Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Of Tuli and life  (Read 3206 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Of Tuli and life
« on: March 07, 2013, 12:14:36 pm »
As the saying goes- life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

I suppose that most people realise this as an epiphany somewhere during their lives, mostly too late.

I've been wanting to do a bike trip with my dad for years now. It's always been at the back of my mind, regularly surfacing only to be filed again as it's just never the right time.

This thread was another indictment on my conscience for not making good on the promise I had made to myself.

My dad is my hero. Always has been. Always will be.

He grew up in Ellisras with my gran and an older sister and brother, who've all since passed away, most recently his sis.  His father died while my gran was six months pregnant with my dad. He never had a dad. Ever. They stayed on a small family farm just outside of town, where he and his brother started fiddling with old motorbikes from early on.

His passion for bikes remained strong ever since, and he's always had at least one form of bike somewhere. After school he joined the Police and served in the Pretoria Flying Squad for a while. He then moved to Swartruggens and Matooster where he served in Bophuthatswana Police Force for a few years. This is where I was born. Around 1980 after leaving the SAP, he joined Impala Platinum Mine near Rustenburg's security department.

The recent Marikana conflicts are nothing new. In those days and in the same area, the hostels were occupied by many thousands of hard-knuckled mine workers. General lawlessness reigned supreme, sporting a roaring dagga trade. No one had the the guts/stupidity/army to enter the hostels for a proper shakedown, and my dad and company had to pursue the dealers on foot in the areas surrounding the hostels. This proved quite unsuccessful as they could be seen from far away, as the terrain was flat and open  with many dongas. It was not easily accessible even by 4x4 vehicles, forcing  them to stop far away. This made their approach very conspicuous and easily evadable.

My dad was not happy with this. He successfully campaigned for two new Hondas. One XR500, and an XL500s to help them in their mission. They placed empty steel drums and scaffolding planks at various places in and over the dongas. Then began the adventure! With these bikes they blitzed an area, easily chasing down the fleeing dealers and other wrong-doers. They made a huge number of arrests and convictions in a short space of time. He earned himself quite a reputation with this and was soon promoted beyond his years.

This is my dad on one of the bikes
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 08:57:01 pm by Avontier »
 

Offline Mr Zog

  • Well fuck me, I'm a
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Honda XL500S
    Location: USA
  • Posts: 7,456
  • Thanked: 305 times
  • Without the gutter my mind would be homeless...
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 12:26:58 pm »
sub!!  :sip:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline 10Klr

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 1,070
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 08:15:35 am »
Subscribed!
Love the one you are with
 

Offline Aicorner

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: Moto Guzzi (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 377
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 09:10:42 am »
Great intro (congrats on recognising your hero) and nice pics.  Sub'd.
'79 Ducati Darmah
'81 Guzzi Le Mans
'09 BMW R1200GSA
'11 KTM 990 SMT
5 bicycles
 

Offline roxenz

  • rocks make sense
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 4,412
  • Thanked: 87 times
  • cheerful yesterdays and confident tomorrows
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 11:55:18 am »
No doubt this one will be good!   :drif: in anticipation
 

Offline zetman

  • Grondpad Alie pad
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha XT660
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 1,938
  • Thanked: 13 times
  • Plak n Palm...
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 02:41:12 pm »
Gooi mielies love di storie
Hou die Tyres op die Grondpad...
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 02:53:59 pm »
When still in Rustenburg, my dad one day told my mom to get a picnic basket ready. We all got in the car, when he realised that he didn't own a single tree under which he could sit or do as he pleased. He there and then decided to move back to the Bushveld and work towards his goal of owning his own farm.  

My grandma had to sell her small share of the family farm many years before to supplement the measly Police pension she received following my grandfather's early death.

We moved to Ellisras when I was around 6 years old in 1982 when my dad started work at Eskom's Matimba Power Station. He left them to join the then Iscor Grootegeluk Coal Mine where he worked for more than 25 years until his early retirement a few years ago. Soon after moving back to Ellisras he opened a furniture/bicycle/pawnshop that he ran as a sideline with his regular job.

Die Muisnes
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 08:59:31 pm by Avontier »
 

Offline cheesy

Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 03:06:24 pm »
I am enjoying this story. never retire.
Bum in the saddle, always.
 

Offline White Rhino

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS HP2
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 3,918
  • Thanked: 2 times
  • Save the White Rhino
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 03:10:59 pm »
:happy1: - Yeah ... rock and roll
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

Beta 300RR, WR450 Rallye, KTM990 Adv, HP2, HPN635, 1200GS LC
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 03:27:17 pm »
Thanks for all the kind replies. I'm glad you like it.
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 04:41:36 pm »
The second source of income gave my dad his tree. It is still the biggest Marula I have ever seen. By far.
 

Offline Ortos

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 721
  • Thanked: 11 times
  • "Ride to Ride another day"
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 04:51:20 pm »
 :happy1:...........
- Some people are like clouds, once they fuck-off it turns into a
  beautiful day!
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 05:05:20 pm »
The tree came with a piece of river and kopje in the Waterberg near Ellisras. We all toiled together and helped build a rondavel that was later expanded. On the first pic is my sis, mom, brother, and your truly with the blonde afro.

The second pic is taken from the bank of the river, from where we had an extreme foefie-slide. Warp speed. If you look carefully you can see the cable.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 05:09:12 pm by Avontier »
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 05:16:14 pm »
My insatiable interest in bikes emanated from here with the old xl250s and a savage KDX420 we had.  I spent most of my youth weekends and holidays there with a constant quest for more petrol. We used to beg, borrow and steal anywhere we could, and still there never seemed to be enough of it. 

They looked much like the ones below (only waayyy bigger)

 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

  • Forum Vendor
  • Castrated Dog
  • ******
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 28,975
  • Thanked: 434 times
    • dustriders.co.za
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 05:58:14 pm »
Gooi nog dis n mooi storie. :thumleft:
MOTORCYCLE ACCESSORIES RETAILER
info@dustriders.co.za
ENDURISTAN SOFTLUGGAGE IMPORTER
www.dustriders.co.za
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 05:58:34 pm »
Then life happened.


Went to study, got a job, got married, got children. None of which I regret for a moment. In fact, I wouldn't change a thing. Except if I could, I would love to be able to all of it over and over again (maybe not the job part though).

This inevitably meant that I had less quality time to spend with my parents, and although I came back to town after my studies, we mostly saw each other over weekends with the attention from both sides always squarely on the children.

We all know how time flies. This was hammered home recently when my father said that he's getting his knee replacements. His knees have always been really bad, and recently it affected him in such a way that he could no longer avoid the inevitable. He was in constant pain.

The biggest shock came when he said that it is to be done in three weeks' time, and that the doc said that there's no biking after that! :eek7: This news came to us on the Wednesday, one week before we were to leave for our December vacation in the Cape. My dad made his peace with the no-bike sentence. He'll still be able to ride his Grizzly boer-quad. But what about our trip?? I could not let this happen without my dad and I ever doing one together. No way. How could I have been so stupid and selfish? I have done many trips with friends but none with my dad.
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 10:31:19 am »
To add to the mild anxiety I felt, the Ortho also warned that if there is as much as a scratch on his legs the operation is off, as he cannot risk any infection.

I've always wanted to show my dad around the Northern Tuli. It is an unspoilt, harsh and unforgiving area lining the south eastern borders of Botswana, still within a day's ride from Ellisras. It's one of the few places I know of where you can still encounter wild lion, elephant, wilddog, and leopard while on your bike.

Three days later we were on the bikes!

I couldn't leave my son behind. His bond with my Old Man is something rarely seen. He is the first grandchild, looks like Oupa's Mini-Me, and inherited his names. They connect very deeply.

I still had the 990 and 690 in my garage with enough kit to conjure up two sets of ATGATT.

I could never get my dad to wear any form of riding protection. The set of knee braces I gave him for his birthday came back to me a few years later, still brand new, while the helmet I gave him was swallowed up by one the black-holes in his constellation of store rooms on the farm. He rarely even wears shoes, and only the most determined Sekelbos can breach his bio-armour, which he will promptly excavate with his scalpel-sharp Victorinox.

It was quite amusing to witness his apparent allergic reaction to all the straps and plastic shields I layered upon him. He suffers from mild claustrophobia, and I could see him wanting out, but he bravely fought his survival instinct.

 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 11:23:20 am »
And we were off! I felt enormous relief and apprehension at the same time. So many emotions swirling around. I always get this at the start of a trip. This time round only so much deeper.

We made short work of the 110km to the Groblersbrug border post where we had a bit of a queue at the Botswana side. They recently went computer and the keys seemed to only show themselves intermittently.

While my son Nelius was waiting outside on the 990, one of the locals was quite perplexed when my dad confirmed his amazement that my son was the pilot of the big scoot. Eish!

Groblers Bridge
 

Offline Pietcoke

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,983
  • "Wille Worcester Hond"
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 11:33:52 am »
Very nice story :sip:
I don't know how to act my age.....I have never been this old before!
 

Offline Avontier

  • Coitus reservatus
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Of Tuli and life
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 11:44:09 am »
We had a quick lunch and fill-up at Kwa Nokeng. Petrol is considerably cheaper in BW, and probably garlic too. Our Barcelos garlic chicken burgers were really good and smothered in garlic. It kept us company for the rest of the day.

We then veered right to tackle the well-used and under-maintained first stretch of dirt road hugging the Limpopo river, heading north east.

Although it was early December in one of the hotter areas of Southern Africa, we were blessed with a cloudy day and the slightest drizzle now and then. Absolutely perfect riding weather. A normal summer's day would've been very different!