I had first got in touch with Gavin Green and his company Swarzberg Biking when I was in the process of arranging my South African trek a number of months ago. He was willing to do a one-on-one tour of the Garden Route, a popular motorcycle trip for those with a limited time.
So after a few emails and confirmations we made arrangements to meet at my hotel in Cape Town.
He showed up on time and had done all the needed prep work.
He’s a pretty big dude. Muscular arms and shoulders. A confident stride, easy smile. I liked him immediately.
We spent some time going over a South Africa map and he showed me the basic route for the next five days.
That done, we went to the bike rental shop and got me all prepped. Helmet, armoured jacket, leather gloves and a magnificent BMW F700.
This is one nice bike.
I immediately thought of Kerri Brooks, an online friend. She’d love to have a go on this, I’m sure of it.
I try to look calm, confident and relaxed on the outside but inside I’m totally freaking out. I’m going to be riding on the other side of the road in a country I don’t know with a guide I’ve just met on this amazing bike that I’ve never ridden before. I don’t want to look like a total idiot. But it might be too late.
Back at the hotel I look over the map again.
And I’m really nervous. What if I can’t manage the bike? What if I make a mistake and drop the bike or hit something or someone? What if I can’t handle riding on the left side of the road? What if Gavin doesn’t like me?
Yes, I’m really nervous. But I can’t wait to get started.