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Offline Osadabwa

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2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« on: January 07, 2017, 07:38:16 am »
Happy New Year, bikers! :snorting:



Due to circumstances beyond our control, Neb and I had to wait six whole days to go for our first ride. Unforgivable. And worse than that, the rest of my pals still haven’t gone out yet. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Suckers!

So we dropped into the valley. We raced half of Ngong 1 and did the rocky cut over to Oloishoibor Community Center, past the new road made for the Standard Guage Railway Chinese Construction Machine, and made it a tiny way down toward Saikeri before Neb disappeared from my mirror. Knucklehead tore a hole in his tube. Just like Kolobus did on our last ride together, and almost in the same spot. To add insult to injury, Neb didn’t bring a spare tube! Once again, my nagging about preparedness had been ignored. Sure, Neb, take my tube… take my wife while you’re at it!


Above: Observe carefully boys, that’s the look of shame

Fortunately, Neb made up for his neglectfulness by being up for anything… the tougher the better for him (he’s younger and dumber than the rest of us). So, I aimed our wheels down the bobble-head rolling stone track that links to the Oltepesi-Najile road. The stones laid me out early on, but with no lasting damage I regained my balance and we tiptoed and slid down the escarpment, found a broad shade tree with a view, and had some tinned fish for lunch. I was knackered from the descent, but the rest and the food revived me.













Down on the Oltepesi-Najile road, it was after 2:00. To make time, we did a leap-frog method of riding where one guy blasts ahead for 5 minutes, stops, snaps a pic of the next guy as he goes by. It worked brilliantly and we made blistering time up the road. I’m very used to this track, but this time we did it in reverse and it felt like a completely foreign trail. Gullies I hit full tilt coming South were sphincter clenching going North. Once, even with my GPR cranked up for the purpose, I had a mid-air tank-slapper off a stone that rang my proverbial bell. Man I love this bike…







Stopping in Ewaso Kedong for a cup of tea, we enjoyed the typical friendly banter with the Masai guys hanging around the Investment Hotel.

Them: “Let me ride your bike”
Us: “No”

As it was quarter to four when we pulled away, the plan was to re-trace the powerline route back home, but as we got going, Neb had a different plan. He led us farther down the road to the entrance to the Mayers Bottled Water company where as a wee lass, Neb used to play on his adorable 250. It was a cool detour. Set up against the escarpment, a spring comes out of the hill and creates an oasis of un-poached acacia trees. We walked over to the source of the spring and then rode the bikes to Mayers’ iconic century old fig tree before climbing out onto the old Naivasha road for the cruise back home.


Above: While Neb negotiates our entrance, I notice the eedgit has failed to tighten his bead lock after the puncture leading to a dangerously twisted valve (note the nut twisted against the rim… shame Neb, shame!)




Above: An amazing bike over the Great Rift Valley and two happy looking bikers at the Mayer’s Fig tree


Above: Parting shot with Mt. Longonot in the background, from the first Duka on the old Naivasha road

This shall be the first of many rides in 2017. Can’t wait for the next one!
 :snorting:



« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 07:05:24 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline RrP

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 07:59:40 am »
All the best for 2017 looking forward to more of your rides 👍
 

Offline JonW

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 09:12:06 am »
That looks like awesome riding country.

Looks exactly the same type of terrain that we have here in the Kzn Middelrus / Muden / Weenen area.

Designed for 650R's  :thumleft:
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Muden alright
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 07:49:30 pm »
Thanks RrP, much more to come... still dying to get to the Suguta Valley which looks like this:



Jon W,

I just had a look at your recent Muden ride. It does look similar! Definitely Pig country

 :snorting:
 

Offline Mr Zog

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 04:47:11 am »
Dream riding, on dream bikes, in dream country  :drif:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 10:40:25 am »
Again excellent ride thanks for sharing,May 2017 bring a lot more saddle time for all of us  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline bud500

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 03:18:08 pm »
Checked In!  :thumleft:

May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline NovaT

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 10:57:42 pm »
Subscribed.

Enjoy the rides!

 :thumleft:


Have a look at My Website



 

Online Tom van Brits

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 06:52:32 am »
Them: “Let me ride your bike”
Us: “No”

 :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

Happy New Year and thanks for an always entertaining RR from stunning Kenya!!  :thumleft:
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 11:49:28 am »
Run out of go-juice?
#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain


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Offline saklx650c

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 02:14:26 pm »
Nice ... also looks like husky terrain.
kl X not R - sold
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Offline Osadabwa

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Inauguration Day Ride... If you can't beat 'em, roost 'em!
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 08:12:51 pm »


The Pigs were restless and in need of a splat. Mine had been in the garage for the better part of the week getting a couple of new bits bolted on and fixing a wee error I’d made when I last put her together: I’d mounted the throttle cables in the wrong holes on the carb… restricting how much it opened by about 25%. Needless to say, I was red-faced at the discovery, but very happy once back out on the trail! O the speed! O the power! O the mighty BRP!

Panic (seen below hatching an idea) and I didn’t exactly rip out of town. For whatever reason (maybe because it was inauguration day), it took a few kms to get the gumption to start twisting the throttle in earnest. Finally, after having passed the reservoir and the Chinese tunnel project camp and all of Ngong 1 and Olepolos, we turned off down a track that inspired serious braaaaping. It was just right for drifting and in the relatively early light, it was beautiful as well. The valley is bone dry, but the starkness is 9/10ths of the allure.







We stopped on a dry shoulder of dust at a duka that had sodas (for a change). While we were extolling the merits of the Pigs to the guys there, one of them changed the subject, saying: “Today Trump is going to be the US president.” Which led to a long political discussion that included me drawing pictures in the sand to explain the Electoral College and just exactly how this gentleman won the election despite being 3 million odd votes down in the popular polls. “I see” he said, “So in order to balance out the small vs. the big states; it’s not really one-man-one-vote”. “Here in Kenya, it’s one-man-one-vote. And here I thought America was the greatest democracy in the world”. (If he didn’t say it, he was thinking it.)









It was hot enough by 11:00 to melt your brain. Even the gazelles had already taken shelter under a tree. The terrain is odd out there; being so close to the center of the earth and all maybe it’s not surprising. Mostly, it’s fesh-feshy dust, but there are outcroppings of white, concrete-like dried clay (a repository for fossils of early man) and mine-fields of black volcanic rocks. Moonscape kabisa.





We took a quick breather in Oltepesi and continued North, heading the opposite direction from usual toward Najile and Mt Suswa. The track begins in a pile of fesh-fesh and rolls its way fast through the rocky hills and sandy flats. We were leapfrogging along, taking turns in the lead, and made blistering time. By the time we reached Najile, we were starting to feel peckish, so we hunted down a bit of shade and chowed down some tinned fish and salted cashews.

















It was two O’clock. Time to aim for home. We decided it would be fun to take the little powerline track back, and weren’t disappointed. The first bit, near Ewaso Kedong, is a blast. The lowland portion starts out as a flat, straight shot over dusty ground ribbed for our pleasure with bumps made for bunny hopping. Turning off the bigger section onto the track, the first several KMs of turns are fast, dusty drifters. Higher up the shoulder of the escarpment, with a view over the valley below and a cool breeze seeping down, the track is a pebbly rolling rockfest in places with some off-camber bits leading to a decent enough tumble if approached wrong.







Things in the valley are undergoing major changes. Apart from the power lines, the Standard Gauge Railway project (for which Kenya is now 1 Billion USD in debt to China) is punching holes in mountains and cutting roads everywhere. At the end of our trail, we dead-ended into a Chinese camp at the mouth of another tunnel. Presumably in a few months’ time, the railroad will be traversing where we just finished riding. Hope they leave a bit of Africa untamed for us bikers.

I was very glad to get out with Panic again. It’s one year since XR650Rs arrived and they are now officially broken in. The plans for upcoming rides keep getting more elaborate, and I can’t wait to hit the trail again soon.

Go out and do something nice for somebody today. Go on, buck the trend.  :snorting:
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 09:19:35 pm »
Great riding country, but how long before it's carved up, fenced and in the hands of the wealthy few?
 

Offline Osadabwa

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First solo trip of 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 06:54:31 pm »
Sure, it's Tuesday, what of it?

I woke up feeling ambitious. I felt like riding (nothing new there) but this morning was slightly different… I wanted to ride without stopping. I wasn’t into exploring new tracks, I just wanted the feeling of going fast… the sensation of the Earth moving beneath my wheels. So, I blasted it down the valley, retracing oft-used tracks starting with the little powerline track (a new favorite) which dumps you out near Ewaso Kedong where I skipped my customary cup of tea and just keep blasting, past the fesh-fesh and stones at the base of Mt. Suswa to the riverbed that cuts its way free of Hells Gate National Park. After that, I’d make a return plan. That’s the best part of riding solo. Freedom to shake it up a bit!


Above: Feelin' good


Above: Some views down valley from the little powerline track… L. Mt Suswa, R. Mt Longonot
 

Above: A wrong turn off the powerline track and you could find yourself in a “hole” lotta trouble
 

Above: Having ridden past Mt. Suswa and across the tarmac road, I was down in the sand near the entrance to the riverbed with the long shadows of morning painting the scene.
 

Above: This is my second trip down inside the Hells Gate riverbed. I was surprised it was still wet this time of year.
 

Above: I decided I’d climb the riverbed as far as I could go. At first I thought this tree would stop me, but I was able to squeeze under it.
 

Above: Eventually, the riverbed dead-ends into a canyon less than handle-bar width across. It would be fun to explore on foot, but feet are for pedestrians. I’m a cloven-hooved biker.
 

Above: Some of the water leaking in is cold, some is hot and sulfurous. I’d been smelling the geoactivity for awhile already by the time I got here… was starting to wonder if it was coming from me.
 

Above: A particularly hot spot shines gold on the rock face… too hot for the green stuff to grow on.


Above: Dead end… but it’s still early (I look fresh as a 40 year old daisy). Clocked 100km of dirt, sand and stones in 2 hours from home. Try that most places. Riding in Kenya is unparalleled.

Having so quickly explored the depth of the canyon, I began weighing my options. It was too early for lunch, so I decided I’d just keep on blasting. A quick look at the GPS had me debating how I should proceed. I could ride up Suswa, but that would mean paying an entrance fee (and there was always the risk of getting caught in another wire fence), or ride around it. Today, I opted for the latter.


Above: Last views in the canyon.
 

Above: Well past the west flank of Suswa, I was in and out of riverbeds again having a blast drifting and leaning around the bends. Once or twice a dry waterfall kicked me out, but I would quickly find a way back in again.
 

Above: I wondered if this fence was still hanging around. One year ago this month, Panic and I brought our new-to-us XR650Rs out here for the bikes’ maiden African voyage. We thought they were great then but they don’t hold a candle to the bikes they’ve become in a years’ time!
 

Above: Popping out of the riverbed and winding through a detour around a washed out bridge, I tested out a duka I usually ignore. Sure enough, they had Coke! Not cold, but it was 12:00. I had been riding more-or-less without stopping for 4 hours straight and needed some soda power. I scared the owner half to death when I rode up, but once I got the helmet off, she could see I was harmless enough. A boda-boda rider came around to ogle the bike. Always amusing. He dusted off the headlight for me… tested the rear brake (after asking if it was, in fact, the brake) and seemed unable to fathom the fact that I had come from Nairobi and was going back to Nairobi… just for fun.


Above: From the duka, I just blasted it. Not even pausing at Najile, I turned and splatted homeward. It’s the fastest continuous stretch of road down the valley, and I was loving it! Rode all-out for a full hour without stopping once. 5 hours and 260km after I left my cozy home, I was back in first-world Karen at J’s on Ngong road just up from Moto ADV hammering a burger and fries. Not a crumb was spared. While I gorged, the Pig quietly tick-tick-ticked herself cool in the shade like she just got back from a trip to Starbucks.

There will be more solo rides in my future (just don’t tell my wife).  :snorting:

 
 

Offline bud500

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 08:51:34 am »
Awesome man!
Like the writing as well.
May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline DRAZIL

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 09:28:04 am »
Braaping awesome :thumleft: :thumleft:
“You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.”
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Offline Kortbroek

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2017, 02:29:18 pm »
Fokken briljant as we say in these parts. The riding there looks absolutely stellar  :ricky:

Couldn't agree more on the bikes. Haven't yet ridden any bike that gives me the same smile factor as the BRP.
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 

Offline Rebelwithacause

Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 02:42:31 pm »
 :thumleft:
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Offline pietas

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2017, 02:45:14 pm »
Another great trip
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Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2017, 03:10:37 pm »
Verry Verry nice  :thumleft:
FTS