Triumph in Bloemfontein
Perfect weather, a great route and an amazing bike all I needed was an excuse, and I got one. The Central Bikers Council in Bloemfontein asked me to come up and conduct a Road Captain Course – I gladly obliged. Who wants to fly if you can ride!
At 6 a.m. I left Amanzimtoti, and with the fuel range of the Triumph Trophy SE, my first planned stop would be Harrismith just over the OFS/KZN border. Yes I know, stop and rest frequently on a long trip, but I’m not new to this type of riding although my butt doesn’t always agree on the matter. Who’s the boss of the butt anyway?
I decided to take the easy route up from Amanzimtoti on the N2, then the lovely M7 and onto the N3 inland through all those pesky Tolls. The road and weather conditions were perfect apart from the one or two road works I had to deal with but nothing unexpected – just nice!
Once stopped at the Engen and assist by a bright and friendly attendant, and a quick breakfast at the Wimpy, I headed up via Frankfort, Sasolburg through Parys onto Vredefort for my Thursday night stay-over.
Thursday night saw some much needed rain in that area but I left on a sunny Friday morning riding in perfect weather past Kroonstad and on to Bloemfontein, dealing with a Stop-n-Go or two on the way.
Arriving in Bloemfontein I decided to drop in on the Long Horn Steakhouse for lunch, and boy did the size of this thing surprise me, but I took it like a man and buried that little sucker. After lunch Wimpie Burger, friend and Pastor at Bikers Church Bloemfontein, and I went through to have a look at the venue for the training just and I mean just missing a hailstorm that dropped on Bloemfontein.
We both witnessed and rode in amazing rain that fell on the area for the first time in six months. Believe me, what I saw on the way up and what cows and sheep were grazing on, this ride in the rain was a choice and truly enjoyed every minute of if with Wimpie… prayers answered, Amen!
It continued to rain through the night and drenched the Bloem earth just short of another dust cloud the following day.
My trip back from Bloemfontein went through a quiet Winburg through a fast asleep Senekal, then through Bethlehem and what is now a perfectly finished road all the way to Harrismith. My first stop was Van Reenen, and my butt had something to say about that, quick garage pie and juice and back in the saddle down to the coast and back home. Not a single incident on the road apart from hooking up with a fellow rider or two, but I arrived home safe a little tired with a feeling of triumph and trophy, no pun intended.
The bike I used was the great Triumph Trophy SE provided by East Coast Motorcycles on Umhlanga Ridge. All the gadgets and features truly made this a comfortable and relaxing ride never to be forgotten! Read my full review of the Triumph Trophy SE.
As a side note on this photo, a Helmet placed on the ground behind a Motorcycle means a “Biker Needs Help”
The reason for my trip was to conduct and train Road Captains of local Motorcycle Clubs, something that I’ve been doing all over the country (by invite) for the last 10 years, loving every moment of meeting great people, travelling our country and living my passion for sharing my knowledge with willing riders.
The day started off with a coffee and rusks provided by Bikers Church Bloemfontein, 20 riders attending a classroom session on Motorcycle Safety, Group Riding and Marshaling. Later on, just before lunch, a practical walking session had to be done before heading out on a ride testing and practising what was learned.
The venue was the amazing facility at Bikers Church Bloemfontein, where we all enjoyed the hospitality and teamwork of Wimpie and his family.
On this ride, Johan Jonck a friend and founder or Arrive Alive South Africa, took a very interesting photo of the signboard asking road users to “Watch for Bikes”. I wish, like you, that we can have more of these signs around the country.
The next Urban Skills and Road Captain Course will be held in Pietersburg (Polokwane) on 5 and 6 February 2016. Motorcycle Councils, their Clubs and Chapters are invited to host a course in their area to truly impact and change how Mass Rides and Group Rides are safely and effectively managed and controlled.
As of Jan 2016 the Road Captain Course, Motorcycle Instructor Course, Urban Skills Course and Advanced Rider Course will become the property of the Motorcycle Safety Institute of South Africa – www.msi.org.za
Feel free to contact me, Hein Jonker, on 083 7937975 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.