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.