31 January 2012


Today I was invisible to one driver. He was waiting to turn onto the road and looking down the road, but he never made contact with my bike on the shoulder. It was not close at all but I had to slow a kph or two to stay clear. I didn't like being invisible.

Later I wished I was invisible when I was noticed by young men who like to call out to me. I want to be invisible. Not sure what the joy is in getting my attention, or is it something else.

I think riding a bike in Arusha is a humbling experience. Riding a bicycle makes me less "important" or significant to people in cars. Friends don't see me, drivers think it is no problem to cut me off as I am going slow anyway and I am not a threat of damage to their car, and their business is more important than mine. I think it is healthy for me, gives me some balance in life. I have too much power over some people, but on the road I have little power on my bike.

Which a few times has gotten me thinking, how considerate of cars and drivers am I. Can I ride a bit different so I make their drive time easier. How often do I make them wait for me to pass?

20 January 2012

Me of all people

I am the one who says "ride to the ride" and "lets scrap vehicle support". The vehicle support saved me from an unpleasant trip back to Arusha.

Our club decided to do a two day mtn bike tour with one vehicle. (in actual fact Thomas had a visitor who he owed favors and didn't want to risk a trip without a vehicle bailout).

We leave ngaremtoni/tpri on that road and make the blue line. We gain and lose 800m before mid morning break in Monduli town. Fantastic track.

Laizer stops and does some ploughing with oxen while others ride by.

Rollers and rollers up to the forest and then more rollers.

Finally we get to scream fast into monduli town.

After food we climb 400m up to monduli juu on a big graveled road. We are spread out over the climb. So we have to wait at monduli juu village and it is market day.

After setting off i notice my pedal is funny, and find the pedal has stripped out of the crank arm! I get a spanner from the car that has joined us here and it seems firm. It loosens in a few meters. I put the bike on top of car until we finish the last few hills.

then i coast and am pushed by two riders on the short uphills. The rest of the ride to camp is down hill and i zip tie my pedal on.

Without support i would of been sitting in small buses for the rest of that day. Instead I went to camp, showered, drank beer and tried to superglue the pedal on with dental floss packing and ashes. It was guaranteed to work but it lasted two pedal turns.

The next day i sat in pickup following my buddies to a water point and then they went off cross country into an unknown area to us, and we in the landrover pickup drove back to arusha.


Off topic

I should be writing about last weekend's bike tour.

Instead I came upon this. Beats me why i wanted to read about Gerald Ford, but on wikipedia I found this:

"In 2001, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to Ford for his pardon of Nixon.[65] In presenting the award to Ford, Senator Ted Kennedy said that he had initially been opposed to the pardon of Nixon, but later stated that history had proved Ford to have made the correct decision.[66"


"After Ford left the White House in 1977, intimates said that the former President privately justified his pardon of Nixon by carrying in his wallet a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States, a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision which stated that a pardon indicated a presumption of guilt, and that acceptance of a pardon was tantamount to a confession of that guilt."

I think Nixon was indeed tricky dicky. Should he have been prosecuted?

14 January 2012


One of my favorite actors was riding a bike. Too bad someone bumped him but seems he is okay.

03 January 2012

One ride short

I failed a clean sweep of 5 rides, as in Amani Mtns I missed a ride, but I managed 4 great rides on our week of holidays.

If I had a better way of carrying mtn bike on the pickup I could ride more. In order to ride it entails unloading half the camping equipment to take the bike out.

Ride I.

We celebrate Christmas Day in Bernice's home village Suji, in the south Pare mountains . Boxing day I jump out of bed at first light, tired of my brother in law's snoring. I also needed a good ride before the long car drive to the coast.

Pare Mountains has gotten rain and it looks lush and green.
I ride a contour road out through the other side of the valley through Gonjanza and slogged up to the pass going to Bwambo. It was an exhilerating ride I am glad I did not miss, despite it being a repeat ride.

I have another agenda on this ride, to photograph rock masonry buildings like these. I post more on my building blog here.

A church above and CCM building. (CCM being the ruling political party)

I look back to my father in law's house. Suji valley looks so good when green.
And if you focus differently like below you see Mnt Kilimanjaro.
I shower and we drive for hours, ride a ferry....
and get to paradise on the beach, hot and lazy paradise.

Ride II
We are invited for the week to Dave and Trude's place on the Indian ocean coast at Pembe Abwe, south of Pangani. It is hot as expected. The next day in the late afternoon Thad and Mike take me up to Pangani ferry but it looks like rain up the Pangani River so we check out a new beach lodge and ride home. Smooth flat sandy roads and good riding buddies.

Ride III
We stay 5 nights at Pembe Abwe with Daudi and Trude and I do a beach ride the day before last. The wind blows me south for an hour or so and it takes twice as long on the return into the wind. Beach riding is mostly easy, but there were stretches where it would go soft on me but I learned to go closer or in the water at those moments.

Missed Ride
In Amani we arrive to late for a ride. It is New Years and we watch the news in the guest house and crash before 10 pm.

I get up early the next morning but dont want to mess with unpacking to get to my bike and the reverse process for a 2 hour ride. We check out our property and house. We now have a road up to the house. Now we need a bridge over the river and we can drive up to the house and stay her e. I am gathering granite stones, good shapes and will build a rock walled brick arched roof and we will live happily ever after.

Ride IV.
Back to Suji. I get messed around with a tyre repair on the pickup. So much easier fixing my bike by myself. I have no idea about tubeless radial and am at the mercy of a punk at the service station. I choose the wrong place , but the worst is that i have to listen to and spend an hour with a punk who cant see the bigger picture of life. In the end he asks for employment! I really should tell him that he is cutting his own throat, but I don't think the idea will get accross. He can't self evaluate, he only sees he wants more than what he has, and thinks there is a short cut.

I get up but eat breakfast and then take off for Tae. They have done alot of work on roads, still very steep on the other side and rough but check out these retaining walls.

Normally i ride through that pass and then down, but this time i see what looks like a new road and i ask primary school boys and they say it is a shortcut.
the hill behind Babu's house and on the ridge you see the road going up to suji.

Fantastic single track, i only snapped a shot when it leveled out. Here it is a road but only used by feet , and motorcycles. very fast here.