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QUARANTINE MOMENT RIDE 5 (THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL BAG) 16.05.2020


What do you do when the skies pours on you at your best?


After successfully ferrying 30 kilos with The Tourist along 22kms, the weather turned grey and wet. I had just washed Big Boi when the grey carpet beneath the skies started to drip, and boy did it drip heavily for hours on end. I had to walk in the slight rain to go buy a few supplies for my shop and in that wet moment, my cerebral took a time travel blast to the past. A dejavue of how the moments of the day were exactly as they were 10 years ago on this very day. The rains both started in the afternoon, I got wet and evening caught me far from home. Its May 16th 2010, I’m mad (parent child argument) so I took off with The Spaceman from home to Viewpoint past Uplands (John Mayer’s Heartbreak Warfare was playing in my head at the time). We caught the heavy rain a kilometer away from the railway dropping down the magnificent escarpments. I’m super wet, freezing at 2,666 meters above sea level and just wanting the sky to stop watering everything on the earth. A ray of hope, literary, shone across the Rift Valley’s skies. The sun made one last attempt to shine through; at that moment I made a solemn prayer for financial deliverance so that I can live my life on my terms. That prayer was answered 4 months later and the rest is history.


Fast forward back to the present, I’m worried that for the second time this week I will be having wet boxers as the rain persisted. It abated a bit and I took off towards home. I had my tool bag, Yogi Bear bag full and the Black Pearl bag full and heavy on the carrier. With the Sidebar Light Capsules lighting the way at 6:42pm (How Ironic, this was the exact time Tourist snapped His breaks 4 days earlier), we soldiered on. My Venom Helmet’s rear light assisted in being visible in the cold wet dusk. However, at Westlands this driver in a small Toyota came fast from the right and stopped abruptly in front of me. The heartlessness of Kenyan drivers is deep. I went on with the climb up Safaricom. My New Balance sneakers were now wet, my socks squeaking water sprays inside. I had not turned on the Big Gun, so whose big gun is this tailgating me in the rain? The rider just rode behind me and then he spoke in a voice attuned to my ears,” wueeh, wacha kunimwagia maji.” (Wueeh,stop spraying water on me). I told him to pass me then. My mind still calibrating the author of that voice: It was Barnabas. This time he gave chase and found me, I gave chase hours ago and could not catch the podium finisher. We could now take command of the slow lane, after all we are very much visible. The ride was now much easier despite my diaphragm’s right feeling a stitch. A driver in a rush to nowhere hooted at us before speeding away. We did not mind him at all; the road is for all on wheels. With Total Kangemi nearby, I told Barnabas I have to climb up to the bridge for there is no way my Big Boi is riding on sewage. He understood and he chose to ride above it as we parted ways and pace. The weights are taking a toll on my breathing; I’m struggling but I cannot quit.


I ride across the bridge; Barnabas is now 60 meters away. I passed a few locals who seemed to be running away from something. A man with a walkie talkie appeared; its green light revealed he was a law enforcer. I feared nothing, I just rode away up the slip road. By the time I made it back to A104’s climbing lanes, he was a good 200 meters away, his rear light dimming away. The cool wet drizzle and Tourist’s 23kph pace was nostalgic; I was at peace. I paced on as a bright LED light shone 50 meters to the left. Edging closer, I’m speculating: Corona cops or civilian. A red light appeared adjacent to the bright light, it was revealed what shone the lights as the person in the middle towered up. Barnabas was buying supper. I gave a 3 whistle greeting to the champ as I paced away to the west. He replied with a shout and the people nearby joined in, much to my surprise. Long stares from moonlight lovers looking at the number of bags I was carrying.


Now onto ILRI and dropping down the lonely Naivasha Road. The rear brake pads were starting to scrap on the steel rim, judging by the noise made. Two nduthi guys climbing up yell some gibberish at me because the Big Gun shone bright on their drunken eyes. My though was on the possibility of them telling me that corona cops are at Gathondeki. I debated whether to take the back road that was now rough and mighty muddy. “Whatever shall happen let it happen,” I told myself as Tourist dropped down the left bend. Well what did we not expect; no corona cops, we could ride on easy. Its 7:31pm, we are wet and dirty but glad to be back on home grounds. Tourist has been on the road for 5 days straight, He deserves a long holiday.

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