Monday, November 24, 2008


There were five bikes in a row ... an even split between Dakars and GS 650’s and right at the end a classic thumper: an XT 500. And on the stoep of the restaurant were their owners tucking in to a traditional breakfast of sausage, eggs and bacon.

I left Port Elizabeth at 6am, scampering through a drizzle all the way down the Garden Route. It only stopped raining at Plettenberg Bay, where I stopped to refuel, before pushing on to Albertinia. Which is where I found this posse of bikers. They were returning from a bike rally in Heidelberg, 80 km down the road. They were a group of older guys (yes... I know “Like me”) who had thinning hair and age-lined faces. They were not trying to be “heavy bikers” – in fact one of them was wearing a floppy gardening hat, while another wore a flimsy jacket from Macro. And their conversation went something like this:
“Thanks for waiting for me guys”
“Well that’s what we do”
“When I go over 100kph the front wheel begins to drift”
“That’s because your thumper can’t go any faster”
“Well I didn’t know what to do – so I just moered on”
“No broer – you just throttle back and the compression will pull you right”

And I treasured this moment: this was not about bragging who had the best wheels, or who could do the best wheelie. These men were respectful of their friendship; they hung together; they were brother bikers – and when they pulled off they surrounded the XT 500 and ensured that he was part of the group.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this little bit of life - a great image full of inspiration for a Monday morning...