Bathurst Summerhill form 20 Nov 2010
The Black Dragons (Port Alfred) hosted the first ever, Big Pine Rally.
The venue at the “biggest pineapple in the world” was well enjoyed. The biggest attraction in Bathurst is not an historic one, but a bit of a gimmick. Bathurst is in the heart of one of the biggest pineapple growing areas in South Africa. The Bathurst Pineapple Growers Association is base on Summerhill Farm on the outskirts of town. Some years ago the farmers from the Association visited Australia on a fact finding mission and saw what was then the biggest pineapple in the world. The Aussies being out arch rivals in sport, they decided that they wanted to beat them and put one up that was bigger. Thus the world’s biggest pineapple now stands in Bathurst, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It stands 16.7m high and has 3 floors. It is constructed out of a fibreglass outer skin covering a steel and concrete superstructure. The ground floor has a gift shop full of pineapple goodies such as jams and chutneys, locally made pottery and puzzles as well as t-shirts to name but a few of the items for sale.
On entering at the gate we were all handed a mug of chilled “pineapple beer”, which was very refreshing, but have two and it is a quick way to getting sloshed on what tastes like cool drink. Josh on his 650 Honda came with to his first rally and to test how the old bike would handle on a long- “ish” ride. You could see it was in his blood the way he fitted in and enjoyed meeting some of the interesting characters who came to let their hair down and have fun.
Glad I did not go with Merlin but, stretched the legs on an old Honda 750 custom. The first thing Viv had to say was “you must do the doughnut competition”, but Merlin was at home. We saw some good mates and had a beer with Josh. Drinks were cold, which was appreciated on this hot day.
I thanked Black Dragons for the lovely sponsored spit braai lunch. AAAH!! The twist……… I had to enter a competition or two. The 750 is no good for doughnuts as the front wheel just skids away and the pad was too green, the tyre just bites. Gave that one up as a useless attempt, leaving it to the others to try. One down, one to go… What next? I had to get home as I promised my angel I would not be too long.
Viv (the bugger) brought me this whopper of a pine, you could play rugby with the thing. A giggle from him saying: “big pines for big boys”. Well, all for fun and nearly dislocating my arm, back and close to popping a foofy valve – the pine throwing competition. The huge thing went further than I expected. In all fairness, I got a second attempt with a reasonable sized pine and left when I was still ahead.
I was glad to introduce Josh to the rally life and he was amazed to see that it was nothing like what he expected. The myth of this rough, tough and dangerous place to be was not a reality and is quite an enjoyable outing. I hope to see Josh on a few more rallies in the future.