Just for fun - Social Motorcycle Ride

Stormy weather in the Western Cape is traditionaly followed by a stunning day but it remains a challenge to determine exactly when this day will be on the cards. When the suggestion for a Social Motorcycle Ride was proposed the Cape was taking strain from severe wind and rain with the promise of a brilliant day to follow.

Such was the doubt about prevailing conditions that more riders stayed in bed than the thirteen that braved the 4ºC Sunday 26 July 2015 early morning temperatures to meet at BP Helderberg Strand. Crystal clear blue skies with no wind made it the perfect setting for a ride and being an open invitation to all it was great to meet up with old friends and meeting a few more.

Being social in nature the presence of the wives and kids was most encouraging with the Collocott family scoring top marks by having everyone present, riding three very different motorcycles. Parents, Lionell and Yvonne, had their neat 2000 Honda Africa Twin Adventure 750 present whilst eldest son Christiaan (32) was aboard the well used 1992 Honda CB400SF. Justin (17) and Nathan (15) aboard their 2013 MotoMia Terrastrada 250.

Former Chairman and now President of the AFB Ysterplaat Iron Wings Motorcycle Club,  Ernie Pagel and wife, Naomi, looked the part aboard the magnificent touring BMW RT1200, leading a whole series of interesting BMW machines. Ian McCaughey  and Mark Faul were aboard their respective BMW 1200GS and F800GS mounts respectively with Piet and Marna Steyn ready on their distinctive orange 2011 BMW F800GS. This machine regularly covering the almost 900km distance between Somerset West and Oranjemund where Piet is currently based. In stark contrast with the experienced crews Patrick and Anette Vermaak enjoyed the fresh air aboard their 2005 BMW F650GS for just their second ride over Clarence Drive.

Another unique family combination was Karel “Kubus” and Gina Nieuwoudt, each aboard their own distinctive Suzuki GSXR (2008 and 2009 models respectively - the bikes not the people). Really looking the part with very similar trim and clearly enjoying every opportunity to twist those ears. Gina even has her hair coloured to match the GSXR.

Johan “Wessie” van der Westhuizen, current Secretary of the AFB Ysterplaat Iron Wings Motorcycle Club, present aboard his 2001 Yamaha TDM850 whilst William “Kassie” Carstens had “precious cargo” alias Tania Vermaak riding pillion on his Yamaha Super Teneré XTZ1200. With Ferrari back in the F1 hunt Anthony Martini proudly represented the Italians aboard his 2003 Aprilia Caponout 1000.
The 13 bikes set off towards Gordons Bay via Strand Beach Road and stopped just beyond the Suikerbossie lookout on Clarence Drive for the first of many picture stops. Then the steep climb to the entrance of the Steenbras Dam followed before they found themselves regrouping at the Steenbras River Mouth. With breakfast calling there were no further interruptions heading for the very popular Drummond Arms in Rooiels. It was interesting to note that despite the vast differences between the motorcycles the group soon settled into a comfortable – loose – formation which saw everyone arriving in short succession.

Carl “Worsman” was caught somewhat by surprise when faced with the order for 21 Bikers Breakfast and more importantly, warm coffee! The ladies were bravely hiding the fact that they were almost frozen, but then the leader of the troop dropped in for a visit and everyone suddenly looked very lively again. When we state this was a really big male baboon, we really mean it, and he had no problem displaying his impressive array of teeth whilst clearing the table with his buddies audibly crossing the roof. Taken by complete surprise nobody reacted and before anyone could do anything silly the baboons were gone again.

Considering something with a little more kick sanity prevailed and more coffee followed before the kitchen managed to satisfy the breakfast order. ET invited the group for a brief visit before heading for home – that is the motorcyclists as ET in this case is a painted rock formation.

The road bikes headed for the Franschhoek Pass whilst the off roaders selected Highlands as their preferred route back home and those pressed for time simply backtracked on the original route.

Consensus was that the social ride was a complete success as veteran bikers mingled with rookies in a social environment with technical and road safety elements discussed over a coffee. Clarence Drive offers some of the most stunning scenery and the non stop twists and twirls around the mountain also sees a great number of bikers on route.

Thank you to Carl, alias “Worsman”, at the Drummond Arms Rooiels for their efforts in serving an unexpected batch of bikers. Pity if you missed it – but there will undoubtedly be a next time!

Just let the whale season kick into gear …………