Rally In The Valley
(25 – 26 February 2017)
The Lady Bikers SA contacted me a while ago and requested my presence at their rally… on one wheel! They asked if I would come do a ‘stunt’ show for the ladies. Two weeks before the event I remembered about the invite and confirmed my attendance. Problem was… to find a bike in time for me to use down in Slaapstad (Cape Town).
The girls wanted to know who my sponser is… I giggled… sponsorship – BWAHAHAHA!
I told them to try and get any sporty, streety, supery, MXy kind of bike. They belled me a few days before the event with a disappointing answer of, “We could only get a Harley… but… but… but… you can still stunt with that, right???”
Chikita and I donned our best attire for the economy class.
We found a few small cracks in our window. There was a chance that the stunting would commence a bit sooner than expected!!!
But we landed safely!
Harley Davidson Cape Town
We stopped at George and his team to collect the two Harley’s we got for transport. These guys have been selling the most Harley’s in SA for the last three years!
Here’s a list of the bikes we got to play with for the weekend:
Harley Davidson Street 750
It looks bulky, but the seat height is actually quite low. It is their entry level machine, though it still performed well with an experienced Chikita at the steer.
Harley Davidson Street Bob
This bike had the lowest seat (680mm) and the highest handlebars. It made us feel like queens on the set of Easy Rider.
Harley Davidson 1200CX Roadster
I used the Roadster for my first few tricks at stunting. Even with the stock standard settings, I could get the front wheel up a few centimetres. It was also well balanced for surfing, side-saddle and Christ’s.
Harley Davidson 1200X Forty-Eight
Halfway through the stunts, I swopped bikes to this one. It was lean and mean enough for a few lekker long black-line fishtails and break slides.
But HD was moving to a new shop and we had to get out of there before they popped us into a box, taped it up and shipped us off.
(…six minutes… SIX MINUTES IS ALL I’M SAYING!)
To cake or not to cake!
First stop was at Lisa’s for a FEW slices of sweet things. The benefit of knowing the owners – bigger slices!!!
We filled up for a Tiekiedraai - the Pass.
It was more like PASSing wind. Gusting, as usual in the Cape…
At Klapmuts we stopped at the Butterfly World to watch these self-propelled flowers softly flitting through the streams of light entering the enclosure.
There were also all kinds of little buck hiding in the bushes and a krimpy shaking his quills at us.
Chikita greeted the iguana…
…he didn’t greet back!
We had to move along.
SPINsters of the world – UNITE!
Over Helshoogte, through Pniel and into Franschhoek
Screeeeeeeccch! Wait a minute… was that? Was that…?
Franschhoek Station Pub
How could we not pop in at the station for a quick craft and a quila?
We enjoyed the locals, the dogs and the beer, but we had to…
…to the Franschhoek pass
This pass has a tarred surface with tight turns and a precipitous edge. Back in the days when horses still smoked, this was actually an elephant path; though I’m not too sure how tight these pachyderms took the corners. But we were on our own mammoths and we kept scraping the pegs. So, I flipped my pegs up and hooked my knees behind my ears.
I don’t know if her pegs were higher, but I could not keep up.
We rolled through Villiersdorp and over Rooihoogte pass.
Just to arrive in Robertson as twilight let all the sunshine out of the valley.
Rally In The Valley
First things first… Jack!
As we loosened up and stretched our legs, the ladies (Sonja & Annalize) welcomed us with more Jack and hearty hugs.
We got to pick a tent (we took the blue one), park the bikes and join the chickens for horrogs, drinks & music at the main tent.
We got into a bit of trouble with one of the stall owners about our drinks, so we moved to the hotdog van. The hotdog oom didn’t mind us drinking, so we shared out magical golden liquid with him. Friends FOREVER!
Saturday morning everybody was up early, excitement bubbling out of all the blue tents. Eyeshadow, and mascara, and hairspray, and lipstick – ready for the mass ride to Worcester.
A recycled Suzuki Katana – the fastest way to die in the 80’s
Ronel had us in stitches… a custom top-box, a crocheted seat and…
…her club-colours SEAMed original.
Ladies laughing, braaping and blippin’
We lined up outside the resort, ready to head to destination 1 – the Robertson Superspar.
I innocently – INNOCENTLY – just wanted to check the grip on the 48’s back tyre. There wasn’t even a small puff of blue cumulus yet, when I got a finger wagging under my nose… Sit down and behave Skinny! Burn-outs were not allowed.
We filled the street outside the Spar with leather, pleather and cordura.
While the others lined up for coffee and juice, we raided the Clicks for warm baby blankies (we took all three of them). We could only take hand luggage on the plane and didn’t have space for bedding as well. The previous night was spent re-enacting Racheltjie de Beer, but we kept fighting about who had to play Racheltjie…
Robertson Spar made a much appreciated donation to the Cancervive team. All the white molars on this picture should indicate just how much they received.
I know so many of the chickens on this project; some of them being survivors and some supporters.
Last petrol before we took the long road to Worcester.
We left, riding up the Breede River Valley between the majestic mountains of the Langeberg on the right and Riviersonderend on the left. We were a line of specs… with deep growling voices!
I made myself comfortable, while watching the panoramic scenery float by. All I needed was popcorn.
I love trucks – they call to me…
Though the lady at the next stop ‘called’ a bit louder. We were told in no uncertain terms that we were bad bikers for touching the truck and that we might end up in the naughty corner… just behind the right back wheel of the truck.
We stopped in the main street of Worcester to re-group and give the spietkops time to catch up.
…lots of time to catch up!
I had an introduction to the purple-man, Dave Abrahams. He was the journalist for the event (pers-man) and the ladies kept boasting to him about my stunt skills and that they couldn’t wait to see me perform… nervs MUCH!
Double white wine spritzer, please!
Coming right up…
The cops pulled in just in time to save us from a debauchery next to the road.
Kaleidoscope Institute of the Blind
Every year, ALL the proceeds of this rally get donated to a charity. The dedicated beneficiary for 2017 was Kaleidoscope, an institute for the blind.
This is a magical place where the blind allows the abled to see! Here they care for visually impaired peeps, and also train them to become independent, integrate socially, and become leaders of the world.
We all huddled together on our chariots.
Japan Tobacco International donated all kinds of food and toiletries. All the biker chickens stood in a row and created a food chain. We handed boxes, rolls, bags and crates down the line.
Just imagine being a packet of sugar, being handed form one genteel-women-kind to the next – this is what it would feel like…
After all the precious cargo was packed away safely in the storeroom, some of the chickens took lifts around the complex.
We all have 5 (traditional) senses. We can smell the fumes spewing from the exhausts; we can feel the vibration and heat radiate from the first moment we twist the key; we can hear the deep beat of every piston stroke; we can taste the excitement that connects us with freedom. But if you are blind, these are the only senses you have AND need to truly enjoy a motorcycle ride.
On our way back, I wanted to make more use of the senses I got – life is too LONG not to cram it full of adrenaline.
With formalities done, the ladies got down to the fun stuffs
Ty from Harley Davidson Cape Town helped the ladies at the free demo rides they had available. There was a range of at least eight bikes to choose from.
Next on the menu was ‘Boeresport’, and as much as we cringed when we heard about the games – it was MOERSE fun and we could not stop lag-ing!
The first one was something about playing waitress-waitress after screwing a pole into the ground with your forehead… I think it was a Spur audition!
Muscles got flexed at tou-trek… and some skin got left behind.
Next up was my first ever stunt show… on a bike I’ve never ridden before… that is not well known as a stunt machine. Most of these chickens know more about Harleys and how to handle them, than what I can eat in litres of ice-cream. I was concerned… Would they be impressed?!?
And just to give it that Cape flavour – there was yet more WIND!
I went out for a few practise laps and got into trouble again. I went into town to check the tyre pressure and the HD guys got a bit concerned when I didn’t return. Irina chased me down. Next time… the dice is ON! *nudge-nudge-wink-wink*
For the show we asked all the ladies to move out to the tarred road. I sort of assumed that most of the chickens would be too aloof to join us there, but every single one of them came to have a look. Did I mention that I get performance anxiety…?!?
I decided to drown out all the voices in my helmet (including the little one inside me screaming something about being a LOSER), and started singing, “…daaaaaaaar anderkant die blou berge!!!”
I’m not sure the Harley guys knew what I was getting up to, as it was advertised as ‘skills riding’…
I have this one stunt I’ve practised a million times on my bike (and I’ve only fallen a few times), and halfway through my routine I remembered… I wasn’t ON Billy-Bob! It’s amazing how quickly you can come up with a save-the-day-stunt if it’s NOT your bike. Thank the Spaghetti-Monster that the HD’s side stand stayed put.
I swopped over to the 48 to draw some lines on an unmarked stretch of road. It was like a blank canvas to a painter.
I’m not sure but I think I heard a few BOOOJAH’s! when I finally stopped. This was my first ever show, and I needed all the voorraad guts I had. DANG!
Meeting a legend: Jenni Campbell Peters Abrahams
She must be one of the first ever ladies to race superbikes. Her husband told me that back in the early 80’s she stopped in a race ON THE TRACK… took her helmet off AND WIPED THE HAIR OUT OF HER FACE. She continued racing as-if nothing happened. The marshals weren’t happy…
That night ended with tjunes by the No Stilettos and line dancing at the cowboy themed after party.
Chikita and the ThinOne couldn’t sing, and we couldn’t dance… so we played the drunk Mexicans with tequila on standby.
By 4am the next morning we couldn’t sleep anymore and were discussing our route back to CT, when we got a growl from the tent next door, “WHO’S MAKING ALL THE DAMN NOISE?!?!?”
It was time for us to leave…
Hessekwas Nek… Wie se kwas???
At Stormsvlei Poort we stopped to watch the sun return.
If good things lasted forever, would we appreciate how precious they are?
At Riviersonderend we had to stop for a coffee. The suspension on these bikes drove my kidneys to evacuate without notice. I had to bribe them back with promises of homemade tequila & oysters.
“Sien jy die see
Daar agter die berge
Staan op jou tone
Dan sien jy