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Author Topic: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 8382 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 - Ripping back home
« Reply #100 on: August 14, 2018, 07:43:48 am »
I wish I had been there to see Wry emerge from that oversized jockstrap he was sleeping in because again watching him get in it was comic gold. He had to get into his sleeping bag first, then carefully crawl on the picnic table and hoist himself inside. At night, to piss, he apparently had to slide out (like the foot of a clam I’d guess) and, still cocooned inside his sleeping bag, work his toes into his flipflops to then waddle out to the nearest tree. Oh man. Such fun!

Anyway, we on the warm ground with inflated air mattresses were not up early. Wry was though, not surprisingly, and got a nice shot of the Lake at dawn (totally worth it).


Above: Wry’s payback for not being able to sleep: Lake Naivasha at dawn.


Above: View from my tent 2 hours later.


Above: The breakfast biker’s club. Not unlike riding the beemers down to Starbucks, apart from just about everything.

Panic spent some time fixing a slow leak in his rear tire, we packed up and got the hell out of Dodge. As usual, it was a nail picked up in one of the horribly filthy plastic and garbage strewn human settlements we passed through. We debated and decided that on this trip anyway, the TuBliss system did prove itself. I reckon I’m going to buy the hardest carcass tire I can find for the front and stick with the TuBliss. It really was a cinch to fix.


Above: Leaving town. L: Cattlejam and R: Spot the two odd things about this guy’s bodaboda…


Above: Retracing our steps up the low part of the escarpment, I felt a delicate little puff smack me in the chest. I’d murdered a beautiful little weaver bird. This fella was the 2nd confirmed bird strike for me on this ride, with several other near misses. The guilt will haunt me for days.


Above: Panic rides Wry’s KTM and concludes: the fork is awful. Sure enough, both the compression and rebound damping were wide open. So, he went somewhere to the midpoint and gave it back to Wry who said it was better, but didn’t sound convincing.


Above: Wry on Panic’s Pig for whom a little washout like the one in the pic is no big deal…


Above: Coming down toward the Narok road from the North


Above: Having crossed the Narok road, we were in our backyard again, strafing the cattle tracks, some of which were deep with fesh already. I wonder how long before the Kedong Valley is a sand desert?


Above: Patches like this were everywhere. Wry’s KTM handles them pretty well because the weight beat out the need for decent suspension, but when I borrowed it for a bit I was shocked how squirrely it was and rough on the stones. I wasn’t sad to hand her back.


Above: We had a fire lit under our asses now. I’d promised an hour and a half from the Narok Rd to Olepolos for lunch and we were on the right track to make it. It’s a reliable grin-maker, this road. It starts out picky but becomes an XR’s dream, climbing up several levels to Saikeri. Rumor has it there will be tar here soon. I’ll lose a piece of my soul then.


Above: Wry ripping up to Saikeri


Above: Panic throwing stones


Above: Such fun to ride a bike as fast and stable as the Pig


Above: Past Olepolos, gorged on kuku choma and refreshed with a cold White Cap, we toodled back home the way we’d come, through the washed out Ngong 1 road, past the new Railway tunnel and up to the silted in dam for a group pic.


Above: Great ride boys! Wry, the Pig is very sweet indeed. Lets be honest here. I love riding it. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. (Is it me, or does the KTM in this photo already know she’s being kicked to the curb?)

Let’s finish up with a nice video I stitched together



Cheers

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 07:51:03 am by Osadabwa »
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #101 on: August 14, 2018, 02:01:11 pm »
Damn what a nice read ass always such bliliant riding area  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Zimzanawana

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2018, 09:41:43 am »
Damn what a nice read ass always such bliliant riding area  :thumleft:

True O0 :thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2018 09 - Solo Zen and the Purple Pinky
« Reply #103 on: September 20, 2018, 02:08:00 pm »
Some days just ain’t worth a good goddamn, and they often let you know it right up front. So it was for me today. It was a harmless enough plan: Having replaced my destroyed front tire with a new, super-rugged rally tire, I just wanted to go for a quick zip to see how she holds corners and eats stones. The Universe had other plans. Not 200 meters into the dirt from the tarmac, I crashed.


Above: Lovely day for a ride

It was a stupid one. Shouldn’t have happened. That’s how you know it’s gonna hurt. I was zipping along and hammered on the rear brake as I often do. This time, though, I hit too hard and the bike stalled. No matter, right? Just pull the clutch and drop it again. Alas. I pulled it in, dropped it, and kept right on skidding, but by now I was mostly sideways and was rapidly approaching a berm that did a nice job of pitching me headfirst down the road. Gravity, not wanting to miss out on the fun, did an even better job of returning my ass to earth. I landed superman style with a “whooompforfucksake!” and my wee little pinky-winky took one for the team, bending in an unnatural direction on an embedded stone to slow my slide. Cheers, mate, cheers.


Above: Scene of the accident. It’s all harmless enough terrain, but I’d wager more bikers have crashed on this section of dirt than any other outside an MX track in Kenya. You’re fresh off the tar, full of piss and beans and ready to measure your cock. Well, be careful, ‘cause you might squash your pinky instead.

Annoyed, I dusted myself off and commenced straightening my handlebars. Because I was kitted up, I had not so much as a scratch anywhere but the aforementioned pinky, and he didn’t seem to be broken, so I was chuffed. Bike didn’t care I fell, just stood there passing judgement like a damn aluminum horse while I cussed and fussed.
Anyway, on with the rest of the mess. I took off again and had a nice time of it for a while. The Ngong hills were wearing a very cool wisp of cloud, not unlike Trump’s toupee only more natural looking, and the air was cool.




Above: The Ngongs and their cloudveil comb-over

I took my usual track. It has a bit of everything. Loose stones, stuck stones, sand, lateral washouts, vertical ruts, quick stuff, slow stuff etc. On a whim, I turned down a track I hadn’t seen before and was pleased to find a nice pond at the bottom with some big, welcoming, shady acacias.


Above: My new Mitas felt pretty good. I was ready to open up a bit after the short rest


Above: “Welcoming acacias”… hmmm. In case anyone doubts the thorn situation in Kenya… this is my rear tire (which, yes, should find a new home… it was like riding on marbles). Glad it went in sideways.


Above: Not sure if this is an actual reservoir, or just a consequence of our recent, abnormally heavy rainy season, but it was a nice spot.


Above: Happy biker, ready for the rest of the day…

After a little rest, I started back up the road (the track dead-ended into a military firing range) and immediately heard the characteristic “tink, TINK, twaaang” of a dead front tire. Fun fact: Zero PSI = Zero Bar = Zero Kpa fafaksake. Again, this should be no big deal except for two things: 1) I was running Nuetech TuBliss, which meant if the tire was totally flat, I was in for a faff and 2) that pinky of mine was purple and throbbing, so it was going to be no joyful event in any case. Anyway, long story short, I got stuck in, found my Zen and replaced the TuBliss with a tube (last TuBliss I use up front… I’m going to have to try mousses sadly). I felt my good juju was outflanked and outgunned by the day’s bad juju, so I suited back up and bee-lined it for home.


Above: At least it was kinda shady


Above: The face of a former TuBliss customer: Second time the little inner tube’s valve stem has been cut. I don’t doubt it could be user error, but I could give a rat’s ass. I’m done with them. Too expensive for partial, unreliable benefit.

The silver lining in my aborted solo ride was that back home my boy Panic was free to hear my tale of woe over lunch and a beer at the neighborhood choma joint.




Above: White Cap, Purple Pinky

And you know, at the end of it all, the old adage is still true: Even a shit day of riding beats a good day at work!

 :snorting:

 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #104 on: September 20, 2018, 02:19:16 pm »
I never trusted the tubeless system ,At least you had a spare tube  :thumleft:
FTS
 

Offline Osadabwa

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yeah...
« Reply #105 on: September 20, 2018, 04:51:35 pm »
Yeah Rooi, clearly I didn't have much faith either, carrying a spare and all  :lol8:

What I can say is TuBliss worked for awhile, but I still had tire trouble. Had to plug a pinch flat (in the tyre, mind you) and another time the whole carcass of the tyre disintigrated because the TuBliss went flat and I didn't notice, continuing to ride for long enough to destroy it. It's been a real saga with me and tyres. I'm fed up and ready to dig in the pocket for a mousse. I just kind of doubt they will last long on the BRP. But, I'm at wit's end, so I'm stumping up.

 :snorting:
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Faaaaak!
« Reply #106 on: October 03, 2018, 02:42:35 pm »
I ignored it for 2 weeks, but finally I went to the doc. I wish I had stayed home:


Above: My stupid pinky finger and the Dorito-shaped piece of bone I broke off of it at the last joint

Early assessment: Wear splint and hope it heals or go for surgery. Either way, I'm off the bike for 6 weeks probably. I rode today but the damn splint makes using the clutch a bit challenging.

Friday I'll find out the truth.
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Second day – To the Ewaso Nyiro
« Reply #107 on: October 03, 2018, 03:31:49 pm »
Above: It’s technically Adventure Riding I suppose, but closer to race pace!

Two XRR moving in the same direction.... :deal:
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Mended pinky and gear test day...
« Reply #108 on: November 26, 2018, 06:56:28 am »
After six weeks of impatiently waiting for my pinkie to heal, I finally had the brace off and was ready to hit the dirt. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving gift to get out in the Rift Valley to send up some dust. While convalescing, I did some work on the bike to make it ready for long trips again: I added two BMW quick connectors to the rat’s nest of pipes that is required to make the big IMS tank work, and now she’s actually useable in the deep bush. Before if you had a problem, you couldn’t remove the tank without a serious petrol bath. I also splashed out on a Nitro Mousse for the front tire to let me enjoy more speed over the treacherous volcanic stones. Panic was also doing some product testing: he’d made a tool tube out of PVC pipe and mounted it on the front of the sump guard. It looked the bizniz, but would it make it through the day?


Above: I know I harp on it all the time, but the deforestation of the bush is really awful. The tree above used to provide shade for us at our first rest point. Every ride we would stop there, and now it’s a stump and a feking pile of whistle thorns.

We hit the usual trails, and frankly it took me most of the morning to get back into the rhythm. My hand was sore and I felt like I was testing the limits of grip a lot more than I should have. My brake hand was clumsy and I had a couple of close calls nearly washing out the front on off-camber sections. By the time we’d roared into Najile for a warm Coke, however, I was feeling great again and ready to open it up. Somebody had graded the road and it was a scorcher. Normally we can’t stay in 5th gear too long before a gully or washout brings us down a notch, but this time it was all-out until the next herd of goats.


Above: Farther down the road we stopped to have a rest. One acacia, only one acacia was blooming on the roadside. Never seen this particular flower before. Odd and delicate. Somebody should cut the tree down.


Above: It would appear that the PVC tool tube was not up to the terrain. On the newly graded section at 130kph or so, Panic tossed a stone and demolished the end-cap. It was holding on by half a thread when he noticed it and rescued his precarious tool kit from inside!

We only had half a day to ride, so we needed to aim back toward Nairobi without goofing around too much. I was keen to get off the quick road and tackle one of the tough, rolling-rocky, baby-head hills, so we slipped off the road and onto the 4x4 tracks. The hill was overgrown with grass, but the rocks were their usual ball-bearing selves, and I quickly found myself sideways and manhandling the Pig back in line. Panic trundled up with no issues, and in no time we were enjoying the 2 track and quick dirt back to Nairobi in time for lunch and a beer.


Above: The beginning of baby-head hill


Above: Panic navigates Babyhead-hill with aplomb


Above: Back home, my hand was sore and the gear test had mixed results. Tank: no leaks, no melted pipes. Mousse: Solid, didn’t miss a beat and I quickly got used to the inevitable lethargic feel of the thing (and the Rally tyre was fantastic). Tool Tube: Not so good… by the time we were home, the thing had another whopping rock hole in it. A successful test, but a failed innovation for Panic!

So happy to be back on 2 wheels again. Mid-December we have a plan to get out for 4 nights and I can’t wait!

 :snorting:

 

Offline Osadabwa

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Solo day out... just getting some practice in
« Reply #109 on: November 28, 2018, 05:51:19 pm »
After the ride with Panic, one thing was clear: I’m out of riding shape. 6 weeks without twisting the throttle in anger makes Jack a dull boy, so I set out again on my own to put some kms under my belt before heading out on a 5 day ride I have planned (It’s going to be 4 XRRs in Kenya… can’t wait!)


Above: Big tank half full easily took me 200km into Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. I picked the “variety pack” track, which has a bit of everything: overgrown single/double track, embedded rocks, loose baby-heads, fast recently maintained dirt and just a wee section of riverbed. Out the back door.


Above: Off the usual track, in search of new terrain, I found instead a charcoal burner’s camp. These dickheads are like a fungus. Back up the road I found a crew of them stuck in a deep feshy gully begging me to help them push. I politely told them to fakoff.


Above: The trees they’re cutting down are laughably small, but in this semi-desert, it must take decades for them to grow, so go ahead boys, cut it all! Burn it all! Maybe if they get really busy then all the people will leave and it’ll turn to dunes. Then we’ll get our paddle wheels out and rip!

Anyway, I the burners are a bitch, but the track was really cool. It meanders through the flats and then crumbles down the hills. The steep bits are just a collection of baby-head stones which I like to practice on. One day soon we may be in much worse stuff with luggage, so I want to be a bit prepared.


Above: Leaving the burners behind, a nice scrubby escarpment


Above: Looking down into the Rift. In the distance are miles and miles of fantastic tracks. This time I’d take it easy though and head back home after the baby-heads. Just 200km by mid-day was all I was after.


Above: Love these rocks. Often baboons hang out in places like this. Instead, it’s burners… you can see my bike is parked on the remains of an old charcoal burn pile.


Above: The track descends. Hey boys, there’s still a half-decent tree here! Bring your axes!

At the bottom of the last baby-head hill, a 4x4 track T-bones into the Oltepesi-Najile road which has recently been graded and resurfaced. They do this periodically, but it’s never been this nice. Usually washouts keep you from highway speeds, but this baby is reliably silky so I was happily zipping along at 120 – 130kph. On a bend, with a few goats milling about, I shudder to think how fast the Baja guys ride…


Above: Headed back toward Nairobi. From Najile it’s a series of rocky, fast hill climbs with ripping sections of hardpack in between. Truly Pig heaven.


Above: Ripping past Saikeri I was surprised by a big giraffe. I haven’t seen the little Ngong Hills herd in a long time, and here was one guy roaming solo, like me. I hope his group hasn’t given up the ghost. After all, giraffes like trees… tall, mature ones preferably… and they are hard to come by anymore.

I may sneak out for another half day rip next week. It does me good to get the muscle-memory back, but I don’t want to risk having a crash before the 5-day ride. That’s what you call one of them good problems.

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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XRR Xmas Xtreme Braaaaap
« Reply #110 on: December 17, 2018, 06:15:47 am »
Like the three wise men of Christmas legend, we set out on a quest for the ages… only there were five of us not three, none of us could be considered “wise” even by today’s historically low standards, we had no gifts to bring and we’d be riding fire-breathing XR650Rs instead of camels into Kenya’s wilderness in search of riding mecca instead of the new-born King… ah hell this is a crappy analogy…

Welcome to the Kenya XRR Xmas Xtreme Braaaaap!


While my hopeless riding buddies try to figure out how to share their photos and videos with me, I’ll just put up a few quick teaser pics here to whet the proverbial whistle... like a cheeky nip of scotch before Christmas dinner with Uncle Joe and Aunt Erma... in fact, a stumbling, drunken, secular theme might fit our little troupe a bit better. Let's try that.


Above: Easy, happy work… like trimming the Christmas tree while Uncle Joe sings jingle bells in a slurred, lisping Japanese accent


Above: Wonderful views, like the splendor and brilliance of first-fallen snow twirling into the open sunroof of Uncle Joe's '85 Camaro


Above: Rip-snorting fire-spitting madness, like when Uncle Joe drinks way too much eggnog and starts playing hide-and-seek with the cat in Aunt Erma’s mink coat, growling "Look at me! I'm a Lion, I'm a Lion!"


Above: Loss and confusion, like Uncle Joe’s drunken stumble through town looking for his reindeer, still wearing Erma’s mink, scratched to hell by that stupid cat and dragging a string of Christmas lights behind him still attached to the tree


Above: Hilarity, like when Erma farts and blames it on the cat who promptly coughs up a hairball on the sofa


Above: Rain, mud, falls, broken bikes and broken bones, because it’s Kenya and these holiday Christmas analogies fit about as well as Santa’s ass in Mrs' Clause's skinny jeans!

Coming soon....

Braaaap!

[​IMG]




« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 08:23:31 am by Osadabwa »
 
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Online Bommelina

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #111 on: December 18, 2018, 08:25:37 am »
.
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 1 - Get me out of town. Nairobi to Nyahururu
« Reply #112 on: December 18, 2018, 01:57:59 pm »
All week it had rained. It seems like it’s always raining in Nairobi these days. Then, on the morning of truth, the sun shines down on us like a good omen. Spirits are high, people are psyched – I had drawn up a good rip for us and it would be the first time in Kenya that 5 Honda XR650Rs got together for a ride. So, four of us met at Panic’s place for a nice breakfast, and we set off to our backyard Rift Valley Entrance to meet up with Wry and start the day.


Above: Bikes and bacon


Above: Fresh faced bikers


Above: Wry met us on the track

I don’t misuse the word “literally”, so when I say that in literally less than 30km I thought my ride was over, I mean it. We had just started down the track that we take every time we go to the valley, when I drop the bike hard on the left side (always the left side for me). Liquid pours out onto the header. At first, I thought it was petrol and was pretty sure it was going to be Sayonara XR650R, but the color was wrong and it didn’t smell. It was coolant. Barely had the ride begun and I was certain it was over for me, but Neb and Panic thought otherwise. While I removed the seat and tank, Neb produced his J.B. Weld. Panic identified the crack (a talent of his) and began to clean the area, and when the J.B. Weld was mixed, applied a liberal dollop to the area. Half an hour of tense waiting later, we were on the road.


Above: 28.88 km into the ride at 9:52AM FFS… good thing level heads won out, otherwise I’d have gone home for my 1985 XL600, and believe me, it wouldn’t have liked what was yet to come




Above: Instructions for fixing a radiator


Above: Only a month ago, I rigged quick connects on that monster tank for just this very situation. I would have been pleased to see how well they worked, but one of them got damaged in the fall.

With the bike back upright, we were on our way again. With five identical bikes and riders, we made quick work of the valley. Even with the radiator fix and a stopover in Ewaso Kedong for tea and chapati we made it past Mt. Suswa and up to Naivasha by lunch. Neb’s stomach convinced us to stop at the Ranch House, which was a brilliant idea and didn’t take too much time. From there, across the North Lake Road and up to Eburru with a stopover at a look-out spot Wry knew from his time as a Girlscout in the area as a lass. In no time we reached Gilgil for fuel.


Above: A new road in the valley and one of the many underpasses for Kenya’s multi-billion-dollar standard gauge railway. The Chinese are going to milking that debt for eternity.


Above: The usual look-out spot with Mt. Suswa in the distance


Above: Neb on the way to Ewaso Kedong


Above: Panic climbing up to Eburru


Above: Wrong way, Neb!


Above: Wry takes the lead to show where he used to go camping back in the day




Above: A nice lookout over unspoiled wilderness… Wry declares: Yeah, this isn’t the place


Above: Gilgil petrol station and a matatu reminding us that if something goes wrong, you can always put your bike up on the roof to get you home

From Gilgil we eschewed the tar road to Nyahururu, opting instead to take farm backroads up into the green hillsides and sparse forests. It was lovely up there, but not exciting from a riding point of view, and after a few very annoying roads promised to rattle the teeth out of our heads for no benefit, the draw of a cold beer overcame our aversion to tarmac and we bee-lined it for the Thompson’s Falls Hotel.


Above: Agricultural heartland


Above: Nice dairy cows… too bad they produce 5L of milk per day instead of their likely 20L


Above: At Thompson’s Falls before dark


Above: Photo taken with a potato of the guys monopolizing the bar’s fireplace. We ate like kings at that place. Good food, hot fireplace, cold beers… later we’ll wish for those things

The first day was never meant to be a toe-curler, but we were now on the edge of the crazy part of Kenya and had had a decent ride to warm up the bikes and the boys as well. Starting tomorrow, things would get more interesting.

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Xmas Braap - Day 2, Nyahururu to Lake Baringo
« Reply #113 on: December 19, 2018, 07:42:14 am »
Like school kids, we got plenty of sleep. The cold air at altitude was fantastic, and we awoke refreshed and ready for the day. I grabbed the Bible from the drawer and opened to a place that had been dog-eared only to find it was Deuteronomy:23. So much for good omens. Sure enough, upon inspection of the bikes, it was discovered that Neb had lost 5 bolts holding his luggage rack together, and Rawlence had left his phone in Ewaso Kedong… it was a live-action version of the muppet show! The two dingleberries took off after breakfast to find the lost bits, and we left town two hours late as a consequence.


Above: Morning light


Above: Still-shiny Pigs in a line

We split from Nyahururu up through what used to be forest. One thing you can say for the incessant tree-cutting – it makes the views longer. Anyway, it was fun up there and mercifully dry. The red clay would have been horrible if wet.


Above: Elephants these days, tracking mud all over the carpet… I swear


Above: Wry and I enjoying the morning view


Above: Sheep graze where the forest has been conveniently removed


Above: At the turnoff between high-altitude greenery and the stony, hot Rift, a bodaboda tows a petrol-powered maize mill

It was time to change the rhythm. We’d been enjoying the highlands too much. It was making us soft. The thing to do was to drop into the bowels of the Rift Valley again and have a look at Lakes Bogoria and Baringo. The sides of the Valley are all stones and thorns, though, so it was time to warm up a bit. This part of the Rift has a couple of distinct step-down layers, the first of which would take us to a cliff-side overlook of Lake Bogoria.












Above: Judging by the guard rail, I guess this road was better once


Above: Lake Bogoria in the far distance… we had a ways to go


Above: A local motorbike was really struggling to climb up this mess of a road. I give them credit for trying. The Pigs ate it up.



Dropping down to a semi-fertile valley, we raced along to the Bogoria look-out spot I’d found on Google Earth. We crossed a single-lane foot bridge, zipped through a village or two and surprised a clutch of men drinking illegal moonshine under a tree. They scattered like guinea fowl! We assured them later that we didn’t give a hoot what they were drinking. Cheers!






Above: I love my XRR thiiiiiis much


Above: I think it’s really neat that Wry is able to ride motorbikes as well as he does, given his… condition. We’re all very proud of you buddy. Keep it up okay!


Above: Panic the Pirate and Rawlence of a Labia enjoy a nibble above the beautiful lake

To be continued...
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Xmas Braap Day 2 continued...
« Reply #114 on: December 19, 2018, 07:49:19 am »
Rested, we powered on along the cliff’s edge. The track was fantastic stuff, rocky but quick with occasional views of the lakes below. Eventually, we eased off the edge of the hill back down into the valley for the first of many stream crossings of the trip. I went first and would have made a clown look graceful, but didn’t get wet. Rawlence dropped the bike just on the other side of the stream, thankfully, and needed a minute to rest before climbing the steep road up the other side, but we were soon on our way again.






Above: Beautiful up there… of course the road is most often used by charcoal burners, so it won’t be for long




Above: First rocky bottomed stream crossing


Above: Back up the other side on more stony tracks


Above: Wry waits for the others


Above: Neb found a like-minded individual… this one was in the process of humping a stone. Down the track a ways, I came across a plague of field mice running hither and dither... must have been a hundred of them all out in the open. One of those Osadabwa moments.

We had chewed up a lot of time getting to where we were, and the afternoon was looking long in the tooth already. We descended the second step into the valley floor, on level with the lakes, mostly, and after a bit of clowning around during which time the front bikers (Rawlence and Neb) missed our planned turnoff, we were set straight and blasting along a road that should have taken us across the East edge of Lake Baringo to link up with the Loruk-Maralal road. It was not meant to be.


Above: Dropping down the last step


Above: Fantastic views, fantastic riding


Above: The turnoff duka for water… those look like rainclouds in the distance


Above: One of many deepish water crossings… foreshadowing



Above: A washed out bridge…
Neb hit one of the water crossings with extra gusto and stalled the bike. A bit later, the bike was spluttering and just died. At the same time, the road was becoming increasingly sketchy… no recent tracks, and the old ones were black soil troughs full of water. The day was officially dying, and we were a long way from our destination. While Panic and Neb tried to identify the problem (it was the bloody kill switch…), the rest of us decided to change the plan. It would be daft to try to push through the unknown muddy track since we were still over 150km from our destination. We’d head for Lake Baringo instead.


Above: I don’t know how many times a faulty kill-switch has led to trail-side confusion. At least these bikes don't have kick-stand sensors!


Above: Further proof we should call it a day: we were starting to make mistakes. Panic managed to fall down in the mud rather than blipping over this washout


Above: Out of the mud and rocks and onto the tar for a 20km sunset cruise to Roberts Camp. Neb did much of it on the rear wheel.




Above: Cold beers in hand, happy bikers at the Thirsty Goat

It had been an awesome day, but our plan change had put us 150km behind schedule. I went to bed thinking we’d probably be using our headlights tomorrow…

Before you go, enjoy a little video from the day:


 :snorting:
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #115 on: December 19, 2018, 08:22:08 am »
Wow  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Online Kortbroek

Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #116 on: December 19, 2018, 09:55:11 am »
This is awesome. Man both myself and my BRP envy you the places you ride.
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 

Offline Dustman

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Re: 2018 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #117 on: December 19, 2018, 02:43:49 pm »
 :sip: :drif: :deal:

I have been a couple of pages behind, and after reading this, everything else is just dissatisfying, you know,  like you just walked out of the theater after a good movie.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 03:20:04 pm by Dustman »
"Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 - The big one
« Reply #118 on: December 19, 2018, 04:13:12 pm »
Dustman, imagine how it feels to be home! Let's go back to living vicariously...

--------------------

Up with the birds to make time, we enjoyed a decent breakfast next to the lake and a pod of hippos that had settled in overnight out front of the dining room. It was another beautiful Kenyan day – warm but not burning, and cloud cover keeping the sun at bay. Nobody had any loose bolts, so we bolted the food and hit the road.


Above: Our digs for the night


Above: The hippos at breakfast


Above: A chilled old hornbill who could catch bits of bread in his beak

We rode the remaining 10km on tar to the turnoff for Maralal. It’s funny how with the Pigs, our highway speeds tend to be 10-20kph slower than our on-dirt speeds! As soon as we feel the squiggle of dirt under the wheels, the throttle opens up. Not too long down the road, though, we were greeted with our first issue of the day: Neb got a puncture. Actually, he probably left the camp with the puncture and it finally got bad enough to be unrideable. But, since he’s running TuBliss, it was a matter of pulling out the plug kit and pumping back up. We were on the road in no time.




Above: Wry debates taking the coach back home


Above: Panic wears his feelings on his sleeve… waiting to fix (the first of) Neb’s punctures… hey Neb, maybe before a long trip, you should splash out on new rubber! TuBliss only works if the tire doesn’t die!




We were hauling ass. The road was a ripper. All of us had the bikes singing, and it had gone to our heads. We were leap-frogging each other to get photos and videos, and at some point I noticed that somebody was missing. Where was Panic? I went back 10km and still no Panic. This made me insane. I could only figure that somehow I’d missed him, so I head back up the track at a blistering pace. But in my head I couldn’t believe I’d missed him, so my conscience was nagging me. Finally I met the others. Sure enough, no Panic. At last, the cell phones are whipped out and we get ahold of the guy… seems it was he who couldn’t count to 5! While we waited, I drained the shit out of my float bowl that was making my bike bog at full throttle and we all had a laugh at Panic’s expense.

The next piece of road to Maralal was electric. Fastest place any of us has ever ridden the Pigs. We know they’re capable of race speeds above 160kph, but so far that remains the rhelm of fiction for us. There’s never a time when you can just sit on the throttle that long out here. There’s always a washout or a goat or a blind corner to navigate. But up here, we all gave it a hell of a go. Neb hit 147kph and I and the others all skittered around the 130 mark. We arrived in Maralal on a serious high!


Above: The turnoff at Churo… the start of the racetrack


Above: Even the rocky sections were quick




Above: This was the flat-out stuff… not surprisingly, we don’t have many pics of this…


Above: In Maralal for a fuel and water stop. I met a girl with the coolest hairstyle ever.

If the morning had been fantastic, I would be hard pressed to find adjectives to describe the rest of the day. From Maralal, a track crashes straight down the escarpment to Barsaloi, where we were planning to dive into the western reaches of the Milgis Lugga (sand riverbed) which would take us to the top of the Mathews mountain range. The descent was spectacular – a steep, concrete slab stuck to the side of the hill took us down through the greenery to a fast, whippy section through the riverbeds and washouts. In no time we were at the Milgis Lugga.


Above: Wry and I are pretty keyed up


Above: Heading down to Barsaloi






Above: Off the escarpment into the riverwashes and tall acacias


Above: Leaving the escarpment behind, on the way to Milgis

to be continued...




 

Offline Osadabwa

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Day 3 continued...
« Reply #119 on: December 19, 2018, 04:19:24 pm »
The track and the riverbed crossed each other where a bunch of kids were playing. The sand was wet, and Panic and I were a bit nervous that it would be unrideable. These sand rivers have a nasty habit of hiding quicksand where saturated sections grab your tires and can swallow a bike up to the case in no time. So, in the beninging, we took it slow. That didn’t last long. The sand was firm and our confidence built rapidly. We went blitzing past a couple groups of Samburu warriors preening themselves along the shore, AK-47s leaning against the rocks. We shot through a narrow section with stone walls and then the Milgis spilled out into the desert. We stopped for a bite to eat where the river was easily a football field wide. Now we were in it!


Above: Neb shows the kids some photos


Above: Panic’s first tentative tracks onto the Milgis sand




Above: Arriving at the lunch spot in a blitz of flying sand


Above: Neb does a wheelie demo


Above: The lunch spot


Above: The indominable XRR


Above: We came to eat snacks and ride like maniacs… and our snacks are finished

It’s hard to exaggerate how surreal and fantastic riding the Milgis is. We took off from the lunch spot like five angry wasps, each of us wide-open on the throttle. The bikes screamed down the riverbed, which begged you to make sweeping S-turns just because, and we flew over debris and washouts alike. Everybody was having a blast, and we were eating up the 40km of riverbed like it was nothing. Soon, though, it got really weird. As we turned due-East and approached the convergence of the Mathews Mountains and the bottom end of the Ndotos, a thunderstorm was squeezing its way through the gap, lifting the dried sand into a frenzy before us. It was Mad Max stuff, riding half blind into a fierce gale, with the dark cloud brooding overhead. Eventually, the rain fell, knocking the sand out of the air and leaving us breathless, resting in the lee of some island trees.


Above: the size of this riverbed is incredible, and it was good riding everywhere




Above: Sometimes the surface was loose, roostable sand


Above: Other times, it was a dried layer of curled mud


Above: When the sand storm came, Wry and Neb went flat-out into the abyss, stopping only to find out where the rest of us were. In the dust, we rode right past without catching sight of them.


Above: The energy in the atmosphere was addictive


Above: Sand storm in full force




Above: It seemed like a good time to do the XR praise ritual… when the sprit strikes, you have to let it take control!


Above: The rain came and washed away the airborne sand


Above: We were left with rivulets and a tacky, slightly slick top to finish out the section


Above: With sadness, we popped out of the Milgis to begin what would be a long afternoon in the Mathews Mountains!

to be continued...
 
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