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.
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.