1st Cape Town Free Chapter

2014 Route 62 Rally in Montagu

The “5 Ps” principle comes to mind. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. 

How true this was with respect to the 2014 Route62 Rally held in Montagu from 13 to 16 February. Although the Rally Committee had previously hosted 7 Route62 rallies, not only did they rely on their past experience but also spent many hours of detailed, meticulous planning. This included several site visits beforehand, discussions with the host hotel, negotiations with our generous sponsors and communication with stall holders and other service providers. The result was a rally to be remembered for all the right reasons. 

Marc Marais and Harley Davidson TygerValley kindly provided coffee and muffins as we mustered at this leading Harley dealership. Mike Newman and the marshal team came back to Cape Town from Montagu to escort us safely to the rally. We enjoyed a comfortable ride in cool overcast weather, escaping the heat of Cape Town, taking the route through Hugenot Tunnel, Worcester and Robertson. 

The registration was friendly and efficiently handled by Gideon, Marianna, Ammi and their helpers with Boom-boom Bernie at the gate. They kept at it  for 2 days until all 537 of us, arriving in batches at a time, from all parts of the country, had passed through reception. After receiving an ice-cold Monster drink or refreshing water we were handed our rally t-shirts and rally packs brimming with goodies. Most of us were able to check in at Avalon Springs or Montagu Springs Resort with the overflow being accommodated by a number of establishments nearby. Time then to unpack and chillax (chill & relax) with some heading for the many hot spring or cold pools available and others looking for relief with cold refreshments. It was also time to inspect the stalls which included the well-stocked Free Chapter Cape Town, ably run by Zelda, Marzell and Chante as well as HD-TygerValley  and local curio vendors. For some it was off to get (another) tattoo from Marius Bosman or head to the Stellenbosch Protea Hotel’s entertainment lounge  with pool tables or pinball machine. Eats were on offer including sushi, pancakes, biltong, nuts or gourmet coffee from the Grumpy Greek. Wine was available from Bon Courage, Van Loveren and Arabella wine estates with shooters from Cookies&Crazy. The music was varied and enjoyable. Besides DJ Squeek, there was live music from “Brothers Grim” and “Kiss the Sky”. From the early morning 7am ACDC ThunderStruck roll-call until late at night, they made sure the rally rocked. We were even entertained by a group of fire-dancers. You could get your bike washed by the crew from HD-TygerValley who also kindly provided a workshop to fix any glitches. 

The Valentine’s Day outrides on Friday included stops at Arabella and Van Loveren before finishing at Bon Courage where we met for lunch with live music from Brothers Grim. On Saturday morning, the mass ride started at 11am and headed off through the iconic Cogman’s Kloof via Ashton to Robertson and back through Montagu. It was heartening to see the turnout of local people cheering us on as we proudly paraded our respective chapters’ colours through the town. There were riders from as far as Gauteng, Northern Cape, North West Province, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape as well as from all over Western Cape. We even welcomed visitors from England, Germany and Sweden. 

The heat set in on Saturday afternoon but this did not deter many brave entrants plying their considerable skills in the traditional Harley Games watched by an appreciative bunch of spectators. The bike show also attracted outstanding entrants. Some took the opportunity to indulge in a cruise on the Breede River. 

After the generous helping of supper, we settled down for the final fling. FCCT Director, Bruce du Toit welcomed all the rally-goers, acknowledged the many sponsors and thanked those who helped make the rally such a HUGE success. R40,000 was raised for charity and this year the Rally Committee will identify specific needs of local Montagu charities. Assistant Director Manna Newman joined Bruce to hand out the various prizes and raffle winners. 

Then it was time to Party with a capital P. Sadly, Sunday morning came round and it was time to pack up, say farewell to friends old and new, saddle up and head for home. 

Thanks once again to the Route62 Rally team for an exceptional performance and we hope you have enough gas in the tank to do it again in 2015.

Link to official photos: