What a ride! The 2011 Joburg to Cape Town Run turned out to be truly fantastic ride. Before sunrise on the morning of the 18th of February we met at the Grasmere One-Stop for coffee. At 5:36am the four of us; Jason Meyer on his diminutive, blue Yamaha YZF-R1, Lohan Potgieter on his shinny, black & yellow BMW K1200S, Eddie Kymdell on his polished, black & red BMW K1200S and me on my charcoal & silver BMW K1200GT, rode out onto the still-dark N1 and headed south towards Cape Town.

the start at Grasmere One-Stop - 05:36

First stop for fuel and Breakfast was in Ventersburg, with Jason limping in on empty - he put 19 liters into his nineteen-liter tank. Then we refueled in Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Richmond and stopping in Beaufort West put in juice and had a quick bite to eat. Rolling out of town we opened-up and in no time were riding through Laingsburg, then Touws River, the Hex River valley, Worcester, through the Du Toit's Kloof tunnel and into the sunshine of Paarl and eventually the glorious mother city of Cape Town.

Richmond - 12.08

We pulled-up outside the Waves Edge guest house in Bloubergstrand at 18:30, making the trip in a total of just 13 hours, which included a few road-works-Stop-&-Gos, breakfast and lunch stops. Information off the GT's on board computer read an average road speed of 143kph, not too slow considering this is an average of all the speeds on the road, including time stopped with the engine running and slow speeds through towns and villages. Fuel-consumption was at 7.5 liters per 100kms. My usual average speed around the streets of Joburg is about 64kph with an average fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100kms.

another day in paradise... a clear day in Bloubergstrand

Jason, Kenn, Lohan and Eddie on top of Table Mountain

with Robben Island in the distance

Saturday morning after a scrumptious Waves Edge breakfast we jumped on our bikes and headed for Cape Town and Table Mountain. Although the wind was blowing in Blouberg it was calm in town as well as on top of the mountain. We did the usual tourist things of OH-ing and AH-ing and taking photos, had some coffee and made our way to the Cable-Car to get off the mountain. Then, on the road to Camps Bays I spotted two guys on the new BMW K1600 GTL. After executing a quick u-turn we rode back to the guys with the GTL. At this stage, all I can say is... Wow, looks like a great bike.

the new BMW K1600 GTL with the old K1200 GT

Then we rode to the shore of Hout Bay for a lekker, fresh Hake 'n Chips lunch. Next time I ride the Chapman's Peak Drive I'll make sure I have a camera at the ready. What a spectacular ride! With  mountains literally towering OVER you on the one side and steep cliffs falling into the cold Atlantic ocean on the other... fantastic! We rode the bumpy M65 road past Kommetjie and Scarborough to The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. Then it was back to base in Bloubergstrand via Simon's Town, Fishoek, Muizenburg, onto the M3 and Milnerton.

For dinner I stuck the guys to an Ala-Slater braai (BBQ) of steak, salads and rolls, then we adjourned to the lounge of a game or six of Pool. That night was Jason and Lohan's turn to be the champions (Eddie and I let them win :-) hehehe

the four bikes parked at Hout Bay with Chapman's Peak Drive in the background

Eddie Kymdell on his BMW K 1200 S

Lohan Potgieter on his BMW K 1200 S

Jason Meyer with his Yamaha YZF-R1

Kenn Slater on his BMW K 1200 GT

Chapman's Peak Drive

the four of us with our bikes at Cape Point - photo by Virginia from the USA

isn't this a picture of beauty?

After breakfast on Sunday we rode to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, paid our bucks, boarded the ferry and went for a tour to Robben Island. The weather was brilliant and the sea calm. On our arrival at the notorious island we were herded onto coaches and given a guided tour around the place. Robben Island was first used as a Leper Colony and later as a prison - both for common criminals and political criminals. During the tour I asked if anyone had ever managed to escape the prison and was told that not one single prisoner escaped... ever. Probably due to the fact that all the prisoners were non-swimming blacks not willing to try swim the few kilometer, cold, shark-infested waters to Bloubergstrand.

outside the prison on Robben Island

Upon our return to the mainland we walked around the tourist-filled V&A shopping centre purchasing gifts for our loved-ones, eventually making our way to Mitchell's Brewery where the chicks were hot and the beer was nice and cold. Back in Blouberg Lohan took us out for supper, to the most expensive place in town, the Butcher's Grill, where we wined and dined till we were well and truly fed up.

When we got back to the guest house we had an ABF (Absolute Bloody Final) play-off the establish who the true champions were, and it turned out to be Eddie and I (of course).

Waves Edge guest house in Bloubergstrand was perfect - We'll be back!

We started our homeward-bound ride from the Waves Edge in Bloubergstrand at 04:15, our first stop was at Worcester for fuel, then on through a dark Hex River valley to Touws River, riding into Laingsburg with the blinding sun in our eyes. Then we bulleted on through the Karoo to Beaufort West (where Jason had to have his Yamaha's chain adjusted - the thing was hanging on the swingarm). From there we hung on the cables to Richmond, Colesburg and Bloemfontein. At that stage the Yamaha's chain was well and truly stuffed, so we rode into town to Salleys Yamaha to have it replaced. Then we rode through a million Free State insects to Kroonstad and another million gogos on the way home. I've never had such an insect-splattered bike. I pulled up outside my gate at 18:45, with a total of 1431kms (return trip) on the clock (in fourteen and a half hours - including stoppages and replacing Jason's R1 chain).

waiting at a Stop 'n Go in the Karoo

I covered a total of 3268kms over the four days. None of the bikes gave any trouble (except for the Yamaha's chain) and none of us were harassed by the cops, so I would class that as A GREAT RIDE!


Words and photos by Kenn Slater