Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
You are once again invited to join us on a Breakfast Cruise this coming
Sunday morning. This month we are planning to ride the roads least travelled
through to The Oaks at Byrne -- an old-world boutique hotel in surely one of
the most beautiful rustic settings in the entire Natal midlands!
Here are the details:
Date: Sunday 18th September 2011
Meet: Total Garage, Southway Mall
Time: 07h30 for 08h00 Departure (Sharp!)
Destination: The Oaks at Byrne, Bynre Village, Richmond
Out Route: Southway Mall, Edwin Swales Drive -- R7; M13, N3 South 1Stop Cato
Ridge, R603, R624, R56 Home Route: R56 Richmond/Umlaas Road, N3 North
1Stop Cato Ridge
It would be great if you can ride with us. You will not be
disappointed! It is an absolutely stunning venue!
As before, the ride will be a legal speed limit ride where good company,
stunning views and great motorcycles will be the order of the day.
As 'Bottle and Throttle Don't Mix', alcohol will not be part of the ride.
Also,out of respect for other riders and our hosts, we cannot accept
smoking zol on the ride.
If you have friends who would be happy with the terms of
Our ride, PLEASE FEEL FREE to invite them along.
They will be warmly welcomed!
We look forward to seeing you....
Have a great week and remember wear ATGATT!*
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Impala bike rally is baie soos Oppikoppi, net 150% meer zef, meer bikes, leliker chicks en hmmmm… min of meer dieselfde hoeveelheid drank. Daar is ook honderde fokken bike gangs en elke een probeer cooler as die volgende een wees. Min weet hulle dat ons in die meantime ook ‘n bike gang gestig het, en omdat ons by WKJ bietjie faktap is, hoef jy nie eers ‘n bike te hê om in die gang te wees nie. Jip, jy kan ‘n kar ook besit. Of jy hoef nie. As jy ‘n lift saam met jou buddie in sy bakkie kry werk toe mag jy ook in die gang wees. Befok huh? Hoe is dit vir inclusion?
Ek weet van twee gabbas wat spesiaal bikes gaan koop het om in die gang te wees. Respect (Baas Corné). Maar bietjie meer oor die bike gang en hoe om te join later, kompleet met website en alles.
By Impala het ek so paar kiekies en videos geneem. Die videos het julle reeds gesien. Top klas vermaak uit die zefste rakke. Vir die ouens wat daar was en nie mooi kan onthou nie (soos ek) is hieso so klein selection foto’s. Daar is meer as ‘n 100 geneem, maar hieso is so stuk of 10 van my favourites (my verskoning vir ek neem verskriklik kak af)
South Africa produces women who are as tough as steel – but who also can be as soft as flower petals.
One such woman is Janine Mitchell, a National Superbike racer and the second fastest woman on a motorcycle in South Africa.
“There’s one woman who’s a little quicker than me,” Mitchell says with a soft laugh. “She’s my best friend.” That woman is Nicole van Aswegen.
Both are the only women in superbike racing in South Africa and they race against – typically – a field of 18 men in this country.
The entry for motorcycle racing in the country is at club level, then riders progress to regional contests and on to the nationals.
“The guys are friendly – they’re nice – but sometimes I wonder if they really accept it that I race. That’s why it’s nice having Nicole – the two of us.
“At first we weren’t that friendly because we were competing against each other but since a year back we get on really well,” says Mitchell, 21.
Her message to South African women on Women’s Day/Month is: “You only live once; don’t let people dictate to you, and live life to the full.”
Janine also believes in Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World champion Valentino Rossi’s five Ps: “Perfect preparation prevents poor performance.”
Rossi is one of the highest achieving motorbike racers of all time.
Besides her love of speed, Mitchell loves the camera. She has entered Miss South Africa, with little preparation beforehand, and came in the top 100.
When she’d just left school she was chosen by an FHM talent scout for a photo shoot, and in 2009 she was among Sports Illustrated magazine’s Top Five Sporting Beauties in South Africa.
Mitchell loves all feminine things and when in East London , the day before Women’s Day, she took time out to twirl among the Watsonia flowers in a huge field above the Grand Prix track, wearing a shweshwe dress.
Racing in East London, whose track is the fastest in the country, prepared Mitchell for her current six-month contract, which will see her zooming around Kyalami.
“I’ve had quite a few crashes,” Janine says. “I was in intensive care for a week – I’d broken a few bones.”
While lying in hospital in extreme pain, she wondered if she should give up racing. “But I realised I wanted to go on. I used to do horse- riding and you’re taught to get back on your horse as soon as possible after a fall, otherwise you lose your nerve.”
Then six months ago, she broke her collar bone.
“It’s such an awkward bone to break,” she says. “But I’m fine now.”
You get the impression Janine is not waylaid by setbacks. She’s quite philosophical about them and looks on the bright side. It’s always onwards and upwards, with her – and she is facing a kidney operation because a kidney is not draining properly.
“That’s another two months out of my year,” she says – the other time out being recovery time from the collar-bone break.
“I’ve got quite a high pain threshold,” she says. (She’s also an expert at understatement.) “Eventually, one day I couldn’t get out of bed because of the pain.”
It turned out there was a tube blockage, preventing drainage, and her kidney was enlarged. She had urgent medical treatment. “It’s a miracle I’m alive,” she says.
Mitchell believes that sometimes people emerge for the better from crashes, burns and breaks.
Just like the flowers at Potter’s Pass Nature Reserve: After veld fires and torrential rains, they now bloom more radiantly than before.
Like two other South Africans – actress Charlize Theron and Princess of Monaco Charlene Wittstock – Mitchell is also a blonde bombshell from Benoni.
Before June, Janine was based in East London. She loved racing on the coastal Grand Prix track in this city.
A major attraction in East London was her boyfriend, whom she met at the East London Airport. He has since moved to Johannesburg to be with her – so, sorry boys, she’s taken.
Janine has a contract with Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) Africa, which sponsored her Kawasaki 600cc ZX6R bike and moved to Johannesburg when her contract with EFC, a martial arts and extreme sports event promoter, started in June.
EFC Africa president Cairo Howarth says: “Janine is charismatic and, from a sporting point of view, has a great track record, so it made sense for EFC Africa to get involved with her.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Johannesburg has been undergoing its own "Big Dig" over the past couple of years and slowly but surely parts of the Billion Rand Civil project to upgrade our old and congested highway network is now taking shape and construction on certain segments is now complete.
Driving with either my bike or car along some of the competed sections is just awesome, extra lanes, fresh tar and paint it’s nothing short of world class. I am sure no one can dispute the pure driving pleasure one sees on completed segments.
So what is the uproar? Every five kilometres or so we pass these massive overhanging gantries which projects a neon blue hue over your vehicles, cameras above snap digital pictures of your number plates feeding information back to a core computer network which will ultimately be billing you for every km you travel.
I believe the focus should not be on how much we pay on our new toll roads it should be about how long we pay these tolls. The estimated cost are a few billion rands for the upgrades, if a estimated 54 million vehicles per year are paying a average of 50c per kilometre the initial cost of this upgrade is going to be met very quickly, which would leave the project making millions in profits and as we know in our corrupt land someone somewhere will be lining their fat pockets again.
As a tax payer and a forthcoming contributor to tolls in Gauteng can someone provide us normal people with facts that make sense?
1. How many vehicles will use the system?
2. Break down of projected income on toll segments.
3. Time period to recover initial investment.
4. Projected maintenance costs of infrastructure.
5. Was this project financed to provide us with roads or was it financed long term to benefit investors?
The upgrades to our highway network requires us to pay the initial investment back, the bulk of that toll fee will be going towards that’s investment, let's not get caught with paying off something for ever. And that is what these money making gnats are hoping you will miss. Citizens of Jo-burg need to be fed facts on this project, we are not stupid. Once the capital investment has been made I would expect reductions in the tolls of up to 70%.
If the project has been handed over to a private consortium with long term interest in profiting from their investment, would this not be tantamount to “privatising” our national roads. If our roads have been “privatised” does anyone know anything about this? Has the public had chance to comment? Are our roads not classified as 'Critical Infrastructure'? Making money off our national assets at the expense of the tax payer is this not illegal?
What of all toll roads in our country, most of them have paid the initial investments back, why have we not seen drastic reductions in the fees?
As the tariff sign at almost any toll plaza bluntly shows, a lone rider on a motorcycle pays the same toll as a car and caravan, or a fully-loaded minibus taxi with a trailer. Since the tolls are intended for the maintenance of the road and heavier vehicles inevitably cause more wear and tear than the much lighter two-wheelers, that's manifestly unfair, and it is the reason why few bikers have any sympathy for toll-road operators.
In fact, when negotiations between Sanral and a riders' coalition over reduced tolls for motorcycles collapsed some years ago, it became commonplace for riders to move quickly through toll plazas without paying (it's called "skieting") or avoid toll roads altogether.
But I live in the Cape, where the situation is a little different. As of now, we have only two tolled roads here.
One, the Huguenot Tunnel, was built at huge expense to shorten the tortuous Du Toit's Kloof Pass for commercial hauliers. Bikers automatically go over the top and, any time I use the short cut to avoid bad weather in the pass, I'll happily pay for the privilege - although it still grates me to fork out the same as Oom Piet with his 4x4 beetle-crusher and double-axle caravan.
The other, of course, is Chapman's Peak Drive, a favourite bikers' playground ever since it was opened in the 1920's but which needs constant, careful maintenance because it's built on a loose, shifting mountainside.
The agreement is quite simple: they keep the rocks from falling on my head and I pay them to ride there - and besides, it's the only tolled road in the country that has a reduced tariff for motorcycles.
But now, drivers in Gauteng are to be tolled electronically for every kilometre they travel along some of the region's most important (and most unavoidable) freeways and the system will be rolled out to the rest of the country in the (very) foreseeable future.
The department of transport has even said that it is "too late" for the City of Cape Town to object to having toll plazas on the N1 and N2, thus holding the Mother City to ransom for every bit of fresh produce in our shops and every tourist visiting our winelands - coming and going!
But these are not new roads, built or upgraded at huge expense for our convenience, there are existing roads, paid for with our taxes, and we are already paying a hefty per-kilometre toll for driving on them, which is supposed to provide for their upkeep.
Out of the approximately R10 we pay for every litre of fuel, R1.77 goes to the department of transport as a fuel levy to pay for the maintenance and improvement of our roads.
Plus, every year, a sizable percentage of your vehicle's registration fee goes to the provincial roads department, for the same purpose.
It costs R168 a year to licence the motorcycle that takes me to work and back every day. R36 of that is an administration fee and R16.21 is VAT, the rest is road toll.
The bike returns an average of 6.7 litres/100km and I ride about 15 000km a year, averaged over five years. Totalled up, that means I'm already being tolled just under 12c per kilometre, whether I'm riding on an immaculately manicured new freeway or a rutted gravel back road.
And now you want me to pay another 24c per kilometre to travel on already-paid-for roads, most of which will go straight to Austria. That's not road maintenance, that's highway robbery!
SIOUX FALLS, SD -
This week, two bikers were taken to the hospital after a confrontation between the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle clubs. Authorities say members of the Mongols walked into the Hells Angels clubhouse in Sturgis. The two injured bikers were taken to the hospital with stab wounds, and two Hells Angels members are now facing assault charges.
It shows that among the thousands of bikers who roll into Sturgis every year for the rally are motorcycle clubs who also make the annual trip.
"I'm glad I'm out of it. I still go back to Sturgis but I go back in a different venue," Pastor Al Perratt said.
Perratt was known as ‘Nasty Al’ when he hung around the Hells Angels but he's left behind the motorcycle club life and is now a converted counselor and minister in Sioux Falls known as ‘Pastor Al.’
"Hells Angels have a presence. They've established themselves there, so there's always friction between outlaw one-percenter clubs no matter who they are, but this particular one does not surprise me," Perratt said.
Perratt says different clubs usually claim different territory in Sturgis. The fact that a fight broke out this week when the Mongols entered an area controlled by the Hells Angels isn't a surprise.
"Certain bars are known to be that club's turf; that is their waterhole. When they come in, anyone from around the nation from that club can go to that waterhole. If another club walks into that waterhole, or a prospect maybe he's drunk and walks in, then there's danger," Perratt said.
He says it's also possible the Mongols went into the Hells Angels territory on purpose.
"It's a statement. It's almost like it has to happen. It was probably planned way before they even came out from southern California," Perratt said.
Perratt says the majority of the bikers in Sturgis who are not part of an outlaw clubs need to take the gangs seriously, and as long as they keep their distance, they'll stay safe.
"If you're going to try and act cool and be around any one-percenter biker club, show respect and don't take pictures. They don't like pictures," Perratt said.
That's coming from a man who has lived the biker gang culture in Sturgis.
"Give them a lot of room. That's their playground; we're just allowed to come and visit," Perratt said.
Both of the bikers who were stabbed this week have been released from the hospital.
WINNIPEG - A city police officer received a serious upper body injury in a takedown of a car early Tuesday that resulted in the seizure of a loaded handgun.
The officer, who is a member of the tactical support team, is in stable condition in hospital, police said. Police didn't release his name, age or rank.
The car, a Dodge Avenger, was stopped around 12:30 a.m. as part of police efforts to deal with the feud between the Rock Machine and the Hells Angels-affiliated Redlined Support Crew.
Police said the Dodge tried to flee and ended up hitting three police vehicles. Two other officers with the tactical team were injured, but were treated and released from hospital.
Officers recovered a loaded handgun from the car, police said.
Joseph Jordan Carl Choken, 19, and Guy Wesley Vernon Stevenson, 21, have both been charged with unsafe transport of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition.
Choken is also charged with possession of ammunition contrary to a probation order, and it appears he was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant.
Stevenson is also charged with three counts of breaching probation, and several additional firearms charges.
A 23-year-old woman from Lorette, Man., is charged with failing to have a licence and a registration certificate for a firearm. Police didn't release her name.
At a briefing Tuesday morning, police suggested the case is linked to the conflict between rival outlaw motorcycle gangs, but a spokeswoman refused to specify how.
Two full-patch Hells Angels members were arrested Monday in a violent attack that took place at a Hamilton bar
James Sherwood, 41, and Joel Rollin, 28, face three counts of extortion, three counts of aggravated assault and one count break and enter with intent, in connection with the incident.
The Hells Angels members were allegedly recruited by two owners of a Hamilton bar to strongarm the bar’s previous owners into signing a liquor license transfer document. The victims were the previous owners of the bar, who survived but were left injured. The extent of their injuries is unclear.
The new bar owners, Linda Muraca, 54, and Dennis Dreher, 52, were also charged with three counts of extortion.
Mr. Sherwood and Mr. Rollin are being held in police custody. Their bail hearing will be held Thursday in Hamilton.
Mr. Sherwood works as the unofficial spokesman for the Hamilton Hells Angels. He was arrested in 2008 with fellow gang member James Malone after an altercation at a strip club in which a man, Amandeep Mann, was stabbed and beaten. Mr. Sherwood and Mr. Malone were both found not guilty of aggravated assault and weapons charges.
The National Post has learned that in addition to the charges laid Monday, authorities will try to convict the Hells Angels on criminal organization charges in relation to the Monday incident – charges the Toronto Hells Angels chapter was just acquitted of earlier this spring.
Greg Leslie, lawyer for Mr. Rollin, said he does not see this as a Hells Angels case.
“This is an isolated incident and a couple of people involved happen to be Hells Angels,” he said. “If they’re trying to get a conviction on criminal organization, I think they’ll be pretty hard-pressed. This case doesn’t have anything to do with the Hells Angels.”
In June, the Hamilton Hells Angels moved into a new clubhouse in the north end of the city. That property was the first in Steeltown to be subject to the city’s new fortification bylaw, which was brought into effect after the last major Hells Angels raid in 2009. In that raid, their last clubhouse, at 269 Lottridge Ave., was appropriated by police.
In interviews with Mr. Sherwood and Mr. Rollin, both expressed feeling victimized by police and described being routinely pulled over by traffic authorities.
When asked in June why he joined the outlaw biker gang, Mr. Sherwood said: “There are so many fake people, it’s nice to know there are a few real people who are interested in the same things I am. Mainly freedom.”
SAN JOSE -- The Henchmen call it "Driving while Biker", making reference to racial profiling of African Americans by police.
The local chapter of the motorcycle club claims they are being harassed by San Jose Police and they've hired a lawyer to protect their civil rights and stop directed code-enforcement and zoning claims made by the city against the motorcycle club.
Club founder Ed Aki tells the Mercury News, San Jose Police are acting like they're above the law.
Other members say cops are routinely stopping them, photographing their tattoos, and doing other mild forms of infringing on their civil liberties just because they belong to a motorcycle club. Members say they police are automatically lumping them in with the 'bad boy' mentality and culture of other outlaw biker gangs.
Authorities say this is a legal maneuver. By claiming their civil rights are being violated is a cynical approach to paint themselves as victims.
"If they were not involved in criminal activity, no one would give them a second look," said Jorge Gil-Blanco, a former San Jose police officer who is an expert on outlaw motorcycle gangs, tells the paper.
"We're not choir boys." Aki, a 54-year-old chip engineer and former Marine, counters, "But we're not the 'Sons of Anarchy,' either. We are hardworking, hard-partying and hard-riding!"
Recent studies in Europe and the US suggest that "distracted driving" - driving while talking on a cellphone or, even worse, tapping out a text message - is more dangerous than driving when alcoholically or chemically impaired.
I suggest that those researchers have never seen the condition of the average Cape Flats driver on a Friday night.
Nevertheless, I've had a number of frightening near-misses lately as drivers drifted aimlessly across several lanes (in rush-hour traffic!), eyes down and concentrating as their thumbs danced across the keys. So I can only applaud Oprah Winfrey's well-meaning if naïve "No-Phone Zone" campaign.
As a biker at risk every day from drivers who simply don't see me because they're fiddling with the satnav/cruise control/hands-free connection or just selecting a tune on the iPod they've got plugged into the car's built-in data port, I support any initiative that gets drivers to focus on driving.
But it ain't gonna happen.
Automakers now base entire sales campaigns on how "wired" their cars are; satnav, USB ports and even internet connections are becoming standard issue on upmarket family cars. Bluetooth connectivity, enabling you to make and receive phone calls from your car's audio system, is commonplace - my wife's 1.4-litre budget hatchback has it.
Most BMW 5 and 7 Series models now offer the facility to read, compose and send e-mails while driving; many other major automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Audi, Saab and Chrysler, offer some form of internet access. Ford proudly boasts that within four years 80 percent of its US model line-up will not only be permanently online but will also be Wi-fi hotspots, so drivers can use their laptops, tablets and music devices to access the internet while on the move.
How much of their attention will be on actually driving the car?
Driving, no matter how many wheels you have under you, is a complex process with constantly changing parameters. Getting it wrong is always expensive and usually painful, yet we rush headlong towards a scenario where cars will drive themselves because they have to; their occupants will be too busy networking to worry about where they're going.
Before you accuse me of overstating the case, consider how many cars already have adaptive cruise control that applies the brakes if they get too close to the car in front and lane recognition software that gently corrects the steering if the car drifts across freeway lane markings.
If you discount the 50.5 percent of motorcycle accidents worldwide that are directly caused by car drivers, motorcyclists aged 18-35 have fewer accidents than car drivers of the same age. Could that be because - other than a few luxury tourers - bikes have neither audio systems, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cruise control nor satnav? Could it be that bikers focus better on riding simply because they have fewer distractions?
Biker turned Christian preacher who claims he saved child soldiers from militia in Sudan is 'telling a lie', says army general Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2028806/Biker-turned-Christian-preacher-claims-saved-child-soldiers-militia-Sudan-telling-lie-says-army-general.html#ixzz1VolUkMUa
The real-life tale of a former drug-dealing biker turned born-again Christian missionary who rescued child soldiers is the swashbuckling stuff that Hollywood dreams are made of.
The story of Sam Childers looks likely to earn millions next month when it comes to the big screen as The Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler in the title role.
However all may not quite be as it seems. An army general has said that Childers claims he fought with the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are 'a lie'.
Childers is a one-time gun-totting criminal from Pennsylvania who changed his ways after finding God.
His missionary work lead him to the African state which was beleaguered by a violent 22-year civil war.
Lieutenant-General Obuto Mamur Mete, a senior official in the SPLA, said Childers never battled against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the brutal militia which kidnapped thousands of children to train as soldiers and murdered hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people.
Lieutenant-General Mete told the Sunday Times: 'Sam Childers was responsible for an orphanage in southern Sudan, that was all.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The city has its own drag race circuit — the flyovers — where biker boys, barely into their teens, stake their lives on killer races. It's not just speed that drives this deadly racket, but money as well. Gamblers place bets on bikers: the higher the risk, the higher the bet.
It's a dark, dangerous world — and it's Kolkata's worst kept secret.
Police deny vehemently that Kolkata has Florida-type street races but the truth is getting increasingly harder to deny. "It's like having a drunkard in the family. You don't admit it, but the whole neighbourhood knows it," said a street biker, who chose to keep his helmet and visor on.
These Fast-and-the-Furious type races are held in the dead of night. The money put on each biker could range from `3,000 to `10,000, which is not bad pocket money for a teenager. There is extra money for stunt competitions — like doing wheelies (riding on the rear wheel alone) and stoppies (lifting the rear wheel using momentum and hard braking) at high speed.
"You can almost smell the adrenaline, if it wasn't for the burning rubber and exhaust," says a 20-year-old who was part of these drag races till he crashed recently.
The happiest hunting ground is the AJC Bose Road flyover where a schoolboy was killed on Tuesday while racing a classmate. Eyewitnesses had reckoned that Class XII student Atif Rehman was doing 80kmph when he crashed, throwing his pillion rider, Supriyo Roy, on to the concrete. But the police team that investigated studied the impact on the guard wall said Atif Rehman was doing at least 130 kmph when he crashed.
"If there is a teenager in the locality who is a speed maniac, other teenagers in the neighbourhood easily get influenced. We have tried to discourage Atif. We even started a gym for the boys to get their mind off bikes and racing but with little success," said Hailder Ali of Karaya Sporting club, opposite Atif's residence.
More and more teenagers are being drawn into the night races on flyovers. Many even race in the day, placing bets on who can zip faster through traffic.
"There is a huge amount of money involved in the speed game. It's a big attraction for the youngsters. They use the flyovers in the day for practice. It is scary to see that kind of speed," said a restaurant employee near Park Circus who regularly witnesses such drag races.
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has denied claims by SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) that it failed to respond to the transport minister's decision to convert the N1 and N2 highways between the city and the Cape Winelands into toll roads.
“The city wrote to Sanral during the intent-to-toll process requesting that its concerns be addressed and stating that if this was not done, the city would consider legal action," the city's mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Herron, said on Thursday.
Sanral's claims that the city was extensively engaged in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, and that the city did not appeal the decision, were also untrue.
"The first decision in the EIA process was made on 30 September 2003," Herron said.
"The city was dissatisfied with the decision and did appeal. The appeal process was finalised in 2008, but the city's appeal was unsuccessful.
"However, the city was informed that, as per the agreement entered into between Sanral and the department of environmental affairs, the socioeconomic impacts of tolling would be considered during the intent-to-toll process."
There was also an indication from the EIA practitioner acting on behalf of Sanral that there would be further talks between the city and itself regarding costs and benefits resulting from the tolls.
"It appeared premature to institute review proceedings at that stage," Herron said.
The city wrote to Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to inform him that an intergovernmental dispute had been declared with Sanral over its plans for the toll road.
Sanral said this week there was a "dispute" between it and the city over the proposed toll road.
"Sanral has engaged with the City of Cape Town over nine years on this project," the agency said.
The city was given an opportunity to participate, prior to Ndebele's decision to declare the road a toll road.
"Sanral contends that there is no dispute between the city and itself and that it remains open for further engagement with the City of Cape Town."
Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Renown tire manufacturer Pirelli has just announced the launch of a new iPhone app designed to celebrate the success of the Diablo family of performance tires and its renewed role as Official Tire Supplier to the Superbike World Championship. The company Pirelli has released the Diablo Super Biker iPhone App via the Apple App Store and iTunes.Technorati Tags: tyres, diablo
The app allows users to measure their riding performance and discover everything from the lean angle to corner speed without having to buy or mount expensive equipment on their bike.
In addition to that, the new app enables riders to make use of the GPS tracking technology of Apple’s iPhone 4 for immediate feedback on their rides.
“It’s like having a transponder and GPS tracking device right in the palm of your hand. Run your own bike or tire test with this user-friendly statistical data tool for comparing results. Visualize your favourite or best lap in the circuit or recent road ride, then easily upload and share them on Facebook, directly from the app,” Pirelli explains.
The Diablo Super Biker app is currently compatible with iPhone 4 and requires iOS 4.2 or later, and is now available on Apple’s App Store in five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Users that download the new app for free will have available the following features:
• Choice between road or track mode
• Bike telemetry data recording
• Lean angle measured using GPS tracking technology
• Measure speed, distance and lap time during track sessions
• Display recorded sessions via Google Maps
• Share your best rides via Facebook
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Late comedian Mandla “Bongo” Thabethe’s wife was walking behind her father when she suddenly found herself flying over him and falling a few metres away down the road. Then she lost consciousness.
Mapula Thabethe escaped death by a hair’s breadth when she was hit by a speeding motorbike ridden by a female biker in Sedibeng, Walkerville, on Thursday afternoon.
The hair-raising incident comes nine months after Mapula’s husband, who created and acted in SABC1’s comedy Family Bonds, was killed in a motorbike accident.
The bike he was riding was hit by another in January this year. He died of head injuries.
His wife sustained head, facial and leg injuries and was rushed to Sebokeng hospital, where she is recuperating.
Speaking to Sunday World from her hospital bed, Mapula says she is out of danger.
“The strange thing is that I sustained the same injuries that claimed his life. “Fortunately I’m alive and will be able to raise our son Mondli.
“From now on, I will run away when I see a motorbike. I almost died and left our son behind. Who would have raised him?” she asks.
U.S. Marshals have arrested a fugitive motorcycle gang member who's accused of plotting to kill rivals in Denver and in Illinois.
Marshall "Big Bo" Fry, purportedly a member of the Wheels of Soul gang, was taken into custody Tuesday in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He was the last to be arrested among 18 members who were indicted in June.
Fry was charged with racketeering, attempt to commit murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. He was accused of firing at rival gang members in Denver last year and planning to kill members of another gang this year in East St. Louis, Ill., the Denver Post reported (http://bit.ly/qyJhwC ).
It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.
Authorities say Wheels of Soul amassed power by selling crack cocaine and intimidating rival gangs and clubs across the country. It has a presence in Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis and Denver.
According to an indictment, Fry fired a shotgun at a Hell's Lovers gang clubhouse in Denver on Aug. 2, 2010. Three members of Hell's Lovers returned fire.
In January, the Colorado chapter president of Wheels of Soul, Jerry Elkins, ordered Fry and another member to travel to East St. Louis, Ill., to kill members of the Outkast motorcycle gang, the court document said. That mission was thwarted because police were near an Outkast gathering.
On Saturday, U.S. Marshals raided an auto repair shop where they believed Fry was hiding, but he apparently had left before the raid.
"He knew we were looking for him," said Charlie Ahmad of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the adventure rider a unique and inspiring experience. South Africa is a heady mix of third and first world cultures - along with the best and least crowded beaches in the world, not to mention the back roads in its central regions.
Often overlooked as a real adventure biking destination by us locals, but actually South Africa offers the most diverse terrain and scenery of any of the countries we have done so far, with an added benefit of ample B&Bs, clean petrol and well prepared meals, all essentials when wanting to not live the actual Chuck Norris lifestyle. We are not putting off the Namibia and Angola stories indefinitely, and will feature them shortly.
There are way too many places to mention in one article about SA but, for this issue, we are delving into the Limpopo Province and will be featuring some interesting towns which we suggest you visit.
Limpopo is the northern most province in South Africa, bordering on Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It offers fantastic back roads and, when searching the web, you will find ample places to stay, with a proper bush weekend away not more than three hours ride from Gauteng. Tracks4Africa has many routes that you can down load but one of my favourite routes is heading out to Brits as this route gets you off the highways immediately and from there you head north on the R511 to the Waterberge. Here you can choose staying on tar or taking any of the hundreds of well maintained dirt roads in the area. A suggestion is also to do something different and try and follow the Tropic of Capricorn as closely as possible by taking all the secondary roads. A word of caution though, as compacted as the dirt roads may seem to be, without warning they sometimes turns into long sand pits, which can quite easily catch the inexperienced rider, or overloaded experienced rider out. Other attractions are fishing at Magoebaskloof and adventure riding on the border of the Kruger Park from little towns like Giyani and it really is worth the effort.
Thabazimbi is situated in the North West corner of Limpopo in South Africa. Thabazimbi is named after the exceptionally lucrative iron ore that was found in the area in 1919. The word Thabazimbi literally means mountain of iron in a local language. The area around Thabazimbi, Limpopo was predominantly used for cattle farming and had a high standing in South Africas beef industry.
Did you know that the name Modimole means spirits have eaten? The original name was Nylstroom, called thus after some Voortrekkers came across the north-flowing river and mistook it for the source of the Nile River in Egypt. The fact that there is a pyramid shaped hill close by only served to strengthen this misconception. Modimole, Limpopo, South Africa, is a charming town which serves as the commercial centre of the Waterberg. Modimoles landmark is a solitary hill named Kranskop. This is the reason for the new name of this town in Limpopo, as this hill is referred to as Modimole hill by the African people in the area who used to leave offerings of food for their forefathers spirits.
The Anglo-Boer war concentration camp was established in Nylstroom/Modimole, South Africa in 1901.
The City of Polokwane in Limpopo, South Africa serves as the capital of Limpopo and is a definite must see for the tourist as it boasts numerous attractions and activities as well as serving as the economic centre for the total area of South Africa, north of Gauteng. In 1884 this land was made available for settlement by the ZAR (Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek) and was named Pietersburg in honour of the revered Voortrekker leader, General Pieter Jacobus Joubert, and was proclaimed in 1886. This city has enjoyed a hundred and twenty years of prosperity and has grown rapidly due to its geographical location. The city of Pietersburg was one of the first places in South Africa to change its name to Polokwane, which in the local language translates to Place of Safety.
Bela Bela was originally named Warmbad but has now been renamed. This town in Limpopo derived the name Bela Bela from the Tswana language and can be loosely translated as boiling-boiling; a natural spring providing 22 000 litres per hour of therapeutic water at 50°C. It was only in the 1870s that the then Transvaal Government decided to buy the land to build a resort and support the township in the area. As a stop over after a long day’s riding, this resort scores high.
The small charming traditional "boere" town of Louis Trichardt in Limpopo is nestled close to the Soutpansberg (Salt Pan Mountain). This is South Africas most northern mountain range and this rugged terrain is filled with a famous tourist attraction - the giant baobab trees. The Soutpansberg Mountain Range at Louis Trichardt is 130km long and is so named because of the large salt pan situated on the western slopes. The highest point, called Lajuma, is home to scores of eagles, falcons and other predatory bird species. Another tourist attraction for these mountains is the fact that they are home to the largest concentration of leopard that can be found in the world!
One of South Africa’s most tourist friendly towns is Tzaneen. The name Tzaneen is derived from the word "tsaneng" which means "come together" in an African language, and is situated in the foothills of the impressive Wolkberg (Cloud Mountain), a must see as it is a gem of a tourist destination. Tzaneen, Limpopo, is a sub-tropical paradise with indigenous and exotic plants and forms the heart of the valley of the Olifants region.
Tzaneen is the second largest town in the Limpopo Province and Tzaneen is seen as the "capital" of the lovely Letaba District which is more than 2 000 square kilometres of tropical and sub-tropical farming in the Letsitele River Valley - a real tourist destination with a great variety of accommodation. The Tzaneen area is where the Shangaan and the Sotho people originated and their ethnic cultures and lifestyles are shown in a living museum in Tzaneen on the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve.
Musina in Limpopo is the most northerly town in South Africa and is close to the Great North Road and the border post to Zimbabwe and thus, the rest of Africa! The rich copper fields in the North Country ultimately led to the founding and growth of Musina (then called Messina – the Afrikaans spelling). In Prehistoric times the Musina African tribe discovered copper and called it Musina - in their language this word meant "spoiler". The Musina tribe thought copper to be a poor substitute to iron hence the name! It was rediscovered in the 20th Century by prospectors.
Today Musina is the centre of large iron ore, semi-precious stone, diamond, coal, graphite, magnetite and copper mining area. The Waterberg offers a mosaic of exceptional scenic landscape, a fascinating cultural heritage, an abundance of wildlife species and many nature-based tourism activities.
Vaalwater is the central village of the Waterberg area, the heart of the Bushveld region. The Waterberg has been described as South Africas best keep secret. Its rugged beauty and its diversity of plant and animal life has led to the development of the biosphere reserve and the Waterberg Nature Conservancy - the amalgamation of conservation areas in order to protect more than 150 000 hectares of the Waterberg-habitat. The Waterberg Mountain Range, incorporating many rivers, streams and swamps, stretches for 150 kilometres in a long arc from Thabazimbi in the West, Nylstroom/Modimole in the centre to Potgietersrus/Mokopane in the east. Apart from the spectacular scenery of the mountains themselves, there are many game sanctuaries, nature reserves and farms. The 75 mammal species include big game such as elephant, lion, white and black rhino, hippo, leopard and buffalo. African python and Nile crocodile are also resident and it is a birdwatchers paradise with more than 300 bird species.
Limpopo Province as a biker destination is full of interesting places; most little towns have old style hotels with a few locals that are always ready for a chat.
Renting Harley-Davidsons for a coast-to-coast ride may sound like an all-American trip. But on this particular ride, 26 South Africans will be behind the handlebars.
"There's no better way to see America than on the back of an American-made Harley-Davidson motorcycle," said Philip Marsh, one of 26 members of the Clearwater motorcycle club in Johannesburg, South Africa, who were in Frederick on Thursday and Friday to pick up their hogs.
The trip, slated to begin Monday, is the culmination of years of planning, Marsh said.
"We started to talk about it in a pub," Marsh said. "We talked about how much fun it would be to be able to ride to Sturgis, S.D., the mecca for Harley-Davidsons. There was a lot of brainstorming."
Marsh and his wife, Shelley, and Shawn and Vanessa Venter were the first two couples to arrive and check out their bikes Thursday at Harley-Davidson of Frederick on Md. 355.
For Shawn Venter, a first-time visitor to the U.S., the anticipation for the ride was unmistakable.
"This is about experiencing America on a bike," Shawn Venter said. "Of the five or 10 things you want to do in a lifetime, this is one."
South Africans are used to riding on the left side of the road. They will have to get used to riding on the right quickly, Shawn Venter said.
The monthlong trip, which includes stops in York, Pa., and Sturgis, will also take the group through Death Valley, Calif.
"Let's hope there will be no flats," Marsh said.
Going through Death Valley will help build character, Vanessa Venter said.
While in Frederick, the group plans to visit area sites. On Sunday, the South Africans will take in the Frederick County countryside with an escort from the Frederick Chapter Harley Owners Group.
The Clearwater motorcycle club searched Harley-Davidson groups throughout the country and selected 12 whose members will accompany them on various stretches of the trip.
"We'll be riding with 12 different chapters," Marsh said. "Motorcycle riding and our love for Harleys is what we have in common."
The group hopes to create memories with this one-time event, Shelley Marsh said.
"We're looking forward to meeting different Americans and fellow riders from all over the country," Marsh said. "It's very exciting."
Harley-Davidson of Frederick's rental manager, Javier Franco, said his department is busy.
The South Africans are one of several dozen international groups who rent from the Frederick store. In August, a group of Canadians will rent seven more bikes, Franco said.
The 26 bikes will be dropped off in San Francisco and shipped back to Frederick, where they will be cleaned and tuned up for a group of five Germans, Franco said.
"We're now at 28 bikes for rent and still can't satisfy the demand," Franco said.
The Frederick franchise appeals to many people interested in local or long-distance riding, Franco said.
"The Clearwater club challenged me to find the kinds of bikes they wanted, the number of bikes they wanted, and it's been my job for the past six months to fulfill their requests," Franco said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me as well, to make sure their experience in the U.S. is the best. If I can't meet that standard, I'm not doing my job."
Harley-Davidson of Frederick owner Mike Vantucci said he was excited the group chose his dealership to "start their thrilling journey."
Salesman Herb Starlings said, "We at Harley-Davidson continue to do what diplomats can't do — make friends. I wish I was joining them to make some great memories."
Motorbike safety awarenes'No sympathy' for speeding motorcyclistss group Think Bike on Monday said that it has no sympathy for speeding motorcyclists.
One biker was clocked doing 213 kilometres per hour on the N1 near Beaufort West at the weekend.
Traffic officers had to give chase after the man tried to evade them.
In Gauteng, another motorcyclist was arrested for exceeding 200 km/h.
Think Bike’s Rehann Coetzee said, “Temptation is there; what we’re saying to our bikers is to rather go for a track day on a racetrack - it’s a closed and safe, controlled environment.”
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A Cape Town rider has survived a freak accident after colliding head-first with the back of a car on Slangkop Road, Kommetjie, on Saturday evening.
Allan Sutten, 72, from Fish Hoek was said to be on one of his regular afternoon rides on his Kawasaki ER-6n when he crashed into the back of a silver Toyota Yaris.
According to his family, Sutten suffered a concussion, three broken ribs and a broken bone in his shoulder.
He was expected to be discharged on Monday.
His eldest son, Ian Sutten, said his father was still in shock and couldn’t remember much about the accident.
He said his father, a retired engineer, had always been passionate about his motorcycle and loved taking it for rides along the peninsula.
“In all the years he has been riding, I don’t remember him being in an accident as serious as this one. When I look at the way the bike was positioned on the car, I can only be grateful my dad walked away with the injuries he has. It could have been much worse,” he said.
Sutten said he had been “scared” when the doctors told the family there was blood between his father’s skull and brain.
“But they explained it would not be a problem as the body usually absorbs it. They are optimistic that he will make a steady recovery, but they could not say for sure because of his age.”
Asked whether the accident would put his father off motorbikes, he said he could not see any reason why it would stop him from riding again, as it was his father’s great “love”.
Cape Medical Response spokesman, Darren Zimmerman, said it was the first time the team had witnessed a scene where a motorbike had been “parked inside the back of a car”.
“We believe Sutten was overtaking the vehicle in front of him when he slammed into the back of the car”, said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman said the driver of the vehicle had not sustained any injuries. - Cape Times
Sunday, July 31, 2011
HASTINGS has been chosen as the setting for the UK’s first lesbian and gay biker rally.
The event, which is open to all gay and lesbian bikers and their friends, will take place on September 18 at Azur at the Marina Pavilion, St Leonards.
Organiser Julian Langham, is expecting that up to 400 biking enthusiasts will attend the event, which is supported by Hastings Borough Council.
He said: “What started as an idea for a picnic on the beach has turned into something where we are now expecting a few hundred people. So I think it will be a really good event.”
The event will start from around 10am to 6pm, with bikers gathering in the car park next to Azur.
There will be a barbecue from noon to 4pm and weather-depending, attendees can gather inside in the sun lounge, out on the terrace, or on the beach.
Further details of the rally are to be confirmed closer to the time, but essentially Mr Langham sees it as an informal social event.
Mr Langham, who is himself from London, said: “This is an opportunity to find out the extent of the gay biker community.
“I’ve had a really good response, through the website and Facebook page. I think that a lot of people are excited about it.
“It will be interesting to see how far people will be travelling from.”
For more details visit www.gaybikerrally.co.uk.
THE HAGUE - Dutch police arrested 56 members of a national motorcycle club in the capital Amsterdam to prevent a possible clash with rival club Hells Angels, police said Sunday.
There were indications that members of the Satudarah biker club had travelled to Amsterdam to challenge their rivals, according to a police statement.
“A possible confrontation between Satudarah and members of the Hells Angels had to be taken in account,” the statement said.
The 56 were arrested “late last night (Saturday) for a public order disturbance. Those arrested all belong to the biker club Satudarah,” police also said.
It was unclear where the Satudarah members came from, but a local report stated the club, established by bikers of Moluccan descent, had at least 10 chapters around the Netherlands. Police declined to reveal further information.
Police acted as tensions are believed to be escalating between the club and the Hells Angels, a local report said. The Hells Angels has some 17 chapters around the Netherlands and has so far thwarted prosecutors’ attempts to have it declared a criminal organisation.
Dutch police spokesman Joost van Slobbe told national daily Algemeen Dagblad on Saturday that police believed “the balance between the biker clubs has been disturbed.”
Van Slobbe added that Dutch law enforcement “at all costs” wanted to prevent a possible biker war, similar to the one between the Hells Angels and Bandidos in the 1990s in Scandinavia, which killed 11 and injured 95.
The pews overflowed the first night Solid Rock Biker Church opened in Lynchburg. Late arrivals were left to lean against the walls, eyes wide.
Many had come to see if the stories were true. Had bad boy Billy Powell, a member of the notorious Pagan Motorcycle Club, really turned preacher?
“I just felt compelled to go and check him out,” says Thomas “Doppler” Case, chaplain of Riders for the Rock, a local motorcycle ministry.
“People have a hard time believing how much a person can change and he’s changed a lot,” says Case. “I admire him for it.
“Billy’s somewhat infamous.”
Powell, a Nelson County native, joined the Pagans at 24 and for more than two decades lived a violent life.
He is well known to area law enforcement and bikers of all ilk.
In 2009 he was among 27 members of the Outlaw and Pagan motorcycle clubs indicted on federal charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion and narcotics distribution. Powell was charged with one count of violence in aid of racketeering for a show of force on March 14, 2009. Court documents show he was charged with involvement in a malicious wounding.
The charges against him were dismissed on Nov. 22, 2010.
The case ended about five months later with the national president of the American Outlaw Association, Jack Rosga, sentenced to 20 years in prison and 20 other club members pleading guilty or being convicted.
Powell doesn’t shy away from his violent past, though he is reluctant to reveal specifics.
“I was good at it,” says Powell, as he sits in the back of Solid Rock, which shares space with a thrift shop near Miller Park.
“It was something I could do. If I had a bad day, you were going to have a badder day.”
Then in November 2008, he says, the Holy Spirit reached out to him. Around the same time, a shared love of riding led him to Michael Dodson Jr., a member of Hard Core Motorcycle Ministry. Dodson, who says he knows the specifics of Powell’s past, invited Powell to attend his biker-friendly church in Altavista.
“I was on the road to destruction,” says Powell. But, he says, “God knew that violence wasn’t what was in my heart.”
“I really felt like God just pointed him to out to me,” said Dodson, who eventually introduced Powell to his father, Mike Dodson Sr., pastor of Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg.
About a year later, Powell says he found Jesus. He remembers the exact day: October 4, 2009.
“I will do what you want me to do,” Powell says he told God.
“Tonight we’re gonna talk about building on the rock,” says Powell, his voice filling the small Fort Avenue building that was once a post office. His voice carries through the speakers into the parking lot, where a few stragglers still scarf down hot dogs and chips.
“Do you know what a foundation is? Faith is based on things you cannot see.”
About 40 people crowd the shop, including Powell’s wife Cathy and two of their six children. Little girls with beaded braids, elderly women, people from the local shelter and bikers with patch-covered leather vests nod their heads in agreement as Powell continues.
His thick wedding band catches the light as he grabs the long, curling motorcycle handlebars mounted to the pulpit. When building a motorcycle, a good, solid frame is paramount, he says.
Faith, he says, must also be built on something sturdy.
The pace picks up and Powell’s fervor takes hold of his body. He pumps his muscled arms then thrusts his hands toward the audience as his lesson unfolds. The artwork that traipses down his arms all the way to the back of his knuckles swirls as he moves. Tattoo flames lick his neck.
Powell makes his living as a tattoo artist.
“If Billy Powell can get saved, anybody can get saved,” says Powell. “Ain’t nobody gonna stop me from telling people what the Bible’s done for me.”
Soon he dispatches a biker with a well-worn black helmet upturned to gather donations. Powell says the donations pay for the Lynchburg church, which costs $2,400 a year in rent and pre-service meals, which cost $60 to $80 a week.
Powell started his first Solid Rock Biker Church in February 2010 on U.S. 29 in Altavista, where he continues to draw crowds to Tuesday evening services. Prior to turning the building over to Powell, Dodson Jr. preached at the church, as part of a different biker ministry.
Powell started his second church at the former Tree of Life thrift store on Fort Avenue in June and can be found preaching there every Thursday evening. Last month he added Saturday evening services.
The Dodsons, who say Powell has had a total life change, offered him both spaces.
Dodson Sr. is familiar with Powell’s rough reputation. He says simply that “he really deserves a chance and he needed someone to back him.”
“We just saw his vision,” said Dodson Jr., who now preaches at Christian Life Ministries in Bedford.
As Powell preaches inside the small glass-front shop down from Kenney’s, curious outsiders often push their faces against the front window so they can see inside.
That’s exactly what Powell wants.
“This is right where we need to be,” says Powell, who wants to start youth, outreach and food programs.
“Everyone who comes through that door is subject to be preached to.”
Solid Rock’s appeal is strong in the small but growing area of motorcycle ministry, of which there are at least five locally.
Harry Humphries Jr., part of Hard Core Motorcycle Ministry, estimates there are several hundred bikers in Central Virginia. Solid Rock turns no one away. On most evenings strangers wandering by will ask for food and congregants happily welcome them into the fold. Eventually those same faces appear inside the church.
“I still have grease on my pants, I still have on my boots and I stink,” says Humphries. “But they don’t care; they want me here.”
Dodson Jr. says part of Powell’s appeal is that his training isn’t from a book or school, it’s from real-life experiences.
He “understands because he has actually been there, done that. He’s actually been in their position. You could have all the education in the world and still not understand. Powell can say, ‘I have walked those miles,’” says Dodson Jr.
Powell put it this way: “They’re seeing somebody up there that has pulled time. It is somebody that looks like them and doesn’t use big words because he can’t.”
His services often draw on his past, though he is reluctant to let outsiders in on the details. His own mistakes are fodder in his sermons, especially when he talks to children.
Powell has consumed the word with fervor, but frequently what comes out of his mouth in church is not the standard King James version.
“I’m gonna break it down piece by piece. Think about it. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. That’s cool,” says Powell, his voice rising to a crescendo before he leapfrogs to the next thought.
After meeting Powell at a Roanoke biker church on a Wednesday night in June, Lori and Bill Grabbert rode to Lynchburg to hear him the next night.
“We liked what he was saying and we decided to come and check it out,” says Lori.
“If you listen to him talk for 10 minutes you know that he’s a normal person,” says Bill. “He’s not gonna be knocking on your door in a suit and tie the next day asking if you’ve accepted Christ.”
Humphries says Powell’s story of leaving a motorcycle gang is evidence of God’s presence.
“For him to come out and start doing God’s work, it’s a miracle.”
Thursday, July 28, 2011
THIS year’s Australasian Safari has just been elevated on the world scene with news that three-time Dakar winner Cyril Despres will compete in the punishing WA event.
The Frenchman is the most accomplished long-distance off-road motorbike rider in the world, with seven Dakar podium finishes in the last eight years.
He will join other top riders from the US, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy and the UAE in the seven-day challenge in September.
Last year’s event was viewed in more than 100 countries around the globe.
Despres said he was looking forward to the challenge of the Australasian Safari.
“Also I have done over 60 rallies in my career and the Safari is the only major event that I haven’t yet done,” he said.
Despres will come to Australia directly from the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil with just his manager and a mechanic.
In Australia he will be supported by KTM Australia.
Motorsport fans can meet Despres and see his KTM450 Rally bike and 100 other moto, auto and quad bike entries at Hillarys Boat Harbour on September 22.
SUNDVOLDEN — A thousand bikers from rival Norwegian gangs struck an unprecedented truce Tuesday to lay flowers on a shore facing the island where 68 youths perished in a crazed gun rampage.
"We've got Hell's Angels, Coffin Cheaters and Outlaws riding side-by-side out here tonight -- the first time these gangs have ever ridden together," biker Henrik Bauer Larsen told AFP on Lake Tyrifjorden, staring out on Utoeya island.
"These groups are not friends," Larsen said of the horn-tooting, leather-clad hordes on wheels.
"Normally, they fight tough -- but we agreed there would be no politics here, that everyone would stand together.
"In each of these gangs, someone knew people hit on the island -- we just wanted to pay our respects to the victims and their families."
Holding the hand of his fellow-biker girlfriend, Larsen said 550 riders had come from the Norwegian Motorcycle Union, a big Harley Davidson crew that runs a convoy once a year to mark a major event.
Hundreds more joined from Bergen and other cities on equally-feted German or Japanese bikes.
"The truce won't last," he admitted, "but even the police bikers wanted to join in when they saw Tommy's Facebook invitation on Facebook on Sunday," beckoning over his pal who had came up with the idea.
"They cleared our way from Oslo out to Sundvolden, and arranged for us to have space for the bikes out here so we could go down to the shore," added Tommy Hansen.
"It's the biggest bike convoy in Nordic history," he added. "People have come from all over Scandinavia and people on their holidays have joined in on the road -- we just wanted to show our sympathy."
Another biker, Christian Andre Hellebergshaughen, a Harley-mad bike store-worker in Oslo, summed up the mood, saying everyone wanted "to pay our respects to the victims ... of this crazy, crazy man."
The riders had all learnt how Anders Behring Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, described his client earlier Tuesday as "insane", in a clear hint at his line of defence should the case come to trial.
One, who sat pensively by herself on the shore watching a police mini-submarine maintain its search for those still "missing" in the high waters around Utoeya, said there might not be much point.
"Giving that man a platform from which to spread his manifesto of hate will achieve nothing -- whatever is decided, he will never be allowed back out into society," the woman, who declined to give her name, said after her pilgrimage.
Across the water, a mini-shrine has sprung up to the dead, where gut-wrenching pictures drawn by young children depict lost brothers and sisters in the water crying for help.