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OFF-TARMAC WITH THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN(Part 1) 18.01.2020


The Tsibektican alias Miss Madilu, this Girl loves to rule


I’m up and early, 5am, the clouds folded back to the Western horizon, revealing a sleepy half moon still on its journey West. Relatively cold, I slid back into my light sheet on my sofa and just wasted 30 minutes fighting off the mental reality of having slept only for 5 hours after a long bike operation on Tourist’s rear wheel and drivetrain that lasted 4 hours. By 6:45am Tsibektican and I have to be at Riva Petrol Station for an off-road group ride. Fully suited in the Flying Duchess gear, we rose up ILRI and headed on to Kiambu County. This county is a true gem close to the city, already at the borders and it marks its territory with mist. Glad I was wise to have had supper with red pepper, my blood will sustain my body’s normal temperature in the chill. I’m 8 minutes early, waiting while admiring the Peperusha Princess as She glares at the morning mist, once again cherishing been absent from Nairobi County. Here came Jimmy from the off-road behind Kinoo-87 on a fine silver coat GT, ready to roar. He was the one who pushed hard for such a ride to happen, I could not turn down the sweet offer of rumbling ever muscle strand in my stature. Another rider, a familiar one from the many cyclists I zoom past on my commutes, joined us. Marshiel aka the Blue Ndatha because the first time I saw him along Waiyaki Way he looked strikingly alike to the coach of Team Velonos. How he arcs his elbows, his spinning rhythm, slim fit figure and a knack for high cadence, I had to investigate. One more rider before we pick three more at Thogoto above the Southern Bypass. Moses Kamwere, Le Grande Maitre, perfectly timed his arrival as we crossed into Muhuru Road. The New Fantastic Four zoomed, chased and warmed up their quads up and down the dilapidating 5km road to Kikuyu Road. Up its lung-buster segment as the road rises up the ridge where Nairobi and Kiambu meet and onto the well tarmac road to Gikambura, we were greeted with a beautiful scene 200 meters above the capital county towards Kabiria. The view, breathe taking. I got to reminisce of Viewpoint before Kimende. A could graciously stood still afar, mimicking Mount Suswa, the Sacred Mountain. Finally, our remaining buddies of Chris Magero, Double O Kilaha and Benson cycled up to us. Seven is a magnificent number, on the seventh day of the week, we will conquer Kibiku Forest.


Its a Mudland Scandal at Kibiku Forest entrance, not today rebels


We got to meet our first high profile cycling associate of the day, Rakesh Okuku alias the Black Indian (In his words), heading out on his business. A short chat with Indian Blackie, we then headed on to turn left at Kimbo Resort route. Some bumpy road it is till we turned back onto the bypass and towards the entry into the thick cypress trees. But the mud, the mud! 10 meters on it and our rough machines weighed ten kilos more each. Baby bee already went ahead of Her mates till Moses called off the trail ride on this forest’s tracks. The sticks nearby proved a necessary tool for mud removal off the brake systems and tyres. Baby Bee now looked like a ft bike, thick brown cover atop Her red-black Wild Cat tyres. It’s 9.09am, ample time for the ride to proceed, so Double O, being the master of off-roads in the group, suggested a route that will take us from Gikambura to Zambezi and cut onwards to Gitaru. Agreed, we set out back to the road we started off from. Cutting the tarmac from one murram to another, we ended up an escarpment lower into the Great Rift Valley floor a few kilometers away from the finish line of Velonos’ Kibiku Forest Off-road Race. Beautiful green savannah and a blue hue view of Ngong Hills’ back, the terrain was not tubular tyres friendly. Thickets with 3 inch long thorns, we had to get back to the main road. 2 kilometers and meters shy of the next town, we branched right. We looked like tourists, local though, children cheering us on and admiring out tight fittings. Whistle in my mouth, I had that weird bad feeling that something is about to happen. “Damn it not now, I’m on rough terrain fun,” I said to myself. Shrugging that premonition off, I gave a three sequence whistle as I descended down the low drop to the eager boy looking with admiration at me and right on afterwards my bidon (water bottle) jumped off the water cage, popped open the top and spilled my fresh Gathondeki water onto unfamiliar sand. “You okay Sam,” said Benson.” I lost my water,” I replied as I drank the 50ml that remained. “Don’t worry; I’ll should you where you can refill up ahead. This place has a lot of water,” he concluded. I could see that: pools and pools of small ponds like Kenyatta Road towards Gatundu. I even saw some ingenuity of a small house perfectly raised on 4 stilts right above the flooded plain. Time to get wet to the ankles, we reached a flooded section on the murram. Double O rode on first, nearly getting stuck in the pool. Benson followed on his 700c hard tail. Thin tyres under unseen rockiness under water made him wobble and his feet went into the deep. Moses was having a blast video capturing the crossing. Now it was his turn, the one half of the 700c in the group. Wisely crossing and barely getting his feet soaked, he made it across. Chris the Beast looked on and became lightened with an idea. Quickly, he took off his boots and socks before riding through the fun obstacle. Jimmy followed on with ease, having mapped out the safest path through the paddle. Marshiel, exercising his knees and psyching himself up, rode tactfully across like a boss. Now it was Tsibekican’s turn.”Sam wants to zoom through,” Moses added to the anticipation of how the Gathondeki Man is going to wade through. I turned back, gear ratio at 38*28, turned back forth and zoomed on, splashing water away like I was driving a Safari Rally car. Baby Bee came out looking clean as a new pin and my boots were dripping off the dried mud, clean as well.


End of Part 1……



Crossing a wetty obstacle

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