Friday, November 19, 2010
It's not like I was driving below 120km/h, I think I was doing about 140km/h, but this motorcyclist decided to just break my mirror. He could have overtaken me on the left lane since the highway was not busy at all and there was no car on my left side at that moment. I think this motorcyclist is on a mission to break people's car's mirrors if those cars are driving on the fast lane. I wanted to chase him but motorbikes are fast and there was no way for me to catch up with him.
Unfortunately I didn't get any details of that bike, I didn't see any number plates, i didn't take any picture and I can't tell what color that bike was, so going to the cops and have that guy caught is not going to happen, unless the car in front of me got his details. I should have stopped next to the car that stopped on the side of the road, but that thought hit me after a few minutes.
My question is, what do I do now? Should I go to the police and open a case of damage to property? Should I inform my insurance company? I'm with Budget Insurance and my excess is R3250. I don't think opening a case will make a difference because there's no way for the cops to catch that guy since I have insufficient information for them to work on. I'm not sure how much it will cost to install another mirror, it's only the mirror that came off but sure panel beaters will replace the whole mirror casing as well just to make money .
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motoring.co.za - Hundreds of riders honour fallen comrades: "The Biker's Church in Brackenfell, north of Cape Town, was full to the eaves - literally standing room only - at the weekend for the eighth annual memorial service for riders who had died on Western Cape roads in the past year.
But, even so, the huge space - it's actually a converted warehouse - was unusually quiet this year, the riders even more sombre than the occasion would normally warrant.
And the reason became clear when two members of the congregation idled their machines down the aisles, bringing the plaques with the names of the fallen riders to stand in front of the stage
One lost on the roads is one too many; 42 is almost an obscenity
There were a lot more names than in any previous year - more than 40 of them, each one somebody's child, somebody's father, mother, brother or sister.
In a tightly-knit community where one lost on the roads is one too many, 42 is almost an obscenity.
Pastor George Lehman picked up on the undercurrent running through the gathering, saying that he'd buried too many bikers in the past year to make this another funeral.
Instead, he said, he would speak to the living, taking as his text Psalm 116, verses 7, 8 and 9:
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the lord has been good to you.
For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
That I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
David, he said, knew what he was talking about; he'd suffered many tragedies in his life but he remained convinced that every day was given him to make the best of it
'The Lord made this day - but it's up to us what we make of it'
Yesterday, Lehman said, couldn't be changed and tomorrow was never guaranteed; all we had was today.
'The Lord made this day,' he said, 'but it's up to us what we make of it.'
Motorcyclists Association of the Western Cape president Bruce Reynolds then knelt by the plaques and read out the names of the riders who'd died in the past year.
It seemed to take forever, as relatives and riding buddies came forward; each stood holding a candle, its tiny flame a symbol of life, so precious and ultimately so fragile.
Jeremy Rochefort of Think Bike urged riders to speak out rather than remain silent, to ask a friend who'd had one too many to get a lift home or stay over, to explain to non-biking friends and family how to look out for bikes on the road, to talk to teenagers on scooters and 125's about wearing protective gear and staying out of cars' blind spots.
If we all speak up, he said, we can make the roads safer for everybody, one mindset at a time.
But I couldn't help feeling a chill as the riders picked up the plaques, so full of names, and rumbled gently out of the building. 2010 was a bad year for Cape Town's bikers.
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'The collision occurred at the intersection of the M3 and Rhodes Avenue [at 8.30am]... A motorcyclist was allegedly travelling in the direction of [the CBD] when he collided with a bakkie,' said ER24 spokesperson Andre Visser.
'[Paramedics] could see that the collision was severe due to the amount of damage sustained to both of the vehicles.'
The motorcyclist, in his thirties, died on the scene and the driver of the bakkie had to be extricated from the vehicle but sustained only minor injuries.
The bakkie was carrying a load of blue paint which spilled onto the road.
The intersection would remain closed for 'quite some time'.
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'Traffic enforcement will be visible, proactive and effective... absolutely no mercy will be shown to drunk motorists,' Ndebele said.
'At all times traffic personnel will act in a professional and ethical manner ensuring that motorists' support for road safety is secured.'
Ndebele was speaking at Ikageng Stadium in Potchefstroom, where he announced road safety plans for the December 2010 and January 2011 period.
High volumes of traffic during this period will be monitored along key arterial routes - such as the N3 to Durban, the N1 to Limpopo, the N4 to Witbank and Mpumalanga, and will also include roads along various urban and rural locations.
Besides driver and vehicle fitness, the state of tyres, brakes, lights and shock absorbers will be checked and the use of seatbelts will be rigorously enforced, Ndebele said.
'Drivers are urged to ensure all passengers in their vehicles are buckled up,' he said.
Traffic officers will also be on the lookout for drunk pedestrians, pedestrians on highways and jay-walking.
'Since the 2010 Soccer World Cup, an average of 2 000 motorists were arrested monthly nationwide for driving under the influence,' Ndebele said, adding that random operations would continue on various routes and at various times.
'We will also use the 'draw-blood' method to secure prosecutions.' Motorists who do not display registration plates, deliberately obscure plates or display fraudulent plates, will be treated as suspects and dealt with accordingly.
'Number plate recognition devices will be used to detect errant vehicles.'
Overloaded and unroadworthy public transport vehicles will be removed from the roads, and their drivers fined heavily.
In addition, there will be zero tolerance for drivers who continue to travel at excessive speeds 'with impunity'.
'In some authorities, mobile violation recorders will be used to detect moving violations while others will use 'Distance over Time' technology to determine average speeds,' Ndebele said.
Million a month
Underscoring the National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), the target is to stop and check a minimum of one million vehicles and drivers nationwide every month.
'The principles of interpersonal, active stopping and checking a minimum of 15 vehicles per officer, per eight hour shift, will be enforced by all participating authorities.
'Additional support of the Saps and other relevant stakeholders such as justice, defence, education and health will be secured at various tiers in order to realise our objectives,' he said
Special blitzes, announced and unannounced, will also be conducted nation-wide by various traffic authorities.
'This would ensure that habitual and reckless drivers who have no respect for road safety are dealt with severely.'
He said leave days for uniformed officers had been curtailed and all senior officers had been instructed to be out on the roads during peak traffic flow periods to assist with monitoring and supervision.
'Wear your seatbelt, do not drink and drive, adhere to the prescribed speed limits... fatigue is a silent killer, so for every stretch of 200km driven, pull aside and rest or stretch, and pedestrians and cyclists (should) wear bright clothes at all times when using the roads,' Ndebele said.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010
Stewart Macleod took pole ahead of Brad Stark, Sergio da Silva and Pieter de Vos - but there was drama almost immediately in the first race when Malcolm Cochrane lost the front under braking at the top of the hill and took the unfortunate Pierre le Roux with him.
The red flags came out and medics rushed to scoop Le Roux up off the circuit but fortunately he wasn't seriously hurt
The track temperature was nudging 55 degrees
At the restart Macleod led the from lights to flag, hotly pursued by Stark and the smooth-riding da Silva. They were almost 20sec clear of a closely-fought battle for fourth which saw De Vos get the verdict ahead of Royden Bennett and Joe Shearer.
Brian Bontekoning won the battle for seventh from Simon Bezuidenhout and Stander as Alan Ryan rounded off the top 10.
By the time Race 2 started the ambient temperature in the pits was hovering around 38 degrees but the track temperature was nudging 55 so looking after tyres was more critical than ever.
Macleod's experience told as he showed the form that won him a National Superbike title, romping off into the distance unaware of the drama that unfolded behind him.
De Vos was looking good in second but retired with engine problems, which left Stark and da Silva to dispute the position
The tortured bike hand-grenaded at the Esses
With three laps remaining Stark was also suffering engine problems but dropped out of the top six and tried to nurse the bike home.
Then, with little more than a lap to go, the tortured bike hand-grenaded at the Esses. By now the leaders were on their final lap and da Silva was running second ahead of Shearer - until they found the oil Stark's bike had deposited and went down together in a spectacular cloud of dust.
That left the hard-riding Bennett to take second, way ahead of Bontekoning, who admitted he wasn't on top of his game.
Bezuidenhout held off a fired up Andre van Vollensteen for fourth place and, not far behind them, Stander came out in front of a huge dice for sixth that saw Richard Carmody, Joe Alves, Stewart Christie and Ryan in a mad sprint for the line
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Most of the top international extreme enduro motorcycle riders have entered, as this race will count towards the 2011 World Xtreme Enduro championship. So far more than 20 entries have been received from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico and the UK.
The race organisers expect more than 300 entrants to start the three day event on Thursday, November 25
Double Roof of Africa winner Chris Birch will be aiming for a hat trick
Double Roof of Africa winner Chris Birch from New Zealand, riding a KTM, will be aiming for a hat trick after winning this race in 2008 and 2009.
Birch also won the gruelling Romaniacs for the first time earlier in 2010 and will be a tough contender. Two more New Zealanders - Michael Skinner and Philip Cheater - will join him, each also on a KTM.
British extreme enduro rider Paul Bolton (on a Katoom - what else?) will be riding in his first roof. Privateer Bolton is rated as one of the Top 10 extreme enduro riders in the world, having originally honed his skills as a trials rider.
He has finished on the podium at some of the world's toughest races, including third at the 2008 Erzberg Harescramble.
The Husqvarna riders will be out to prove a point
The international riders will not have it all their own way
. Andreas 'Letti' Lettenbichler, who won the 2009 Romaniacs, impressed friends and rivals alike in 2009 when he was amongst the last starters after receiving a penalty during the time trial but fought his way back into overall contention by the end of Friday.
Unfortunately, he damaged his BMW G450X only a few kilometres from the finish and couldn't finish the race. In 2010 he'll be riding a two-stroke Husqvarna.
Simo Kirssi was born in Finland but now lives in Germany; this multiple European and German Cross Country champion will join Letti for his first extreme enduro race on a Husqvarna.
Letti and Kirssi will be joined by BMW G450X rider Gerhard Foster (at 43 one of the oldest entrants) who was runner-up at the Romaniacs in 2007 and 2008.
Mexican rider Jesus Zavala (Husaberg) will also be aiming for a top-10 position in his first Roof. Zavala is a regular at the Romaniacs and Erzberg Rodeo, and other endurance events all around the world.
The international riders will, however, not have it all their own way and the South Africans have trained hard during the course of the year and will do their utmost to keep the trophy in Africa.
The 2010 SA Off-Road and Enduro champion, Jade Gutzeit (Yamaha) will be a strong contender and would like to convert his second and third places at the previous two Roof of Africa races into a win.
He won the Roof in 2003 and finished amongst the top riders in his first attempt at the Bull Romaniacs in 2010. He also scored a top-10 finish at the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria earlier in 2010.
KTM riders Darryl Curtis (winner in 1996 and 2004), Swiss racer Lionel Seydoux who has been living and competing in South Africa and finished in the top 10 in Romania earlier in 2010, Altus de Wet and Riaan van Niekerk will also be riding for SA pride.
So will Kenneth Gilbert (Yamaha) whose US racing experience will come in handy, multiple Supermoto and former Trials champion, Brian Capper (KTM) - who also competed in the National Enduro championship this season.
Brent and Bruce Le Riche (Gas Gas), who have 10 South African Trials titles between them as well as trials experience in the US and Europe, will tackle the Roof of Africa for the first time.
The battle at the front promises to be fierce; fitness, mental toughness and bike preservation will play a big role on deciding who wins (and indeed, who finishes) the 2010 Roof.
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The only good view of a thunderstorm is in your rear view mirror.
People ask us why we ride a motorcycle. For those who have experienced the
joy, no explanation is necessary; for those who have not, no explanation is
Four wheels move the body; two wheels move the soul.
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars
to the saddle.
Life may begin at 40, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 140
You start the game of life with a full pot of luck and an empty pot of
experience. The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the
pot of luck.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
Midnight bugs taste just as bad as noon time bugs.
Saddlebags can never hold everything you want, but they CAN hold everything
Don't ride so late into the night that you sleep through the sunrise.
Sometimes it takes a whole tank full of gas before you can think straight.
Never hesitate to ride past the last street light at the edge of town.
Never do less than forty miles before breakfast.
A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.
Respect the person who has seen the dark side of motorcycling and lived, and
Young riders pick a destination and go. Old riders pick a direction and go.
A good mechanic will let you watch without charging you for it.
Sometimes the fastest way to get there is to stop for the night.
Always back your bike into the curb and sit where you can see it.
There are drunk riders and there are old riders, but there are not many old,
Two-lane blacktop isn't a highway - it's an attitude.
When you look down the road, it seems to never end; but you better believe
Winter is nature's way of telling you to test the electrics.
Keep your bike in good repair. Motorcycle boots are not all that comfortable
People are like motorcycles; each is customized a bit differently.
Sometimes, the best communication happens when you're on separate bikes.
When you're riding lead, don't spit.
A friend is someone who'll get out of bed at 2 a.m.. to drive his pickup to
the middle of nowhere to get you when you're broken down.
Catching a bee in your shirt @ 70 mph can double your vocabulary.
Catching a bee in your helmet will triple that special vocabulary.
There's something ugly about a NEW bike on a trailer.
Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.
If you can't get it going with bungee cords and duct tape, it's serious.
If you ride like there's no tomorrow, today will be a BLAST!
The best modifications cannot be seen from the outside..
Always replace the cheapest parts first.
You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.
Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.
Keep the painted side up, and the rubber side down!