Monday, December 26, 2022

my year of bike

One evening in January I was on my second (maybe third, it was January) glass of wine when Husband saw a notice for a 'Small Bike Ride' the next day. Bikes under 250CC only.

That's perfect for the Madass he mused...

I messaged the organisers and signed up for the ride, woke the next morning feeling queasy and silly with apprehension and then got on the road and met a team of scooters heading south for coffee.
It was weird and nerve-wracking and I spent most of it feeling like a little old lady, but by later that day I'd had lots of compliments on my weird little Sachs Madass 125, met a bunch of fun people, and was on a whatsapp group of women riders.

For the next couple of months I joined them on the occasional Tuesday for a glorious ride after work, in the late summer evenings.

One of the most memorable taking us to Hout Bay harbour where we met this tame seal and the dude who wrangled him to pose with tourists or in this case, bikes.

In March, a bike weekend away! 150kms out of Cape Town - all tar - and with our friends meeting us there by car so they ferried our luggage - a cheat by real biker standards.

Getting more confident every day I more consciously started working bikes into my errands and meetings schedules - looking for those gaps where I could take a bike - a magical trifecta of no kids, no groceries, no wine...

I even, in a desire to improve my confidence off-road, got talked into buying a mid-size, lighter scrambler... turns out it's much too tall for me - even after adjustments - but weirdly it's still in our stable, being ridden by Husband and loaned to friends - and giving our eldest ideas...

Later in the year we took the Triumphs all the way (by trailer) to a friend's Karoo farm and I had some fun practising offroad and bashing around on the farm.

The best (bike) fun was on our return though. We had car trouble (not fun) and limped into town until about 15km from home, where we decided we couldn't push it anymore and pulled over to call for tow truck support before it got dark.
But we did have two motorbikes.
Leaving Husband with the girls I got my bike off the trailer and tore home through the traffic, to collect our other car to tow the trailer in and ferry girls and luggage home.
Mummy hero!

And then the best ride of them all...

Clarence Drive is biker heaven. A beautifully built, winding coastal road with a smooth surface and perfect design.
It was incredible riding it. Miraculously we had no traffic going our way. No cars to come up behind or anyone breathing down my back to get moving. I took every corner just the way I wanted to - fast or slow - and could really settle into the moment in all it's scenic glory. 
I feel like it was a moment I'll remember forever.

That ride was on the way to our raffle-ticket-win weekend away. 180km this time, a mix of fast, busy national road, beautiful coastal riding, through small towns and across bridges, and down a steep gravel section - me paddling down it at one stage, yelling at Husband why am I such a pussy??! while he giggled gently through our helmet comms and murmured encouraging words from the bottom of the hill.

We had luggage this time. Packed the bare minimum from home and stopped twice - once for a massive steak and then in the last closest town for necessities like milk, chocolate, beer and mince pies, before riding the last stretch through sunset weighed down with goodies, heading to our lux cabin in the fynbos for two days of bliss - all the cliched free as a bird biker tropes playing with the breeze through my helmet.

I've had my license since 2018, but just this year I feel like I got my wings.