I met a man…

I met a man. (Think of Bob Dylan singing Mr Bojangles as you read this). Some years ago I met this guy – an older man, older than me… and he had a 1200GS. It was also pretty old and, at the time we had recently got our 1150GSA, just getting into this whole adventure biking thing. One evening I popped around to his house (also here in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands) to chat bikes and stuff and as we chewed the fat in his garage he mentioned that he had prostrate cancer. Bugger! It happens to the nicest people…

After a while I asked him how things were – how  he was managing. “Aargh”, he said. “Mostly okay you know, but some times it gets the better of me and I start to feel pretty low, but when that happens I go for a ride and then feel much better”. Makes sense I thought…

The road out to the Karkloof in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. South Africa. A lovely ride, the fresh air smelling of pines, eucalyptus and green grass.
The road out to the Karkloof in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. South Africa. A lovely ride, the fresh air smelling of pines, eucalyptus and green grass.

“What routes do you ride”? I asked, thinking about some of the places we’ve ridden here in the Midlands – the back roads, dead ends and trails – places where you can really be on your own. “Oh, pretty much straight up you know – north through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and, finally, Uganda. Looped around Lake Victoria and came home”. There was a stunned silence… “And, ummm, did you feel better”? “Oh, yes!”

Now, I don’t have prostrate cancer. Thanks heavens for that! But it it been quite a grotty day that left me frustrated with computers, an unusually slow internet connection and strong desire to get out of the office. Pat suggested a glass of wine which seemed quite appropriate anyway, considering the time of day. “Not yet”, I said, “a little ride first”.

“Don’t worry”, I said as I left, “I’m not going to Uganda”!

Roger de la Harpe

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