Organisers Dave and Elmarie Martin going down the Magoebaskloof Pass towards Tzaneen. Photos: Roelof de Jonge

During the cold reality of the initial Covid-19 hard lockdown, there were a few Harley-Davidson motorbike riders who just itched to get on their thundering American iron horses and join similar passionate bikers for a good old weekend cruise.

Here are the initiators of the virtual reality and organisers of the actual rally. From left are Dave and Elmarie Martin and Groenie Groenewald. Annie Groenewald was absend. Photo: Dave Martin

Instead, albeit not the same as the real thing, these bikers initiated a virtual bike rally on Facebook, with the Magoebaskloof Hotel being the destination of choice amongst the riders. The initiators of this virtual tour and organisers of the actual rally

Dave Martin was one of the initiators and organisers of the Magoebaskloof Harley-Davidson of this bike tour.

are Dave and Elmarie Martin along with friends Groenie and Annie Groenewald.

“This virtual rally attracted a few hundred “riders” from all over South Africa and Namibia, bringing temporary respite to the reality of being tethered to one’s house”, said Dave Martin.

From left are Sunette and Gert Botha (from Nigel), Aletta van Tromp (Johannesburg) and André and Marie Reynders (Johannesburg) before departure from the Magoebaskloof Hotel on their Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

“Following this success, the bikers decided to bring fantasy to life and organised a live rally, replicating the virtual one. This was done during the uncertainty of lockdown and with the absolute co-operation of hotel owner Deon Baker, and his two sons Jadon and Shylo, a date was agreed to with the understanding that it be flexible to the uplifting or continuation of lockdown.”

Kallie Wolmarans from Vereniging on his Harley-Davidson at the Magoebaskloof Hotel on Saturday 24th of October, shortly before leaving for Tzaneen.

Within days, the Magoebaskloof Hotel was totally booked out, with nearby lodges taking up the overflow of the required accommodation. Baker was over the moon and full of appreciation of the support by the Harley-Davidson riders towards the Magoebaskloof Hotel and other hospitality establishments in the area.

Willem and Raé Breytenbach from Hoedspruit with their Harley-Davidson at the Magoebaskloof Hotel.

He added there was a bit of doubt whether the hotel would be able to accommodate such a large group of bike riders. The Magoebaskloof Hotel was more than able to tend to the requirements of the jolly riders who did not linger around to make it one memorable tour that won’t be forgotten for a long time coming.

Benhardt and Charmé Steyn from Polokwane with their pride and joy on Saturday at the Magoebaskloof Hotel.

Close to 150 bikers on over a 100 thundering Harley-Davidsons descended on the hotel, in stark contrast to the picturesque and blissful surrounds of the Magoebaskloof valley.

This group of bike riders who took part in the 2020 Magoebaskloof Harley-Davidson Tour were all from Polokwane.

“Bikers rode in from all corners of South Africa, the furthest being from Langebaan in the Western Cape. The hotel staff and management are to be highly complimented for their hospitality, quality of food and service, and even calling on the services and expertise of past hotel chef Horst, who cater to the needs of the rowdy but discerning bikers”, said Martin.

The marshals of the 2020 Magoebasloof Harley-Davidson Tour helped to ensure the safety of their fellow riders.

“Thanks and compliments must also go to the nearby establishments, such as the Iron Crown, Three Bridges and Tzaneen Country Lodge for receiving the bikers with warm and sincere hospitality, keeping them fed and ‘hydrated’. What’s more, Martin and his wife Elmarie, as well as Magoebaskloof Hotel owner Deon Baker, confirmed the popularity this tour attracted from the bikers and it will most certainly be planned again for next year.



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