Writing & Photographs by Viktor Radics.
In 2013 Samantha and I started The Moto Social to build community and to connect people in Toronto. One idea, one city, connecting people, one event at a time. Over the coming years word of our simple little idea had peaked the interest of many like-minded moto-enthusiasts and community builders around the world via social media, and by 2019 The Moto Social had expanded organically to 21 cities around the globe.
Pictured above on the left side: The Moto Social - Toronto - 2013 / Right side: The Moto Social - Montreal - 2016
Our friendly and inclusive little monthly event series as we know it in Toronto is now also being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; Budapest, Hungary; Hamburg, Germany; Namur, Belgium; London, UK; NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, in the US; and in Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, Hamilton, PEC, Winnipeg, Calgary, Saint John,Halifax and Windsor here in Canada.
Hosting 107 events a year in 21 cities isn’t an easy task. It’s only really possible with the help and hard work of our incredible and passionate team members and friends on the ground in each of those cities. We’ve been lucky enough to travel, connect and ride with most of them on their home turf. In this story I’ll share 3 of our favourite international moto trips so far that took place around launching The Moto Social in these cities.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa / #TheMotoSocialCAPETOWN
Cape Town was the first city outside of Canada to start hosting The Moto Social. Early 2017 Devin Paisley and Archie Leeming from the Woodstock Moto Co. reached out to see if they could collaborate with us and bring the good vibes they were seeing develop online in Toronto to Cape Town. After a couple FaceTime chats with the lads and believing that they would represent The Moto Social well in Cape Town, Sam and I packed our bags and flew to the Mother City to support the guys in kicking off the events. Our friend Scott Wilson joined us on the trip and helped us keep the good vibes and Canadian energy rolling.
The Moto Social’s inaugural event in Cape Town was super well received. We had an incredible turnout, we met a ton of amazing people and made new friendships that were like matches made in heaven. And this is where the adventure began…
The Moto Social - Cape Town - Feb. 23, 2017 - Tribe Coffee Roasters / photo by: Archie Leeming
The Moto Social - Cape Town - Feb. 23, 2017 - Tribe Coffee Roasters / photo by: Devin Paisley
The day after The Moto Social event, Devin, Archie and a small army of local buds invited us out for a weekend-long camping trip in the Karoo - the dry, rocky, desert-ish region just north-east of Cape Town. We were game! Sam, Scott and I were each riding Honda Africa Twins so we were ready for anything.
Click here for our ROUTE MAP: South Africa Ride
This was our first time in South Africa, so our excitement was high. We had no idea what to expect. We kept our minds open and went with the flow of our local pals. It was epic! Cape Town is a city build into a mountainous, rocky bowl on the south western tip of Africa. It isn’t like anything we’d experienced before. Imaging cliffside and oceanside roads as your morning commute to work. That’s Cape Town.
As you ride north of the city toward the Karoo, things first get mountainous and even more wildly beautiful. Bainskloof Pass was our road of choice for crossing the mountain range toward the Karoo, and it was by far one of the most mind bending roads we’d ever ridden. Here's a little vid we caught from the ride:
The first minute is all shot along Bainskloof Pass. Once we crossed over the mountains the landscape slowly stared drying up and getting more rocky. A beautiful transition from coastal greenery to dry, desolate epic-ness.
Just as we started to feel like we were entering the middle of nowhere we came across a little shop/restaurant on the side of the dusty dirt-road we were riding called “Tankwa Padstal.” Padstal in Afrikaans translates to "road stall.” Small roadside stalls were commonly found all around South Africa. Many of these small stalls eventually turned into larger farm stalls, restaurant and rest stops to service travellers. We grabbed a bite and cooled off here and continued our journey deeper into the Karoo toward our campsite.
I’ve always been attracted to deserts and I absolutely loved riding through it in South Africa. The Karoo was one of the highlight on this trip for me because it really created that sense of adventure we were all looking for. It also really strengthened our sense of community with the group. Imagine a group of 10 misfits riding a mixed bag of modern and vintage bikes, all with different levels of riding experience and having a blast together. New friends, all mega stoked about sharing this experience together and connecting over a common love for adventure, motorbikes and one another.
This trip to Cape Town was extra special and significant for us. It had me thinking back to the main reason we created The Moto Social in the first place - to build community and to connect people. And there we were, on the opposite end of the planet doing exactly that. We found our people in Cape Town, and this “helping people find your people” is why The Moto Social exists. We love you Cape Town crew!
Check out part II & III of this series below:
Below is some of the riding gear seen in this blog post, click the images to view them online: