01 November 2015

A change of scenery ( or searching for Kidawasi)

Most weekend bicycle rides involve mountains.  Mike had a plan of checking out a friends farm near Olokii and then continuing south to Komolo on small tracks.  the middle half was flat as you see in the picture.

We met at 530am and rode through town and out through Njiro.  Mike showed me a new route to the packers road.    Down throuigh Njiro and take next big road after container go left , Faraja Duka

We failed to find the farm after crossing the Themi river at Olokii, instead we started having flat problems, compounded by me giving mike tubes that failed.

We found a straight track and found out that the swamp is called Kidawasi.

we spent maybe two hours dealing with flats.  and had lunch in the middle of nowhere.

When we came to the first house we asked where Losinyai was.  the woman laughed and said we were in Losinyai.  Turns out Losinyai is the Kata ( an administrative area encompassing several villages) and we should of asked for Custom.

I was plenty hot so when we made it to Custom we bought 4.5 litres of water and two cokes.  that was enough to get home by going up the main road to save time.

26 October 2015

Unexpected new route, Tarosero Mountain

Tarosero mountain.

It is challenging to find a new route from your house without travelling big distances to the start .  So either you spend hours riding there, or use a gas guzzler to get there.  (I have an issue with that on a routine basis.)  It is okay to ride 2 hours to the start of the "ride".

After yesterday's experience I wonder if it is because of blindness over there being no routes.

During the work week riders start thinking about the weekend rides and routes.  Mostly it is established rides that have been done many times.  Mike suggested Tarosero and that was an exciting idea as it is a blank space on my map of places visited.  It is a 2,400 meter peak sitting on the edge of the Monduli Juu plateau.  the base about 40km from home.

There are purists among us who would not consider riding for hours on a highway to get tot the start of a mtn bike route.  Didn't seem to bother Mike or I.  We publicised the ride but only got a nibble from Sammy.  Sammy tried to drive and meet us  but his phone had an issue .  Maybe the lack of takers was because we are on the slow side of the pack, or maybe it was the 530am meet up,  or maybe is was an unknown route.

We arrange to meet on the west side of town at 530 am  after we had both ridden for 30 minutes in the dark to the meet up.  Daylight is a few minutes before 6am.  We both had lights and an excited mood.

As the soon rose we were treated to a red sunrise and hazy views back to mnt Meru.

On a road bike drafting behind strong riders it is one hour to monduli town, but it took us closer to two hours.  We chatted the whole way.  We have black spice tea and a few chapatis in Monduli.  In a sense the ride begins in monduli town, as we immediately climb through a forest on a good gravel road to the Monduli Juu plateau.

 Immediately after reaching the top and passing the village we ask and take a track leading to Tarosero. Sometimes we are on vehicle tracks and sometimes trails as we head for those meadows up on the mountain.

I should mention that Mike had heart surgery a year ago.

The cattle trail is steep and sometimes rocky.

Great tracks that lead us to the top and through Montaigne forests.  We note the Loliondo trees.

 Before we admire the view we eat our breakfast and take a breather.  about 50 km from home.  that is Lepurko mtn below, on my mental map but not climbed with a bicycle,only by foot.

Looking the other direction.

 We go down the same trail half way and then try a new one.  I worried about my brakes wearing out as it was ten minutes with the brakes on fully. this is the less steep section.
We had considered heading west o the plateau but finding a route took some asking, backtracking, and energy.  We got to the edge of the plateau caldera and decided to head back as it was now noon and we have 40km into the wind.

I left home at 5 AM and got home about 4pm.  the last 5km were very hard.  I struggled and shifted to low gears on hills.  mike said about 1200m elevation gain.

Great ride, a real classic with incredible views.

15 October 2015

Raspberry Harvest Run

At this dry time of year the "raspberry run" is a good bet.  Other trails on mountain have too many sections of dust.  This particular day had a big harvest, we were picking hand fulls instead of one at a time.

There was a better picture of the handful but for full disclosure i put this one as I am shocked by the looks of my body.  My body looks finished, pasty white, saggy muscles, and well just plain old.

I just turned 60 , and so age is a bit on my mind, but this picture is like a slap in the face.  Not complaining just stating facts, i rather enjoy the benefits of age.

12 August 2015

Yes I am riding

I ride, there is not much to say.

Sunday I wanted to go long , and two joined me but their long was 7am til 1pm.  It was long enough.

What I can say about the "custom village ride"  ?

Always nice people.  In custom we needed oil for our chains as my bottle was emptied.  We got some free oil and were on our way.

Then in Mbuyuni village a lady yelled "welcome for tea".  So she gave us milk tea and white bread.  It hit the spot.

03 May 2015


Masayuki left his bicycle  more than a year ago.  Last week he came to pick it up and brought all sorts of food and gifts for us.  It was very fun to have sushi his first night, and other things the second night.  We have been eating japanese food every other night for a week.

this is some of the food the first night.

Nashesha got involved cooking with Masayuki

the morning he left.

Masayuki arriving in Japan with a box of bicycle and all his touring equipment.  Our only hope is that the box did not carry rats from our store.

01 May 2015

wildlife on a road ride?

Haven't seen wild animals on a road ride for awhile.  There were alot of zebras in the plains 35km north of arusha.

21 April 2015

What do you think about while driving to work ?

Yesterday daughter Nashesha informs me that I have to drive her and her artwork to school, as it won't fit on the bicycle.  So should i drive back home and then ride bike or just drive to work.  I drive to work.  It turns out of be about 30 minutes driving, 20 of it alone.

It struck me how it is kind of non productive.  Stop and go, paying attention to the chaotic jam into town.  How do you put up with this day in and day out?  Listen to podcast? music? plan your day?  The only thing i could come up with was to put this on my blog.

Henri rode past me on his bike commuting to work, never to be seen again.  I find that my thoughts are more constructive bike commuting.

16 April 2015

Drivers, what can we barter with for removing tinted glass windows?

Again I apologise to all drivers that I have ever made wait for me to slowly cross in front of them, or they had to slow to wait to overtake me, or any inconvenience my cycling caused them.

OK is that enough to barter ?

Tinted glass in the front side windows and windshield makes my commute slightly less comfortable.  Granted tinted windshields are illegal even here but they still exist, and the side windows tinting is reaching majority now.  When there is a car with tinted windows waiting to come into the road I have to slow and put my hands over the brakes.  I have no idea if they have seen me.

So what if we remove tinted side windows and I go behind you sometimes?

04 April 2015

Crosses to bear on Good Friday

This cross I find bearable.

The above picture is from Philippe's camera phone.  I have to take the cover off my phone and then still the picture is like this below.  This cross of a lousy phone i find hard to bear.


A few years ago I would measure a good ride was when I saw wild animals.  Today we saw thompson gazelle and as added treat a herd of 50 zebra.  The dust is from zebra.

After a few years I changed the metric to riding far enough until I found non  Kiswahili speakers.  Met some boys claiming they could not speak kiswahili.    

Then last year I started measuring by the quality of interactions with people I met  on the ride.  Talked to some people today.

But today I think I should change it to the WHOA factor.  The whoa factor is when the view, animals, interactions, food break make one say "WHOA".  That was happened over and over until we came to the view in the opening picture above.  Then it was a collective WHOOOOA and a selfie session.

More pics during the "whoa" period.

 I wasn't warned about picture taken and forgot to suck in the stomach.

We rode around Lengijave mtn and down the open grasslands, being pushed by the wind and pulled by the slope.  I was surprised that in a short while we came to the steep escarpment.  It was short because of the wind and the slope.

After stopping at the escarpment we still had some energy so we carried our bikes up a hill on the edge of the escarpment.

Different methods of carrying.

Lots of talk about crosses to bear.

At the top was an old foundation and this view.  Note the boma middle right.  about 280m below.  It was not vertical but steep.

As the day wore on it got hot and there was no shade for stopping under.

Heri of team B+ hunkering down in the wind.  After turning around we had a strong wind all the way back.

Three of us rode around a hill instead of going up and down a hill.  Philippe walked up the hill and rode down and beat us around.  You can make out three riders accross the middle.

I thought these erosion gulley's on the side of the canyon looked beautiful.

and maybe some more random pictures.