03 September 2012

Airport shuttle

Bernice has put her foot down on riding to the airport before 5am.

In compliance I asked my bike buddy Cheusi to be my "shuttle".  He showed up at 430 am and we were on our way at 445am.

 I was surprised by the amount of traffic this time.  Saturday morning?

Anyway the ride to Kilimanjaro Airport was uneventful. 

With first light Cheusi turned around and I cranked on hard.    I arrived 655 for the 750 flight, plenty of time except......

There were no baggage handlers to be seen at the departure area, and none at the arrival area either.  I panicked for a few seconds. 

I rode over to the parking ticket booth and begged a man in the booth to lock my bike to a tree outside the booth.  He to wake a guy sleeping in a taxi for permission.  I locked the bike, rearranged stuff in panniers into my overnight bag and took them all and ran over to the check in counter.  I checked in with plenty of time (5 min).

The check in guy called me back as my pump was falling out of the pannier I hadn't closed completely.  That was good of them.  Now I remembered everyone was extra nice at the airport.  The security guy at the entrance waved me through after I confirmed I was the one who rode bike to airport.  He did hold me for a moment to assure himself that I had found a safe place to park my bike.

I went to the men's room as everyone else stood in a long line to pass through the scanner.
I wet a corner of a small towel i brought along and cleaned some sweat off and changed into my  "Managing Director" clothes.   Stuffed my sweaty jersey, shorts etc into the bag.  There was still a long queue waiting to go through the scanner so I sat down to relax.   I then bumped into my baggage handler buddy Innocent.  So I gave him the key to my lock to take my bike home.  We exchanged numbers AGAIN. 

The next morning I was back at the same airport.  Innocent was nowhere to be seen.

I called him and he said he was at the arrivals side and was coming.  But then in the men's room I bumped into him cleaning it.  Long story short.  I don't know what happened but the tube had 20 lousy patches and was still flat, the bottle cage was broken, and later I found the front rack mounts had slipped down, so even the brake would not work.

Later I think he loaned it to someone who carried a person on the front rack.  Then they rode through some thorns and fell over and stepped on the bottle cage.

  Need to work on Innocent.  He needs to say hey I made a bad judgement and have learnt my lesson instead of creating stories that don't hold water.

I stopped at Pete's on the way home and hung out.  I was a bit tired reaching home.

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