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Author Topic: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« on: January 21, 2019, 04:37:01 pm »
Happy 2019 bikers!

Time to start a fresh thread for the year’s adventures. Like I did in 2017 (LINK) and 2018 (LINK), I’ll keep a running update of rides here to tempt the dirt-loving to come explore Kenya.

Karibuni!



I’ve been hot to ride since returning from our fantastic end-of-the-year five-day Xmas Braap out in the North (LINK), but the bike needed some TLC first. Panic helped me stem the drip of coolant from LHS rad, I installed some braces for said rad to help prevent such nonsense in future, replaced a worn and slipping clutch, re-valved the forks with RaceTech Gold Valves set to my weight and riding style, changed oil, set valves, greased the linkage… it was a proper year-end service and now I’m ready.




Above: I don’t know much about it, but there seems to be more sense in the Gold Valve setup than what I found in there…

I didn’t have a solid plan for the day. Mostly just wanted to see how the forks would feel with the new shims. So far so good. Maybe a tad harsh, but I can play with the clickers next time. I ended up dropping into the valley, sprinting over to Baby Head hill to get the blood pumping, then raced past Oltepesi and the amusingly-named Butt Brothers’ farm to Mi46 for a really cold Coke. After that, I played around in the riverbed quite a while before finding myself up on Champaign Ridge on an unexpectedly nice little track. Quick beer and home: 300km of rocks, sand and dirt all before tea-time.


Above: Riding alone, I was able to follow my fancy and I dropped in and out of the riverbed as I pleased, just to do it. South of Mi46 though, there are big rock piles that ejected me after a few kms.


Above: In Mi46 I had already done just shy of 200km and hadn’t really stopped to breathe. I love riding alone. You can just keep on trucking if you want to. It’s you and the bike.


Above: After putting in a drop or two of petrol at Mi46, I decided to play in the riverbed. It was lovely and quick. About 10km up to the rockfall and 10km back was just the ticket to get the juices flowing again.


Above: So happy to have another year’s worth of riding on my favorite bike of all time.


Above: Seriously fun area to ride in, but it was time to head back to Nairobi (it was probably only about noon), so I split out for the Oltepesi road, but a decent looking road at the big cattle reservoir caught my eye. I took it and it led me all the way up to Champaign Ridge, a place I haven’t been in ages.


Above: Up on the ridge it was lovely to have the heat of the valley behind me and to be enjoying big views down below. I’m surprised I’d never seen this road before, but then, the pace of development is off the chain, so maybe it’s actually just new.


Above: High up on the ridge, the fencelines start. It’ll be like RSA before you know it. Masai are starting to settle down and carve out their own territories. Can’t blame them, just sucks.


Above: The road is quick up there, very wide and plenty of room to see. The Pig ate it up, but it’s not my favorite. I shot back at the S. tip of the Ngongs, swung down the tar for a click to the dodgy Jordan Breeze for a cold beer.


Above: At the Jordan Breeze having a White Cap and watching (and smelling) the lovely rain shower that was crawling down the way.

Wonderful way to start the new year with my awesome old bike!

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 04:41:05 pm »
Nice one, looking forward to your rides this year! :thumleft:
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Offline Xpat

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 04:44:27 pm »
Happy, happy!!! :thumleft:

Hope the year throws some new juicy tracks your way!

Offline Osadabwa

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Solo Rocks
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 12:30:38 pm »
After sealing a work deal which is set to commence any day, I decided I’d just as well get back out on the bike today and keep enjoying my freedom. Just off the Ngongs near Saikeri I came upon the giraffe herd I’ve seen here many times. I’m glad they’re still around. I wasn’t in a blistering hurry today so I killed the engine and watched them awhile. Riding solo lets you do that kind of stuff.





The plan for the morning was to ride rocks. Loose, rolling rocks are a particular nemesis of mine, especially on climbs, so I try to get out and ride them when I’ve got the energy for practice. There are two areas in particular that are great for this and I decided to ride them both. It's nothing like the crazy shit I've seen from the Lesotho rides some of you guys do (Xpat), but its what I might find on a long self-supported ride far up in the North, so I'd like to be able to do it better.


Above: Just a shady bike check. Found that one of the sprocket bolts was loose…


Above: Starting down into New Valley which is one of the more pristine areas in the valley despite a lot of charcoal burning going on. It’s not overly challenging, rock-wise, but I wanted to go there anyway.


Above: New Valley has wonderful, tall bluffs flanking it


Above: This time of year, I could ride down the dry riverbed. I’ve been here when that puppy’s flowing… wouldn’t want to try to cross it.

The track dropped me down onto the Oltepesi road after a nice hour of slow going, and I sprinted down to catch up with the notorious Baby-head Hill. It’s a better practice ground. Maybe a kilometer long, it doesn’t let up with rolling baby-heads. I almost always stall it, and sometimes end up off the track. Today I was practicing using my clutch to manage wheel spin, and was doing pretty well, but I need more practice.


Above: Doesn’t matter how I photograph it, it always looks tame, but it's a rolypoly buggar just the same.

I think I’ll be doing a lot of solo riding this year. Kinda looking forward to it.

 :snorting:
 
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Offline XT JOE

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 09:06:18 pm »
nice place- love the big ass dry river beds
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Offline Osadabwa

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2019 02 - XRs and DRs in the Valley
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 06:27:47 am »
Work sucks. Need to ride. This Sunday, a handful of guys were up for a quick taste of the valley. It ended up being no more than 150km all told, but it was new ground for the Suzuki riders and it was a much-needed break from Nairobi for all of us.


Above: A little roost to get us going… I was the dastardly fella doing it. Saw stones start to fly and got the hell out of there.

We had a coffee at my place and in thirty minutes we were in the bush. We were also messing around with bikes. The DRZ400 was spluttering and farting for no apparent reason. When in doubt: check fuel then start cursing electrics. Sure enough, it was a faulty side-stand switch getting in the way of an otherwise perfectly happy bike. Thanks for nothing, Health and Safety (it’s a motorbike for petesake, why does it need safety features?). Panic identified the issue, clipped the wires and we were back on the road.


Above: Mr. E. Man on his DR650.


Above: A Masai fence held us up (literally, in one case) for a bit, but after that it was smooth sailing


Above: Smooth until the Kisimit valley that is. Descending on rolling stones all the way was good practice for everyone.

The bike repair early in the morning put us off our “schedule” a tiny bit, so by the time we were deep into the valley we could use it as an excuse to split off for lunch at Olepoplos. It wasn’t because anyone was hot or tired, no siree. We took a few short breaks in the shade, watched a cattle traffic jam go by, and picked our way to the Najile-Oltepesi road then just blasted it up to the tar for lunch.


Above: Shady spot to watch the cows come home. They kept sniffing my Pig… was worried one would mount her, but couldn’t blame them for wanting to…


Above: Down valley the fesh is starting to pile up already. Not long ago, the place was wet.


Above: A nice little tricky spot, but none of us got caught out.


Above: Cows being sensible, parking under a gorgeous shade tree while it lives… somebody should really cut it down for charcoal. Bikers out in the sun


Above: Panic raises dust


Above: After our nice lunch break, Panic decided it would be fun to have a puncture just to top off the day. If he wouldn’t ride like such a maniac these things wouldn’t happen to him.


Above: Parting shot – Mr. E. Man and the DR650 handled herself admirably.

It was good to get out with a mixed group. It wasn’t as full-on as usual, and it wasn't new terrain, but that’s okay. Everybody was keen to ride, guys had their gear sorted and spares on board, and that makes for a good day out.

Until the next one

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 06:30:27 am by Osadabwa »
 

Online ROOI

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 09:04:14 am »
Nice as always  :thumleft:
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Online >>Thump°C

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 10:17:18 am »
Lekker, thanks for sharing
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Offline DikZol

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 01:29:51 pm »
As ek so na hierdie foto's kyk mis ek weer my DR!!