REPORT ON THE BREAKFAST RIDE TO THE ELGIN RAILWAY STATION MARKET ON SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER 2019 – BY IAN SINCLAIR

Waking up early this Sunday morning the weather was perfect for bike riding. A quick shower, get dressed and setting off to Damelin to meet up with the other members who were looking forward to the upcoming ride.

Arriving at Damelin at 07h40, John Lee was already there, and David and Tracey were just ahead of us. Nice of them to grace us with their presence. Soon more members arrived and then it was time to brief the riders on the restaurant and the route.

Setting off just after 08h00, we turned right onto the N2, then left onto the M5, over the Koeberg Flyover onto the N1. We stayed on the N1 until the Klipheuwel/Stellenbosch turn off, R304, turning right under the N1 and continued all the way into Stellenbosch. At the intersection of Bird Street and Adam Tas Street we turned left and then turned right onto the R310, riding through Idasvalley and onto Helshoogte pass. Enjoying the sweeping bends and very little traffic on the pass. Continuing through Pniel and over all the speed bumps /raised pedestrian crossings.

At the R44 we turned right towards Franschhoek and over the Berg River, riding slowly through Franschhoek and at the T intersection, at the Huguenot Monument, we turned left and proceeded to ride over Franschhoek Pass. Once over the top of the pass, negotiating the hairpin bends and steep downhills, the road soon levelled out and it was time to pick up speed a bit. Riding past Theewaterskloof Dam, the water level was looking good. The water`s edge was a lot closer to the road than it was shown in various photographs over the past two years.

At the T junction of Villiersdorp and Grabouw, we turned right and rode over the bridge over the dam. Now the water level was looking more impressive, with virtually no sand visible between the road and the water`s edge. Just after we had joined the Grabouw Road, coming out of a left-hand bend there was a sign on the left, warning the road users of sand on the road. A quick wakeup call, now to negotiate the safest way through the sand. At the end venue, Robbie Phillips said his heart ended up in his throat, as he chose the thickest part of the sand to ride through and his bike gave him a bit of a wobble.

All of us getting through the sand safely, we continued and then it was time to negotiate the Viljoen`s Pass, with that 1st gear left hand bend into an uphill. Riding through the green orchards, it was soon time to turn left towards Elgin Station. Approaching the station, we turned off the road and onto the tarred section of the station/platform area. We parked our bikes between the platform and the restaurant. The general public must park their vehicles on the other side of the restaurant, which is gravel.

Upon entering the restaurant, we found our two tables, which had been reserved for us. Barry Wrankmore had gone direct to the venue and he joined us at our reserved tables.

The railway market has a variety of different food stalls. One must decide what one wants to eat, place their order and either walk around checking out the other stalls or returning to your table to chat, while your food is been prepared. Ten/fifteen minutes go by and then it is time to collect your food.

Having arrived at about 09h40, and the market only opens at 09h00, it was still reasonably quiet. An hour later and the venue had started to fill up. Having paid for our food when it was ordered, there was no sorting out of who ate what and how much tip to add on. Slowly the members left and then there was only John Lee, David and Tracey, Luderick and Helewese, Mandy and myself left. We left the venue and rode back together on the N2, over Sir Lowry`s Pass, until Jakes Gerwel Drive [old Vanguard Drive] where luderick and me turned off, John and David continued straight onto their respective residences. Mandy and I continued along Jakes Gerwel Drive until Milton Road, where we turned right
towards our residence. Luderick and Helewese continued straight to go to Edgemead.

There were 15 members, 4 visitors and 13 bikes.
Thank you to all those who attended the ride. It is really appreciated.

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This post was written by nomads