TG Newsletter: TOT HIE' RALLY
Tot Hie’ Rally
(21 - 23 August 2020)
It’s a rally, but it’s not really. It’s a religious gathering, but it’s not really. It’s a field hospital, but it’s not really. Really, really – it’s not really.
We decided to invite a few close friends over for a weekend, to engage in some viral discussions and then embark on a short adventure ride around the mountains of Mooinooi – the ‘Swembad’ loop as we fondly call it.
We kept it small, within the restrictions of lockdown regulations (what level were we on?). Our alcohol concentration was always at least a 70% (administered via the mouth portal). And hugging was only allowed after an introductory shot of tequila.
*PS Nobody got extra sick after the rally. Whatever you brought with you – you had to take home with you*
Crispy and Karen were both first time adventure riders, and carted their little Yamaha XT250 and a Suzuki RV125 Vanvan over the mountain for a weekend of nerve-knotting experiences.
We assured them that getting down from the farm was the trickiest part of the whole route and offered to ride the bikes down the sandy path for them, but as luck would have it they were dressed in freshly pressed big-girl-panties. These two chickens rode like cockadoodles over every rocky ramp, snorkeling through wobbly water crossings, and wading through sloshy sand pits.
The universal sign for what your derriere does just before the above happens. Everybody knows it!
A week later they even smashed the difficult side of Breedtsnek. We can officially declare that they’ve contracted the incurable adventure virus!
We took a short-cut to town, jumping a hundred unexpected speed bumps, through the bustling Marikana town market, over the railway, and onto the deserted farm roads up north.
There’s a few old abandoned farm houses, left to crumble back down into the rocky mounds from whence they came.
Allan also just got his first bike, a BMW1200, and joined us for the outride. Somewhere along the way he softly mumbled something about being a little shaky, but pretended to be brave. I nodded and replied, “Welcome to the society of biking. That feeling never goes away.”
Allan also steamrolled up Breedtsnek a week later. Albeit not on the first try. He went back a day later, attracting more spectators and therefor ensuring a greater success rate. He made it to the top only to return and vow to buy a smaller, lighter, less expensive bike.
We had breakfast (slappappoffertjies, boiled eggs and sausages) and coffee overlooking Maretlwane dam. The resident fish eagles soared majestically overhead while we admired them from the dilapidated dam wall.
Legends of lore: Kierie and Minxy’s mere presence upped the entire group’s combined average riding ability to ‘almost competent’. Though Kierie’s KTM was leaking coolant after a mere two kays. I offered him the spare DR650, which he refused… or so I assumed by his facial expression. The coolant lasted the day, so did the KTM, and so did Kierie.
Minxy enthralled the newbies with brave tales of death defying rides. She interjected her tellings with cat-stories, just to make sure every body kept breathing.
“So I gave gas and jumped my 790 off the edge, over the crocodile, scraping the bum of the hippo, sliding under the belly of the ellie and riding into the sunset with a pack of lions on my tail.”
“BHAH – they think I’m joking! Ninnies…”
*This might not be a true story, but I promise that if you ride with this chicken, it’s how every minute feels*
Spot the difference and win:
Crossing over the wall, there was a bit of a step and a narrow passageway up the other side. A photographer was nearly killed… You get a skid mark! And YOU get a skid mark! Everybody gets a skid mark!!!
Oh yes… there’s that!
Piet has probably owned every model of the 1200 ever released. Hopping over that saddle he kept the rear okies on track. No rush – no dust.
The granite mines try and block your access to their roads. But as long as there is not a locked gate, not much will stop the bikes (or even the Jeep).
There was a short detour through the veld over a freshly pressed trespass lane…
A bumpy bounce over a newly deposited gravel heap…
“I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!”
- Homer Simpson -
And a tight squeeze between scattered granite blocks…
When the Jeep’s not sure of its edge-to-edge size, and you have to make all sorts of guarantees that it will fit through. Don’t ever trust me!
*Always be the Maker*
In the small town of Barseba one of the local ‘marshals’ pulled us over kindly informing us that we were only allowed on the town property if arrangements had been made with the town council in advance.
Sure! No problem!! Absolutely!!! I took his number and promised to give him a bel next time we visit. But, only if he promised to phone me before he decided to enter the town of Mooinooi. He frowned and reluctantly promised. Friends for life!
Booga (Johanni) couldn’t wait to ride the route around the northern mountains. From this day on, he will sip his sunset tequila, gazing at the distant hills, content that he also left his XT660 tracks on that dusty horizon.
The water-crossing was our little sneaky surprise. One moment you’re still waving back at the kids screaming ‘sweeties’; the next you have fish in your Formas.
Through there?!? Seriously…?!?
Like a two-stroke to oil; like spark to a plug; like a tuna to school!
We also had a Jubilant-Jeep following the two-wheelers. Please note – they were NOT the back-up vehicle. There would be little-to-no assistance from this lot if the need arose. The best they may have mustered would be to swallow a tequila, point, spew sarcastic chirps, and bundle back into the Jeep all giggles. Hans, Louré, Laine and Saras kept the beers cold and the slap-pap-poffertjies warm.
At least Freaky Frikkie was an effective, distracting, pink beacon of… of… whatever bright pink beacons of distraction are made for.
THE SWEMBAD (SWIMMING POOL)
We’ve been visiting this quarry-gat for a while, but we’ve never had the guts to actually swim…
Sun hats, sun screen, sun glasses
Until… that dreaded moment…
Chikita walked up to the edge, had a little stumble and lost her grip on all the goeters she was carrying in her hands. We all froze on the spot and witnessed in the slowest of slo-mo as the new Gopro took one bonk, a plonk, and then a plons, followed by a tail of bubbles as it sank to the bottom of the GWARRIE-gat!
Allan offered to see if he could dive to the bottom. And in alliance with the life guard, we decided to jump in with him. There was nothing else we could do! One for all, and all for the Gopro!
Frigid! Cold! Freezing! Frozen! Numb! Something about a lion…
YOU GUYS, the readers, should be thanking Allan. If it wasn’t for him, the amazing video at the bottom would never have been.
Gattie, Leon and Lelanie (also called Sonja Heroldt) joined us after the ride for a beer back at the farm house. They were already waiting at the gate by the time we got back… ON SUPERBIKES! They could not be bothered that the road intimidated most adventure riders. Not much can scare an ambagsman from Mooinooi. I offered Sonja a lift to the top on the back of the DR. It would be only slightly less eventful than a ride up on the RR.
As the sun set behind our rapidly dropping beer levels, Gattie and Leon entertained the small (virginal bike rally) patrons with a few customary smoking burn-outs.
Humans are the only species that shows off! Oh, except for the peacocks… or the Impalas… or the… ARGGG! Forget what I just said…
“Sorry, say what?”, the Riempies peacock.
PS. John and Jeremy, we spent the whole Sunday scrubbing the stoep. It sparkles!
PSS. Daniel Mulder Distributors, thank you for the gift donations – that brake cleaner came in handy!
Gattie’s shenanigans didn’t stop there…
We ended the day with a fire, a magnificent sunset and table loaded with food.
The Tot Hie’ Rally
Totties are comparably similar to motorcycles. Some might be small, underpowered, sound funny. Some might not get washed often, have extra fairings, be naked, be slow, be blitsig, be humungous. Some are available in strange colours, it will frequently embarrass you because of its unpredictable nature, it will perform purposefully though not always skillfully. It might not impress the crowd, but… as long as you see it for the best thing between your legs, what does it matter if it leaks or stalls?
When others look at this toy, all they might see is a guzzling, smelly old part, covered in stains and spots. But that's not what you see. To you that thing is the most awesome object in the whole world. And if you find that group of humans with the same passion for their two wheeled-joy, you can spend endless days taking the shit out of each other’s pride and joy.
Daniel Mulder Distributors (www.dmd.co.za) for sponsoring the prize-giving gifts.
And Hannelie van Schalkwyk for professional kiekies.
CHIKITA PRODUCTIONS PRESENT:
The Tot Hie' rally… tot ons ry, tot ons val, tot ons swem, tot ons drink, tot ons kuier, tot ons lag, tot ons brand - tot hier toe en nie verder nie. A few friends got invited to the first ever Tot Hie' rally. We took them on a morning ride around the mountains, had breakfast at the Maretlwane dam, lost a Gopro in a gwarrie gat, had lunch at Mooinooi golf course, witnessed rally shenanigans, and ended it with a braai at sunset. Tot volgende jaar!
I see you honest guys. I would trust you with the keys to my booze-room. I also want to thank the peeps that can’t donate, yet find time to send a reply. It’s worth just as much.
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Tot volgende keer!!!
www.pinterest.com/skinny400 YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk