I bought my first bike for R 50.00
I am procrastinating, I have work to do and not even coffee is getting me on track. I don’t have a specific home town, Edenvale and Nelspruit come the closest. We moved around a lot. This story is not about Hillbrow but today Edenvale is part of Joburg ish.
Edenvale is just east of the big smoke on the East Rand. We were lowbrow compared to the ous from the North of Joburg but close enough to Bedfordview so we weren’t as kommin as the ous from the far east, you know Brakpan, Springs and Nigel.
Primrose and Gerdview though were close enough to Malvern for them to be worse than us ous from the Valley. But having said that right on the outskirts of Edenvale were Klopper park, much los was to be found there at the Pool on a Sunday afternoon. We’d go slumming and get laid on occassion.
Now to be frank, I am the product of a Mother that worked her arse off to feed three kids and a dead beat Dad. Luxuries like visiting the barber and anything but Apricot or Mixed fruit jam were not for the likes of us.
I turned 16 in 1981 and got a part time job as a teller at Checkas in Van Riebeeck Avenue. I was still cycling to school but my mate Piet knew a bloke that was selling a Yamaha MR50.
I had no money and was earning about R 12.00 a week at Checkers so we went and had a look. I fell in love and with some negotiation I bought that piece of shit for R 50.00.
Freedom was mine, I could go further than 5kms from home and didn’t even have to wear a mask. I got given a piss pot helmet and a quick lesson on how to operate the bike.
Just so you understand why I called my first love a piece of shit, It technically had a headlight but that didn’t work, It had one indicator on the front, it was decorative and held the head light in place. I taped a torch on the other side so that at least I could be seen coming. Tail light fokkol, back indicators fokkol, but she started first kick.
The first time I filled the tank it cost me just under R 2.00. I could go to places like Modderfontein, get to school not all sweaty from the ride. Mom found out about the bike and was not happy, tried to convince me to park it till I had a licence. I hid it at Piet’s house instead.
If you never rode a 50, you will not know that you had to lie down flat on the tank to get it go faster, (it didn’t actually work but try and convince a 16-year old that lying down oin the bike didn’t and besides you looked really cool going 82k’s an hour.)
So one morning on my way to school, unroadworthy bike, unlicenced rider and I spot plod ahead of me, Plod started slowing down so I ducked left, then right then left again, flat on the tank to get away. I don’t know if Plod turned his bike around but I got to Dirks place and walked the few blocks to school.
That MR and I ran away from Plod three times, once when he was chasing me, but I’ll tell that story another time.