2016 Rally

2016 Rally

RIDE WITH ME………..by Barry James


The Winterberg Mountains played host to the Annual Post Retief Adventure Bike Rally.  The visitors arrived in a light drizzle accompanied by thunder and lightning, fortunately escaping the ever-present grim reaper. (A beef cow on the mountain top was the only lightning casualty).


The adventure riders hailed from as far as Stellenbosch with a world renowned large wine-estate owner gracing us with his very humble presence. Ficksburg and the Southern Free State were well represented as was Cradock and Somerset East. A large group from the friendly windy city once again made the organiser’s weekend special as they return year after year. East London, Stutterheim and Queenstown were not to be outdone in the stakes. Bedford and Adelaide boys also ventured out into our hills. Like-minded rubber rollers on dirt, spinning their spokes and petrol fragrancing the air gathered at Post Retief.


Road casualties were uncommon with a few spills on the wet road as well as one of the BMW 1200s being absolutely determined, going down 4 times in the muddy Fort Beaufort road.

Rob Gush, from Port Elizabeth, our very own “Piano Man”, had his BMW GS800 dancing to a different tune when he called in for an extraction at 9pm on the Friday night.  The wonders of modern technology allowed us to pinpoint his exact location thus ensuring a speedy up-the-ramp and onto the bakkie.  It is seldom that a Toyota loads a BMW!!!!


Hastening back to the Adventure Bike Headquarters at the Country Club we found our resident music makers, brothers – Leon and John Deere, thumping out the numbers from yesteryear reminiscent of a Harley Davidson doing Route 62 at 3000 R.P.M.


Grateful to Eishkom and the Presidency’s announcement of NEVER HAVE LOADSHEDDING AGAIN statement everything went off smoothly compared to 2015 when we were forced to bring on the big generators.  However, NEVER is a very very long time and so is one day in a politician’s life.  Long Live Nkandla Long Live (Sigh!!!)


The music falling sweetly on the eardrums that still can function well, remembering of course that most adventure bikes sport a PIPE.  This is normally an after-market add-on feature making the bike manlier in its demeanour, throaty and deafening all at the same time ensuring many “I beg your pardons” or just many “Hahs” with that flawed hearing look pasted all over the face.


Friday night’s spread of culinary delight included lamb chops, Boerewors, ribs to die for and a potato dish so yummy, enough to cause a mutiny in the IRA (Irish Republic Army).  A light drizzle kept the gatherings nerves on tenterhooks – bikes don’t do mud and we were pleased to see the stars at midnight when we turned in for the evening.  Relationships had been renewed and friendships re-kindled with the new-on-the-block boys being included into their new-found family.


Breakfast, a celebration of awesomely wholesome food prepared by our brides of yesteryear, daughters from afar and local domestic help was packed away with much enthusiasm and gusto reminiscent of Sir Edmund Hillary and Norgay Tensing scoffing their OXO and dry biscuits on their way to cresting Mt. Everest.


Great sunshine and a cool breeze greeted us at the 9am briefing with particular reference to the generosity of Mr. Pyp Lombard allowing 49 bike and 2 pillions to ride his private farm road from Bush Neck to the Koonap River.  The 2016 route took the bikes in a north-westerly direction on unpaved roads, crowded by thorn trees, until finally thrust into the sourveld of the Baviaans River – Buffelskloof, a large farm stretching from the river to the ridge sporting more kloofs than buffels and a million and one “hobbel-dreins” ensuring that the roads don’t become just another donga. A lot of skill was needed to keep the rubber rolling on the descent into the river valley below.  This back-of-beyond road had been recently graded ensuring great riding for the stand-and-sit brigade.


Lunch was served in the shade of the trees at the Mill Cricket Ground with a splash of malt and hops to wash away the crumbs.  Fruits of the barley bush and their natural anti-inflammatory enzyme loosens the limbs, relaxes the muscles and sharpens the eyesight.  BEWARE it has been known to loosen the tongue and does nothing for poor hearing and receding hairlines.


One or two dices back to Post Retief saw some blokes triumphant and some well powder-coated.  With everybody disembiking at the country club, fires were lit, refreshments were enjoyed while watching the day’s video of the bike ride.  A few recorded spills were enjoyed by all!!!!  Stunning steaks, divine stuffed potatoes and other side dishes were served much to the delight of the grumbling bellies of the boys!!!   The music was most melodious ensuring a great party ending at 3a.m.


This weekend was labelled “The Best One Ever” by one of our faithful bike adventurers from Port Elizabeth.                            See you all next year……