03 March 2018

10 to 4

I am not a racer.  I might go fast.  I might feel the adrenaline of competition.  But i am not a racer.

Or am I?

This is Thad and I on day one of the 10 to 4  bike race in Kenya.

I went two years ago and was sick and struggled to complete the two day race.  On day one i reached the 1/3 water point and could hardly stand.  i had climbed probably 1200m at this point and had 800m and 60 km to go.  Somehow I finished.  Finishing in last place and 2 hours behind my buddies.  The next day was easier , despite that on the final down hill i was violently sick.

This year was to prove that result was a fluke, i could do better.

Thad and I stuck together on the long climb up mtn kenya.  The picture above is the last part of the climb, just before entering the forest.

What followed was an hour of mostly downhill, through fast forest roads, incredible single track through forest, Elephant corridor trails.  Thad got away from me.  He is more fearless, and i pulled back becuase of dust.

then we rode together through the rollers back accross the wheat fields.  Then a fast track through the ngongare forest.  i lost Thad again.  Thad waited again.  We finished together, after stopping to take a picture of these elephants.




Am i a racer?  my buddy waits for me.  We stopp for pictures of elephants.  We stop for me to empty my shoes.  I cant be called a racer.


some more pictures
there is a rhino in between these guys.  50m away

mtn kenya in the background.  first day you ride up to 3,000m over the first ridge. and up to the forest.


20 February 2018

Around Mnt Meru

In a less regulated time we used to ride around Mnt meru and cut through Arusha National Park.  There was a through road and lots of people were walking or riding bikes through.  Never heard of anyone getting killed by animals.

About ten years ago the  national parks called a halt to that either for safety reasons or to increase income.

It didn't seem so appealing to ride around the park in farmland.

Arusha Cycling club has grown and kind of fractured.  we have groups depending upon geographical location, age, style of riding.  I belong to a couple of groups.

 Northern A-city riders called for a weekend ride , staying on the north side in a tented camp called Mkuru.

None of these pictures are mine.  We set off a bit after 7 from Kijenge.  This is the part where the new bypass road overlaps the old moshi road.


Happy campers when we ride along the park

Some great riding along the edge of the park

 




First lunch.


WE arrive at Kikatiti sokoni and have a soda and water.


Sune finds true love on a poster.



After a section of rolling road we get to Momella lakes and play tourist for a few minutes.




Ngarenanyuki and we stop to regroup and rest.






Sundowner at Mkuru camp.





Second day some climp up to a plateau right out of Mongolia




Guys enjoying the wind


Sune getting air in Mongolia













And always punctures, sometimes at camp


but usually on the trail with no shade.

30 October 2017

This is too much fun.

After last weeks ride / hike I wanted similar .  So we did different ridge that would lead to the top peak and what looks like a track going across.


I had made way points for the top of the ridge.  We had good trails.

Bamboo got thicker and we ditched the bikes for a short walk before we ran out of time.



amazing forest 2 hours from my house.




Some boys herding their cows ran along with us for awhile.
A few times we got spectacular views.

thad had a huge fall.  handle bars caught on a branch.  He stayed down for minutes.
 Looking at the bike and deciding if he ever wants to ride again.

Stay tuned , we figure we have a couple of months of ridges to check out.

23 October 2017

Bagged a peak

We can see Monduli mtn from our house in this old picture.  Although it is only 2800 meters high and just hours from my house and I used to consider myself a mountain climber  the peak has eluded me.

It eluded me mostly because  the top is thick Bamboo groves.  I have been close to the top, and know that most likely the peak has no view , except the bamboo all around you.

It wasn't our plan the night before to summit,  but during the ride we decided to make it to the top of at least one of the peaks.

As we gained elevation we were socked into fog and clouds.

We rode until it was to steep to ride most of the time and locked the bikes off the trail.




Thick fog .  Beautiful forest. Nice walk.




We climbed above the fog/clouds and Mtn Meru peeked above the clouds in a rare opening in the bamboo forest.

Cool glades.Our wide trail below.

More forest and more views.

Eventually you are in a thick bamboo forest that is hammered by elephants and people.  Higher it is less hammered.  There was sign of elephants but a few days old.



From maps there is a peak maybe 50 meters higher and a trail on the other side.  So we have some more exploring to do.

04 September 2017

Northern Arusha City Bikers weekend trip #1 : Around Mnt Meru


Two different ecological zones on the weekend trip.


I have long belonged to Arusha Cycling Club.  Northern Arusha Bikers is an informal subset that live on the "other side" of town than most members.  Sune organised a ride around Mnt Meru for the weekend.  This is the group that showed up.

Sammy prepares by checking  his bike out.
 Sune getting supplies ready.  you get an idea of what happens at camp.

First section was on old Moshi road.  Then we hit the construction for the new bypass road just before Usa river.


Up to the Arusha National Park gate and then we followed a gps track supplied by John from the Usa River riders.



 Great track in an out of forests and occasionally a farm.


 First food stop mid morning near Kingori.  Basically we have been riding around Ngurdoto crater.


Then we reach the Momella lakes


now rolling hills for an hour into Ngarenyuki.


Waiting for the last riders in the shade.





Sune was smitten.




We reach Mkuru camp before 5pm.  

Showers and a drink or two

 Reading some while ......
 ....waiting for the roast goat.





Sun downer with Max



Second day some rode directly back the 5 hours and some took a detour to below Mkuru peak.  A steep rocky jeep trail turned into a steep rocky cattle track.  i found it easier to carry

 On top was a plateau.  Reminds me of pictures of Mongolia







It was very windy.
Down the other side on small tracks.  The punctures begin.  We stopped about ten times during the rest of the trip.




Off the tracks and onto big roads and punctures continue.  Home about 5 pm.  Was a bit dehydrated.

Great trip.!