2016- Goodbye to a great year and What a ride!!!

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Andyman's picture
Joined: 2007/06/22

Points: 15

Live the Ride!!

In 2016 my  2010 R1200 GSA took me 52000 kilometers.

Thats 3 sets of tyres.

5 services!!!!

2 rear wheel punctures - both stones on slate roads. both around 30th December!

50% on unpaved roads.

I did the 180 000km service at 183 000 km on the 23rd December and then took it to 185 00 km by new Year.

I could not even begin to explain the amount of sheer riding pleasure I have had in 2016.

This was the year I broke with all my own advice and rode many trips solo, learning form Kevin Charleston about solo trips.

I had music in my headset, email, and media on the go and just doing unplanned spontaneous trips on my own at the drop of the hat.

I listened to podcasts, watched documentaries on Youtube and just existed inside the moment while the tar ribbon was eaten up by the bike on long stretches.

If I had died, I would have died replete and in the hands of my God.

I met the most mazing people on the road and stayed at the most amazing places and I would be hard put to try recall negative experiences.


I made arb decisions to turn up a  random road, for no reason, and came across a stranded bike or car  on a few occasions. Stopping to help, or loan tools. Total synchronicity.

Twice I was able to offer my spare tube to get someone's trip back on the go.

One couple insisted I take at least R500 for the ube. They offered R800, and I took the R500 eventually because it was so important to the wife. they had been stuck for 3 hours on the R355, people passing, no one stopping and she said that tube was worth R1200 to them in that present place and time.

Which is true the only spare tube on the R355 can command any price it wants.


I once closed my visor only to ride into a swarm of bees as I was lowering my hand.

I once stopped to pee and a bike shot past and  minutes later saw him hauled over at a sneaky speed trap I would otherwise have been stopped at.

I stopped to rest my bum & chat to a motorist (medical rep) at a lay-by, and found him so grateful I could charge his mobile phone for half an hour. his phone had died shortly before I came up.

I stood at queue in a Wimpy and had the pleasure of paying for a traffic officer's meal when his card would not swipe and seeing his utter relief and incomprehension when I would not give him my details to be re-imbursed later. (only to be blessed by the manager who discounted my bill by 50% as recognition)

I saw some kids worrying over lost fishing tackle at a camp site and gave them some of mine, and they were game-on again. Their ecstasy and thanks was worth tens time the Rand value of the tackle.

Another time, near Albertinia, while resting at a nice lay-by, a small child came to stare in wonder at the loaded bike and then he started to engage in conversation and after a few minutes, when called to eat by his folks he put out his hand to shake mine and thanked me for chatting to him.

These small things all gave such pleasure, maybe more to me than to them.


They allowed me to connect with ordinary people in a very special way.

It is true that it is in giving that you receive the most.

I sang hymns in my helmet at the top of my voice just out of the sheer euphoria and exuberance of chasing my shadow towards sunset. Of been free and blessed enough to know how privileged I am to be able to do such things.

I celebrated the life of my very close late friend Rusty Rathbone, feeling his closeness many times, especially when gifting something to someone.

And the bike never missed a beat or gave a minute of concern.

it just ticked over and took me effortlessly everywhere the front wheel was pointed towards.

I could lie wake at night wondering over the simple joy a ball point pen can give -  I gave away a total of thirty ball-point pens to various petrol attendants and farm folk I encountered on my travels.

I think out of all the experiences, giving an old man on a donkey cart a few pens brought me the closest to God I have ever been before. His joy at been gifted something so valuable to him from a total white stranger on a lonely lost road few vehicles travel, made him feel so special, it made his year. It gave him new faith on humanity.

It made me feel that very few white people had ever been kind to him. His anticipation of arriving at the their skaap-skeerder Kamp with three pens for his wife was sheer pleasure to witness.

I tried to show him where I had come from and where I thought I was going and it became clear the road mapbook had absolutely no relevance and was beyond comprehension.

It had no place in his world at all.

We live in a relative paradise in the Western , Southern Cape and Karoo,.

I think I can easily do another 50 ooo km this 2017, Inshallah

Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

Joined: 2007/06/25

Wonderful report Andy, God bless you.

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Craig SexyChef Milne's picture
Joined: 2016/03/22

Best wishes for a Happy 2017 Andy

Another awesome report. Once again your report is inspirational as your humility and humanity shines through. The love, respect and appreciation you show for riding, the country and mankind is remarkable and is an example we all should be following. Wow, talk about "Lead by Example" 

Wishing you another happy, safe and trouble-free 50,000++ km's in 2017 and look forward to getting back to hopefully partake in some of those.

W.W.A.D. = What Would Andy Do (Bike trip motto for 2017)


Craig A Milne

US Embassy, Basrah, Iraq

You only live once, but if you do it right

That's all you need

carelvdmerwe's picture
Joined: 2012/08/16

Well done Andy and well written.

This is the way to live your life. yes

Joined: 2016/01/19

Well written Andy.

Have an enjoyable and safe 2017.

I did 22000 wonderful kms in 2016 ------- you inspire me to continue to explore our wonderful country and its people.

Trevor Rennison's picture
Joined: 2013/08/26

Wow Andy. 52000 kays? That's a lot of riding. If I add my car and bike mileages together I still don't get to that. I do about 15000km of commuting annually, roughly 70% on the bike and 30% by car.

I can remember the days when that much mileage on a bike would mean it's time to strip down the engine and do a complete rebuild, especially the old two-strokes. These modern bikes are just so reliable, we hardly give them a second thought. We get on and they just take us where we want to go.

Soon you will be catching up to Charles and his Mr Badger with your mileage!

What an inspiration! Keep on going and ride safe. 

So many mountains, so little time.

Froggy's picture
Joined: 2014/01/15

A great read Andy, I can relate to a few things there including giving simple plastic pens away.

Such a small everyday thing can mean so much to others.

2016 was also a great year for me on the bike with many firsts including my first solo 4,000km+ ride.

With the Baviaans coming up next weekend, hopefully it will be the start of another memorable year.

All the best for 2017 and safe riding.




BobGoode's picture
Joined: 2010/10/07

As always a wonderfully written post Andy. I really miss my riding days and the great experiences I shared with all of you at the club. 

Let it be.

Joined: 2007/06/25

Bob it's good to see you on the forum, please do not abort this site.

Think before you ink.

Trust is the most valuable asset.

I have the rest of my life to get old.

Jackie Wiese's picture
Joined: 2012/02/26

Wow Andy!

Thanks for an excellent and thought provoking report. Dis die klein dingetjies in die lewe wat die verskil maak en wat dan ook onse lewens verryk.

Doet so voort!

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