The first post of Corner Baridi, 40 kilometers south-west of Nairobi
Such a hot, dry and lazy Tuesday afternoon it was. The neighbours’ offsprings were taking a needed heat wave break under the cool shadows of the Westside houses as the most powerful object in our sky rode silently towards the western horizon. At this point, I was wallowing on having missed the Naivasha ride my A104 comrades and I were to partake in. I decided to take a walk down into Kiserian Town and have a look at its hidden gems. In and out of every supermarket the town harboured, I noted down utilities I may buy from each and every one of them in the unforeseeable future. Some shopping done, I snail-paced walked back up the 7 kilometer climb to the edge of the Rift Valley. Since I live halfway up the climb, I branched towards my home. Unpacking my shopping, I looked at the time. It was 5:30pm, I had spend 2 hours down east. I pulled both my phones off their charging system, wore my M88 cleat boots and rolled the Tsibektican out into the open, much to the galore of happiness in the eager eyes of the many kids who sat next to my door. “Okay who wants to go with me to Corner Baridi?” I asked them. Their shout of unison was excitement enough that these children needed a fun filled activity, so I told them that I will take them up there to plant acacia seeds on the last day of the Rona year. Shifting Munchkin’s gears as I lifted Her rear wheel, She was ready to treat me to some long offsaddling extended euphoria.
The gravity extent of the climb to this spot is legendary to the pain of your quads
With a new helmet that mimicked that of our professional cyclists, I was in for the stares from passersby. Quite an interesting set of shuffled music on my playlist; Eminem’s Loose Yourself perfectly quoted the ride up the rise as I got lost in the rhythm of the drivetrain circulation. My quads and calves were slaved to the pedal power craving of my feet. I whispered the lyrics with my sight on the descending sunshine but I could notice those stares, looking at me like ‘whoa’. The remaining 700 meters of the 4 kilometer stretch climb was complete as a Datsun popped out of the descend as it took the middle of the road to beat the curve. At this point, saddling is compulsory; Baby Bee did Her thing with exemplary speed: coasting on the small flat and zooming down the last drop before we started the kilometer long gravity-imposed left curve climb to the first post of Corner Baridi. This segment is usually tough on a mountain bike, it feels like the brake pads have been pressed onto the rims’ walls. A nduthi guy carrying two voluptuous women nearly stalled up the climb right besides my right. I chuckled as I pedaled on with so much easy, that was until I was exposed to the 40kph crosswinds brushing above the tree line. The struggle became apparent, I glance forth and there it was, the first post. I tilted right and left to slice through the tough wind and made it to the stop behind the cover of the towering cypress trees. I’m photogenic, and so the Oppo camera flashed a couple of times to capture the moment before Munchkin and I proceeded to the second stop.
The second post, where in the world can you find two spots with the same name close by
There were a number of revellers in Subarus sipping liquor and tuning to their collection of audio rhythm before the glare of the setting sun above the numerous rolling hills that cape this side of the Great Rift Valley floor. The gravity great pull lessened and Tsibektican cruised up the bend and headed north behind the ridge wall. The silence that looms up here is deafening enough that you can hear the speeches of ant colonies as they plan to coup a carcass lying somewhere on the open slopes. Checkpoint number two was right on sight; the distance shortening faster than the length of a pencil under the bladed mercilessness of a sharpener. The same nduthi guy had dropped his big sized passengers and he was just about to scooter the gas when I and my Flying Duchess arrived. A turn to the right and excellently braking to a halt, Miss Madilu was ready for another photo shot.
I looked and my beautiful princess as She was lost in the glaze of the valley. The magnificent hue of oceanic blue that capped the earth below was pacific. The horizon was highlighted in fiery red and yellow color like a picassa portrait. And the mountains were bold and built into intimidation to every mortal that sought their presence. It was like staring at the Gods. I sorted to have an audience with the deity, so Baby Bee and I cruised further towards the end of the long climb from Ole Polos. I was at the savannah pulpit, the twin Acacia trees were my ushers for this evening prayer service. The strong gushing winds patting my back were ready to carry my prayers to the deity seated majestically above the descended valley floor. And here, said a cyclist his prayer:
“A long wind of events formed this year, many a sad tale by many a saddened heart. Of death and broken dreams, we have suffered and lost as one, but as one we held each other’s arms, united to fight for what we know is our right; the right to ride and arrive alive. To every soul that rocket thy saddle, protect them, guide them, protect and love their families and their friends. Unbound us from the fangs and crushing canines of damnation as we seek to rise to retribution to culminate into triumph. I speak of revival as the new year beacons, this is my prayer to the powers above all.”
"It was like standing at the feet of the Gods"
As I returned back to normal focus, the sun dipped behind the mountains. My prayer had been delivered faster than an email through Internet Explorer. Taking my Princess by my right hand, the winds still pushed me back west. I strived on as I pedaled, but I struggled until I reached the calm pocket. The descend down the wind hallway was deemed slow as we and a trail mini car struggled to beat the natural cushion to momentum, much to the amusement of the herder boys glared in awe as I propelled down like a targeting missile. Down the straight drop home, a young girl was enjoying her BMX along the murram shoulder. I jetted into the compound much to the cheer of the kids. It seemed like they stay in wait for my ‘triumphant’ return. I pulled out my phone and showed them of the heaven not far from their residence.
By the twin acacia trees guarding the mountains of the valley
I now look forward to another day, a day on the saddle one more time. Its been a Tuesday well spent.