The BEAST of Gathondeki is ready for Grill 2 Gilgil
The last Friday of January and the last day has to be celebrated. As I told my crank brother Gabriel Ambuko,”we barely made it.” So who among my special metals shall rock Nairobi’s roads with me. I settle for The Tourist, it has been too long since He exerted His authority. We took off down the messy Naivasha Road, it starts right at Ndwaru and the mess continues with outmost pathetism to Dagoretti Corner. From sewage streams that force me to carry either of my patrolling TUTOIS to roughneck fools who don’t know how to cross the road to reckless matatus drivers and nduthi hooligans that make any motorist new to this hell corridor fear for his or her insurance pocket. Beijing climbed the last hill to Ngong Road with slick easy as the drivetrain remained as smooth as a slithering snake on wet grass. The newly carpeted and expanded Ngong Road is perfect for TT mode and so did Tourist prove this as the Demabior led the air cutting position assault against this mud truck. Overtaking to the right and sprinting forth, this black Land Cruiser stayed on side view just 2 meters behind on the fast lane. The driver must be a cycling enthusiast and he helped halt the crossing cars on the crossroads that used to have roundabouts back then. Branching left to Yaya Center, I took another left as I met this rookie on a grey double suspension mountain bike and clad in a white t-shirt and sweat pants. My fury was that he was on earphones, but so was I so I let him be. Two blind men cannot lead the other. I reached Elite Bikes Shop to collect the jersey and paddled short from Norbert. This will be the same attire I shall be suited in during Highway to Heaven Race this coming Sunday. I found Evan (not Military Merc) in charge of the shop and as we discussed about cycling on the capital’s crazy roads I settled for a blue Santinni jersey jacket and a green bib short written ‘Zero Emissions’ on the thigh sides. I love promoting green energy, this will be awesome come race day. I suited up the jacket, thanked Evan and as he closed shop, I attended to Tourist’s brake pads.
I found one that had out-live its service time. Lucky for me, I always ride prepared. I took out a new brake pad, set it well and fitted in into place before testing my 23 kilo modified steel hard tail. Braking power is on point, now I can test the jersey jacket on the descends to Westlands. Onto Lenana Road, I met my first scare: this angry looking dark face wanted to ram into me on the roundabout as he was in a hurry. For a moment, I was scared, afraid for my BEAST. I had to act; I pointed a strong index finger and warned him. He did not flinch; instead he found space to overtake me and zoom off, only to be slowed down 50 meters ahead. “This inhuman Africans, always in a rush to nowhere and treating cyclists like trash.” I said to myself as his ugly grin kept playing virtually before my eyes. I passed him, he then came speeding onto my wheel but Cycling loves me so much that She sent a car from the left to cut him off. I looked back at the devil stuck once again as the image shrank with increasing distance. The ride through State House and by the fenced borders of Arboretum was cool and calm with few but sensible affluent drivers who were in no rush to reach their expensively detailed residential homes. Alas, we united with Waiyaki Way.”Hey A104, sorry I’ve been away for a while, now send in the challengers.” With eagerness in heart, adrenaline spikes within my quads and my natural radiator (lungs) ready to hyper-ventilate with every successive powerful pedal-stroke, we were ready to roar. Triple light capsules and the saddle post light on, this Boeing 727-0800 flew up the highway with unmatched strength. The highway felt a bit empty, as if Tourist’s absence deterred motorists to other routes, but He is back with a vengeance and appetite for rookies and Star Buses wanting to fight Him. This Latema Bus decided to compete as we both attacked Waruku Climb, I took command of the now shrank slow lane on Kianda School stretch before zooming up Kianda’s Rise at 30kph to further capitalize on the pace gained from the momentum of the heavyweight bike. A Nissan Shuttle cruised close to my on my right. From the corner of my eye I could see this lady looking at me with astonished eyes. “Is the driver slow or I seeing a man on a very fast bicycle.” I thought that it could be her words. I heard a splash ahead, instinctively I looked back to my left before crossing onto the side road rising to Total Kangemi: The sewage has been spilled again. Such is the life in African cities: Poor drainage systems. I looked back as I shifted my gear ratios to enable me to cruise to the top, the lady was still looking at me before her ride vanished into the slow jam to the fly over bridge of Kaptagat Road. The magic of a bicycle, especially a well pimped out one, only the owners can tell. It’s like I become a superstar whenever I cross this bridge at dusk. Front and rear lights flickering like an ambulance, all I’m missing is a siren. On crossing back to the highway, I’m blocked by a number of mikokotenis (carts) on the muddy midland. I ride neatly on the dry lands before jetting back onto the tarmac while whistling thrice.
Tourist Beijing loves crossing county borders
The beautiful stretch to Kabete Poly is well spaced and carpeted, perfect for a comfortable cruise or a mad case sprint. The objects to my sides slid away like a photo camera gallery. Kids born in the 80s can relate to this gadget. Onto the rough patch that The Thunderstruck and I flipped over on last year, my steel ‘29er’ rolled over with eased and attacked this Star Bus at the two bumps. The race to Uthiru is on, the closer it came the more aero I got till eventually I was on full TT mode giving it my all to the roundabout as I dashed down ILRI Climb. The dark Wild Cat tyres just rolled on faster and faster as momentum took over on the weight of the moving 100 kilos of man and machine. This Hiace in front was not going as fast as expected so I felt the rumble of the speed bumps (I snapped a spoke on the free wheel side) and that is why I went for this heavy steel single walled rim; it can take a lot of damage before it succumbs to losing so many spokes. 35kms of prep work is done, awaking the muscles memory, tomorrow I’ll work on quads power with The Tsibektican.