Wednesday, May 25, 2011

About Me

By pure luck I was born on a farm in Africa. This particular farm happened to be in the Garden Route area of the Eden District, so I was literally born in the Garden of Eden.

I am happily married to a wonderful girl much prettier and smarter than I and have two great boys. The eldest, "Asterix", excels in Karate and the youngest, "Kermit", claims to be the "Star Defender" of his soccer team. As a family we have diverse interests and being South Africans the outdoors, camping, rugby, 4x4 and bikes all feature prominently. We absolutely love travelling but at the same time hope that we will live in the Garden Route for the rest of our days. Go figure.


About the blog:

Like most South Africans we too have a lot of family and friends that moved abroad during the last decade. This blog started out as a personal blog, a way to share our photos, stories and experiences with the loved ones we don't see so often anymore. I like to travel informed (with a special interest in history) so I usually include various stories about the area we are travelling in in my reports. As the content on the blog grew so did the traffic and soon the blog mushroomed into much more than a "family & friends" site. The collection of Ride Reports started popping up in Google searches and e-mails started pouring in with all kinds of questions about the bikes, routes and regions.


Frequently asked questions:

What do you do for a living?

My wife and I have our own business, an investment and insurance broking firm. These days I am a motor / motorcycle journalist also.


Are you Tour Guide?

I get asked this question weekly. No I am not a formal tour guide. I have organized several informal rides though and love riding with friends to far flung places. I get plenty of mail with questions about rides and routes and I do answer those as best I can, but as a fellow traveller without any commercial interest.


If I plan a ride in your area, will you join us / show us around?

Time permitting I would love too! I am always up for a ride. I have joined rides like that before and made wonderful friends in the process. But having said that business and family commitments will always take priority.


How did you get into Motor Journalism?

In 2007 a local paper, the George Herald, asked me to write a bike reviews for their motoring section. I have not had any formal training in writing, journalism or photography, but as an amateur blogger I saw this as quite an honor and jumped at the opportunity! Looking back at those reviews now I realize just how much of a greenhorn I was! I did this as a sideline for a while, but it was an unpaid position and as it started taking up a lot of my time I had to let it go.

In 2010 I was approached again by a bigger regional paper, Die Burger, to write weekly bike reviews for their Garden Route Motoring Guide. This time around it was a much more formal position as a paid freelance motorbike journalist. I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to write about and I got paid per article. I struggled with the "formal" writing style at first, but got more accustomed to it as time went on. Lets just say it's an ongoing process.

In early 2011 things really started happening on the journalism front. Out of the blue and in the space of 7 days I was approached by two national bike magazines and also got offered the job as Die Burger's motoring journalist in the Garden Route area. All of a sudden this was much more than just "a sideline". Almost all of my free time is being taken up by this new venture.


Why don't you post all the car and bike reviews on your blog?

This blog started out as a personal blog and I think I'd like to keep it hat way. Just an informal place where I get to share what I want how I want. I did post some, but decided not to clutter the blog with "formal" reviews. If I feel I want to share something of a particular vehicle I think I will share in the particular Ride Report.


Of all the bikes you have ridden, which was your favourite?

There are several in fact. The bike that most impressed me recently was the Yamaha Super Ténéré. What a fantastic bike. The bike that surprised me the most was the Honda Fury. Before I rode the Fury I would never have given a chopper a second thought, but the Fury broadened my horizons significantly. I really enjoyed riding that. As far as trail bikes go I think I would prefer a TTR250. The best pillion bike (according to my wife) was the Harley Davidson Ultra (AKA "The Couch") and I am yet to find an all round bike like my trusty TransAlp. I reserve the right to amend this post as time goes on.

You seem to be posting less and less on your blog. How come?
Well, that explanation is a post all on it's own! Click Here...

Feel free to comment on any post or e-mail me on tr@trail-rider.co.za. I like to hear from the readers of the blog.


2 comments:

Neels Van Heerden said...

Hi Trailrider
Thanks for your RR's on the blog and Wilddogs. I always enjoy the nice (professional) photo's and your to the point and down to earth writing style.
Groetnis
Neels

Anonymous said...

Hey my name is John live in JHB. I got a Honda CTX200 bought it with 1100Km on odometer. What do you carry with you in spares and tools?