Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Motorcycle Tour

Mid-June, our motorcycle association, Widows Sons, had its Annual General Meeting. It was held in Bloemfontein which was the city we frequented while we lived in the Free State. 

There's a great build-up to this event with members from all over South Africa interacting on Whatsapp using a group especially created for this purpose. 

Grant and I set out from the farm at 5.45am. We reached a fuel/ restroom/restaurant stop along the National Freeway by 7.30. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and a toasted sandwich while we waited for our fellow bikers to arrive from Durban and the North Coast of Kwa Zulu Natal. 

Warming up with a welcome cup of coffee
 Our KZN friends duly arrived and we headed for the Free State

Ten minutes after we'd started out, we passed through a Toll Gate. Grant's brother, Charles (known as Chilly) was riding behind us on his newly-acquired BMW 800 FS. Grant and I paid our toll and set off along the lane. Seconds later, Chilly pulled up beside us and pointed to something below Grant's left leg. We pulled off, Chilly behind us and Devon, another member just behind him. On closer inspection, Grant saw that a bolt covering an oil sump tank had fallen off and oil was spurting out from the ensuing hole. He tried several other bolts which he could perhaps borrow to cover this hole as we couldn't continue with the bike like this. Devan asked Grant which toll booth we'd used. Grant indicated and Devon, wearing hi-viz waistcoat over his leathers, walked back to the toll gate. The motorists, seeing his safety gear, gave way. Devon bent down and picke up the missing bolt! 
 Riding through the small Free State towns along the National road. 
 Grant and Chilly 
 We stopped at a Biker's pub in Senekal, which is about an hour's drive from Bloemfontein

Our 20 year-old Harley Davidson was the talk of the weekend. It's fitting that I do this post today; the bike came from the States; it's marked in miles (not kilometers as we're used to) and it was built by Orange County Choppers! The tank and mud- guards are painted with the Stars and Stripes! 

 Grant chatting to a couple of our Free State friends, Gerrie and John Pizer (in colorful pants) 
While standing there with the men, I swung my Smartphone up to the sky and photographed the moon. A lady walking past asked if I was taking a selfie. I said no, I was photographing the moon! 
 She offered to take a photo of me standing at the Harley
On Saturday morning, we all met and rode en masse to Naval Hill
 The larger-than-life statue of Nelson Mandela on Navel Hill, towers over the city of Bloemfontein 
 The President's wife, called The First Lady in the biking world, poses with her four-month-old son
 The President with their four-year-old daughter 
 Our chapter posed with Bloemfontein far below (I was still walking towards the group! ) 

Our accommodation was a beautiful four-star conference Bed and Breakfast. Although there is lots of fun and laughter; plenty to eat and reminescing with the other chapters from all over South Africa, the reason for this weekend, was the AGM. This was held formally in the conference center (below) 



Just before the meeting, I noticed a blonde lady with a scroll on her right sleeve which said: Just Jo. Ironically at the meeting, she was seated on my BIL's left while I sat on his right. Grant sat to the right of me. At one stage when there was a lull in the proceedings, Jo's husband took a photo of Chilly sitting between the two Jo's.
 Jo (moi), BIL Chilly and Just Jo! 

At 6pm, the Guest House put on a beautiful dinner, where we all chatted and enjoyed the last evening together - until next time! 

Early on Sunday morning,, farewells and "ride safe" were said and the bikers set off for their different destinations. 

Early morning on the last day, and everyone is heading for home 
Grant assists Devon in tying his helmet. Devon is the one who found our bike oil sump plug and saved the day! 

Grant and I didn't join the KZN chapter as we made a detour; we were on our way to Marquard to see MIL. 
Grant and his mum

On Monday morning Grant and I set off on the final leg of our biking weekend.
  I always enjoy the shadows as we ride 

Riding through Golden Gate National Park (which I've posted about many times) I snapped away at the beautiful scenery. 
 The iconic Sentinel which guards the gateway into the Golden Gate 
Home on the farm road after a wonderful biking weekend

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here

HAPPY 4th of JULY TO ALL MY AMERICAN FRIENDS ! 

12 comments:

  1. That was so lucky that the bolt was found.
    We always rode independently, and you have me wondering what we missed out on...

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  2. That sounds like a great weekend, out riding and meeting with friends.

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  3. The weather was certainly perfect for a weekend on bikes! Must be great to come together this way, I suppose it feels like a reunion :)

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  4. I enjoyed all the photos especially you and the Harley and so glad he found that bolt. stay safe and have more fun

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  5. Hello Jo, sounds like a wonderful event and motorcycle tour. I am glad the missing bolt was found, it saved the day and trip. Great shot of you and Jo # 2. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day and the week ahead.

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  6. Ah, this should remind me I need to put the battery tender on. I haven't ridden since my hand surgery, so the battery has been there draining for weeks. Sigh

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  7. Lovely that you could participate in the cycle club's AGM. I was glad that it was gloss to where your MIL is living so you could all have a visit :-) I kept thinking as I read this that it was very fortuitous that Devon found the missing bolt. How likely was that?! Also that Chilly saw it missing in the first place. Very fortunate indeed.

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  8. It looks like you had good weather for the ride!

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  9. Great photos and especially of you. Sounds like lots of fun. Diane

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  10. What a wonderful weekend for a great bike ride and a meet up with all the other bikers. Glad that the bolt was found, missing a little piece like that causes big problems. Glad everything went well and a good time was had by everyone. Tell Grant thanks for identifying those cars I posted. I laughed when you said it wasn't you that was so knowledgeable about them. :)
    Have a wonderful day.

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  11. Fun trip and gathering. I didn't realize yours is a US made bike. Glad your friend found that bolt.

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Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo