Chris Magero alias The Beast back on the saddle after some months off
12 wet feet and a pair that were wise beyond doubt later, we reached a crossroad at Bithage (hope I got the spelling right), with one road climbing up 100 meters of thick porridge mud.”That’s where we are going? Okay bro the challenge is on,” I hyped myself, building the needed adrenaline rush needed to spin without the skid up this dark peanut butter challenge. An Isuzu FSR truck descended from our right and the driver was looking for directions to the main road. Kilaha directed him as he too wanted the route to Zambezi. With the route now known, we could reboost our calories count at the shop nearby. I helped myself first to a slurpy yellow ripe, juicy succulent mango. Its cooling wet flesh cascading down my esophagus was soothing to the heart. Two bananas I’d eat in the evening as I recover, a cup of hot tea, a cake piece and a donut to fill my stomach in readiness for the geographical features ahead of us. I asked the lady of the shop to kindly fill up my bidon with water. I took a sip, it tasted like rain water, purely from above and into a beaker. “Man Sam, we are full and we are starting off with a hill!” Chris blurted out. The laughter was light for the gentlemen were avoiding stitches across the core. Only Marshiel did not eat anything, he just drank water. Apparently, he’s a survivor, eat before and after the ride and he will bonk. The brown back road took us to the borders of Muguga Forest as we stopped once again, right in front of Kikuyu Boys High School. I saw it’d be wise to relief myself of a not-pressing short call. My first time walking into this forest, the faded brown humus already wet from the rain the night before, sending and earthy crusty scent up my nostrils. From here its all tarmac to A104. Some beautiful descend about 2.5kms with 4 bumps before the gate and river then the beautiful meander of the road up the contours of the valley. I’d say the ascend was fair, if I were alone I would have sprinted up all the way but in a team with varied climbing strength, I leave no one behind. This so happens to be a training route for one of our top cycling teams.
A Benson selfie as Sam and Tsibektican were ready to smack the pond to submission
A trailer and a small car zoomed up and across the height of the buildings ahead: A104 was just ahead. We crossed the old railway line as we sped on; it looked like no train had passed on it for quite a while. I headed up the pack and up the hill to feed my quads the lust for climbing strains. Another Isuzu FSR came out from the left and its tail nearly grazed off my right should as I ducked left and tilted the long eagle bar as well.” Dude, that lorry….wanted to ride you over,”said Moses. “I know, I saw it coming. Which way to now, Mr. Mongoose?” I referred to Double O. “We’ll take this left, go on some off-road that will get us behind Gitaru.” A small gradient drop but enough to clock 50kph speeds, Benson encountered a mechanical setback when his chain got stuck in the chainring’s teeth, pulling the rear derailleur forward. Luckily no harm to the cool bike and we rode on onto the last rough leg. Here, my whistle did not leave my mouth. Its 11:10am and most people are out walking along the road so cautions and alerts are necessary. A section of the road was well rolled out and what followed was something out of a Taita Taveta Bush Race as Double O increased his cadence to full gas and the rest of the pack followed. The pace was indeed, as I would put it, a Magnificent Seven pace. Children along the section were cheering on, thinking that it was a race as the luminous blur men whooshed past their stands. A sharp turn to the right ended the 5 minute mad rush and back to African cobbles route down a low plain field with a stream cutting through and up the back of Ganjero onto the road to Wangige. It was now 12:10pm.
The euphoria of the adrenaline sprint capped most of the last minute conversation before we took a group photo. Benson and Jimmy headed back to Gitaru. The remaining five took another rough path to the road leading to the railway bridge under the highway as we let Mr. Mongoose ride away. Miss Madilu felt quite at home as Her tyres rubbed and rolled on the old highway tarmac, zooming down back to Nairobi. Chris reached close to home and we bid him farewell, three of us left. The diversions here were crazy; one wrong move and you are either hitting a barrier on an oncoming vehicle. Two Metro Shuttles were hot on our wheels. Making great use of my whistle, I deterred these two from coming too close to the shrank pack (3 is still a crowd). Moses proceeded on towards the city as I diverted towards my marked roundabout, by now Marshiel, having not stopped at all to cross into Uthiru was 150 meters ahead of me and accelerating. No need to rush, Miss Madilu and I just cruised down ILRI on more time, enjoying the calm peace on the descend back home.
Gladly entering my humble abode with 15 minutes to the 13th hour of the day, my muscles felt well conditioned by the rumble of hours on rough paths. Still, my cerebral needed some time to rest but not before giving my Munchkin a well deserving bath and some machine oil for Her drivetrain. I will be looking forward to the next dirt adventure; Military Merc should be in attendance.
A104's Magnificient Seven, more rides like this in the tube line