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Author Topic: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.  (Read 60376 times)

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Offline Pistol

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Re: Ex Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics on page 4,5 & 6.
« Reply #120 on: November 12, 2015, 02:18:55 pm »
I was based at "Berede" or Equestrian Centre as us Souties called it for my two years 86 and 87 - signals, so no first hand bike squad exposure - but used to bugger around with the guys. Patrick Devy became Adjudant just before I left in December 87 - think he was promoted to Captain then, the CO was Commandant Ackerman if I remember and the RSM short little fat guy Van Tonder. who could only speak in a high pitched voice when shouting orders - funny guy who was really irritated by this soutie who only ever played sport on wednesdays and the week-ends and was always on pass and never available for guard/signal duty albeit legit and signed off by the NW command. Old Major was in charge of the horsey side of things and lived on the property next to the guard hut/gate, making it difficult to sneak the car out without being noticed.

Wonder if those pre-fab accomodation/ablutions are still standing???

Good times :thumleft:
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 01:57:24 pm by Pistol »
 

Offline charlesvh

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Re: Ex Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics on page 4,5 & 6.
« Reply #121 on: November 12, 2015, 03:02:47 pm »
I was in Rundu in 85. Signals. We also had a XR500RE. But it was for a troep to fetch mail in Rundu town. He was very protected over that bike. Think his name was Mickey. I took it for a spin once and he was quite upset about it. Was fun though.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:04:44 pm by charlesvh »
 

Offline The Badger

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« Reply #122 on: November 12, 2015, 10:36:05 pm »
@ Pistol..... I don't know most of those PF's.

Patrick Devy is a legend and the camp OC was Kmdt Stark...a horse guy and also a legend in his own right. He klaared on a horse for kicking a Landrover and was sentenced to a week of pulling the the rubbish trailer.....  :imaposer: :imaposer:
I also wonder about the bungalows. Bikesquad had the last 3 right at the end in the sticks. We were blamed for everything that went wrong in the camp. All we heard was...Dit is daai blerrie bikesquad Ducktails se skuld.  :imaposer:

@ Charlesvh. .... yes there were quite a few XR's floating around used by various people but we were the only operational bikes.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:43:03 pm by The Badger »
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Offline The Badger

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Re: Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics from page 4
« Reply #123 on: November 12, 2015, 10:56:08 pm »
Question to the Bikesquad guys:

Did you ever take a chance and ride on red roads without it being swept ??
Good friends and fresh mud......

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Offline 2StrokeDan

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« Reply #124 on: November 13, 2015, 06:15:35 am »
We would probably not have ridden on a "red" road knowingly, but the way we fumbled about we did quite possibly rode them unknowingly. :imaposer:

We were on a 2/3 week ops in Southern Angola, and were led by Capt. Winterbach and getting lost. It carried on like this for quite some time before someone realised that
he is taking compass readings on the steel tank of his XR500.
Our 60mm mortarist was Wayne Hitge, the friendly giant, and each of our section would carry two mortar bombs in our webbing. It was on this same ops that sarge Blackie
Swart lost a finger or two in a 81mm mortar incident. Our camp command saw fit to train 3 of us on the 81mm pipe, and send it along with us in our support Buffel.
We hit contact, and in support of some infantry group, we whipped out our 81 and laat looi. We got a "hanging bomb", which is when the pipe gets too hot, and the bomb seals too
well in the bore that it does not go down fast enough for the tail charge to detonate. Someone forgot to put on the safety[retractable firing pin] and when Blackie dropped the bomb extractor, the extra weight just pushed the bomb down that last bit and it came flying out, the extractor rope tangled in Blackie's fingers and took some off.
He was quite calm about this, and told us to see if we can find his fingers. I still told him it's probably in Luanda by then. :eek7:
 

Offline The Badger

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« Reply #125 on: November 13, 2015, 12:28:21 pm »
 :imaposer: Classic.

There were a couple of times we took a gamble and rode on red roads to save time. Hairy for sure. :deal: :ricky:

Not sure what platoon is in this pic.
Good friends and fresh mud......

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Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Ex Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics on page 4,5 & 6.
« Reply #126 on: November 13, 2015, 06:31:00 pm »
"not being a rocket surgeon"   :patch:  :lol8: WTFRWE - are you PUI bud?  ;)

This is such an amazing thread, I reckon it should be stickied. So it has been.

Please keep it coming guys - amazing stuff to for those of us who were not there. :notworthy:

 :laughing4: no, why? haven't had a beer in ......oh, ten days? I'm seeing a doctor soon though, so don't worry.

All the REALLY clever people in this world become rocket surgeons or brain scientists, haven't you heard?
You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Ex Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics on page 4,5 & 6.
« Reply #127 on: November 13, 2015, 07:08:06 pm »
Thanks Yuri...... very interesting.

We caused a bit of kak in Ruacana and came back to Otavi 6 weeks early and 5 of us were chosen to train 2 sections of local SWA Gebiedsmag on riding bikes...... what a nightmare. These guys couldn't even ride bicycles ffs. We took them up to Rundu for thick sand riding. I have never had to pick up and start so many bikes in one day .....eeish.

Yuri please tell us more about Barnard.

 :laughing4: yes, teaching a bronze-age mentality to ride a motorbike must have been frustrating....and hilarious. One of the stories Patrick told me, they were south of Joburg somewhere, near the Doornkop miltary base....him and a pl sergeant with a platoon of non-reflectives .... something happened, one of them crashed and ended up pinned to the front wheel by his R4 and the rest of the bike spinning around him with the throttle on the ground, wide open.......they couldn't get near him, and he was screaming.....of course the way he tells it is much more amusing  :laughing4:

LT Barnard, as I knew him, was Ops Wing 2IC when I got to Potch...always walked around with cut-off short sleeve brown shirts, contrary to PF dress regulations ( they BEKAKKED themselves if you cut off sleeves, ask me how I know) to show off the scars on his upper arm he supposedly got in a heroic fight in the bush....caused by shrapnel. Ja, whatever......my encounters with him were fairly neutral, but my mates in ops wing had lots of stories of tantrums, opfoks and PF behaviour  :laughing4:

I heard many stories of him from Okatope, when he was on a seriaas a-hole streak.......same thing, screaming, opfoks, parades, mowing the sand, etc.....

The story about his scars were, his platoon TB just inside Angola had been attacked at first light by a big group of swaps (this was in '79 or '80) .....he got wounded in the arm while doing something heroic.......then, later, the story got embellished and twisted into, they took heavy casualties, and the gunship pilot who came out to help, found him crawling back into SWA across the "Yati" which was the colloquial name for a section of the cutline north of Tsintsabis, to the best of my knowledge......the gunship crew said he looked like a spider, ergo...."Yati Spider".

This BS is even now floating around on the internet about how a horse platoon was completely wiped out by swaps, and the only survivor crawled back into SWA "like an insect"  :imaposer: seriously, it's out there.....I saw it not 6 months ago on some wannabe-steely-eyed-killer website......

Well, my friend JB, who was a "senior" corporal when me and my "roof" corporal mates arrived in January 81, and who initially despised us...and ME  :imaposer: knew the real story. He worked for Military Intelligence at various times, not 100% sure how he found out, but he is not the GV-hero type...... cynical type, not easily fooled. JB told me that yes, BICYCLE (2Lt) Barnard's platoon HAD been attacked inside Angola, and it was hairy for a while, but ..........he was not the only survivor, but the only CASUALTY because he stood up in the middle of the firefight in search of some GV glory ....."go on, boys, CHAAAARGE, I'm right behind you!" type of thing...... :laughing4:

And that's how he ended up with scars on his arm.....

The way I remember him, he was not a rocket surgeon either....funny thing that, not many PF's were  :laughing4:  
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 07:11:04 pm by Whethefakawe »
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Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics from page 4
« Reply #128 on: November 13, 2015, 07:28:49 pm »
:imaposer: Classic.

There were a couple of times we took a gamble and rode on red roads to save time. Hairy for sure. :deal: :ricky:

Not sure what platoon is in this pic.

Not pl 12, I'm sure....may be 11.

Old Peter Stark was quite a man....he was a (in)famous? poacher in SWA who always foxed the law....and then someone got clever and realised he could be very valuable to the army so he was conscripted as a Commandant  :laughing4:

He was a nice old bullet, was OC of Riding Wing and was on his own mission ....he spoke German, a little Afrikaans and NO english   :laughing4: .....didn't have a saak with the army, just cared about horses....another story was, he once punched a horse that wouldn't listen and knocked it out cold.....supposedly he had a vicious temper when provoked, which I believed.

His wife worked in the HQ as a secretary....nice enough old frau, but she didn't shave her legs.....used to freak us out when we saw her walking around with her OEM legwarmers .....and two of his blonde aryan sons were my peers and drinking buddies, one was a corporal and one a 2Lt....one of his daughters also worked there in some capacity, on the horsey side....she was a two-bagger, but had that typical German-girl arse and legs to die for ....she always walked around in those skin-tight riding breeches and caused much distraction  :laughing4: He had quite a variety of children, had 7 or 8 I believe....oldest was the 2Lt, he was 21 or so, and also had a 2-year old running around with his wife  :laughing4:

He died just recently, was something like 96 years old. An unforgettable character.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 07:55:23 pm by Whethefakawe »
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Offline The Badger

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Re: Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics from page 4
« Reply #129 on: November 14, 2015, 09:36:49 pm »
Thanks for that Yuri  :thumleft:

On Wednesday's there was sports parade. A group of us decided to do something different being bikesquad and all lol.
We drove through to the skydiving club in Klerksdorp and did a couple of jumps with old round chutes.
A mate of mine impersonated another mate who had done the course and we just gave him a bit of a briefing and he went and jumped.....  Graydon had big balls and he is still doing well in WFO Enduro's and the roof. Keeping the Bikesquad name high.

A mate of mines certificate as I have lost mine. Thanks Tony.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 09:39:59 pm by The Badger »
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Offline gser

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« Reply #130 on: November 15, 2015, 11:09:17 am »
 Dan, wie was betrokke met Kriek 1 en Kriek 2 se evaluasie o.a. Riemvasmaak en ander plekke ?
 

Offline The Badger

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« Reply #131 on: November 15, 2015, 06:36:34 pm »
Dan, wie was betrokke met Kriek 1 en Kriek 2 se evaluasie o.a. Riemvasmaak en ander plekke ?

Good question..... I would also like to know.

More pics from the Bikesquad archives.

I was in ops bikes with about 32 other guys but about 5 guys were were chosen for the DEMO TEAM. These guys had such a jol and unlimited chicks. We were very envious  :deal:

We had our jol on the border.
Good friends and fresh mud......

It is not about what you ride...... but WHO you ride with !
 

Offline Geel Kat

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« Reply #132 on: November 15, 2015, 06:42:08 pm »
Great photos of a very different (and great in its own way) time  :thumleft:

I do have a question for oom Danie...

Why is it that the only time I see the guys sitting on their bikes is at standstill, when they ride they stand?

Does it have something to to with CoG perhaps?

 :peepwall:

@Badger - that certificate from the Stilfontein Skydiving Club - still have mine.

Wednesday sport parade I used to go there, do a jump or two and then braai with the civvies before going back to camp.

Was not in bike squad though, was a kanondonkie doing JL's at School of Artillery before a border stint.
 

Offline gser

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« Reply #133 on: November 15, 2015, 07:07:42 pm »
Dan, wie was betrokke met Kriek 1 en Kriek 2 se evaluasie o.a. Riemvasmaak en ander plekke ?

Good question..... I would also like to know.

More pics from the Bikesquad archives.

I was in ops bikes with about 32 other guys but about 5 guys were were chosen for the DEMO TEAM. These guys had such a jol and unlimited chicks. We were very envious  :deal:

We had our jol on the border.
Mooi, its years ago, those co-evaluaters are still here.
 Or are they not on this chatroom
 

Offline Andyman

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« Reply #134 on: November 15, 2015, 11:20:28 pm »
Dam.
I was never allowed near the two wheeled version, was much happier on the 4x4 version of Berede.

Andyman
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Offline Andyman

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« Reply #135 on: November 15, 2015, 11:25:45 pm »
Dunno whihc was more fun  or more effective the bike or the horse mounted berede...
Andyman
Anyone can ride a bike fast. But can you ride real slow?
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics from page 4
« Reply #136 on: November 16, 2015, 03:45:14 am »
 :imaposer: Jeff....those old demo team pics are from 80-81 I believe.....I am fairly sure the oke standing on the bike facing the camera, behind the rider right, is Rob Larney......I have a connection or two who will be able to ID some more, will send to them. Those "Hell on Wheels" T-shirts were made just before I got there, try as I did, couldn't wangle one because I wasn't one of that specific circle.  :biggrin:

I was there when you got that skydiving certificate, dunno if you remember that. Patrick came up with the idea, and I actually went with the first time or two, ran out of money after the ground training session because of my MX habit at the time......never did get to jump! Watched you okes do it though, I wanna say I watched YOU do your 1st one......Tony Foster too  :laughing4:

Re. The Krieks testing etc......in March 1983, Patrick and I were sent with the demo team at that time, to go do the official testing programme at that testing track near Hartbeespoort Dam, nowadays it's called Gerotek, back then it was a military installation. Armscor had built it, I believe, to test vehicles, specifically the new generation of mineproof APC's and the Samil trucks. I went for my first ever hard-core 4x4 ride there.....scary shite, those Armscor okes knew the Samil 20 very well.. ...... :laughing4:....incredibly capable vehicle, btw

The testing crew was:
Patrick Devy, MMWC
Moi, newly-promoted sergeant  and vice-MMWC
Mike Deglon
Patrick O'Keefe
Albrecht Albers
Bruce McKellar, known as Mackie.....died in a car accident about four years ago, soon after I'd spoken to him on the phone for the first time in 25 years....a great shame, he was a GOOD oke.
Andre Potgieter, "Pottie" a pro bike mechanic and Demo Team's main spannerman.
Ockie Pretorius, a Potch bike gang hooligan, I believe he is in jail now  :laughing4:
Ironically, one of the previous year's ops platoon 12 troops who lived in Krugersdorp and actually worked for the oke who thought up the Kriek, Felix. Can't remember his name now, he disappeared out of the platoon while in Ovamboland, no idea why....turns out he was a much better rider than he'd let on while in BS  :laughing4:

We spent three weeks testing the bikes, the army had put out a tender or whatever you call it, for any interested party to send bikes to the testing session with the intent of picking the future bikes. Honda, in the form of MIDMACOR, the importers, sent two XR 500's, one stock and one with two rear wheels......ie. 19- inchers front and back, the idea being that it would cut down on logistic support requirements.
Here's a list of the bikes we tested:
2 Honda XR 500 R's
yamaha XT 550
Suzuki DR 500
Montessa 200? "military bike", dark green, two stroke
Montessa trials bike  :laughing4:
Suzuki quad, smallish engine, 250 maybe?
2 KRIEK custom-built bikes....600cc Rotax motors in flat-tracker frames, with 19-inch wheels front and rear too.....same parts supply idea.

We spent two weeks at the test track, then a week at Riemvasmaak. The idea was to ride the bikes till they broke, then Armscor would fix them with new OEM parts, and that's how they would calculate reliability, cost etc.

The Montessa kakked first, the 2-stroke seized after a few days......the trails bike was used as a toy, not really a serious contender :laughing4:
The XT 550 died next, then the DR500. The little quad was also just a toy, not really a serious option.

The main "competition" was between the XR's and the Krieks. Ron Wood, a famous (in the flattracking world) bike builder/team owner from California, built the Krieks after being contracted by an oke named Felix, who was partners with Gavin Murphy's dad in a company called OFF-HIGHWAY-EQUIPMENT. They had started in the grader/bulldozer industry, but later started  building Buffels for the army.......it made them very wealthy.

Shit.....memories are flooding back....maybe I should write down everything I remember about this topic.....I do have probably 200 photos of the testng programme, in fact I visited Ron Wood a few years ago in California, just before I left there in 2008..... He was very happy to see me, and gave me all his photos of that time.....some excellent ones in the box. If he is still alive, he must be near 90 now.....

Well....skip to the end....the XR's eventually were chosen. AGAIN. For several reasons, all of which I'm too tired to elaborate on now.....dossing time for me, on the road for work.....

I'll write the details down and see what happens.....also have lots of pics of the whole jol.....including the Krieks. May be some of the only pics in existence of them, come to think of it, now that I have Ron Wood's collection too.

Cheers


« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 03:57:28 am by Whethefakawe »
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Offline Andyman

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Re: Bikesquad members please post all your pics MORE pics from page 4
« Reply #137 on: November 16, 2015, 06:25:33 am »
From Peter Badcocks fantastic book, Images of War
Curious it is

That in the heat of fire,

It can suddenly

Be still;

Isolated moments

Of utter quiet

When,

With stark clarity,

A distant birdsong and the tightness

Of a helmet strap

Invade awareness

That clones itself

In two perceptive planes.
Andyman
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Offline gser

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« Reply #138 on: November 16, 2015, 06:43:25 am »
Whethefakawe,
a good recollection of events, accept that Off High Equipment did not manufacture Buffels, they re-manufacture or repaired them.
I spoke to Ron Wood a while back and he is still doing fine, what a chap, respect !
Post pics if you may ?
 

Online KiLRoy

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« Reply #139 on: November 16, 2015, 06:59:26 am »
Time to document those stories Dan?

Question, how did the 23 inch front wheel XR behave compared to the 21?