1st Cape Town Free Chapter


Our special escorts of 4 Marshalls swept into the Engen N1 garage early Thursday morning for a hearty breakfast having left Montagu at 6am. A new route for us took us over two passes (Rooihoogte and Burghers) and lovely scenery down through the Koo valley and into the Avalon/Montagu Springs Resort. 

Our arrival at noon and welcome to the Rally Site was as efficient as ever with our Rally Team, plus assistants, doing a great job booking us in and handing out the goodie bags which were filled with interesting items. My daughter Kate and her friend Madeleine who arrived late afternoon were thrilled to open up their goodie bags and examine the variety of items. 

The Rally Site was much improved and had the feeling of being more spacious than usual. Food stalls were outside the main marquee area which was nice for us. Within the marquee we had Harley-Davidson Tygervalley displaying new bikes plus a good range of clothing and other items. Our very own Free Chapter stall was prominently positioned with Zelda and her assistants selling some very appealing clothing and jewellery – my wife Naomi unable to resist purchasing many items of clothing for the family. There was also a stall with jewellery and items for men and women. Not forgetting of course the wines from Arabella, Bon Courage and Van Loveren who had stalls. Available at all times for the adventurous and maybe courageous (not me) was the ability to have a tattoo done to almost any design or specification – and by the look of it Marius Bosman did a roaring trade. Mention must also be made of the bar and the friendly and efficient service they provided.

Rally-goers arrived all afternoon in large and small groups and occasionally alone and it wasn’t long before the Rally Site was humming with folk from all over South Africa as well as a sprinkling of international visitors. In all about 350 bikes and 450 people checked in to the Rally.

The star of the day was undoubtedly the afternoon into evening party at the Harley Calypso Pool Village where we had our very own  DJ Squeek entertaining us for hours on end. Food was readily available from the nearby food stalls and Host Hotel outlets and a great evening was had by many soaking up the warm water, the music, and chatting to fellow riders and friends, some of whom were last seen a year ago at the 2014 Rally.

Friday saw two groups mustering for the outrides – one group going south and the other north, in a loop, and finally meeting at a viewing site on the beautiful Tradouw Pass. A ride of about 180kms, which was really great, as that is what is so dear to our hearts – The Ride. We all met just outside Montagu for a lunch of burgers or hot dogs and were able to just chill out with friends and listen to Francois on Guitar. The evening was spent either at the pool again or in the main Harley Bedouin Village Site mixing with pals and listening to the band HAYWIRE who entertained us late into the night and, in some cases, the early morning as it moved to the Calypso pool again.

The mass ride brought with it a sense of excitement that was felt by all riders as we made our way through Montagu, out to Bonnievale and back. The townsfolk were pleased to see us and wave and take photographs, smile, point and cheer. It is a proud feeling to be riding through towns in mass formation.

Saturday afternoon saw the staging of Harley Games and fun was had by spectators, riders and participants. The Adhoc committee decided to recommend that in terms of Rule 16(f) sub clause B9(ii) that at the 10th Anniversary Rally in 2016 that both Marzelle and Chante would be given a handicap for each future event in which they participate. After discussion with the Chief Handicapper at Kenilworth Racecourse it was decided that the Adhoc Committee would recommend that they wear scuba diving weight belts for the sausage event and wear weighted bracelets on their wrists in the hoop throwing event. Furthermore it is to be recommended that their particular hoops be filled with hydrogen in order to keep them airborne for longer. This appears to be the only way to level the playing field for other willing but naïve contestants.

The Karoo Style Bike Show, as always, brought out some lovely looking machines which were obviously the pride and joy of their owners. It is a highlight of the Rally to view the bikes on show and of course the many other bikes in the parking area.

A special pleasure was having the RAD Foundation Band in attendance proudly wearing the distinctive shirts our Chapter donated to them out of the proceeds of our donation following the 2014 Rally. It was good to see those playing drums, trumpets, trombones, donated by our chapter, and other instruments, so very well and marching in time to the beat.

The Super Karoo Buffet provided by the Host Hotel was a scrumptious meal and I’m sure thoroughly enjoyed by all who partook of the fare. The evening was rounded off by again having HAYWIRE liven up proceedings with their cool music bringing many folk to the dance floor.

Sunday morning saw bikers leaving in various groupings from very early on. My closing thoughts are with our wonderful and superefficient Rally Team plus their counterparts from the Host Hotel who had been working in Montagu since Monday: Bruce, Ammi, Mike, Zelda, Mr Mike, Leon, Bernie, Gideon, Marianna, Pierre, Debbie, Marius and Andre. What a really great job they did for our Free Chapter. On behalf of all our attending members I congratulate you on a job well done and want you to know how deeply we appreciate what you (and your families) do for our Chapter and all of us members.

Roll on our 10th Anniversary Route62 Rally in 2016!!

Noel Peagam 20 February 2015