Today, out of the blue, I was asked if I wanted to go for a motorbike ride with someone I’d never met. Yeah yeah, I know, but it’s a Facebook thing and it came about after a long debate on art. I jumped at the chance because it’s been years since I rode a bike, and after some discussion about jackets and boots (it’s over 30 degrees today so this didn’t sound right but ‘safety first’) I was ready and waiting at the gate with my camera. I had visions of selfies in the rear-view mirror like so many other people seem to manage easily, but those are not as easy as you think.
So, off we went to look at the burnt-out mountains. First we sped off down the motorway towards Ou Kaapse Weg at over a zillion miles an hour. I held on very tight. We stopped twice to take photos and look around. We went over Chapman’s Peak which has reopened despite what I think is considerable danger of falling rocks. After out first stop I was comfortable and let go of Marius. I held the handy bars at the side and even leaned back gently against the container-thingie. Totally cool!
Downside of riding a bike: The clothing. The jacket I wore weighed a ton and made me very hot when we were not moving. The helmet soaked my head with perspiration. The gloves are as thick as a mattress so there’s no chance of holding a camera. Getting on and off is a very graceless affair with rude words.
Upside of riding a bike: You see more than from inside a car, much more. Fuel consumption is way better than a car. Nipping in and out of traffic and getting up Ou Kaapse Weg in minutes is a joy. People look at you but they can’t actually see you under the spacesuit. The road really does come up to meet you, especially going around the bends of Chappies and that hairpin bend on Ou Kaapse Weg, but you can close your eyes.