09 June 2008

Karibu Trade Fair Bike Tour 2008

The first weekend of June every year there is a big tourism fair in a big field in Arusha. We have our annunal race during that weekend. This year we had 3 days of races.

Frida we went west to Nanja, turned around and back to the Monduli road and up to Monduli town and then back to the fair grounds. 110km. 3 hours and 29 minutes averaging 31.6 kph.

As expected the climb out of the first valley the peleton split all up and I got dropped. At the top I was alone and caught a guy on a mtn bike and then a one legged guy. We rode together for awhile. That was a bit humbling. After turnnig around and seeing Mike and thad were not that far back I had them wait. We were then a bigger group but immediately most of them left us on the climb out of the Nanja valley. At the top we caught most people but fell back again when we climbed to Monduli Town. We came in with a pack of about 5.

Of course Saidi won the day. Most of the top ten were from our team.

Second day was a 39km time trial. I did it in 1:17:35 I didnt push it much and thad was a minute ahead of me. There was strong wind to fight with coming back.

At the reading of the times there was some queries and then alot of arguments. Those arguments continued heatedly after the final day. Mwanza team stomped out before the prize giving.

Last day was 180km but the first 12 is controlled through town. It is fun to ride briskly through town but controlled with an escort. I hoped to stay with the lead pack at least to the turn around point. Unfortunately at 40 km some guys went down and i did an endo over them hurting my hand and knee. Miraculously the bike was okay and I got on and thought about quiting becuase my hand was hurting. Thad said keep going and awhile later the pain subsided. I was now with Andrew who was strong and we tried to make the gape to others who had fallen. for the next 15 km we tried and then gave up and waited for all the other white old men. At Moshi we found the lead pack of about 20. they must of been going fairly easy as they were not that far ahead of us.

I managed to force myself to eat and eat. I woud feel bad off and on but mostly it was just tiredness. after the climbs to Arusha i recovered and felt stron the last 10km of flat. It took us 5hours 34 minutes averaging over 30kmph.

As I said there were lots of arguments. Not fun and it delayed the prize giving. there were mistakes on the time trial times. or irregularities.

I have some stiffness from the fall. My hand is slightly swollen and my right knee stiff but not too bad.

05 June 2008

The biggest bike commuting problem

I still think the biggest problem commuting is the moments when you get to work. People stare and ask what am I doing. I have to endure people watching me zip on the leggings of my pants, wash my feet when muddy from my water bottle.

I don't see the sweat thing as a problem anymore. My laptop is now disk less in case i carry it. Traffic is not an issue.

It works better if I play the role of the persecuted humble commuter rather than react to people doing actions that affect my riding.