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No snow here folks!

Fri, 31 Dec 2010

An erratic work schedule combined with a full season of kids racing means, there aren’t many opportunities during the summer months for the Mackenzie family to grab a holiday. Instead, we tend to save our pennies and head off somewhere sunny for Christmas. I love doing this as it shortens the UK winter but more importantly it means I miss the festive frenzy.  I do like Christmas, but I hate how everyone gets caught up in the retail madness that kicks off just before Halloween, then has everyone stressed (and skint)before Santa has even hitched up his sleigh.

This year we’re in Cape Town where the weather is hot and the wine is for nothing. After Table Mountain the most impressive landmark in the city is the new stadium built for some football tournament that took place earlier in the year. A local told me England took part but had to go home early when they forgot to score any goals and even worse Scotland didn’t bother to come. There have been many changes in South Africa since my last visit and motorcycling hasn’t been left out. The majority of bikers gathering for sun downers at trendy bars in 2007 were pulling up on top end sports bikes. Now it’s big adventure traillies and cruisers that are parked outside the beach front bars where the beautiful people hang out. The only superbike I’ve seen here in two weeks is a black Yamaha 2009 R1. Much increased traffic policing plus heavier speeding and drinking penalties are now in force so the old SA saying ‘if you’re going to drink and drive make sure you take the car’ is no longer applicable. Trends and fashions tend to be one summer in front down here so maybe we’re looking at biking landscape of the future.

My favourite African bike is still the diminutive Honda CBR 150R. Built in Thailand and sold for around £1800 it is the ideal runabout for this fabulous city. It also packs grids in national road race championships as it is mechanically unbreakable and cost peanuts to fix no matter how many times it’s crashed. The little CBR 150 provides ultra close racing for everyone and is ideal for youngsters, such a pity we don’t have them in the UK.

Nothing to do with bikes but two Xmas pressies I had this year were absolutely awesome.  Andre Agassi’s autobiography and the Kevin Bridges live in Glasgow DVD. A tennis enigma driven by a mental Dad and a Scottish comedy genius just being himself!

And finally.... the Mackenzies and everyone at Visordown hopes you have a happy, healthy and fun filled 2011!

Happy New Year!

By Niall Mackenzie

See also: Three-year-old donuts, Michael Alan Duff/Michelle Ann Duff, Yamaha Pro Am madness, the best one make championship ever?.