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Thousands gather for Africa Bike Week

By: Charmel Payet

Margate - This normally quiet South Coast holiday town was transformed as thousands of bikers rode in, dressed in skin-tight leather pants and biker jackets for the sixth annual Africa Bike Week, the biggest free motorcycle rally in Africa.

Bluff biker Savanah Baxter tries out a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883R, worth a cool R185 000. Picture: Geoff BrinkTwo bikers and their pet Yorkshire terrier at Africa Bike Week. Picture: Geoff BrinkSaeeda Ismail rode to Margate with her husband to take part in the show. Geoff BrinkElvis impersonator Jhodah Loi, left, entertained visitors with his groovy moves, while the fashion show, right, featured the latest bikewear from Harley-Davidson. Pictures: Geoff Brink

The event started on Thursday and ended on Sunday with a mass ride as thousands of motorcycles paraded through the streets of Margater

Upbeat music performed by local musicians maintained the festive vibe, while visitors were treated to a fashion show featuring the latest bikewear from Harley-Davidson, dealer tents where visitors could shop for merchandise and a ride-in bike show featuring some of the finest customised motorcycles in South Africa.

“I love the freedom riding gives you, all your worries disappear.”

Savanah Baxter, 17, and her father Robert from the Bluff were among the many bike enthusiasts. While Baxter doesn't yet own her own bike, she has been riding with her father since she was 15.

Her father said owning a Harley- Davidson was on his bucket list after beating cancer; he now rides with the Durban chapter of the Harley Owners Group, based in uMhlanga.

“It has been amazing.”

Sifiso Motsa, 40, travelled from Swaziland for the show. It was his second visit and well worth the trip, he said.

“I understand this is one of the biggest biking events in Africa and I had to be here.”

Skip Scheepers, adorned in Blue Bulls regalia, and his wife Hermien rode down on their bikes from Gauteng for the event.

It was their first time and they said they enjoyed mingling with other bike enthusiasts.

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