Perilous but full of pure pleasure

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

Quad biking is not for the faint hearted - it comes with an important warning that it can seriously hurt you.

I found out and am still nursing a throbbing shoulder. I thank my lucky stars that I wore a helmet, otherwise I am not sure what would have happened to my head.

The weekend started off beautifully. It was me and my kids going off to Ndundwini for some fun. For those not in the know, Ndundwini is one of those places with astounding beauty, though its poverty will leave you wanting to cry.

This is especially so in summer because the indigenous trees bloom in all their glory and the valleys are covered with green grass. Unfortunately, most of the money for the folks disappears in liquor.

So it was that I was driving merrily in the middle of the night with the kids ensconced in the Honda CRV and me on the Honda quad. So far so good, until one of the kids I grew up with decided to jump in front of the road.

He was fascinated by the bike. Unfortunately, in his drunken stupor, he did not know that the quad was very dangerous.

At that point, to avoid him, I had to swerve quickly and found myself upside-down.

If you have had quad driving lessons you will know that they urge you to try to fall as far from the bike as possible. Thank God for this piece of wisdom: it meant I survived.

That said, a quad is great fun, especially in a place like Ndundwini. You can go up the mountains, ride to the river and cross it by riding perilously on the stones. The trick is to stay on the bike. Except for the incident on the first night, I managed to do just that.

The speed of the 450 is tremendous. The power it generates is outstanding and you would be better off not standing in front of it. Unfortunately for the neighbours, the sound can be irritating.

As you go up the hillocks and barrel down the slopes, the Honda quad transports you with breathtaking speed. It also makes a huge noise and this is one of the fascinating things about it. You love that sound. You love the speed. Above all, you love the excitement.

It would be great to see more black families enjoying the freedom of the outdoors that the quads provide.

If you have one wish for Christmas, get a quad.

This dangerous pleasure retails for R61788 for a top-of-the-range bike. As you go down the list, the prices fall.