BMW Motorrad Club Central weekend ride May 27th & 28th
Green Lantern Inn – Harrismith
Our departure point from Carnival City filling station Brakpan.
It was a cool but not chilly Saturday morning when we reached our departure point, to meet up with Ian “ottie”, Huida “munchies”, Granville “Jägermeister”, Theresa “Nav” , Ian “R. L.“ George.
There will be more info on the “------------” to follow……………
Ian “ottie” was fined by the committee here for pushing his BMW to the parking, some people will do anything to save fuel………….
We arrived at our departure point at 7.30 am, as our planned departure time was 8.30 am, however as all 5 of us were ready and rearing to go, we decided to leave early so at 8.04 am where the ambient temperature was a lovely 7 degrees but, wait a moment Huida”munchies” decided we need to stop along the route to have breakfast which was clearly not on the itinerary.
So we mounted our trusty BMW steads and headed off like a herd of turtles down the R23 towards Heidelberg through Heidelberg on towards Standerton (where we first encountered our bad roads) and a short trip down the highway towards Villiers where we stopped for breakfast.
After a quick (1 hour) warm tummy refill we set off towards Frankfort and as it was a crisp, clear, dry autumn morning the roads were clear and dry, but sadly as we have all come to know our side roads are becoming so bad in places they should be demarcated as “gravel/dirt roads” but no worries on our trust BMs we knew we could all navigate these obstructions…….
Fortunately for us the road conditions from that point were in good condition and good riding. As we arrived in Reitz to top up the bikes and ourselves with some lovely hot cappuccino and lemon water, to our disappointment there was no water available in the town…………… so cool drink was the order!! After a brief leg stretch we mounted up and headed off towards Kestell. As we passed Kestell heading towards Sterkfontein we notice there was a considerable side wind coming from the mountains. Of course, we as bikers just gritted out teeth and rode through it, as we turned onto the Bergville road we stopped to gather our thoughts and wave our second rider group by. We then set off on to the gentle twisting road past Sterkfontein dam, where we noticed the size of the waves breaking on the shore. Sadly we didn’t stop as none of us had brought a “surf board” with us, yes, the waves were big enough. After passing Sterkfontein dam we approached the long awaited “twisties” through the Olivers Hoek pass.
At the top of the pass we briefly paused to allow myself and Theresa to go on ahead and set up a view point where I could video the group riding the “twisties”. So Theresa and myself set up a view point with Theresa standing and taking still photos and myself laying in the road with video camera “yes I did say laying in the road” where we took some awesome photos and video of Huida, Granville and Ian.
It was at this point that “Wolfgang” Huida’s BMW teddy first tried to abandon ship….
Then we were off to Bingelela restaurant for lunch and meet up with our second rider group. The second ride group departed from the Vaal, where Allie & Brenda, Karl & Louise and Albert set off from, with their route taking them via Clarence through the Golden Gate on towards Harrismith.
Here we enjoyed a light lunch some refreshments and shared lots of banter back and forth, which pretty much set up the tone for our coming evening at the hotel, we could already feel in the atmosphere that this was going to be a “good one”!!!
After lunch we set off on our final stretch towards Bergville then towards Ladysmith to pick up the N3 towards Van Reenen’s Pass, sadly we had to go through the Tugella toll gate, sorry I don’t like to use foul language but we had to go through it……………
Then onward to the second awaited “twisties” up Van Reenen’s pass which is a smooth steady ride, unless taken at speed then they become “twisties” it was however, a lovely smooth pass and yes, we took the pass at speed, sadly the sun was in our eyes as we neared the top and that slowed our progress.
As we turned into The Green Lantern Inn, it was totally apparent that our beautiful ride to Harrismith was over. However, as we parked our bikes up for the evening, I could hear the homely watering hole calling. So we hastily unpacked the bikes, quickly & neatly unpacked everything into the room, because by now the pub “watering hole” was no longer calling me but now it was screaming to me………..
This when the “fun” really started……….
As we all started to gather and mingle at the bar, it was very clear that everyone had a fantastic days ride and was totally enjoyed by all.
As the beer and wine flowed and warm water with lemon, “wait ,who ordered that………!!!” We all relaxed around the bar with the log fire burning and a lovely peaceful atmosphere, we were suddenly joined in the bar by the resident donkey, yes, I did say donkey in the bar.
It was at this point Granville enjoyed the nectar of Jägermeister, not just one but two rather large glasses, and now he was totally relaxed……..
Nico, I am not sure if this is the same donkey you encountered on your GS challenge run………????
After partaking in some of SA’s favorite nectar (wine & beer), we all made our way to dinner, where the staff had arranged a “private” dining area for the BMW Motorrad Club only.
During dinner there were some fines to issued to the members:-
Ian “ottie” fined for pushing his bike after filling up.
Huida “munchies” for adding an extra stop for breakfast.
Granville “Jägermeister” for over indulgence in Jägermeister’s.
Brenda “hungry” for eating bar snacks before dinner.
Louise “hungry” for eating bar snacks before dinner.
Allie, Albert & Karl (three musketeers) “three must have beers” for ordering the said Jägermeister’s.
Theresa “Nav” for arguing with my satnav.
Ian “ride leader” for looking so good on his LT.
(The monies raised from these fines go towards the hotel staff).
After a lovely evening spent with like-minded people, it was time to retire to our rooms for much needed rest.
In the morning, we were all up bright eyed and sparkling after a huge breakfast, we gathered outside the hotel and bid each other farewell and a safe trip home, the Vaal group were riding the back roads home………….
The rest of us headed home on the N3, with Ian leading in some parts and Granville leading in other parts, so yes, most parts we travelled at more than 100 & plenty…….
On behalf of the BMW Motorrad Central Club, we would like to thank all of you for participating on this weekend ride with us.
A special thanks to the staff at the Green Lantern Inn for their special hospitality.