Margate Bike Week - you there?
BIKES AT THE BEACH: Hundreds of bikes and thousands of bikers rumbled into the KZN resort of Margate over the Freedom Day weekend for the annual Harley hooley. Images: DAVE FALL
Author: DAVE FALL
Thousands of motorcycle fans swooped into Margate on kwaZulu-Natal's sunny coast on the weekend of April 27 to 30, 2012, where main sponsor Harley-Davidson played host to one and all - and what a great job they've done to make the 2012 annual Bike Week the best yet.
Bikers from all over the country are to be found, from Gauteng to Bloemfontein, many from as far afield as Cape Town - surely not all arriving on a trailer!
Seriously, many of the riders I've spoken to have enjoyed the ride to this superb part of South Africa no matter how far they've ventured.
Primarily sponsored by Harley-Davidson along with support from Hibiscus Coast Municipality, UGU District Municipality, South Coast Tourism, Jack Daniel's and Carling Black Label, this five-day, virtual non-stop entertainment venue has already lived up to expectations - including free concerts by celebrated South African artists such as Dan Patlansky and Gerald Clarke (blues music), rockers Brent Harris (Just Jinger), Jon Delinger, Saving Silence, and Afrikaans band, Ghapi.
Some of the country's top DJs are also in attendance for the Week.
It's true to say the bikes seen so far have been absolutely incredible. Harleys of every description, rumbling their way around the town of Margate to the delight of eager spectators.
No two Harleys are alike - that's for sure!
I've seen Harley trikes, Russian-made BMW clone combinations and superbikes of every description that glisten and gleam around every corner of Margate's town centre. Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha are very much in evidence - but it's the customised cruiser type of bike that is most seen.
PLENTY OF STALLS
Some of the T-shirt vendors certainly have a great sense of humour - not sure if some if the older generation approve, though!
Gladly, so far, the weather has played ball - rain is promised - but I can't see that threat dampening the spirits of the crowd. Burn outs, bike demos, controlled riding skills demonstrated earlier today suggest there's some very talented riders out there.
There's plenty of after-market stalls (motorcycle related and otherwise) on view - one of the Harley bikes seen in the pictures taken brags so many 'bling items' it mut have taken the owner at least a week to get the bike ready for Margate!
Screamin' Eagle, H-D's in-house performance goodies is much in evidence - let's be honest, no motorcycle other than a Harley sounds so good, burbling and firing it's vee-twin beat. Imitators do so at their peril.
'CHILL OUT, RELAX'
Celine Gruizinga (country manager, Harley-Davidson), told me she's "blown away" by the turn-out so far, ostensibly the first full day of the Bike Week.
"Folk who want to chill out and relax can do that, one of the components at this year's event has been to encourage those riders who may not have visited this part of the country to venture out and explore what KZN has to offer.
"There's lots, I promise!"