19 February 2009

I was supposed to ride alone

I am a loner. But I also enjoy going on bike rides with buddies.

Sunday at midnight I got a response from Thomas to meet at 730 am in Olasiti for a mountain bike ride. I wake up to read the message and figure I will be up long before that. I am slow to get out of bed and get ready and eventually at 715 I SMS Thomas that I will be late 10 minutes.

When I get there no one is there and Thomas doesn't answer his phone. In a few minutes a home security guard informs me "they" left some time ago.

I am bummed, well, yeah, a bit rejected. I try to follow their tracks for awhile but that proves difficult.

I continue on tracks heading for Lolkisale hill. I am not is bush but riding on cool trails and tracks through struggling forests and sparsely populated farmland, and a old ravine with poor farmland.

I have followed other people on this track and somewhat find my way. On the south side I get on wrong tracks and have to stop and ask directions. Soon I realize I am not bummed and glad I am alone. I stop more to chat with people and get good directions to the huge caldera called "Shimo la Mungu". I have a chat with a guy as I arrive there. I ride along the edge and the view down into the crater is great.

At the top I am alone in the wind and can see 50-80 km in all directions. I appreciate being alone doing what I want to do. I sit with my snacks against a rock.

I continue south to connect to a constructed dirt road . I can see the big village of Moita and know generally where the road is but I must of been weaving around in the scrub and a Masai calls me over. Wondering what in the heck I am doing. After the briefest interchange he says come lets have some tea and walks away towards his boma.

It turns out to be one of those wonderful interludes that stretched to an hour. I drink a huge cup of tea from a chipped enameled tin cup while talking about our lives. I get conscripted to help move a dead cow under a tree so it can be slaughtered. I cant stay longer to wait for some meat and head home on the dirt road.

The road is hard and fast I meet no vehicles until the last km. I get to wave and greet lots of Masai and waarusha on their way to church, water, and market.

I get home at 1pm. It was good to ride solo.

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