Sunday, June 8, 2008

It didn't happen.

Today the ride didn't happen. Unless you consider riding to the meeting point, then back home again, to be a ride. Ok, so technically it was a ride, but since there was no breakfast involved, it wasn't a breakfast run.
Oh well, here's the sad story anyway.

It was a cold and miserable morning when anyone with even half a brain cell would remain inside. The clouds were dark and heavy, but, we hadn't been on the bikes for a week, and besides, it wasn't raining - yet.

So the calls went out, and we geared up, braved the wind, and met at the coffee shop near the Everfresh parking lot at Heritage Market in Hillcrest.So far so good. A cold day, so hot chocolate was necessary, while we decided which route was the best for the day.

Inland was not a good idea, because the cops were patrolling at our intended destination, and we have better things that to sit on the side of the road, chatting to the workers.

Up the coast would mean taking the same route as a cycle run, and you really can't compete with those guys with the pedals.Being a coastal town, we only have the option of 3 possible routes - so that left down the coast. Although no-one seemed keen on that direction, 'cos the weather was was hiding just south of the bluff, we all bravely agreed to ride down to Pinetown and re-assess the situtation.

Well, the three drops of rain on the newly washed cycles made the decision for us. We only stopped long enough for Griff's cigarette, and my photos, before we went our seperate ways and headed home.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

BridgLee at Wartburg.

The weather report suggested bad weather for Sunday, so we prepared for a day at home. However when we awoke it was clear he rain was some time away, and a few call later it was all arranged.

After two weeks without a ride, even the short notice was would not stand in my way, and I was showered and ready by the time Danny arrived.

Even though there were plenty of clouds around we met at Heritage Market in Hillcrest before making our way inland towards Pietermaritzburg.

We were all enjoying the ride so much we missed the turnoff. Fortunately one member of our group is awake, and he quickly moved to the front, so he could show us the way.

From Maritzburg, you need to take the Greytown road to Wartburg. This takes you along a lovely country road inbetween the farms. I've become so comfortable on the back of the bike, I'm now able to take photos as we ride.

In Wartburg, we found a cozy little coffee shop named BridgLee, where we stopped for breakfast.

We were all so impressed because even the carpark was pretty.

Such attention to detail is unusual, is a really pleasant surprise.

While the pretty and clean pleased the guys as well, it was the huge coffee cups which really impressed them.

But wait there's more. I really enjoy plain simple food, so was so pleased with the well prepared simple meal of egg, chips, tomato, bacon, mushrooms, toast, butter and marmalade.

And this was the small breakfast!

If you need a beautiful gift to spoil that special girl in your life, go no further than their gift shop. Just looking at their merchandise makes you feel good.

After a very pleasant and relaxing breakfast, we reluctantly, well not so reluctantly because we're always happy to be on the bikes, made our way back.

After a short stop at the One Stop, we said our goodbyes and completed the journey home.

Thanks again to the Howard, Griff, Bridget and Danny for another glorious ride.

What bike do you ride? I'd love to hear from you.

If you'd like to join the Breakfast Run Weekend Reflection, add your name to the list below, then add leave a comment. Be sure to visit the other blogs, to see where they go for Sunday Breakfast.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Quarry at Hilton

Since today's weather was moving up along the coast, the obvious option for our group, was to head west, i.e. inland.

So we decided on the N3, the main road between Durban and Johannesburg. Of course, we weren't going as far as Jo'burg - well, not today anyway, and certainly not for breakfast!

First stop, and meeting point was outside the Mugg & Bean in Hillcrest. The bikes, all washed and shiny, as eager as we were, to get out onto the open road once again.

Then it was up the main freeway all the way up past Pietermaritzburg, and through to Hilton. There were no butt stops on this run. There was no need, because it's so much quicker along the main road.

Hilton is so pretty, with lovely "country" houses and plenty of trees. On a clear day, if you look towards Durban, the view is spetacular. Unfortunately, today was not one of those, so we went directly to Bustles Cafe for breakfast.

The menu provided for the typical set meals of bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, tomato, or you could "do it yourself". As far as I'm concerned this "do it yourself" option makes a whole lot of sense.

Such a simple concept - where you select the items you want to create a breakast which suits you.

I prefer to keep it simple, so today my breakfast was two poached eggs with chips, and a lovely cup of coffee with cream.

While the coffee was brewing and the breakfast being prepared, we could enjoy the view across the now disused qarry.

Then it was back on the bikes, another trip through the beautiful country lanes and down through Pietermaritzburg, the start of the down run Comrades Marathon, then on to the N2 for the last leg of the journey back to Hillcrest.

And so another, most ejoyable bike run, is over for the week.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Balito Bay.

After a 2 week break we were suffering withdrawl, so despite the "not sunny" forecast, we decide to go anyway. The few spots of rain we felt along the way were not enough to dampen the joy of the ride.

Today our destination was the Wimpy at Balito Bay. To tell the truth, the whole journey is the desination. Just being on the bike, out in the country is the whole purpose.

The breakfast is just the point at which we turn around and come back, else we could easily find ourselves in Cairo, with no inclination to return.

After a short stretch on the N2 north, it was onto the country road for us. It wasn't long before we passed the turnoff to Hazelmere Dam, and this beautiful old railway bridge over the Tongati River.

Since the toll road opened between Durban and Empagneni, there's no longer a reason to go through these interesting little Kwa-Zulu Natal towns. Our Sunday journeys however, give us the opportunity to re-explore some of our history.

The town of Tongaat is in the heart of the sugarcane growing area, and although it comprises mostly people of Indian descent, still has a colonial look.

Its not a large town, with most of the business activity happening on this one main street through the center.

After what felt like a very short trip through the green hills of sugarcane interspersed with a few trees, we soon reached Balito shopping center.

In the recent past, Balito Bay has become a very popular holiday destination. Not so long ago it was out "in the sticks" and one only went there if you really wanted to get away from the city.

What is it with cities, that they can't just stay where they are? Perhaps they get lonely when the people leave for a while, and they just have to follow. Well, the city has cetainly followed the people to Balito.

After a very pleasant breakfast at the Wimpy, with interesting conversation and much laughter, we reluctantly headed back.

Oh well, there is always another Sunday to look forward to at the end of this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No blog today :-(

No blog today, the family's come to stay!

Easter means a long weekend to most people. This means most of our riding group have visitors, so felt it would be inappropriate to leave them and go riding.

Guess I'd feel the same if my hosts went off during my visit.

Oh well. Hopfully they're all available again next Sunday.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Up Run.

The weather forcast for today was 30% chance of rain. In our language this loosly translates to mean a very cold, wet, windy and therfore miserable ride.

Having so many beautiful sunny warm days to choose from, we felt no pressure to bring out the brave faces. We'd rather save those for a time when we actually needed, we called off the ride.

However, being addicted to the open road, and beautiful scenery, as soon as the blue sky peeped out we followed the lead, and ventured out.

Well, our original assessment was spot on with some points - it was certainly cold and windy. However it was way off on the others. There was no rain and visibility was magnificent resulting in a short but invigorating ride.

A short time of winding through the residential area of Kloof, past Gillits then through the Hillcrest shopping center and we were soon rewarded with this clear view of Inanda Dam.

We were however saddened to see that Heidi's farm stall was closed, and up for sale.

In its early days, Heidi's Farm Stall was a small wooden stall alongside the R103, where one could buy the most delicious fresh fruit and vegetables.

Unfortunately along the way, and in the name of progress, it seemed to be stocked with the same fare as the local supermarket, and therefor no longer worth the trip. Maybe the new owners will see the value and take it back to basics.

As you near the comrades Wall of Honor in Drummond - the halfway point for the legedary Comrades Marathon, you're greeted with this scene, and today we could see forever.

No wonder this run is so addictive!! If my legs would co-operate with my mind, I'd run the comrades just for the scenery ;-)

We took a few minutes to just savour this scene, enjoy the freedom and bracing cool air. Not much wind in this spot, so at least we were spared that!

Stiching the pieces together, this gives an indication of view from the road.

Well it seems we weren't the only ones to enjoy this quite road this morning.

A lone cyclist enjoys the fresh morning air, and quiet road. The challengin hills in this area are excellent training for almost any race. And there are a thousand of them. Well somebody must have counted! This area is known as the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

I must also just mention that is lady is very sensible. How do I know, since I have no idea who she is? Well she was closely followed by a support vehicle. It would be really silly for her to ride through here on her own.

The quite lonely road makes anyone an easy target for those who have nothing better to do, and a bicycle is not fast enough to escape.

After travelling a little further up the road we experienced the wind and noticed the 30% clouds starting to close in, so made our way back home.

Though it was short it will just have to satisfy until the next one.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The scenic route to Winklespruit.

Today is our forth run together. We've arranged to meet at the Mugg and Bean in Hillcrest.

However, our first stop was a garage along the way, to pick up some water for the journey. Being early March, it's a beautiful clear hot day, and water is essential for the journey.

Wherever we go, these beautiful shiny bikes attract admiring glances.

Motorists always seem to be so polite - they are quite willing to wait, and let us go first.

If the truth be known, they just want to have the opportunity to have a good look at the bike.

Today we were going to Winkelspruit, which is normally about a 20 minute drive south of Durban.

We however took the scenic route, and headed in the opposite direction.

Using Old Main Road from Hillcrest, we followed the Comrades route east, though Drummond, Inchanga, Harrison Flats, Camperdown, before turning south. This is where the countryside changed from pretty to really beautiful.

Imagine green hills all the way to the horizon, the occasional lake, the most gloriously blue sky and a few puffy white clouds to complete the picture.

The path of the rivers is is clear from the bush which marks the way through the cultivated fields of sugar cane.

Before you even see them, you smell the cows grazing in the field. There is no mistaking that scent.

A group of bikers go past in the opposite direction. Some wave, some dont. We wave back. This is common practice amongst bikers on their various breakfast runs.

After a good breakfast, and good company, the return journey was along the N2, then the Queensburgh turnoff and back up to Pinetown, before we part company for the last few kms to our seperate homes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Linga Lapa

The beautiful blue sky, with the interesting white clouds created the mood for a wonderful day.

This was my first breakfast run, and if that was anything to go by, I hope it's only the first of very many more.

So what is a breafast run? Ask anyone who owns a motorcycle, they all know the answer. For the uninitiated its an excuse to take a ride on a Sunday morning.

Now before you think I'm really brave, lets get one thing straight..... I don't actually drive the motorcycle. My job is to sit on the back and just enjoy the whole experience. Scary thought? Not when your chaffeur is as careful a driver as mine. And no, you can't have him, he's booked for all the runs!

This day our group was 3 Dragstar bikes, and 3 riders and myself.

Dragstars are cruisers, which means we don't have the need for speed, which suits me just fine! We stay off the highways as much as possible, making it a rather relaxing pleasant day all round.

The view from a bike so much better than in a car, because you're sitting much higher. The only thing better would be the long distance haulers, but then they are so difficult to manouver in tight spaces! Also the air conditioning on the bike just can't be beaten.

Today our trip was to Linga Lapa, a small restuarant which caters to the bikers on Sunday mornings. Linga Lapa is a few kms from Nottingham Road, a little over 100km west of Durban. This is part of the Midlands Meander, a popular country drive for tourists and locals alike.

Breakfast was the typical eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, toast, tea, coffee and orange juice.

The big bonus for me on this ride was getting a glimpse of the Drakensburg mountains, even if it was a rather distant view.

In this picture the solid hazy blue bit between the clouds and the ground, is the Drakensburg mountains. From here it's still at least another 100kms before you reach the foothills, so that gives an indiction of just how impressive is our mountain range.

Oh dear, I now have a yearning for another holiday in the mountains.