01 February 2010

Found a new trail.

A few years ago I rode to Monduli Juu with Paulo Rukoine and through the highlands to Lepurko and back on the road. It was a good ride. Click the link above to read about it.

Saturday I invited arushabikers mailing list to try that ride.

It turned out to be one of the great rides of my life, probably because at the end of the plateau we went hard left instead of straight and rode through a dense pristine forest for an hour , seeing only 5 women on their way up.

It use to be hard to find someone to go on 6-13 hour rides. But now Bent is training for 24 hours ride in Denmark and he likes long rides and Thomas has two mtn bike rides coming up. Three others started out with us and turned around up on the plateau.

That is where the ride started for me, the 3 hours to get there was transport mostly, as riding up to the plateau and onwards was where i wanted to be.

It was saturday and we met bunches of smiling Masai on the way to market day. It seemed like everyone was happy and smiling. Not sure if it was because the rains have been good, or it was market day, or they are always like that. We three riders were in a similar mood.

On the other side of the Monduli Juu depression is the old Nafco wheat farms, but hardly any cultivation goes on there and hardly any houses. We had a hard time keeping a smile off of our faces as we had a strong tailwind and now we were slightly downhill, so the 15 or so km were a breeeze.

As we got to the end of the highlands , and lepurko Mtn was right there across a valley, the main track went hard left to the south and small foot paths went straight and another north. We tried the south one, the north one, and took the south one.

It was one of the awesome rides of my life. It was thick forest and downhill for an hour. It was thick enough to get scratched and we had to dismount a fair bit. We stopped for lunch in the forest and dallied for 30 minutes sharing whatever food we had along.

Out of the forest we came to treeless savannas with forested valleys. It was like riding through the movie set of out of Africa. We had some flat issues here, a fair amount of flats but were well prepared.

by 2pm we were at the tarmac and went into transport mode, drafting back to arusha with two water / coke stops. Eventually it showed that Thomas was too strong and we let him motor off home and Bent and I slowed to a reasonable speed.

Total hours 0615-1630 about 10 hours
riding time 7:30
distance 122km

I started with 3.5 ltrs liquid, a bout 1 ltr of cokes and about 1.5 litre water along the way. Was probably dehydrated most of the day.

The trick of this ride, is to go left. We maybe should of headed west again at the bottom of the escarpment and ridden across the big valley.

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