Being part of a biking duo, and always interested in other motor cyclists, I walked across the road to chat. I thought they were just resting but after exchanging greetings they told me they were travelling from Gauteng to the Eastern Cape and had stopped in our town for a break and refreshments.
When they were ready to leave, their bike wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. They had phoned the AA (Automobile Association) and the motorbike agency in a town 120km away and were waiting for assistance.
I popped into the cafe, made my purchases and when I came out again, I asked them if they’d like to come home with me and wait here for the breakdown truck to arrive. They both thanked me profusely, but the gentleman said they’d better wait beside their bike until help arrived. I also told them if help didn't arrive, they were welcome to spend the night at my home.(As it turned out, the breakdown vehicle never arrived)
Eventually I bade them goodbye and safe riding and came home.
All ready to take to the road
I e-mailed my husband in Khartoum and told him the story of the stranded bikers. I asked if he had any other ideas for me to help them. He suggested I go back and offer them our motorbike battery. (We own a bike identical to theirs.) They could use it to continue with their weekend trip and I could keep the faulty battery here at home until the breakdown vehicle arrived. I went back and made the offer; they said, thank you but since the time I’d been there, the bike had started so they were busy packing up and would ride to the agency in the city themselves to have the repair affected.
While we were talking, the gentleman tried to start the bike again. No go. He decided to push-start the bike, his wife helping him. I held their helmets and gloves. While she was trying to push the bike, two young lads came out of a house beside the cafe and helped. Suddenly the bike motor took! The two bikers mounted their machine and after posing for a photo, they rode off down the main street.
Before they left, they told me that they’d had a wonderful time in our town! While they were waiting there, (between the first and second time I went down) a lady walking to the cafe stopped and greeted them. When she heard they had bike trouble, she offered them a bed for the night. Later a young farmer came past in his Landcruiser and offered to jumpstart the battery for them. The bike owner said he didn’t want to risk it as he was afraid it might blow all the electronics on his bike.
Soon afterwards a large truck stopped next to them. It had a dead cow on the back, passengers sitting all around it. The lady biker said she walked to the truck to take a closer look and saw the cow had been disembowelled, flies and maggots crawling all over it. She asked the driver where he was off to with the cow and he nonchalantly told her he was taking to feed the lions on a nearby game farm. He promptly showed her photos of the lions on his cell/mobile phone. All the while, the radio inside the cab was blaring and the men were chatting and laughing. She said, you NEVER saw sights like this in the city.
I believe that once these two bikers meet up with their friends later today, they’ll have quite a story to tell them.
Note: I was relieved to receive a text message from the bikers on my phone last night.They'd arrived safely at the agency, a new battery was being charged overnight and the motorcycle company put them up in a Bed & Breakfast/Guest House for the night.