Going the extra quarter mile

It’s just dawned on me that I’ve been riding motorcycles for 34 years. It’s difficult to believe that it’s been that long or in fact I have continued to ride and love bikes for that period of time. It’s not that I grew up in a “Biker” environment, I do remember my dad riding a couple of small bike in England and in South Africa, so where my love of 2 wheels came from is anyone’s guess

Like many teenagers of my generation when I turned 16 I wanted a motorbike, “I suppose it represented Freedom and the fact that it made you look older in the eyes or the girls was a Bonus.

My first “boney”, Slang for motorbike was a red Honda SS 50 cc that I bought for the handsome sum of R50 way back in 1979. It was a frame with wheels attached and all the parts where either in a box or checkers packets. I truly believe that Bikers are born, many people may ride bikes when young, or see them as a cheap mode of transport but it is only those of us that love the freedom of the open road, the sheer power of the machine we happen to be riding and the high speeds that they are capable of achieving that ride for the love of it.

Let’s be honest riding a bike produces an adrenalin rush that car drivers cannot understand, when your that close to the elements everything seems to make sense, you concentrate more and that seems to block all the bullshit out of your mind all your focus is honed in on that piece of rode at that moment, nothing else matters. The bottom line is “if riding a bike influences your life, then you are a member of the biking community”       

I have owned various bikes over the years and there have been a few years where I did not own a bike at all and would look longingly at those bikers that rode past me, remembering the rides that I should have been having.
 Today, "thanks to my wife" I am the proud owner of a Triumph 1200 Trophy and a Harley Sportster as well as a 150cc Scooter that I use to commute…………………”yep I commute on a scoot”  so what have learnt about biking, bikes and my fellow bikers in general over the last 34 years?

·        If you are meant to be a biker, no one or nothing will stop you from fulfilling that obsession, biking is in my blood, “is it in yours” ?
·        After 34 years I still have no idea how an internal combustion engine works or how maintenance work should be performed on a  motorcycle
·        I am not the fastest biker in the world but I have over the years learnt that being smooth is the next best thing
·        Hands should be on your handlebars and feet on the pegs – ‘I know that this may sound strange, but many accidents or near misses have occurred due to those body part not being where they are supposed to be”
·        The hardest days on a bike are the ones you always remember, rain, wind, cold and breakdowns seem to stick in the mind.
·        No matter how safe you are or think you are there is always potential for harm while riding a bike
·        The road is a good listener
·        You need eyes in the back of your head when riding a bike, you have to be proactive and use all of your senses. Cars have bumpers, bikers have bones.
·        I find it amusing that the GS riders look down at the Harley riders who in turn think that the Superbike guy, my motto is “The brand of the bike is not important, the fact that u ride is”.
·        Every time I ride, I learn something new
·        Never judge a book by its cover, we may dress like hooligans and seem to be unapproachable but most bikers have hearts of gold, this is something that I had to learn.
·        Everyone eventually crashes, so wear the correct protective clothing (advice I sometimes forget myself).
·        Every day you can spend on two wheels is a good day.
·        Bikers themselves while complaining about “Cage: drivers can themselves be very selfish and take big chances when riding in traffic………….Note to self – “as bikers we need to set the example on the roads”.
·        Sometimes “Less is more” when it comes to biking
·        You will constantly be surprised at the goodwill of other bikers

Macdougal and Thomas the donkey
LAST Saturday we, or should I say Gabby rode Maccie D to his new home and while a number of people were very negative about his move from the farm to his new home, news is that he is settling in well, has made friends with the 2 donkey’s and likes the Shetland pony next door, he is eating well and enjoys the daily rides. Sad news however is that on Tuesday morning Tania and Gabby found Sweetie pie  - our pet rabbit dead in the pool, it seems that she was frightened and fell in the pool overnight, and with bunnies not making sounds, we did not hear her and she unfortunately drowned. I never thought that a rabbit could become such a huge part of the family, but she was a great pet and she will be sorely missed  not only by us , her human family, but Black cat and Mischief have also noticed her absence……………  “RIP  Bun Bun”.       

On Monday I was in Uitenhage at VWSA to do some training, this was also the day that NUMSA decided that they would embark on their 2 week strike over better wages and working conditions, arrived at VWSA with a crowd of singing and dancing NUMSA members (its South Africa, all events, ether sport, cultural, protest action or strikes are not the same without a bit of a song and dance). Was a little worried that I would be stopped from entering the plant but have to say there was no hassle and I fact I stopped for a moment to hear watch the dancing and singing………………. “The x factor Uitenhage style”

Is Nelson Mandela dead ?? well an article that was on news 24  from a Los Angeles newspaper the Guardian express (dated 26 June)seems to think he is, in fact the article says that he died in June prior to his 95th  Birthday, and believe that a huge cover up by the SA government as well as the cabinet is being perpetrated on both SA citizens and the world. They ask questions like why are his daughter’s wearing red blankets (a sign of mourning in the Xhosa tribe) or why both ex-president Bill Clinton or Barrack Obama where not allowed to visit him ?

The press seems to not be reporting on his state anymore, it was on the news 24 hours  a day and are family members still visiting the hospital, why had JZ gone to collect an award on his behalf and not one of his own family members ?.......................mmmm I smell a conspiracy theory.    

Rugby this weekend saw the EP Kings  thrash the Griffons 63 to 7 this keeps their season alive and they are now 2nd on the Log a mere 1 point in front of SWD but a huge 14 points adrift of 1st place Puma’s who have played 9 and won all of the games. The Cheetahs lost by 3 points to the SHARKS in a Currie Cup game on Friday night with the Stormers just edging out the Griquas 20/19 and to my utmost disgust the Bulls lost by a huge margin to the Lions . On the International front, The All Blacks beat the Australians 27 ton 16 and while the Aussies played better than last week, I have to be honest, The all Blacks look really good this year”. The Bokke played Argentina at Mendoza and scraped home 22/17 with the Puma’s playing the better rugby scoring 2 tries to the Boks 1 (last week the Boks crossed the whitewash 9 times) and deserving a win, it was only 2 penalties in the last 10 mins that saves the Boks embarrassment. The result was a far cry from last week’s 73/13 massacre. I am a little apprehensive about our chances against the All Blacks and Australia in the competition, yes we have won the last 8 in a row, but let’s look at the opposition Italy, Scotland, Samoa and Argentina, and please get rid of Ruan Pienaar, his service from the base of the ruck or scrum is mediocre to say the least. On a positive note it’s the Boks first win away in this competition since 2009.      
If you want a laugh then you have to go to U Tube and put in search Butter Blog…………………I had such a good laugh and I am not sure whether or not “Tommy” is for real or taking the piss out of himself and Norway……………….’You decide”  

Found this great book in a 2nd hand book store on Saturday called ‘The mammoth book of bikers” looking forwards to reading it.    

Fly to Richards Bay this afternoon for a couple of days, so got to get my stuff together.

Have a great week




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