To the people of the Karoo and its burrow-dwelling critters, a posse of motorcyclists thrumming by can be a fearsome sight.
Dressed in dark leathers, hooded with black helmets and riding legendary overland cruisers like BMWs and Harley Davidsons, trans-Karoo biking crews often resemble SWAT teams rushing off to a hostage drama.
The veteran Karoo biker has Sixties rock music piping through his on-bike sound system and his mien is that of a city Samurai on his day off.
The marriage of a Karoo landscape, the hospitality of its people, a fine machine opening up on tar and the general bonhomie of a biker outing all make for pure magic.
The riders trek to towns like Graaff-Reinet, Colesberg, Willowmore, Cradock and Bethulie, and the weekend becomes a festival of wheelies, donuts and that long sunset drive out into the flat lands where it’s just you, the bike and the blacktop.
Another big biking destination is Route 62, which always includes a stop at the ever-popular oasis called Ronnie’s Sex Shop.
A man who has crossed the Karoo many times on a motorcycle is author Nick Yell.
Nick wrote Circling the Great Karoo, which has become required reading for anyone taking to the Karoo on two wheels. Yell also does specialised Karoo bike journeys and belongs to a group called Bikers Against Fracking.
If you had to gather together every biker club, group or gang that ever revved up in the Heartland, you would have the most formidable Karoo fan club in the country.