There are few things as exciting as taking to the open road on a motorcycle. Travel Channel, DStv Channel 179 recognises that and brings the world a series of five one hour shows featuring Henry Coles riding through South Africa in World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides (South Africa). This will premiere on Travel Channel, DStv Channel 179 on Monday, 30 September at 20h00. Another 130 countries across the world will also get to see this series in which Henry Cole takes the slow and scenic route from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
The media are invited to the launch of this series at the Harley Davidson headquarters on 167 Rivonia Road, Sandton. Above the showroom with its many beautiful machines and branded merchandising stock is a clubhouse. It is there that the media get to meet the unassuming and friendly Henry Cole, some of the local chapter Harley riders and the show producers. This is certainly something different for the media who don’t write for bike and motor sport magazines and I revel for a few minutes in the exotic, exciting nature of the outing.
The bike that Henry Cole decides to use is not one of the modern Harley Davidson ‘hogs’ which the media get to experience when they ride pillion with some of the Harley Davidson ‘crowd’, but rather a specially commissioned replica of Steve McQueen’s classic 1960s Desert Racer. Incidentally I loved my pillion ride on the bike. I expected a short spin and was given a decent length one as we all headed out into the Northern Suburbs daytime traffic accompanied by a marshal and a photographer. I have not been on a bike in nearly 25 years, although I owned a small one, a 100cc Honda, not even remotely as glamorous as a Harley, when I was young. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to be much more immediately part of the surroundings than one ever feels as a “spectator” (Henry Cole’s expression) in a motor vehicle.
One will see Henry Cole riding with a chapter of women bikers in Soweto, enjoying the beauty of sunrise in the Kalahari, switching bikes to a KTM 990 Adventure when the Kalahari’s unrelenting inhospitality challenges the Desert Racer beyond its endurance, sandboarding on the dunes, marvelling at the wildlife, killing another motorcycle, getting to Sutherland, riding through Matjiesfontein and arriving at Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point of Africa. From there he takes the beautiful road into Hermanus and finally Cape Town.
Travel Channel is the world’s leading international travel broadcaster, transmitting 24 hours a day in 22 languages to more than 130 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. On DSTv is can be found on Channel 179. Tune in on 30 September 2013 at 20:00 to meet Henry Cole and see this epic journey through our beautiful country.