(I think it is version 5). I suppose this is a classic ride for me now.
Depending upon variations it is 105 to 120km to circumnavigate Monduli Mountain from my house. A mixture of rough trail, dirt roads, gravel roads, and some asphalt. The route is to the blue slope on the left. It was 830am and i am still wearing two jerseys.
Hopefully John Corse will get me some pictures to post here later this week.
We left my house close to 7am and rode dirt to ngaremtoni and then the highway to Lengijave, about 15km on tar highway. Thomas is stopping to add air so as soon as we turn off onto the dirt and have a view he switches tubes.
The wide open plains were very dry and though there was dust it was blowing away from us from behind. So it was a fast ride to the edge of the plain. It was about as much fun a 57 year old can have on a bicycle. Then a bone jarring descent, followed by a tail wind across another vast plain. I didn't want it to end. We saw a gazelle being chased by some domestic dogs, the dogs failed. This is looking back to where we came from. I live on the right slope of that far mountain.
We opted for the rocky trail down the escarpment as opposed to either
-following a gradual canyon trail.
-staying close to Monduli mountain and going in and out of 10 canyons.
We stopped for breakfast at the top.
I never had to carry the bike this time. We had to walk almost all of the escarpment. At the bottom it was thick thick dust to the water tank. the oil quickly got cleaned off the chain. We thought we were by passing the water tank but ended up there , then another korongo full of dust and then a good seldom used jeep track up to the graded road switch backing up to Monduli Juu. I fell behind Thomas Holden and John Corse 5 minutes a couple of times. We saw some giraffee very close to the track.
The steep escarpment is easily ride able and I wasn't tired at the top like sometimes. I was feeling pretty smug. I recalled there are some rollers but they were more than i remembered. Now I started to slow way down on some hills and felt a bit tired. The top kept being one more hill ahead.
then there it was and we swooped down to Monduli Juu village for a soda, and coasted into Monduli district town for a full lunch and sitting in a chair. for the three of us that cost $6, including a partial refill of water bottles.
We opted for the shorter dirt track instead of going around the main highway. Later I was wishing we had gone that way and I drafted behind Thomas, as we faced a strong headwind the whole way. the wind was blowing sand and dust . The worse part was the up and downs and a dozen small canyons to struggle through.
Now i was hurting in the arms, my toes on one foot paining. I swear i could feel every thread in my underwear. I have stopped wearing padded bike shorts.
Thomas split off to coast down to his house, the lucky stiff. John and I headed up more, then through several valleys I had forgotten about. Then at Likamba the road got thick dust for 5 km. Eventually we made the tarred highway and the home.
103km this time in about 10 hours. Slower than the last documented trip.
I dozed that evening at a restaurant much to Bernice's and Mariamu's merriment. I slept soundly until 630am.