The Peperusha Princess above the Mighty River Tana
Baby Bee was cruising fast down Uhuru Highway towards Museum Hill flyover. The blur of the trees and bushes canopying the fence of UON’s sports ground was enriching. I was afraid that having done a 65km ride with many stops might affect my quads power, but I was wrong. I discovered my body’s muscular therapy in swimming. Doing the crawl, breast-stroke and butterfly had released the tensions on muscles and massaged them back to relaxed formation. Simply, it was like I went to a masseur. I felt like a well-oiled machine, zoomed up Chiromo Road. It’s exactly 7pm, traffic at Westlands stage as usual. I’m cutting through the traffic to get ahead and tailgated this white Land Cruiser as this nduthi guy was second guessing whether to pass me to the left or not. I took to my white lane position and let Miss Madilu rock the tarmac at 27kph. Still, I’m not feeling any lactate build up, I’m learning something new here, something that works to my advantage. No wonder duathlete cyclists are the brutal sportsmen and women I know. One sport builds the other, iron sharpens iron. We attack Safaricom Hill at 25kph, that’s fast on a midweight MTB. Onto Aga Khan stretch and I zone out excellently, taking command of the slow lane as cars and matatus passed me at kph speeds faster. It was awesome, my legs just kept spinning continuously and effortlessly at 38*18 gear ratio. I’m playing Madilu System’s Cest La Mort in my head, the outro of the song, fueling motivation in me as the song matched the dusk of the day and the pacing of all that rolled up A104.
It is 7:08pm and we’ve zoomed past James Gichuru, not a rider in site, just going back to back with this Star Bus ahead of me collecting commuters. My superb hard tail was absorbing every rough patch on the tarmac and still zooming on. “Lol Baby Bee, aren’t you a sweet brutal machine.” Passing the Star bus at Waruku, we attacked its climb without switching gears, I feel a bit of the climb’s pressure, but it vanished away. I see the 18-minute checkpoint, looked back at the oncoming Hiace matatus as the driver knew I wanted the lane to myself. Pacing up to 30kph to reach Kangemi bridge two minutes before time. It’s 7:16pm and She rolled on like David Ndatha’s White 29er MTB. This small matatu to my far right was giving me a run for the pace. I crunched my core, hands firm on the side bars and legs spinning like a propeller, we were both at par before the diversion ahead. Two minutes more and we reach Shell at Mountain View. The small snarl up won’t deter me from catching up with the Citi Shuttle bus 70 meters ahead, for it has been on sight from Desmond Tutu Stage. I maneuvered this old school Mitsubishi as we were between the Hiace and the Citi shuttle bus as they both were garnering speed after the diversion. I increased my cadence as much as I could, resisting the building pain and keeping an eagle eye at the Hiace to my far right. A bright light shone on my speedometer, revealing a top speed of 40.4kph. Satisfied, I let the vehicle go, took a 4 second rest and continued pedaling, much to the roaring engine of the chasing big bus as it strived hard to pass me and Baby Bee.
This is what cycling is partly about: breaking your ceiling as you rise to the top of your form and breaking the next ceiling and so forth. There is no limit to any human being, only in the mind. I’m looking at the timer, it says its 7:20pm. I smile with intent to massacre the clock, Tsibektican may smash Her 24:10 minute record to Uthiru roundabout. I dodge another Star bus as I tactfully pass through a small smooth patch on the rough section near Kabete Poly. Up the two bumps and off She and I go, letting the red-black Wild Cat tyres roar in the dimming silence. The clock is ticking, a car is tailgating me, up the last two bumps and onto the next checkpoint, Tsibektican makes it in 22:49 minutes. A NEW RECORD!! Now it’s a fast drop down ILRI, like so many blessed days before. She glides like a Kryptonian girl fueled with teenage fitness. The Big One shining bright and far, we finished the descend in less than two minutes. Onto the rough road already messed up by the new apartment built nearby, the race trip ends at 7:26pm. A cool 31 minutes for 15 kilometers, which translates to 62 seconds fastest for every 500 meters.
What a glorious day January 4th has being. A day spent learning and bonding on the saddle is a day worth a whole term in school. Cycling indeed is life, I am more prepared for the coming race on January 12th. Bring it on Charles Mbugua, I ready for the fight.
(End of Part 3)