30 December 2013

Maxed out.

I have ridden around Monduli Mtn in a day almost a dozen time. So why would I do it again? Here we are comtemplating the route up that excarpment.  The tan slash is a rocky short trail to the top.
I could claim it is a classic ride with fantastic scenery and fun descents. However today it boils down to being a litmus test for my fitness.

The circuit is 100km +/- and 1600meters elevations gain and loss.  A mixture of  tarmac, good road, bad road, and some trail. If you want there is 200m vertical on steep rock trail in the picture above.

John and Amanda meet me at my house and we ride clockwise.   I need to mention they are in training for a 7 day race in south america and are very fit.
We have several options for the first section to Monduli town. We choose the very very old road to Monduli town. It gets more washed out each year and this time the washouts were deeper. It took almost 3 hours to get to Monduli town. Next time I will try going way up the mountain into the forest and down as we did a fair mount of route finding and up and down.

Riding through the wheat farms of Likamba.  It was greener than it looks and no dust.

We  left the fog around Mnt Meru behind.

Friendly kids getting their entertainment.

Huge erosion canyons.

Next section is riding up a good road through a thick forested valley to Monduli Juu plateau.

Then rolling road on the plateau.

Then long downhill and hairpin switchbacks to Mfereji.

More gentle down hill.

And past the 1/2 way mark up the escarpment.  first third we pushed, then two carries of the bikes.
John showing the method.
that is Amanda way ahead.  I carry everythign on my bike and racks and tools.  My bike was heavy.
I have been more tired at the top but the ride accross the plains on top of the escarpment did me in. I was tired enough and started to waste energy wrestling the bicycle, I fell down. I had to adjust my brake. I had to walk twice. And i was tired. the reason i wanted to go clockwise was so that the final 15km is downhill. I think my brake was rubbing a bit at this point but I was in survival mode to get home. At home i managed to lay on the couch the rest of the day. we were out about 10 hours.

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