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Offline boland

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2017, 12:24:48 pm »
Please keep posting you rides :thumleft:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2017 02 - Quick Splat for P-Cross
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2017, 07:28:38 am »
Having been whisked away from the dusty chaos and lawless bush of Kenya to the clockwork precision and strict, compliance-mad mountains of Switzerland, P-Cross was back in town for a day out. It was a perfect opportunity to put my XL600R to the test again after her successful trip to Turkana a couple of years back, and she did fabulously (despite leaving town with two hairline cracks in the frame…). We took Frogger along too, since he was dying to test out how his 690’s shock behaves after last week’s sag adjustment. Just imagine, it works much better! Still can’t seem to keep up with the Pigs though… all that power, fuel injection etc and the suspension leaves him eating dust.


Above: Frogger offers his opinion on the first paragraph of this RR…


Above: The yellow spray-painted ugly duckling: The Brilliant XL600R… over 30 years old and still going strong


Above: Cheesy 90’s boy band reunion album cover art or motorbike selfie (well done sucking in the guts, boys).


Above: Frogger glides through a rare concrete drift. Declares the shock is brilliant, but the forks are still stiff and twitchy as ever. A KTM specialty… not sure how to tame it yet either, but we’re on the case.


Above: Not the most original ride itinerary, we stopped at the Investment for tea and mandazi


Above: We may feel silly at times in our plastic kit, and then somebody comes along as if to say: Roll with it boys! Check out the butler trousers and patchwork smoking jacket on this dude!

From the Investment Hotel, we splatted down towards Najile where ½ of our party missed the turn and Panic had to chase them down. The road was feshy, so it was no easy task. Reunited, we shot down to Oltepesi through the rocky hills and feshy valley bottom. This time, the video does it some justice:






Above: Frogger – Oh la-la! Mon ami!


Above: P-Cross attacks the fesh-fesh on the XL600R

Cleverly ordering an hour ahead, we arrived to find our Olepolos kuku choma ready to devour. Banter, beers and bullsh*t later, we slid past the Ngongs back toward home. Not for the first time, we were greeted half-way by the Ngong giraffe herd. It must be 25 animals strong. It was a nice send-off for P-Cross… as he now sits in gloomy Switzerland wishing he were here, hopefully the good memories from the ride will ease his deepening depression somewhat.






Above: We began with the Frogger and we'll end with the Frogger… this time, in the midst of gracefully picking up his bike after dropping it. The poor lad has short legs, so it’s not an uncommon sight. Thankfully, I’m often there with my trusty camera to capture the moment for posterity. After all, what are friends for?
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2017, 01:18:02 pm »
 :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline saklx650c

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2017, 04:04:53 pm »
Nice riding okes and lots of it which brings me to my next question.  Are there no woman up north because you okes do a lot of riding.  My weekends consist of obeying orders, doing all the DIY etc. :imaposer:  I am not jealous love the RR's .   
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Offline Osadabwa

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2017 03 - Naivasha
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2017, 07:51:21 am »
saklx650c - Yeah... we're kind of lucky. We have flaky jobs that give us lots of weekday riding opportunities. I try hard to be home on weekends to obey orders and hang out with the kiddos! So, without further ado:

280 km of dirt makes for a decent breakfast round-trip run, no? Panic and I found ourselves with nothing to do on a Friday, so off we went. Down the valley, zipping quick tracks, bound for Naivasha’s Ranch House for lunch. Doing the leap-frog technique, we made pretty damn good time, arriving in just under 3 hours.




Above: At the Ranch House, I finally noticed I had a puncture. The front end had been behaving badly for some time, but I thought it was just the horrible fesh fesh pots we encountered while scrambling down the Mau Escarpment. Ooops. I reckon I should get some prize for waiting until we were somewhere with food, drink and shade to do my repairs though.

While we were eating, an ‘acquaintance’ who shall remain nameless showed up and attached himself to our return journey. He had 2 hours to get his act together, so when he wasn’t there when we left, we just left. To my surprise, he was in my rear-view mirror before long. We stopped to chat, and find he’s in tennis shoes and khakis… “You guys left so fast, I never got a chance to change… it feels like I’m riding in a bikini” he says. “Yeah man, lets take it easy, you’re not really dressed right” I say… Apparently that conversation didn’t sink in, because 30 seconds later, he was splatting up the road ahead of us, and less than 500m later, I found him apologizing to a guy on a boda-boda who was sprawled out on the roadside. Guy was just going about his life, collecting water… and he gets whacked by this guy out of control on his KTM.  I was not best pleased. Since this guy is a local mzungu, I didn’t argue at all when he said he was fine and “would take care of it”. Fine. Kick. Braap. We’re out.

I mean, FFS, we all like riding fast… hell, I live for it, but there’s a place for it, and blind corners full of boda bodas ain’t it. Accidents can happen. I know I’m not immune, but this smacked of something else. >:(


Above: Having left our acquaintance behind, we stopped to regroup. There in the road by an old volcano shell was a whopping piece of embedded obsidian, sharp as knives on the edges. Maybe something like that is what put a triangular shaped cut in my tire and flatted me out earlier!


Above: Amazing, the pace of change in the Kedong Valley… That morning, we noted with sadness that fence posts had gone up on our favorite entrance track since the weekend. Now, less than 5 hours later there were wires across it already! I don’t know what will happen to this place with the railroad…


Above: The whistle thorns were in bloom… guess the world just keeps on chuggin’


Above: My spare tube was in less than perfect shape. In Naivasha, I had to pump it up a few times and keep the wheel rolling for the OKO slime to do its job. Once it started working, it worked like a charm. By the time I got home, OKO had spewed out the valve and beadlock, and when I pulled the tube I found a 5mm slice that had been plugged by the stuff. A can of tuna in my saddle bags had rubbed a gash in the damn thing. Go OKO!



 :snorting:
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 07:52:15 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2017, 09:53:30 am »
Don't see too many wheelies there lad! Pig was invented for them.  :o
#Nipplecaps must fall!!!
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Offline Osadabwa

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Faksake
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2017, 05:02:18 pm »
Everybody's a critic!

Send me that spare subframe! I may not wheelie much, but there are plenty of jumps that, loaded, give the old Pig a beating....  :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2017 03 - Up to Gatamaiyo Forest
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2017, 05:44:28 pm »
There’s a biker we’ll call Clarke who lives and works in the Gatamaiyo Forest Reserve, just south of the Aberdare National Park. He rides an XR650L and is leaning heavily towards upgrading to an R. So, for obvious reasons, we think he’s a good egg. During a day of wrenching to get Rawlence’s Pig prepped for his first ride of the year, I gave Clarke a call and he invited us to pass by. Say no more! Splaaat! Rawlence and I took a convoluted and sometimes interesting route through endless valleys of coffee and tea. We passed Kiambu and Githunguri and scrambled our way up to the Thika-Mangu Flyover road where we found Clarke waiting to offer us coffee and biscuits and tell us all about turning bamboo into steam for breweries, dairies and any other major enterprise in need of heat. Bamboo can be electricity too, apparently. We decided that Clarke Kent was a good moniker since he has to be a bloody Superman to navigate the monumental corruption in Kenya to make things happen.


Above: We finally get to some weird riding, somewhere past Githunguru


Above: Nice looking stream… just uphill from it was a massive garbage tip. Oh Kenya, beautiful Kenya.


Above: We were getting close… could see the southern peaks of the Aberdares range over the hillside planted pineapples


Above: Rawlence marvels at the gorgeous garden Clarke has made. The house was great too, resurrected from total neglect.

After chatting with Clarke and trying our best to convince him that the BRP is the best damn bike on planet earth, we finally bid him farewell and descended deep into the forest. He started a modest camp among the trees and we wanted to have a peek before sliding down the other side and around to the Kedong Valley.


Above: The little used jeep track was immediately interesting with wooden bridges


Above: … and a log down in one place. I jumped on it until it broke in half, then we took turns rolling the Pigs over. Sure, some stud could have just braaped it, but I’m not that stud.


Above: You can’t see what’s under the grass… and there are elephants out there. Food for thought.


Above: If there’s one thing my camera is shitty at, it’s showing depth. This valley just went on forever it seemed. Brilliant.


Above: We were getting into the bamboo… Clarke’s concession was nearby


Above: We crossed a river and I spied out of the corner of my eye a precipitous drop. We had a quick look and vowed to come back. It falls for hundreds of feet in steps with little beautiful pools along the way. I want to soak in one. Apparently, it’s called General China Waterfalls… kinda need to hear that story.


Above: Bamboo, bamboo and more bamboo

Eventually, we came out of the forest at the Sasuma Dam. Again, I had a strong desire to jump in and never emerge. It occurred to us then that we were way the hell out there, and needed to get back toward Kijabe sharpish. Nothing for it, we splatted tar. Stopped temporarily to see if there was a dirt alternative, Panic slides by with the wife and kid in his fancy White Land Cruiser, giving us a honk which we didn’t hear. If I’d seen him, I’d have mooned him anyway! After a Coke and our only food of the day (a crusty mandazi) at a petrol station on the tar, we zipped down to Kijabe town, got directions from a mzungu doctor at the hospital astride a CRF250, and dropped fast down to Mai Mahieu.


Above: Sasuna Dam


Above: Down from Kijabe… goodbye cool air, hello candelabra and thorns

From Mai Mahieu, we followed a fairly interesting track to Ewaso Kedong via the front gate of Meyer’s Water Factory, then given the time of day, decided to just hit the big, stony dirt back home. It was Rawlence’s first significant ride in ages since a big accident a year ago and he didn’t seem dead, so I guess we can drag him out again soon!


Above: Don’t fall on the thorns, Rawlence!


Above: My backyard, the Kedong section of the Great Rift Valley

What a day. Hope to get back to Clarke’s soon. Rawlence, I bet you sleep hard tonight!

Oink  :snorting:
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2017, 02:09:55 pm »
 :thumleft: As always Thanks  :deal:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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4 days
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2017, 06:34:14 am »
Boys, hold down the fort for me... I gotta go ride. Leaving this morning for 3 nights in the dust and the glory!

 :snorting:
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2017, 06:36:52 am »
Hackneyed

Sent from my techno 6 Chinese upgrade

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Offline Dustman

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2017, 03:07:40 pm »
Waiting for it.   :deal:  :deal:
"Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Leaving Nairobi, we knew it was going to be a long day, so we blasted it. By “blasted it”, I mean we kept a steady and quick but wholly survivable pace without stopping a lot, because the previous ride we “blasted it” for real and I broke my sub-frame and nearly lost my cojones. The morning light was crystal clear from a few recent rains and with a slightly more subdued pace, I was really enjoying looking around a bit. We rode straight to Mi-46 for a cup of chai and a chapatti, then continued south past the Marble Quary to re-trace a lovely old road that takes you across the Nairobi-Namanga tar and down to Selenkay where we’ve stayed in the past. This trip, however, we were planning to proceed beyond to the Chyulu Hills, the extra distance being the prime reason to keep the bikes in motion.


Above: Just a beautiful morning






Above: Mile 46 AKA Elengata Waus, the Chai-stopover spot


Above: Already past the Namanga road, in the hills toward Selenkay


Above: Lovely views and easy, dry roads

We passed the Selenkay Camp somewhere beyond mid-day and were at our wits end with the destroyed main road when we finally turned off and made our way on little roads toward Chyulus. We stopped for tinned fish under a tree and marveled at how bad the road had become. It’s the endless train of sand harvesting trucks that is to blame. The lack of trees around was also abundantly evident. Where people try to keep good things, it’s good, where they try to make a quick buck, it’s all shit. Kind of obvious, but funny how we humans do it over and over again…

Turns out our lunch spot was in the peak area for destruction, and just a bit further along the world changed completely. Trees came back, there were wildlife along the road, and as we crept closer to the Chyulus, we started getting into some very weird moonscape scenery where ancient volcanoes had blasted the place to bits, chucking out massive blobs of lava and leaving pyramid cones everywhere.


Above: Just past Leonard’s camp, the fesh is at its worst


Above: Farther along, and the bush returns, along with the wildlife




Above: Moonscapes and safari animals

We were approaching the Chyulus on a track I didn’t have on my GPS, and we arrived first at a game scout camp. They confirmed we were on the right road, but also confirmed that there was no water anywhere nearby. A quick look at the GPS told me we’d have to ride past our intended camp (organized ahead of time with the relevant authorities, in case anyone’s going to whinge at me) and go over to the Emali Road for water. We were hot and tired, but it turned out to be a great addition to the day. The sun was getting that golden hue, and the ride gave us spectacular views of the Chyulus coming and going. Herds of Wildebeest and zebra hung out under the long shadows of the acacias. It was a real treat.


Above: leaving the ranger’s hut, we made haste to get water before sundown




Above: Coming back up from Emali Road, the fesh was pretty extreme








Above: Some scenes from the approach to the Chyulus, wildebeest under the trees




Above: Views of Kilimanjaro from the campiste, mirrored by two local hills in the foreground


Above: Panic doing his American Highschool Football Coach impression



Having set up camp, we settled into the afternoon, first with a glass of ORS, then several more of Black Label. There was no moon and the stars were putting on a proper show. We had the Big Dipper to the North (upside down), the Southern Cross and Orion all on display at once. Amazing. We were disturbed only once by a little scorpion who suggested we put on long pants and shoes, and were thronged by dozens of moths, drawn to our stink maybe, or to the Black Label, into which more than one bravely sacrificed their lives.


Above: Moths, camp cooking and a brilliant rear tyre

It was a great and auspicious first day. Once-in-a-lifetime stuff for most folks and we were just getting started.

Tomorrow we chase Kilimanjaro, but for now, some video:


 :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 2 - Chyulus to Grogan's Castle in Taveta
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2017, 06:44:37 am »
I slept well. Panic had to fill me in on the activity of the night… creatures in the pots and pans, wildebeest thumping through the camp, etc. I was oblivious. Packed and on the move, we explored the immediate area South of our camp and connected to a 4x4 track that slid us all the way along below the Chyulus. Herds of animals wandered everywhere and the landscape was otherworldly. Unfortunately for us, not long into the ride, Panic fell hard in a fesh-covered rut and twisted his ankle badly. Still, he soldiered on and we rattled along farther and farther toward Mt. Kilimanjaro.











In little time, we had reconnected with a larger road when a guy on a boda boda stopped to chat. Remembering our last ride, in which all the people who stopped to greet us were decent folks, I was disappointed when it became clear he was trying to shake us down for having ridden through some group ranch or other. Since we had ridden less than two hours from camp, his $50 per person fee was laughably outrageous, and since he could produce neither proof of his involvement in said ranch, nor a receipt for said fee, we essentially exchanged words and went our separate ways. Guys want to benefit from tourism, fine, but get organized and provide something for your fee besides an annoying and corrupt encounter miles from the place, or you’re going to have a bad experience with us every time.


Above: It’s all because of this photo op that we had to get sh*t from Mr. Group Ranch. Kili was creeping up on us.

Since Panic was in pain, we avoided the shakier options I’d plotted on Google Earth and slid the 15 km down to Oloitoktok on the tar and over toward Lake Chala. This place is really special. Straddling the border of TZ and Kenya, it’s a lush green volcanic cone full of crystal clear water and views of Mt Kilimanjaro. Sadly, the lodge on the Kenyan side has long been abandoned, so the best we could do was have a look down inside and skitter on our way (NB boys, I just called L. Chala Lodge on the TZ side and they said you can get a pass at Taveta Immigration to go over for the day… next time).




Above: Lake Chala and the abandoned Kenyan side lodge



Our plan was to camp at Lake Jipe, a much less spectacular lake farther down the road. Half way there, I spotted the mythical Grogan’s Castle. It’s a huge, white building sat squarely on a large volcanic bump which lies directly in the line of the road we were on from Taveta. Panic had popped in there years ago just to see what was what, but I had other plans. If they had so much as a half decent bed and lukewarm beers, I planned to stay the rest of the day there and rest Panic’s ankle. Luck smiled on us. The place was empty and we installed ourselves into a ridiculously large room with multiple beds and views down to Lake Jipe where heavy winds whipped up by a nasty thundercloud spent the whole afternoon pummeling the poor suckers down there. From our perch at Grogan’s we were afforded amazing views of Kilimanjaro’s Mawenzi peak, Tsavo National Park, Jipe and the Usambara Mountains and the plains that the Brits kept for Kenya when they gave Kilimanjaro to the Germans back in the day. It was awesome, the beers were cooler than luke, and we were even treated to a nice meal. Serendipity.




Above: Views toward Mawenzi and Kili




Above: The hotel was built in the 30s and still retains a lot of the old furniture and flair




Above: Mawenzi getting rained on


Above: Dust storm attacking Mawenzi


Above: Heavy rains block out the setting sun




Above: Panic rests his ankle and sips a cold-enough White Cap watching the evening wind itself down

Here's a little video with some nice views of Kili:


As we dined, I began testing Panic to see how his ankle was faring. I had an ambitious plan for our return trip to Nairobi, and it involved riding back past Oloitoktok and Amboseli National Park to Namanga, through the bush to Torosei and the rock-strewn, little boda track down to Magadi. For whatever reason, I had it in my head it wasn’t that far… I was mistaken.

 :snorting:



 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2017, 07:01:39 am »
You still using the Giantloop? How does that compare to Panics Wolfman system?

And don't you be telling the great unwashed that Kili is in Kenya!😀

Sent from my techno 6 Chinese upgrade

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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 - Grogan's Castle to Magadi
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2017, 07:05:22 am »
I would have slept like a baby, but the damn mosquitos were singing too loudly. Apart from that, Grogan’s Castle was a highlight of the trip. Weird and wonderful, a real diamond in the rough. We broke the fast, said kwaheri to the lady at Grogan’s and set our throttles to cruise. Mawenzi and Kili, shrouded in cloud when we awoke, decided to watch us go. They are truly magnificent mountains. We rode and rode and still they loomed overhead. At first, we could only see Kili peeking over Mawenzi’s shoulder, then they slowly drifted apart with Kili standing up taller and taller. By the time we got to Amboseli, we had the traditional view of the pair. They’re bloody big. Took a long time to ride around.


Above: Grogan’s Castle watches us leave


Above: View from below Mawenzi, with Kili peeking over her shoulder


Above: An hour later, the two peaks separate out, but Kili still looks smallish


Above: A long while later, the traditional view of Kili from the North road over Amboseli

The riding was beautiful but not overly interesting until we connected with the track over Amboseli. It’s amazing. Vast views; very quick, sandy and fun. The section that connects the west side of the park with the Namanga road is badly corrugated, but the Pigs just ate it up. I found my cruising speed creeping upward. Finally, an impala startled me back to a semi sensible speed by stepping into the road in front of me. Rapidly, Kili disappeared from our view and before we knew it we were in Namanga.



After a chapatti and a coke in Namanga, we cut up the tar a few kms and turned west toward Torosei. The track starts out like a proper road, but it very quickly disappears into a warren of cattle paths and 4x4 tracks. The GPS was very handy for navigating. Last time, we just took the riverbed, but with Panic’s ankle so badly swollen it seemed like a good idea to keep him away from places that might require an emergency dab. Before long we were past Oruk, past our campsite from a previous trip, and sliding down toward Torosei where the real challenge began.









Details about the boda track from Torosei to Shompole/Magadi road had already faded from our collective memory. We knew we’d ridden it, and we knew it was fine, but we’d forgotten how much of it was rolling rock. Knowing Panic’s ankle wouldn’t appreciate another tumble, we took it easy, but the heat was approaching thermonuclear, so we didn’t want to hang around either. At one point, Panic’s dash said it was 45 C. That felt about half right.









We found the boda track on a previous trip. I can only figure that it was made when somebody drove a backhoe up to dig a reservoir for a group of Masai. It’s too small for a car, very rugged in spots and passes directly through the remains of a blown out volcano. Not exactly practical or conceived for the long term, but it’s an amazing link for bikers, and as far as I know its just us and the local boda guys who know about it. Shhhhh!







At last, with the mercury popping out the top of the thermometer, we reached the Shompole/Magadi road. The thought of getting a cold beer was intense at this point, as was the throbbing in Panic’s ankle, so we switched off the cruise control and bloody well ripped! The surface there is flat, covered in marble-like volcanic pebbles and mostly devoid of frame-cracking dips, so we hammered it. By the time we got to the Magadi Soda Company Sports Club, where the bar is, we were high as kites on the day we’d had. According to Panic’s odometer, we’d covered 395 km.







Above: We made it. The beer was icy cold and Chuck Norris was on the TV

We had a beer or two, showered up in the air-conditioned tented camp, and came back for a night of more beers and half decent food. We topped it off with the last of the liter of Black Label and crashed like the Hindenburg. I slept like a log.



Here's a video summary of a very long day



« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 07:12:02 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 4 - Sliding on home
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2017, 07:11:28 am »
Following morning, Panic’s ankle was a right mess, so we packed up our things and took the direct route back home. Both of us rode like zombies. Probably a combination of knowing we’re homeward bound, the booze, and it being the 4th day of riding all played a part. We'd come a long way in a short time...




Above: Panic’s swollen ankle (stupid, twitchy mutt for scale)

As ever, it was an awesome ride and a great adventure. Panic now needs to heal before he disappears for a month to Namibia to ride, and I need to rest up for a 10 day Easter ride. It’s a tough life, but somebody has to do it!

Braap, splaaat! Oink.



 

Offline pietas

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2017, 07:12:35 am »
Great trip with beautiful landscapes
Groot berge en lang grond paaie
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Wolfman v. Giant Loop knock-off
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2017, 07:18:02 am »
Steve,

Panic's Wolfman setup is pretty sweet. It's annoying to mount (lots of straps) but once its on, it's really handy. The side bags don't move around too much, they can handle a fall, and you can open them up on top without removing them from the bike. They also hold a bit more stuff, so his top rollie bag doesn't have to be so big.

My bag is a Giant Loop knock off I had made here out of rip-stop tent canvas. Unlike Tanzania, there are useful fundis here. It's about the same size as the GL Coyote on the sides, but doesn't have the top part, so it consists of two side pockets only and a flat bit over the rack where I stack the big bag. If I get around to buying a smaller tent and sleeping bag, I can reduce the bulk in that top bag some.

And Steve, everybody on this forum knows Kili is in Tanzania, and many of them know the best side to view it from is the Kenyan side, and all of them who don't know can hear it here first: Steve is a gigantic pain in the ass!

 

Offline steveindar

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Re: 2017 - Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2017, 07:28:11 am »
I know you love me..

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#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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