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, July 4, 2015

Memories of Rallies past

It's winter time and although at the time of writing the weather is absolutely fantastic, so much so that we are going on a breakfast run tomorrow, it has been absolutely crap over the past two weeks. I have boasted to my American friends that here in South Africa we do get wonderful riding days throughout the winter so we don't have to put our bikes into storage or drain the fuel tanks or anything like that, we do get snow on the mountains which are some 200 to 250kms away and that does affect our daytime temperature but I don't think that there has ever, in recorded history been snow here in Saldanha Bay where I live.
I must admit we haven't been riding much, last Saturday we rode down to the little town of Darling which is only about 100kms away and visited the Darling Wine Shop where we bought some lovely Camembert cheese and six bottles of un-wooded Chardonnay, it was nice to ride with a destination in mind because for the most part we have just done local circular cruises and ended up at a local restaurant.
Tomorrow our club has its regular breakfast run and we are going to "Buffelsfontein" which is not very far but is interesting because we haven't been there before, trust me - I'll tell you all about it.
This afternoon I was going through old photos from rallies past, actually I was looking for a specific picture which I haven't yet found but I did find lots of interesting and amusing ones that I thought I would share, you might recognise them if you're a regular reader because most of them were posted years ago;
From the Beaver Rally in Heidelberg some five years ago, quite a long ride and we were offered the stables in which to pitch our tents, quite a comfortable place sheltered from the wind and with a thick straw ground cover, what a good rally that turned out to be!
This was at the end of the Cobra Rally in Worcester in 2009, you've all no doubt been there, you wake up to the sound of rain on your tent and you have to pack everything away wet and ride all the way home in the rain. It makes for good memories.
From the Slangkop Rally 2007, here Frank is with two lovely people; Dudley and Carolyn who both tragically passed away in a car accident, Rest in peace wonderful friends.
This was my tent at 02h00 on Sunday at the 2008 Slangkop rally, the wind came up so strong that it would have blown away if it wasn't for my luggage. Frank and I packed my stuff away and then while we were dismantling his tent it started to rain! We eventually left the site at 03h00 and it rained all the way home, we stopped at the Engen Wimpy near Langebaan for breakfast and it was still raining. While we were there dripping wet bikers arrived at regular intervals and as they walked in the staff were following them to their tables with mops. Again, that's what memories are made of isn't it? You can't ride a motorbike and not get caught in rain sometime.
Also at the Slangkop rally, this time in 2009 and I get to get a picture with some lovely biker woman, if you ride bikes you get to meet women like this; our friend Janet.
Slangkop Rally 2010, I was staggering bladderfully to the ablution block when these brothers shouted out "Hey Whitey, come over for a dop man!" A "dop" is a drink and in this case it was whisky, of course I joined them, the day has to start right doesn't it? Unfortunately the Slangkop rally is no more.

This was taken at the Venom Rally in Kleinmond in 2011, Frank needed to sit down during the early hours of the morning and I managed to talk this young lady into giving him a lap dance. He loved it.
I don't think there are any more rallies coming up before the end of October, the Beaver Rally in Montagu but if there are you can be sure I will tell you all about it, in the meantime stay safe and keep the rubber side down!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

First annual WMA mini rally at Wingerd a resounding success

The days leading up to the weekend had seen some seriously bad weather so we were all a bit concerned that the West Coast Motorcycle Association's first day jol or mini rally would be washed out,  but the weather gods decided to be kind to us and bestowed clear if not entirely warm weather upon us.
You can say that it all started on the Friday afternoon really, because while Frank and I were at the Rooikrans bar for our regular pool session the Mohicans arrived en masse, with their National President who was down from Pretoria to meet new members and to attend the rally. "Die Mohicans maak die jol vol!" it was going to be a good one if their enthusiasm was anything to go by.
I arrived at about 14h30 to an already crowded, happy venue and it was great to see the large number of bikes parked outside. I had gone in my bakkie (pick-up) because it was my intention to sleep there rather than drive home in the eraly hours of the morning.

There were already a large number of the Meeulanders, here I joined (from left in both pictures) Anton, Heinie, Mike and Barbara for my first beer of the day.
I was most impressed with the work that Anton had done on his old motorbike, this is absolutely beautiful. I'll dig up a photo of what this bike used to look like and compare them in another post.

Plenty of happy people, the crowd was growing all of the time and the usual acrid smoke from spinning tyres permeated the chilly winter air. Ahh rally! Nothing quite like it is there?
I watched a bit of the games for a while, tyre throw and slow race,
the ladies were very active participants which was really great to see, here's Mercia a lady who really knows how to rally and who enjoys every moment.
From there I decided it was time to head inside and see what was going on,
I bumped into these two old biker scums; Frank and Fungis, we've done a lot of miles together over the years and attended many rallies, the party was well under way by then!

The disco was pumping out excellent rock 'n roll and heavy metal and the pretty girls were dancing on the stage. The organisers never did manage to get the wet tee shirt competition on the go, South African biker chicks are a bit too conservative it seems. But we danced!
 There were a lot of pretty girls around!

And the party raged on into the night. Sometime in the wee small hours I started to fade, it was time to get some kip, these were the last photos;
 Alex, Eduardo and me.
 At this stage it appears that Vincent is holding me up, he is a great brother this one he tried to get me to give up my vehicle keys thinking that I was going to drive home but I assured him I was sleeping there.
I think that at this time the place was pretty much empty, it had been a great party, a huge success for the WMA and all of the oprganisers who put in a lot of work behind the scenes and on the day. If that is what the first one is like then I cannot wait for the next one, well done guys and thank you for an epic jol.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Eye candy at the BMW showroom and a disappointing visit to an iconic retaurant

We went down to Capetown yesterday, Saturday and called in at the new Donford BMW shop to collect my repaired side pannier. To keep a long story short the latch broke at the last rally I went to and none of the local bike guys was able to repair it, it had to go to the agents who imported a new latch set from Germany, this ended up costing me just over R1,100. Oh well that's BMW for you!
I had to have it done, no good riding around with only one suitcase, whilst there I fell in love!
 Isn't that a thing of beauty? The new R1200RT, I have already chosen the body part that I would give to own that bike, it's on the left side. As you can see in the bottom picture there are several RTs on the showroom floor but that blue one is the one for me. Ah well it doesn't hurt to dream does it?
From there we went off for lunch to a restaurant that we last visited in 1984 on our longest "Around the country" bike trip, I have no idea why we haven't been back since, but this was the time to check it out; Panama Jack's in the harbour.
 I must admit that the place looked a bit seedy but we were there and the place is known for seafood, my favourite so we went inside.
The wines were expensive, we selected a Dimmersdal Sauvignon Blanc at R127, I asked for a Two Oceans wine but was told that they stopped selling that a long time ago even though the name is emblazonned all over the outside awnings.
I chose the "Crustacean platter for one" which was way too expensive but it was good!
Scallops, prawns, langostine and crayfish on a bed of rice, by the time I got down to the rice it was mixed with garlic butter and all of the juices from the various animals, I ate every single morsel and really enjoyed it but I am a seafood fanatic. 
Janet's meal on the other hand was a complete disappointment, it looked good when it arrived, hake and chips, but the chips were dry and tasteless, powdery inside like they were re-fried left-overs and the hake was bland with an aftertaste of old cooking oil. 
Oh well, been there - done that, it'll probably be another thirty-one years before we go there again.
Lunch at Pearly's restaurant in Langebaan on the way home today was a delight, fresh (really fresh) Yellowtail. Little wonder that we often eat at Pearly's.
Saturday next sees the first Western Cape Motorcycle Association's inaugural mini-rally/day jol at the Wingerd Dance hall in Vredenburg, the guys are going all out on this one and it looks like it's going to be a good one. It would be a good one for you Cape bikers to attend, see you there.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Undaunted's tenth anniversary jol

It has been a great week, the weather has been fantastic and we've done a lot of riding, albeit only weekend riding because work keeps getting in the way. Dave Barr has been in South Africa and rode down from Pretoria to the Cape to promote his charity caring for people disabled in bike accidents, I was not able to join in the ride when they came down here also because of work commitments, damn I hate it when work gets in the way of riding! This guy is one of my heroes, maybe next time?
As I said we've done a lot of riding, last weekend Janet had to work Saturday morning so I decided to get out on the road, it was again one of those lovely mild Autumn days just perfect for the bike and I made full use of it, I took the long way through to Velddrif to say Hi to my old friend Des Clunie at his wonderfully iconic shop "Ek and Djy Visserye" on "Bokkom Laan", it was early and there were no customers, I bought a cup of coffee and Des poured a tot of whisky into it for me, we sat and chatted on the jetty in the warming sun while Dan carried out repairs to his boat door damaged by miscreants trying to break in the previous night, such is life in South Africa.
Moving on I rode down to the quaint little coastal village of Paternoster and ate a plate of Hake and Chips in the market area amongst tourists browsing through the stalls selling shells and old window frames with sea views behind the glass panes, had I not been on the bike I might have bought one or two they were that good.
Sunday Janet and I rode together, just a local cruise and ended up at "Vlakvarkgat" again, lunch was just alright, not fantastic although from the comments I suspect that Janet's "offal potjie" was better than my seafood buffet. A quick 20km ride home, leaning into the few bends that we have in the area, ended a really good weekend.
Jump ahead to Saturday 25th and "Undaunted's" 10th anniversary bash at "Plaasmol" just outside of Hopefield, nine of us on six bikes rode out of Vredenburg at 13h00 for the short spurt to join in the fun and support a local club. Although they had opened at 12h00 there were not many bikes there when we arrived but we knew they would soon be pulling in.
Frank was happy when lovely Monica arrived and gave him a cuddle.
"Slang" of the Mac's, Bev and Daan of the Meeulanders enjoying a chat and some of the good food on sale, bar prices were also very reasonable.

The site lends itself to a biker party, a large area under cover with a bar, a stage and plenty of seating.
Here's a happy group shot by Gerrie Pieterse that epitomises the biker scene in South Africa, three  or four different clubs in this shot all partying together.
As usual there were some good bikes to be seen and drooled over. Craig and Monica were on the new Yamaha MT09 Tracer, a demo model that I am definitely going to take for a ride,
An aggresively styled bike that received a very good write up in the recent motoring supplement.
 My friend Wessel arrived on this Hyabusa with an amazing custom paint job; the "Al Capone" bike, why he would be immortalised on such a bike is beyond me but the artwork was incredible.
As the afternoon progressed more bikers arrived and things started to look up for the Undaunted's efforts,
 tents were being erected and the party was gaining momentum, that's when I decided to leave. There's a fine line between leaving on time or having to stay over and I didn't cross it, I had a really good ride home in the cool of the late afternoon leaving my brothers to their party. I passed only one traffic police vehicle on the way and he didn't seem too interested in me, I had had a few drinks and I would not have passed any tests but I was more than capable of riding my bike, I just hope that my brothers and sisters either left soon or stayed over, it had been a good jol.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April breakfast run to DuVlei restaurant becomes lunch

Last Sunday was the Meeulanders' April breakfast run, it was delayed by a week due to the Easter weekend and saw fifteen people on eleven motorbikes gather on the main road in Vredenburg.

I left home just after 08h00 and to my dismay there was an extremely thick, wet fog which I was sure was going to ruin the ride, we have ridden in fog before many times because it is a regular occurrence on the west coast and it is extremely dangerous, especially when trying to join one of the main national roads. Luckily this time the fog lifted by the time I reached the meeting place and apart from small patches in low-lying areas, it was soon clear and sunny.
I was the first one at the meeting place but soon the others arrived, Janet was not on the ride this time as our friend Linda was visiting and they were going to do "girly" things.
The usual R45 ride to Malmesbury was enjoyable, we maintained a disciplined formation slightly over the speed limit and an hour later we were pulling into the garage forecourt for a smoke break and leg stretch.
The difference this time was that good old Koos had brought along a cold bottle of Cape Velvet and a whole lot of shot glasses - bless him. Cape Velvet is an iconic South African cream liqueur much loved by all of us, Jenny did the honours,
 Look how much Koos is enjoying his Cape Velvet! That stuff went down like pudding, delicious - well done that man!
It's not far from Malmesbury to Du Vlei Restaurant on the other side of Riebeek, there is one very good Pass descending into the Riebeek Valley past the Pieter Gruythoff monument, where the ashes of my old BSAP buddy Paul Weinel are scattered, Div., in front on his Harley pulled aside to let Gerrie Pieterse get past, Gerrie is a crazy corner man on his Super Tenere and he soon disappeared into the distance. I was next but I don't try to keep up with him, we waited at the bottom of the pass for the others and then resumed the formation to the restaurant.
Du Vlei has become a popular biker venue and is usually crowded on a Sunday, luckily Div had phoned ahead and had secured us a veranda spot.
By 10h30 we placed our orders, and it was a good job that the beers were cold because we had quite a long wait.
We eventually ate at 12h30 but nobody seemed bothered by the fact that breakfast became lunch, Frank said that it gave us all time to sit and chat. It was a good meal and I was bloody hungry by then, also I had had three beers - the bike would be cornering much better on the way home!
We all split up after the meal, I had a fast and enjoyable ride through to the pub at "Plaasmol" the other side of Hopefield where I was soon joined by the rest of the mob, a short stop there and I headed for home. Altogether a very good day with a good bunch of people, bikers - ya gotta love 'em.
April 25th is the Undaunted Day jol at Plaasmol, maybe some of you should take a ride up the R27 and come join us, it's going to be a good one.