A Train of Thought
Station to Station lunch ride with Carel van der Merwe (30/04/22)

A Train of Thought

It is 7h30 on a cloudy Saturday morning and I am making my way to the Engen garage on Old Paarl Road Brackenfell. Checking in for my first ever day ride with BMW Motorrad Club Cape.

I have been riding a motorcycle for just over a year and admittedly I was unsure of what to expect on this whistle-stop tour, called “Station to Station”.

The butterflies inside my rookie rider stomach were settled immediately by the friendly and welcoming faces at our gathering point. Carel van der Merwe, our ride leader for the day, presented the riders briefing before we left the station.

Suburban hustle and bustle behind us now so we take the picturesque sidetracks past Polkadraai. Around every corner it felt like the weather was changing from a chilly R44 to a humid Sir Lowry’s pass. Some might argue that the humidity inside my jacket was rather a case of letting off steam as I began to settle into the saddle.

A Train of Thought and a Coffee stop.

We made a quick coffee stop at Elgin Railway Market to warm up our hands. The quality of the coffee at the Elgin Railway Market was certainly well worth the stop. The group could easily be tempted to grab some of the various delicious meals and snacks they have on offer.

A Train of Thought

Our insides warmed, the guys and girls did the necessary tyre pressure checks. Our next leg of the ride would consist mostly of gravel. Winding our way through Viljoenshoogte road we turned off on the Highlands Road to start our journey on gravel.

The gravel road was in a good condition for less experienced riders like me and relatively solid under the boots. We had to stop off at the lookout point to take pictures of the magnificent valley. We also managed to take a “group selfie” to commemorate the moment.

A Train of Thought

 

 

Continuing onto the beautiful Highlands dirt road, eventually exiting close to the Kleinmond/Hermanus intersection. Our ride leader decided that day rides are not meant to be express. We took a short loop off the Karwyderskraal Road and made our way to the “Shuntin Shed” in Botrivier for lunch. https://www.theshuntinshed.co.za/

A Train of Thought

 

 

 

 

 

The riders were keen to pull into the station and enjoyed a lovely lunch and cold drink whilst caching up with each other’s experiences of the ride thus far. Everyone was in high spirits and eagerly reacted to the “all aboard!” call by our captain.

Our next leg of the ride would take us on another stretch of gravel road over Van der Stel Pass. Again, the gravel road was in good condition and by now my wagons were aligned as my body was dancing with the bike in unison.

 

 

 

 

 

Franschoek Pass

We joined the R321 at the Theewaterskloof dam and took a left, heading to Franschoek for our final stop. Over Franschoek pass I felt like I was riding the gravy train, enjoying the freedom of the sweeping corners. A quick stop at the top lookout point, on Franschoek pass to say goodbye to some friends and we shunted down into Franschoek for our final stop at Franshoek Station Pub and Grill.  https://franschhoekstationpub.business.site/

Here we shared a last cold drink and reminisced our experiences for the day. After a day filled with adventure, we reached the end of the line and said our goodbyes at Klapmuts.

A Train of Thought was well-organized and fantastic day shared with like-minded people – missing out on this ride would certainly have seen me on the wrong side of the tracks.

 

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