Today we were determined to make Bloemfontein, we were way behind schedule. We had 140 km to go and nothing was going to stop us! We were having a great ride until I felt a vibration on my bike. We stopped to check it out and found the front drive sprocket nut was loose and it was just hanging on there. Fortunately the drive shaft key we made just outside Kroonstad had not fallen out. Tightened up the nut and off we went again. It wasn’t too long though and this nut came loose again and the bike started to vibrate. It was time to make a plan now. I found a coke lid lying on the ground, cut the “walls” off and used the top as a washer to absorb the vibration. Well it worked and no more stopping, problem solved.
Over all it was a very uneventful day but we were very pleased that we had made Bloemfontein without any problems with the bikes. 140 km covered and our bikes were looking great. Then the “events” started occurring. We entered Bloemfontein and once again needed food and a place to camp. Tony went shopping at the Spar while I stayed outside looking after the bikes. It wasn’t long before there was a crowd that surrounded me and the bikes. The people of Bloemfontein are just amazing people. I was being gifted with bread, bananas, water, fruit juice, cold drinks, chips and some rather strange items. At that stage I wondered if the people of Bloemfontein thought we might be hobos of some sort. We were filthy and it had been a really hot day so we did not look our best. Tony finally came out the store and told me that we had been on OFM, the regional radio station. Someone had come into the store and asked him if we were the crazy guys riding to Cape Town because he had heard of us on the radio. Thanks for the exposure OFM!! Finally we had food and beer again, it was time to find accommodation. One of the gentleman chatting to me outside, diminutive in stature, Jan Fourie said we should go with him and he will ask his landlord if we could camp in his yard. when we arrived there, I was still entering the gate and they closed the gate on me. The bike went down and Jan came running to assist in picking up the bike. Without him realizing he was pushing the hot exhaust and engine onto my legs. I got properly roasted on both legs. The poor guy could not stop apologizing and later that night when we saw him again I thought he was going to cry he felt so bad after seeing my burns. Jan Fourie, if you ever read this, don’t worry bud, my legs are fine and I have some great scars to always remind me how great Bloemfontein was. Unfortunately, Jan’s landlord did not allow us to stay there which made Jan feel even worse. Jan you are a champ and people like you are rare, thank you for trying to help us.
Then we met Zoot, a huge man, not just in stature but in character too. Zoot immediately loved our story and our bikes and donated to Little Fighter’s Cancer Trust. Zoot was not finished with us though. When I went to order some beers at the XXX Bar (not a strip joint by the way, a biker bar) I wanted to pay and the barman informed me that all our drinks for the night were on him. He then offered for us to camp in his back yard. It did not stop there, Zoot put up his own tent and slept on his back lawn with his granddaughter but not before we had an awesome braai. Zoot, you are an incredible human being and I hope we always remain in contact. We had made Bloemfontein and finally things were going our way.