13th Annual Iron Horse Bikefest

Friday 30th November, we met for breakfast at the Middelburg Ultra City and started our 13th annual Iron Horse. We rode on the N4 until Belfast and then headed off through Belfast, stopping in Dullstroom for fuel and then rode on to Lydenburg, where we pulled into the Wimpy for a quick bite and to meet up with the rest of our group.

some of us having a smoke-break at the Belfast turn-off

Then it was over Long Tom Pass to Sabie, to the Woodsman for a drink and something to chow, and then we rode the last 23kms to the Graskop Hotel.

This year's Run was very different. We had 15 participants, and they were; Robbie Kartus on his 1000 Fireblade, Dennis Schultz on his 1000 FZR, Keith and Uta Westbrook on their 650 Dakar, Fenn Thompson and Anet Theunissen on their GSX-R1300, Colin de la Rey on his 650 Dakar, Jimmy Morris on his XJR1300, Herman Prinsloo on his1100 Virago, Billy Willemse on his 1200 V-Max, Lohan and Lizelle Potgieter on their R1150R, Dewald and Warnia Day also on a R1150R, and me on a XB12R.


After we arrived at the Graskop Hotel, we dropped our kit off and went for a ‘Swing and Slide’ at the other end of town. Hey, this was scary stuff… jumping off the mountain attached to a skinny, little rope proved too much for most of us, especially me – had visions of the rope snapping under my big, muscular physique - Ha (maybe next time).

brave-heart Herman takes the 70m plunge on the 'Swing'

view from the other side of the slide. Yes. I did the 'Slide' thingy (Kenn)

sixty-year-old Billy running off the mountain foffie-slide

Friday evening we had diner at a Portuguese restaurant across the road from the hotel.

Saturday morning looked bright and exciting with clear skies and the road beckoning. We drew our first cards outside the hotel and started off on our Iron Horse Poker Run.

The 408 kilometer Run took us down Kowyn’s Pass to Hazyview, up to Sabie, over Long Tom Pass, to Lydenburg, Ohrigstad, through JG Strijdom tunnel, to Hoedspruit where we stopped for a refreshing drink. Sjoe, it was HOT.

Then we rode back through the tunnel, turning off past Blyde River Canyon, to Wonder View and back to Graskop.

The best Hand on our 2007 Iron Horse Poker Run was trip-eights, won by Lizelle Potgieter.

Just past seven bells we ran through the rain to the Loco Pub and Grill for a scrumptious braai.

smoke-break at a hot and humid Hazyview

Fenn, Robbie, Anet, Colin, Billy, Dewald, Keith, Warnia, Uta, Lizelle, Herman, Lohan, Dennis & Jimmy

at a stop-and-go on the way to the JG Strijdom Tunnel

Buell Firebolt XB12R I rode was sponsored by Buell Johannesburg

Sunday morning after breakfast we donned our helmets, mounted our Iron Horses and headed for home, in heavy rain all the way from Sabie, almost to the N4, outside Nelspruit.

The tripmeter on the Buell told me I'd done 1371km over the weekend. I suppose all good things must come to an end some time. I enjoyed the Firebolt XB12R and the13th Annual Iron Horse immensely.