Steel Lee caught up in another night ride
Rising from the downpour of the previous evening, Tourist and I were back with cadence loving pleasure, doing what we love most: chasing vehicles and cramming number plates just to teach the cerebral how to be photographic. A slight stop at Bongo’s and Brian Tabbz to collect a generous donation from a fellow cyclist for Streets and Slums Initiative Program, I finally met David Ndatha after weeks of not seeing the famed Kenyan cyclist. I definitely missed being tortured on the tarmac by him, Coaches, before I become much stronger. Pain is love and love is pain, which is what I always say. A lot of jokes with Kamak Kamelbak, Tabbz, Ndatha, Davy Ngigi alias 1MB and the famed James Juma together with Vic E Lee on a slick 6.7kg Trek, I brought Tourist in front of the big boys and the steel jokes started flying off. “Weeh Sam, have you ever hit somebody on this bike?” Ndatha asked.” No I have not, because they know that it will be death for them,” I answered. He had to ask about the braking system, doubting that it works. I honestly told him of yesterday’s downpour ride and how ineffective it became. As we both discussed about Tourist, Big Boi was getting intimidated and fearful. He was getting embarrassed in front of Miss White, who was rocking a green front shock. I doubt if He had the brackets to ask Her out. I took my parcel back to my shop, handled the day’s activities but two delays were about to cost me my travelling time, so I thought. Leaving Ziwani at 6:42pm, Tourist did what I always feared He would do when people start talking about Him. He snapped His rear brake cable at the gate. I did not worry, so we went 150 meters ahead near the Chief’s camp to fix the cable, Gathondeki style. I took a spoke nipple, made two knots with the nipple in the middle and set the rear brake system into place. An onlooker was amazed by Tourist’s flickering lights and came to inquire on how they work. It seemed that he has been admiring my Big Boi whenever I zoom away at dusk. By 6:49 I was done, I did not turn on the Big Gun. I wanted to see how beautiful the night would look when the Sidebar Light Capsules would disco out.
They did well, bright here bright there before they brightened together and the right L.C took command. My Yogi Bag proved cumbersome to carry up the 18 kilometer route back home so I strapped it on the carrier so as to avoid lower back pressure on the Lumbra vertebrae. My major concern was not meeting corona cops, it was the faulty left pedal; a flat pedal curse or predicament I would say. The stages were empty, not a soul present. Safaricom was like a ghost hill in a cemetery. As I passed Shell petrol station, I saw the attendant who pitied me yesterday as BEAST paced on at 24kph. Steady as He went, I could feel the faulty pedal hardening and loosening off the pedal arm.” Tourist, we just have to make it to Gathondeki then we can take it out and throw it away,” I let Him know. That’s the bond between man and machine as we rushed through the lonely night. Caressing the darkness at a time not allowed for movement by the government, the dark olive green vegetation and eerie feel of the young night felt like I was on a lone road in Nyanza or Western region. I could hear the crickets sing; Mama Nature’s children taking over where destructive humans left their demonic work at. That atmosphere of a peaceful night made me forget that I was way late if not early in comparison to the days before the global pandemic struck. Up to Total Kangemi once again and onto wrong sides to get to the right side I went. I could see the image memory of Kevin Etabale on the diverted lane giving me motivation to pace hard and fast; and so I did, my pace on 25kph as the darkness dictated the cloudy weather. Like I said, The Tourist is a Sunny Boi, He is a cat fearing water.
Onto the Poly Stretch at 7:32pm, I had to stop; the pedal wanted to come off. My adjustable spanner was too big to fit into the spacing to tighten it because the 7/32 steel balls fell off and the pedal swallowed the spanner spacing. With that in mind, one thing was going to happen: the pedal will soon come off. So I went on, riding carefully. But it was not useful, for the pedal slipped off freely and Tourist’s rear tyre stepped on it as we descended down Gathondeki Hill. This white Hyundai, stopped near ILRI before passing us at the drop. Passing the speed bumps, my senses alerted me; there and then they were there: corona cops. They stopped the Hyundai, I was wise to slow to a halt.” Wewe pikipiki, unaenda wapi?” (You in the motorbike, where are you going) said this pot bellied officer as his associate came forth as well. Calmly, I told them that I live near and my bike broke down. I had nothing to fear; they let me pass the Hyundai as they interrogating the Toyota Coaster driver behind me. I pushed Tourist while walking majestically, for there is no shame in walking with your bike at hand. Tonight, those who despise my fiery entry rides can bask in their happiness that I am not at offroad speeds but tomorrow, they shall sulk ever more.
Tonight the First and Last must be attended to. Dopey has a spare, Tourist will have to do with Thunderstruck’s European pedals (The ones He came with, I never gave them away). Tomorrow I cannot afford to be off time limits. Slight shake up in my daily program.