Friday, August 5, 2011

Bongo’s wife hit by speeding motorbike

Bongo’s wife hit by speeding motorbike -  MSN ZA News
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.


Fugitive biker gang member arrested in Colorado

Fugitive biker gang member arrested in Colorado - chicagotribune.com
AURORA, Colo.—
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

SuperBike Magazine - News
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 Province:
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.


South African motorcycle club members prepare for coast-to-coast ride

South African motorcycle club members prepare for coast-to-coast ride - The Frederick News-Post Online
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."


'No sympathy' for speeding motorcyclists

Eyewitness News: 'No sympathy' for speeding motorcyclists
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

Biker, 72, escapes freak accident

Biker, 72, escapes freak accident - IOL Motoring Bikes, Quads & Karts | IOL.co.za


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

atgatt


big trouble

The UK’s first gay biker rally is set to ride into town

The UK’s first gay biker rally is set to ride into town - Local News - Hastings St. Leonards Observer


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.


Dutch police arrest 56 bikers over potential clash

Dutch police arrest 56 bikers over potential clash
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.


Biker with violent past starts Lynchburg motorcycle church

Biker with violent past starts Lynchburg motorcycle church | Nelson County Times


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.”