Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ommie Dam Brêkkie - 30 May 2008

The Route:

Date: 30 May 2008
Route: R21N Engen One Stop to Harties and back to Midrand.
Distance: 151km
Riders: André M, Avon, Carl, Craig, Daan, André W and Jan.
Bikes: DL1000, RT1200, CBR1000RR, GSXR6, GSF650, KLR650 and KLR650.

A few weeks ago some deviant got the idea that the guys with bikes at work should go for a "smoke break" at Harties. Over time the idea developed (we are an IT company after all and we develop, it's what we do) to a breakfast at the Hartebeespoort Dam.

So, we made our excuses (some good and some even true) to our bosses and it was game on!

This morning at 06:30 I left the house in Bapsfontein and met up with the RT and the CBR at the R21N Engen One Stop about 20 kilometers up the road. After a quick hello and a smoke, we hit the road via the R21 highway and the N14W highway to the Total Petroport just short of the R512 to Lanseria Airport. The ride was busy as we were in Pretoria peak traffic, but still enjoyable and sort of, uneventful. No deviant cars or irritating cops anywhere.

At the garage we met up with the GSXR6. We shivered together for a few minutes before we left again. We were seriously freezing our important parts off now. In fact, at one point one of the guys seemed to be doing some really immoral stuff with the Fireblade's Acropovic exhaust. This I was told was purely to get some heat into his frozen hands. At every opportunity, I made a grab for the RT's heated grips.

A few kilos past Lanseria Airport, at the Home of the Chicken Pie we picked up (nope, not a chicken pie!) the GSF650. We did the last bit through Wakkerstroom with some nice twisties. In this area some cager in a Golf tried to pack Avon into his grill, but Avon managed to avoid the Golf and its, less than careful driver. This bloke was 66% over the barrier line in a corner on a blind rise.

We rode on to the Wimpy where we joined the two KLR650's already there. Their owners looking all bright eyed and bushy tailed, due to the fact that they have already poured some warm coffee into their bodies. I was ready to dunk my feet in some coffee! Memo to self: Self! GET BOOTS!!!! (Got them at AMID the next day!)

We wasted no time and poured coffee down our throats by the gallon. Thank the great god of fast food for Wimpy's amazing foresight in having MEGACOFFEE on the menu! We all had a lekker Wimpy brêkkie before we hit the road again. The group now consisted of seven riders, all from the same employer doing the "On Any Sunday" thing on a Friday.

We briefly stopped on the dam wall for a phodie opportunity (see Avon's pics at the end of the ride report), sniffed the Harties Dam Water (I have smelt sweeter smelling sewerage farms) and ducked through the tunnel. We then headed back to work enjoying an awesome, ride.

The Blade, the Strom and the RT with the KLR's in the background, arriving at the salt mines. (Photo: Karen Smit)

So much for productivity. Who cares about productivity when the old farts are on the prowl!? (Photo - Karen Smit)

Great fun was had by all on what could also be called the "Stokkiesdraai" Ride! WHOOOHOOO! AAI LAAIK BAAIK!

Thanks to Avon Vosloo for the following pics:


Carl getting close and personal with the Blade's exhaust

Ah!? So that's how you mount a top box.

A nice silhouette on the Hartebeestpoort Dam's wall:

Craig decides that although the view is great, the smell of the filthy water is the just the motivation to get back to work:

Avon and his BMW RT1200 arriving back at the salt mines:

CMA Ladies Breakfast Run - 25 May 2008

The Route:

Mags was invited, by the lady whose bike she had bought, to join them on a Ladies Breakfast Run from Menlyn Square in Pretoria to the Biker's Church in Midrand. The "go/no go" decision was discussed and due to her being a brand new biker she was understandably unsure about going. Mags is however a very determined person and accepted the invitation.

So, Sunday 25 May we hit the road again.

This route can be divided into three separate rides.

Ride 1: Bapsfontein to Menlyn Square Shopping Center.

Just Mags and me. She led and I followed, watching carefully. It was becoming clear to me that she was turning into a biker by the kilometer. Although she was on a steep learning curve and often concerned herself over little things, it was evident to me that her natural ability was developing by the kilometer.

I delivered her to the ladies at Menlyn Square and left with the husbands and boyfriends on a ride to Cullinan where we had breakfast. This is not about us though, so no further mention of the guys.

At Menlyn Square:

Ride 2: Menlyn Square Shopping Center to Midrand.

The group of ladies departed from the Menlyn Square Shopping Center for the Biker's Church in Midrand where a breakfast was waiting for them. At the Biker's Church they were treated to a breakfast and a talk. Mags tells me she enjoyed the ride very much although she was worried at first as this was her first ride without me keeping an eye out. It was also her first ride with other riders in a group. According to her it was a great ride, enjoyed by all involved.

Ride 3: Midrand to Bapsfontein.

At the end of their brêkkie it was time to ride home. The ever so brave Mags decided not to call me to come fetch her and she hit the road all by herself. She made it all the way home riding alone for the first time ever. To make matters more "interesting" it had started raining! This mean that she did her first solo ride in the rain! Yep. How's that for going from beginner novice to hardened (albeit wet) biker in one quick morning.

There is only one prouder than she is and that is me. What a wife! (Must remember to hang on to her!)

She is dragging me, kicking and screaming to AMID (Bike Expo and I don't like expos) this weekend and is already putting pressure on me to make bookings for a weekend ride to Lydenburg, Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrim's Rest.

I think I may have created a monster!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Baby Steps Ride - 17 May 2008

The Route:

Date: 17 May 2008
Route: Bapsfontein to Middelburg Ultra City and back
Distance: 229,5km
Riders: Mags and myself
Bikes: F650GS and DL1000

Today was only the second time Mags left our property on her bike (any bike for that matter) to venture into the big, wide world. Her previous rides were just on our property, circulating the house and a short 50km road trip between the rural towns of Bapsfontein and Bredell.

Almost ready to leave:

She was clearly extremely nervous and the the 30 odd kilometers from Bapsfontein to Bronkhorstspruit seemed like it took ages as she, initially seldomly exceeded 80km/h. As time and tar went by the speed lifted to a more speedy 100km/h and then the speed limit of 120km/h.

As soon as we hit the N4 highway at Bronkies, she insisted on a smoke stop. Her hands shook so much she never needed to shake the ashes of the ciggie! She was very determined to continue though .... and we did.

Paying our share of a palace with gold crappers in Dubai:

We hit the N4 for Witbank and the speed was now a respectable 120 all the way. We turned into Witbank to find a Wimpy or Steers. This was a mistake. The traffic was utter chaos and the shopping center parking areas even worse. Witbank drivers do not like each other! We decided to get out of there and we made a beeline for the Middelburg Ultra City. This meant we would be out of the crazy Witbank suicide traffic and have more freeway, but get ripped of at the tollgate twice! So, ZAR66 later we were on the Ultra City side of the tollgate. Crossed over the N4 at the Middelburg turn-off and made our way back to the Ultra City on the homeward bound side.

I dug into a Hero Roll with chips while Mags nibbled on a toasted sarmi. While there, some old bloke felt it is civil and Christian duty to come tell us all about some biker who splattered himself all over the back of a truck just up the road. Mags was back to shaking and stopped nibbling on the sarmi. After lunch we left, forked another ZAR66 at the tollgate and headed for home. By the time we made Bronkhorspruit I was seeing 130 on my speedo and I wasn't catching up to her.

A note to the Minister of Transport: Why do they seem intend on ripping bikers off at toll roads? Passing through this toll gate with a double cab bakkie, towing a trailer containing 4 bikes and 4 riders will set you back ZAR33. The same 4 guys on their bikes would cost a neat ZAR132! Go figure???

Just arriving at the Middelburg Ultra City:

Kit in a wall at the Ultra City Steers

We arrived home safely at around 14:00 and Mags is like an oil sheik in the Northern Hemisphere winter. All smiles and hooked.

We will see what tomorrow brings ....