True cycling fanatics preserve their first love years on
Its Day 3 for the BEAST, my knee joint muscles and tendons have re-adjusted back to rhythmic exercise motion. Feels good to be back to poetic crank motion, back to bullying capability on suspecting steel bicyclist that want to duel me and my steed. This late afternoon, I just want to bully myself back to beast mode, Southern Bypass Time Trial event is for the merciless with a knack of clocking speeds of superiority and there is nothing as soothing as been at your very best every time. I’m packing about 8 kilos on my back, clad in my Tourist signatory lycra, tight fitting and ready to reduce wind drag as I push myself to the limit up beautiful Waiyaki Way. The mess at the main stage forced me to divert on to the service lane to Dunhill Building and back to my beloved highway. Its empty as I paced on, increasing my cadence and synchronizing into the grooving template of cycling. My promotion suddenly sparks out without warning. “I hate slow cyclists/ bicyclists who just wait for me to zoom past them and then they draft behind me.” Now why would I say that? There is not a single rider ahead of me, I’m alone for now.
Struggling up Safaricom Hill was a Black Mamba rider off saddling and guess what was on his bike’s carrier? A 6kg gas cylinder. A challenge to those who claim to be brutal climbers, this strong man from Ingo deserves a medal. I was awed, I just passed him but did not want to disrupt his focus in congratulating him. “so, he’s not the one to Kupe (Tick) on my wheel, I’m free.” How so wrong I was, there was now a cyclist in a red t-shirt and hockey helmet ahead of me on a hybrid. Nice pace, 17kph considering that he was wearing blue jeans. I pass him on aero mode up Aga Khan Stretch. There are very few matatus to beef with so I can take a third of the slow lane and stretch my arms and back. In that instance, I glance back to check who is about to drive by me, and there he was, the red rider, hanging on my wheel. I cussed under my breathe.” Now look at what your silly mouth has done, NKT!!” I cussed under my mask. This was a chance to be better, to push harder, so I collected my mental strength into the race mentality folder in my ‘headtop’. Spinning on 38t became exhausting, I had to shift up to 48t if I was going to save myself some watts for Waruku and Kangemi Bridge Sprint.
The rider still hanged on. I saw that he was about 3 meters from my wheel, judging from the glass reflection on Delloite Suit building at Waruku. We pass two steel bike bicyclists as we attacked (Well, I’m the one doing all the heavy lifting) Waruku. I swiftly shift to climbing gears and span all the way, shifted back to hard gears and pushed on. Looking back, my Kupe was a cool 12 meters behind but since he has lesser weight burdens and 700c tyres he shall eventually catch up with me. Clearly, he has no intentions of dueling with me, it’s about surviving on A104. 17:56 minutes to my 18-minute checkpoint, I feel impressed to be this strong still. I reduce my pace a bit to let my knees cool, I’m impressed that my quads feel like they are in a cooler, not a pinch of lactic stress. My knees have recovered and are ready to push further. Onto the Shell diversion and back on the highway, I maintain my 23kph on that awesome 250 meter stretch to Kabete Poly. Here comes a steel bicyclist to my left with his arms twisted on the bar. I hate riders who ride like that, its girlish to me. I got so disgusted that I went aero and cadenced away from him, increasing the gap. Knowing well he won’t be able, I celebrated with a free hands motion, stretching my back and releasing pressure from the lumbra vertebrae before quickly handling the BEAST as we entered the rough section.
Up the first two bumps and another glance back, red rider and mister girly girly were riding side by side. I’m pissed, like really pissed, I’m feeling tired and now I got two Kupes on my wheel. “Time to blast away.” Positioning myself for the race up the slight rise to Uthiru Roundabout, I hardened my core, let my feet pedal faster than a plane proper, hamstrings realizing and contracting and heightened repetition. The youth walking on the other side were looking at my direction, I knew that the duo were hot on my wheels and we were causing a scene of speed. Done with the last two bumps, time to check on my speedy performance. The red rider was really behind me, 10 meters away, mister girly girly was even way behind struggling to reach the set of bumps. I humbly smiled, a victory for Tourist and I. I congratulated the first Kupe for struggling hard to up, the other guy just went on with a sulk on his face. “Good job buddy, I’m Sam,”” Cool, I am Sango,” he replied. He was heading to Kawangware so together we dropped down ILRI Climb. With elevated courage, I went animalistic down the 1.5km drop, hands firm on my DHBs and my trusted whistle on my mouth. I left him with a big gap but it is a well understood unwritten rule on this road: Don’t drop fast on thin tyres. I crossed over to my off-road route to my castle, stopped and waited for him to pass by close. Gave him the salute as he proceeded on. Turning on the Land Cruiser lights, gears on 28*28, I rode into my neighborhood like a true boss with that suave of ‘your King is back’.
Cycling in the city with other cyclists is always a race. Either you don’t indulge in it or you do and when you do, better give it your all because no one loves being the loser.
We live life on the crank lane.
Cyclists heading to Railways Institute to plant trees