Welcome!

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.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Buffalo Rally follow up

I have just received some good news for those of you who were at the Buffalo Rally a couple of weeks ago, and for those of you who regularly attend the Buff......it's not moving! I don't think I mentioned the fact that there were rumours flying around that the site had been sold and that the Buffalo Rally was moving to Parys. I am not sure where the rumour originated but I heard it on Sunday before I left.
I have just been in contact with Luderick Jacoby, President of the Nomads mcc, and he told me that the municipality is meeting on 24th April to consider another three year contract to hold the Buffalo Rally in Mosselbay. I am sure that the businesses in the town are fully in favour of the amount of cash that flows into the coffers over that weekend and that there will be at least another three rallies for us to attend, good news indeed.

On a separate note thanks for the feedback comments on my previous post, I was starting to get the feeling that I was wasting my time but as long as I know that people are reading this I will carry on.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Comments

Why don't I get any comments on my blog? I've read less interesting blogs, in my opinion, and they get lots of comments, I don't understand it. Any comments?
I'm losing interest

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swartland Charuty Run, Mooreesburg

It's April now and the weather is supposed to be cooling down but man we've had some scorchers! This last weekend was one of those, I met up with some of the Meeulanders at the bike shop, West Coast Yamaha in Vredenburg at about 09h30 on Saturday. They were riding through to Mooreesburg for the Swartland Charity run and sleepover and I decided to tag along for a short visit.
 There's always eye-candy at West Coast Yamaha, how about this "TMax" scooter, a big step-through easily capable of 120kmh! I must check with Craig and see if I can take it out for a spin.
 The 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere' has all the bells and whistles including cruise control and heated hand-grips, multi-adjustable suspension, adjustable windscreen and aggressive good looks.
Just after 10h00 we hit the road and immediately Divi, the Meeulanders President set up a very fast pace as if knowing that it was only a short ride he wanted to make the best of it, and he was on his Harley! We blasted along the R45 and at times I was having to do 160kmh to keep up, we turned onto the 22km stretch of the R311 to Mooreesburg and settled into a slightly more sedate pace but only because it's such a bad road.
Cruising down into the town we waved at friends drinking beer at "Die Ou Stoep" pub and went to the showgrounds to book in, it was already quite warm as we unloaded at the site where the "Knights of the skies" had already set up a camp.
Some of the guys had arrived on Friday evening from the airforce base just down the road.
Time to wander around, see what's going on and most importantly get a cold beer down the neck!
The potjies were being prepared for the evening meal, you can bet those old guys know what they are doing, those pots were being done the right way, slowly over the coals - mouth-watering I moved on.
Yards and yards of lamb chops and boerewors on traditional half-drum braais, the aromas coming from this area were amazing, I had to get something to eat!
One of my favourites; spit-braai Karoo lamb done over an open fire. This takes a couple of hours, not like in the stainless-steel contraptions that look like hospital equipment, here you can see the lamb slowly cooking. It was fenced off which was sensible because guys like nothing better than to sidle up and slice a tasty piece off the flanks, and we all carry knives - they obviously knew this.
The pub was doing a roaring trade and there was a pleasing line up of old scooters and motorbikes outside, someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make us feel at home, because this was not purely a biker event, it was open to the public but the organisers wanted bikers, people who know how to party and who aren't shy about spending money.
 I wandered around the stalls, some of whom had been at the recent Buffalo Rally, but by then I had had a couple of beers and it was time to get something to eat,
These people were selling lamb rolls, my friend Mark paid for my lunch - thank you Bro., on me next time. I felt much better after something to eat. There certainly was no shortage of good food.
The crowd settled into the party, there was good music and I thought it time to leave before I got too settled in, my friends were all sleeping over but I had decided that I was not staying, maybe next time.
The lucky draw prize, a 1200 HD Sportster and a crash helmet! This event is getting better each time and it is for a worthy cause, the elderly. I encourage western cape bikers to attend next year, bring your tent and sleep over, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014 - part three - bikes at the Buff and the ride home

I awoke early Sunday morning to the subdued sounds of people moving around, chatting and preparing to ride home, it was still dark but it was calm and clear and starting to lighten in the east. After my ablutions I walked down to the coffee tent, already there were a lot of people there and we greeted each other as I spooned Ricoffee into my styro cup, it still tasted good as I headed back to the campsite.
Already several people were up and about and to my surprise there was even movement from Frank's tent, he surfaced and went off for the first of many cups of tea. I packed my bike and then bundled the tent up and stuffed it into the rubbish bin, ready to go. (My tent had passed its "Use-by" date, two of the poles had split and the front zip had pulled apart, time to buy a new one.)
 As is usual with these rallies there were a lot of very fancy motorbikes to see and to drool over, several of these imported Honda 1800cc trikes were in evidence, not for me but still good looking.
My friend Wessel Strydom's seriously modified Suzuki Hyabusa was there, they use this on Breast Cancer awareness runs.
Fancy paint job attracted a lot of attention.

Some really nice Harleys and even though (as you will know by now) I am not an HD fan, this blue one was a real beauty. 
Look closely at the exhaust, there were two slightly longer pipes protruding out the back and these had gas burners, this bike attracted massive attention by emitting huge flames either when it was parked, as in this photo, or even more spectacularly as he was riding along. This guy must have invested a lot of money in this machine!

After bidding all of my friends farewell and a safe journey I saddled up, eager for the ride home. It was 06h30 when I rode out of the gate and I stopped for a sunrise photo over the harbour.
It had been a good rally and now it was time to get home. My original intention had been to head back to the R62 and have breakfast in Barrydale which I had done last year but that's a bit of a long haul and by the time I got to Riversdale I needed petrol and by then I was also hungry. Many of you will know that there's a very good Wimpy there so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I noticed that it was only about 100kms from Riversdale to Swellendam so I decided to stay on the N2, it wasn't that busy on a Sunday morning and it was easy to maintain a 150kmh cruising speed and I must say that the N2 is in very good condition, I really enjoyed the ride especially after being fortified by a good breakfast and some nice coffee.
From Swellendam to Ashton is a lovely fast road with only one relatively short "Stop/go" section at the beginning,
no matter, it gave me a chance to lift my bum off the saddle and to have a chat with the other bikers, soon we were blasting our way through the wide twisties on one of my favourite sections of road. I cruised slowly through Ashton and then Robertson, both places well known for speed traps and then I was on the fast 50km stretch to Worcester - man I love that road!
I didn't need to stop in Worcester, still enough petrol so I by-passed the "Whistle stop" even though there were several bikes parked outside, I was on a mission. Road works on the road through to Wolseley delayed the cages a bit but not me, I was thoroughly enjoying my self and maybe sensing that they obligingly moved aside to let me fly past.
Slowly though the small town and then out on the newly surfaced and widened road past Tulbagh and through the often baboon-infested "Nuwekloof Pass", by the time I got into Riebeek West I needed a leg-stretch, saddle muscles were cramping slightly but man I was happy! I fueled up and walked around a bit, I was still too early to stop for a beer as pubs and restaurants only open at 11h00 so I pushed on, only an hour to Saldanha, I would be in time to take the "ladies" out for lunch.
It was 11h30 when I parked the bike outside the house, exactly five hours to do 490kms with two stops, not too bad I reckon, and what an enjoyable ride. What's next?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014 - part two - the mass ride, lunch and a quiet afternoon

I stumbled out of my tent and headed to the ablution block just after 07h30, I had had a bit of a sleep but I'm not sure for how long, anyway it was too noisy and by then too bright. There are some who just love to rev their bikes to the limiter and make them backfire and this goes on all through the night from different parts of the camp, as soon as one stops another takes over and so it goes. It's not easy to sleep when the air inside your mattress is vibrating!
I joined many other happy campers at the coffee tent and then wandered back to our camp, I had a couple of hours before the mass ride so I just relaxed. I was meeting Chelee, my friend Alan's daughter who was going to ride pillion with me at the gate so I had to be on my best behaviour. After another couple of cups of coffee I was as right as rain.
Our friends were a bit concerned about Frank, he hadn't returned to his tent but I had an idea where he might be so on my way to the gate I stopped off at the main tent and sure enough;
there he was, on his way back to the camp to go and get some sleep! I'm telling you there are not too many younger people who can keep up with this guy at a party, I'm pretty good but I have trouble keeping up with him.
The weather was great, the mass ride was crowded and it's a lot of clutch and brake riding but the roads were lined with other bikers and members of the public all waving and cheering which made it a very festive spectacle. After dropping the young lady at her car I went off to have some lunch and ended up at the "Anchor Restaurant" at Viking Fishing.
What I liked about this place was the casual atmosphere and that the food was braaiied over the coals to order, I ordered a piece of Marlin and this was braaiied to perfection.
 Lovely fresh Marlin steak washed down with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, I felt much better after that and headed back to the campsite, from then on it was going to be a quiet afternoon preparing for the ride home the next day, no more party!
By then Frank was up and about having had a sleep in one of the chairs, everyone was taking it easy for the afternoon before going down to the main tent for the lucky prize draw in the evening.
 Later on Steve braaiied some meat for the people at what must be the braai with the best view ever. I didn't stay long at the main tent, the prizes were won by other people anyway and by 21h00 I was dog tired, I climbed into my tent and dozed off but there was still a lot of noise and it was difficult to sleep, perhaps I could get enough sleep to feel good for the ride home the next day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014, part one - the journey and the party

The long awaited day finally arrived, the weather forecast was favourable, I had packed all of my gear excitedly the previous afternoon and by 06h00 I was ready to roll. I left home at 06h30 and rode through to the Engen One Stop to meet up with Frank.
Our friend 'Cois (short for Fancois, pronounced "Soy") and his good lady were also there, and over a cup of Wimpy's famous coffee we discussed our route. Frank and I had decided to make a day of it and take a bit of a longer route, we were heading for breakfast at the Wimpy in Ceres while 'Cois was going to turn off at Wolseley and head through to Worcester for breakfast, we would ride together until then.
By 07h15 we were thundering along the R45 towards the rising sun, I consciously relaxed my shoulders and took a few deep breaths, I was happy. I was in front, setting up a fairly relaxed 140kmh pace which ate up the kilometres through Mooreesberg and Riebeek and before long we had left the straight roads behind and were enjoying well known winding roads through the mountains and valleys of the Swartland.

I waved farewell to 'Cois and his lady as they turned off towards Wolseley and the two of us blasted up the beautiful Mitchell's Pass towards Ceres and our now well anticipated breakfast.
Janet and I always like to eat breakfast at a Wimpy, the food is always consistent and always good value so I see no reason to go anywhere else.
That was just about two hours on the road so it was good to stop and stretch saddle-sore muscles.



After a hearty breakfast and some more coffee we were ready to roll, out along the R46 up the "Saalberg" Pass and by then it was getting pretty hot. We joined the N1 and turned south and almost immediately came up to a "Stop/Go" road block, oh well at least they are doing something about the roads!

Actually it wasn't too bad because it gave me a chance to stand up while we waited for the other traffic to come through, there was another fairly long section under repair before we got to the R318 turnoff to the Koo Valley and Montagu.
Frank needed petrol there and also a smoke so we stopped for a while, man it was hot. I had been riding with my cut on but I took it off there as it was restricting the air flow through my "Cortex" jacket, I would put it on again at the rally.


From Montagu we were on the wonderful R62, it's a fast road so we treated it as such and after about forty kms we pulled off into the dusty parking area of the Karoo Saloon, there were several motorbikes parked outside which is always a good sign for me;
those of you who do read this will know that I am not an HD fan but occasionally I see one that I like and this was one of them, a lovely custom job. Inside we met up with friends and I had the first two bitterly cold Castle lagers of the day.
After a brief stop, just enough time to absorb two beers we were on our way again, through Barrydale and past the (in)famous "Ronnie's Sex Shop" where many bikes were parked, and then down the R323 through the Karoo and the fantastic "Garcia's Pass" into Riversdale.
Onto the N2 and by then my bum was sore, 85kms to go, I needed to stop and later found out that Frank was sending me messages; "Andrew stop somewhere for fuck's sake!" So I did,
this restaurant and bar is only about 35kms from Mosselbay and by the time I pulled in I definitely needed to stop, my concentration was not as good as it should have been on a big powerful machine and it had been quite a long haul from the last stop. More beer and a chat with other bikers, there is usually a Police road block close to Mosselbay so I didn't want to overdo it.
We did get stopped by the traffic cops but they just wanted to see licenses and discs, no problem and it wasn't long before we were cruising into Mosselbay, heading for the rally site. We had ridden 625kms and by the time we arrived I was feeling it!
The gate was crowded, here my friend Chris Hamer rides in on his Can-am Spyder, I didn't get a chance to greet him and didn't see him again as the site was absolutely crowded. I had pre-entered so I was through quickly, we found the Meeulanders camp and discovered that they had already erected our tents, which we had sent down with a bakkie, what a pleasure! That is always a chore at a rally.
Divi, the Meeulanders President here in discussion with Frank just before we set off to find out what was happening in the main tent.
Two old biker scums getting ready to party, it was in full swing in the main tent and we were just in time to see the wet teeshirt competition finale and actually meet the (worthy) winner.
Steve invited her over to join us, good man that!
Her tee shirt was still wet, a pretty and friendly girl with a dirty old man.
 Lots of fun, and as I said - a worthy winner.
The party raged on through the night, the band played excellent biker rock music and then suddenly we were joined by "Shooters girls",
 pretty girls can easily talk old bikers into drinking pretty much anything, what a party!
 For some reason I took a photo of these nice people, I hope they read this!
And then Frank was dancing on the table. I made it back to my tent because I woke up at about 04h00 with a dry mouth and feeling cold, I pulled my sleeping bag out of its cover and pulled it over me, I took a few slugs of my water bottle and tried to get back to sleep over the noise of people talking and motorbike engines reving. Ahh rally!
I think I slept again, at least for a little bit - I had to be on my best behaviour for the mass ride because my friend Alan's daughter was riding with me, still a few hours to go.
Plenty more rally to come.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A lovely K1200S


This very nice looking K1200S was parked outside the pub on Friday afternoon when I went to play pool, I met the owner inside, I'm afraid I don't recall his name right now but I had seen him around before. I wish him many happy miles on that lovely machine.
Janet and I went for a local cruise on Saturday morning just to blow the cobwebs out of the zorst pipe, it was a really nice early ride through to Velddrif then a blast down the R27 to the Langebaan turnoff and then over the bypass road and around the bay back to Saldanha. Not a very long ride but just enough to get it out of my system. Today the wind is pumping out of the south so I think we'll go to lunch in Chevy, I'll tell you about the restaurant later though if you're interested.
Two weeks time we are off to the Buffalo Rally in Mossel Bay again, looking forward to that big time! The dates have been very sensibly changed to include Friday 21st which is a public holiday and whilst many of the guys will be going through on Thursday morning, Frank and I will leave at sparrows on Friday - two nights at the rally is enough for me, my liver couldn't handle three nights!
Many friends are going to this iconic rally so I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting them, several I only get to see once a year but the brotherhood is strong - you can bet I'll tell you all about it.