For the last two months my life has revolved around water; cold water getting me into a bit of hot water. I have been disgraced by human attitude. The human race has disappointed me… again.
I needed to get away and just be silly for a weekend
The Vesparados are a motorcycle gang (‘club’ is too formal for these okes) that rides Vespas dating older than 1985. They are passionate about their wheels and has formed a brotherhood bond that is stronger than a D.I.D chain.
Myself and Chikita got invited to a club-colours weekend-ride, leaving Jo’burg and ending in Rustenburg – a trip of about 180km.
I borrowed a Vespa from Gerard. And Mike Puzey from Biker’s Warehouse wiped down a Bladez Jet 125 for Chikita, or as we called her on this trip – JET GIRL!
BLADEZ JET 125
(Single cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke)
Our first breakdown happened before any of the ignitions even turned over. My Vespa had a raspy voice and after the proctologist had a glance, we decided to swop my wheels for a fresh(er) set.
A quick pop round to Bonzet’s house and we were ready to ride.
VESPA PX150 (1978)
Such is life… just as you think you have settle – it throws you a sparkplug. On the outskirts of the city we had our second breakdown. I immediately decided to stop counting these – there was still a long day ahead.
DRIFT COUNTRY INN
We finally made it to our first watering hole – the Drift Country Inn. Alcoholics normally crawl when leaving the pub. Vesparados crawl trying to get TO the pub.
Water has always had a spiritual meaning of purification. Awareness of this spirituality opens us up to a deeper appreciation for the cultures and customs across the world. This is a valuable resource for our own reflection on the meaning of the natural world and our place in it. Specially if you book a spot with the all consuming guild of the Vesparados.
Stretch (Ewan) was welcomed into his new life as a gentlerider of the Vesparados.
His jacket got a beer wash. Apparently if beer is good for your scalp, it is also good for your leathers.
The question should rather be, “Do you want a lift???”
I noticed that most of the guys were wearing very comfortable shoes…
They spend more money on Batas than Bridgestones!
We soon had yet another breakdown! A SEAL WAS BROKEN!!!
Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting off a little water.
A few things that had me jealous about Chikita’s JET was it’s big bootY! There was enough under-seat space to store at least 3 weeks’ camping equipment, tequila, and clothing. To move in the forward direction, it’s got a throttle! There is no clutch, no shifting, no twisting of the handlebar (did you know the Vespa’s entire left handlebar rotates to change gears while simultaneously holding the clutch lever in with the same hand? And PLEASE – don’t for one second think it’s a smooth twist). The seat is big and comfy enough to use at a drive-in theatre… for a family of six. And just to make me a shade of lime green, it’s got a cubby-hole! You can keep your wallet, camera, lipice, tissues, mentos and a half-jack in there and still there’ll be space for a little lamb!
You can’t trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.
I have to agree with this saying. Whenever I mix my whisky with water, it makes me do reckless things.
TESAMEKOMS LIQUOR STORE
At Magaliesburg we had a police chase… walk… stalk… ag vokit… the police stopped next to us.
Tremaine offered the officers some of his lovely ‘chicken’ flavoured popcorn, the kernels that give you wings. Wee’d feel very bad if we didn’t share our food…
Water’s cleansing properties ranges from a much needed bath after a long day on a bike; to wiping all your memories of the previous days activities. In some cases – this is the most welcome of decontamination.
Compared to the classic ‘perdeby’ mopeds, the Jet was a new kid on the block with it’s modern design and funky start-up wizz. But none of the older boy-Vespas bullied little Jet; he even got a boosted push along some of the longer flat stretches.
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.
We consumed gallons of yeast flavoured water and did a lot of besproeiing along the way.
I think these guys bargain on breakdowns so they can partake in the besproeiings projects of the farming communities. I will await any farmers reading this newsletter on their valuable input on the Vespa-besproeiing-assistance-program.
We all passed water, went to the loo, lifted our legs, spent a penny, took a leak, shook hands with an old friend, answered the call of nature, peed, piddled, widdled, tinkled, weed, took a slash, had a wazz, took a whizz, micturated. We were sooo ‘relieved’ when it was all over (pun intended).
*There was even a spare piece of bogrol lying under the tree. My lucky day!!!*
As a water droplet longs to flow to the ocean, so too does a lone Vespa long to run with the collective. Roaming in great numbers secures your chances of being drawn, pushed, pulled or carried home if all else fails.
The Jet boasts an excellent fuel economy (30km/litre) that, coupled with its market-leading reliability, makes it the ideal everyday commuter running at less than R7 a day. Not even Uber could beat that!
Nobody has ever sat down with Bonzet and explained to him the truth of the term ‘broek los maak’, né?
The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of a Vespa to failure.
*Voltaire adapted by Skinny*
Being the only two girls on the ride, we embraced being the ‘para’s in the VePARAdos.
In Derby the local laaities heard the commotion pulling into the hotel parking area. It was not so much a commotion as a ‘tutututut’-sound that intrigued them.
Each kid walked away with a Vesparado gift packet of chips. These motorcycle gangs can be so ferocious!
Derby has a population of eight, and seventeen visitors at any point in time – and of al places I will meet up with Tunku from Gaborone (he has been an avid supporter of the Tank Girls and their adventures). He has…
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BLUE EYES!!!
It was time we get to a pub again. The livers started acting up…
When you’re thirsty and it seems that you could drink the entire ocean – that’s faith; when you start to drink and finish only a glass or two – that’s science.
And then – out of he blue…
Yes – he lives in Derby, and he’s got a pet human that carries around his revolver!
…but didn’t get very far.
Our brains are deeply encoded with the love of water – we revel in the delicious noise of a burbling brook, but we are disturbed when we find that the sound is coming from a broek, not a brook…
We finally got to our accommodation just before the pitch of dark. We probably lost a few fellas along the way. We most likely lost our minds. But we sure as skaap-doo did not lose our love for silly escapades.
All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course, all rivers go down to the ocean and drown. And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river.
The last spillage…
*Some of the photos were taken by Richard Harper*