meeting in Vredenburg which takes place at 08h00 so bikers are up and about early. Pastor Errol is a biker himself so his sermons are relevant and enjoyable, his enthusiasm for The Word is contagious, the services are usually well attended. Afterwards the different clubs usually go somewhere together for breakfast, we decided to go to "Plaasmol" on the R45.

Seventeen of us headed out along the R45 on seven bikes and two cars, it was a cool and fresh morning, lovely for riding and the wind had not yet made it's annoying presence felt. Plaasmol is not far, we parked up just after 09h00.

It's a colourful and inviting place with small shops selling local produce, preserves and craft items, there is an animal touch farm for the children and the well known R45 pub which we have often frequented. There are quaint little dining areas with quirky decor as well as a large area for bigger groups which we selected.

Coffee orders were taken as we arrived but they took ages to get our breakfast orders, in fact eventually Rinette went to call one of the waitresses.
 My coffee was brilliant! A nice strong black coffee served with a little mug of condensed milk, I haven't had coffee like that for about a thousand years, I really enjoyed it!
Behind the pond is "Poplap se stoel" - a giant chair

It was such a long wait for breakfast that a bunch of Meeue led by Gerda decided to climb the chair.

In spite of the lengthy wait I must say that the breakfast was very good, I got mine just after 11h00 co-incidentally as they opened the bar. My food was still warm and I was not in any hurry. I had their "John Deere" breakfast; miellie pap with a tomato and onion relish, an egg and some pork "kaiings" for R69 which I thought was very reasonable.
 For my foreign readers let me explain: Miellie pap is made from maize meal, similar in flavour to the sadza that we had in Rhodesia but of a wetter consistency almost like porridge. A favourite South African food, I love it. 
"Kaiings" (in the front of the plate) is made from the rendered down fat of either pork or lamb which is then either minced or chopped up before deep frying, probably not your most healthy of foods but believe me it is delicious. I will have this again in spite of the slow service.

We moved through to the bar to finish our drinks and perhaps to buy another one and from there decided to have a last one at Juffroushoogte from where we would go our separate ways. The west coast wind had come up by then but it's a short ride.
Yet another very enjoyable club run and as I said another one this coming weekend. Stay safe out there people and especially to Daan, Bev, Sooi and Linicia safe travels.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

1st Breakfast run for 2020 and it was a great one!

I haven't yet been able to say; "Dammit that was a terrible breakfast run!" Not that I want to of course, my point being every month the run is good. We go to different places and sometimes the breakfast is better than others, sometimes they won't open the bar for us until the legal time and we learn which places are not worth visiting twice but the run is always great.

This is all because of the people on the run and the fact that we love riding, the food is incidental. Most of the time our monthly breakfast runs are only club members, we welcome visitors and have occasionally had riders from other clubs with us but it's not often.

This breakfast run was Anton's first as the new President. We had discussed going to the Spur in Piketberg but as the weather was forecast to be 31 celsius with 67% humidity we decided to stick to the coast, we would try Eland's Bay in spite of the Stop/Go's and Anton set the "Kickstands-up" time for 08h30 to make allowance, much to the dismay of Vice President Murray who likes his lie-ins.

We were to gather at the service station in Velddrif and as we headed through there we rode into a dense and cold fog bank that was to keep us cool for most of the way out.
Eventually nineteen of us on nine bikes with one car bringing up the rear headed out of the meeting place, for the first time in just over three years I was now riding in the middle of the pack again. The riding was pleasant, Anton set a cruising pace as the road is not great and the first of the three Stop/Go's opened just as we arrived, we blasted on through and pulled into the parking area of the "Skooltjie padstaal" (The little schoolhouse farmstall) for our first stop.
Tea anyone?

A great Meeulander tradition
Add caption

Back on the road after a nice break and we encounter the second of the three Stop/Go's, we weren't so lucky with this one or the next but the wait is not long, the road is not busy on a Sunday. We were chilled, we relaxed and chatted while we waited.

Having negotiated the roadworks we pulled off on the side of the road at the top of the hill before the descent into the valley and Eland's Bay. There was a bit of tea left which had to be taken care of.
Parking up outside the Elands Bay Hotel
We encourage future bikers

We had a decent breakfast, a festive time but we had to wait until 11h00 before the bar opened. We sat for a while chatting and then went back out on the road for the ride home. We had to go the same way, there is an alternative but very much longer. The road is not that bad, one just has to be careful of the roadwork sections but I am sure that in a year or two when the work is finished it will be a whole new story, perhaps a fast road because there are some nice corners.

Some of us decided to stop at De Palm in Saint Helena Bay for an A.B.F while the others opted to go home. It was a lovely ride back, the weather had cleared, it was not yet very hot and the roadworks did not delay us unduly.

Unintended segregation, it just turned out that way perhaps the ladies were tired of all the crap we talk? It was so pleasant there on the shaded veranda chatting with my brothers that I ended up having two bitterly cold draught beers, as I said; not a terrible breakfast run in fact it was right up there with the best we have had, I don't know why something just clicked.

This coming Sunday (tomorrow in fact as I write this) we have a biker's church service and then we usually go somewhere together for breakfast afterwards, I'm looking forward to that one again.

I have a few more of these photos on my "Braais, beers and bikes" facebook page should you be interested and you can click on the pictures to see them full size. Cheers for now, stay safe.