Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa needs new transport

After giving my opinion on Santa in South Africa delivering toys on a reindeer powered sleigh that won't get further than the Kalahari desert, I was wondering what the other option was for him to get his presents delivered. Today, I think I got the answer. I remember as a kid watching this spectacle on television news thinking that bikers cannot really be that bad if they do this for the kids. Just like I thought many years ago that Meatloaf was from hell and today actually think that he is a decent guy with some real talent, so my opinion has changed about leather clad bikers in general. Ok, I am pretty sure that are some hard core bikers out there that I would steer clear from, but I think many of them do have good hearts as well. Let me get to the point. Today was the annual Toy Run. It is basically a charity event where toys are bought for underprivileged children, and then bikers take these toys to a collection point. It is claimed to be the largest motorcycle charity event in South Africa happening simultaneously in 19 cities across South Africa. So I was fortunate to attend this year's Toy Run in Cape Town.

A bike?
Just the start...
The starting point was at the Ratanga Junction parking area in Century City. I made sure that I was early this year so that I could walk around and take some pictures. It is amazing to see so many bikes together...and so many different ones as well. Some I am not even sure if they could be called motorcycles in the true sense of the word, but still allowing more wind in your face than the average motor car I guess makes them qualify as "bikes". Like most events where you have a few bikers together, you will find the stuff that keeps them happy, like noise, burning tyres, showing off, that kind of stuff. Fortunately there was not too much of that going on around at 10 am in the morning, but a few guys did try to finish off their tyres before the event even started, and some showed that they basically only need the back wheel to ride on in the unlikely event of losing the front. Something that I thought was a bit strange was the fact that the  only tent on the premises was a beer tent. "What is any event in South Africa without a Castle Beer tent?" I thought to myself. Not worth attending. I did however stay away from alcohol, because a fall with 22 000 bikes behind you could be disastrous.

Look what I can do
At 25 past 10 everyone started their engines, ready to hit the road to Maynardville where the other beer tents were waiting. Oh, and the truck that collects the toys of course. I was quite close to the front, hoping to get there early for parking close to the gate. We were not even gone when the first woman an a big Harley lost her balance and dropped her bike right in front of me. Fortunately we were still going very slow and I managed to avoid her. Two weekends ago I picked up my bike a couple of times from sand and decided it was someone else's turn, hoping that some gentleman will help her if she cannot manage. I was on my way to Maynardville to deliver my toys.

On the N1 south bound
I think that anyone who has experienced the roar of literally thousands of bikes together has thought of buying a bigger bike for next year's event. I have to say that the Harleys definitely draw all the attention. It might not be a bad choice for a second bike. Mmmm, wonder what the missus will say? If I only had space in my garage. On the road everything went smoothly, with enough traffic cops to keep the other traffic at bay, allowing us to go our way. I haven't heard of any incidents or accidents, but then again I was in front, so I had no idea what was going on behind me. The people next to the road was waving and cheering us on as if we were doing the Argus Cycle Race, but what they obviously did not know was that we didn't need any encouragement, we were enjoying what we were doing. And to think that it was for charity made it even more enjoyable.

When we reached Maynardville we parked and everyone dropped their toys (refering to the real toys, not the bikes) before they started exploring the stalls and tents. There we quite a few stalls selling motorbike stuff and of course beer. When we left I saw this gentleman sitting at the entrance, fast asleep. I am pretty sure he was one of the early customers at the beer tent at the starting point. I wonder what happened to his toys, or if he even had thoughts of bringing toys. At least he was still alive, well.....sort of.

From Maynardville we (my pillion and I) took the scenic route back to Cape Town via Hout Bay and Camp's Bay. I think Santa could come and take note on how we deliver toys in South Africa...and enjoy the scenery as well. I didn't see any sleighs around today and I am pretty sure that these toys will bring smiles to more faces than any toy coming from Lapland could. Anyway, it was a great event, and seeing so many bikes together just added to the excitement. I will be there again next year and I hope to see the guy in the red suit there as well, obvioulsy with his sleeves torn off, a chain around his neck and on a blood red Harley Davidson if nothing else.

1 comment:

  1. Dankie Manie. Jammer ek kon nie daar wees nie, maar my bike is bietjie gebuig... Jou blog het my dit in die gees laat beleef. Groetnis.