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Author Topic: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 6585 times)

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Offline Sheepman

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #120 on: August 14, 2019, 11:39:36 am »
Brilliant  :thumleft: Can't wait for the next chapter  ;)
 

Offline Dustman

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #121 on: August 16, 2019, 01:24:04 pm »
This is like popcorn, once started you can't stop.  :ricky: :ricky:
"Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
 

Offline XT JOE

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #122 on: August 16, 2019, 10:10:17 pm »
Excellent as always thanks for sharing
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Offline Osadabwa

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Meow....
« Reply #123 on: August 18, 2019, 09:09:11 am »
So Wry shares the RR with some non bikers who asked him if he saw the lions... to which he replies: "Lions?"

The story goes that a heli safari to Suguta had landed in the valley when they spotted lions nearby that showed too much interest so they took off. Landing several KM away to climb on foot to a viewpoint, they got a shock when they spotted the lions running full tilt to their position. It was a race to the chopper and the bipedal group only just made it, with the lions jumping after them trying to catch a ski...

Now I don't know if that's true or not... we didn't see a hell of a lot of game to support crazy assed lions... but it would have made our little siesta under the palms less relaxing if I'd heard the story before the ride!

 :snorting:
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #124 on: August 19, 2019, 12:54:47 pm »
 Great report  :drif: thanks for sharing .
FTS
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: Meow....
« Reply #125 on: August 19, 2019, 01:08:07 pm »
So Wry shares the RR with some non bikers who asked him if he saw the lions... to which he replies: "Lions?"

The story goes that a heli safari to Suguta had landed in the valley when they spotted lions nearby that showed too much interest so they took off. Landing several KM away to climb on foot to a viewpoint, they got a shock when they spotted the lions running full tilt to their position. It was a race to the chopper and the bipedal group only just made it, with the lions jumping after them trying to catch a ski...

Now I don't know if that's true or not... we didn't see a hell of a lot of game to support crazy assed lions... but it would have made our little siesta under the palms less relaxing if I'd heard the story before the ride!

 :snorting:

 :laughing4:

Thats hillarious!!

Back in 1994 - yeah, a while ago, RR to follow at some point, my cousin @Roadcat and I were travelling from Iringa to Dar-es-Salaam on the A7, the national road through southern Tanzania, riding a pair of XT500's.
The road actually travels through the very north of the Mukumi Nature Reserve, so there is wildlife around (Well, there was, no idea about now....)
Well, at some point I pulled over to check a big male elephant standing tummy deep in a bog eating the grass (wet season) on the right of the road, about 60-80m away, I was casually sitting on the bike, which happened to be running & in gear....  :o
My cousin rides past at a reasonably slow speed, and points to my left, behind me according to my view of the elephant, I turned and there, sitting quietly, all upright in a row, was a small pride of 5 Lionesses - you have no idea how close I came to have to go shopping for new jocks.....  :imaposer: Revved up, quick-chop, pulled away, checked back and I swear they looked dissapointed.....
 :biggrin:
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Offline Osadabwa

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #126 on: August 19, 2019, 08:31:42 pm »
 :laughing4:

We kickstarter only bikers know how handy it is to keep her idling!

Another time I was with the Dar Bikers lost in the hunting blocks down in the Kilombero Valley south of Iringa. Ajax and I were looking for the way while a pair of muppets farted around with a puncture and we ran into a huge herd of Cape Buffalo. I killed the motor on the XR400 and was about to take a photo when Ajax revs his 450EXC in an attempt to shoo the bests away. Unfortunately for us it got their attention and they started running TOWARDS us! I've never kicked so quick I'm my life. Burned a quick U and got the hell out of there!
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 08:37:04 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #127 on: August 20, 2019, 07:28:38 am »
Just reminded me - same trip - a few days later - I was trying to find a road up the coast from Dar to Bagamoyo - we were running low on fuel, so I drained both bikes into my tank and headed up the coast - got hopelessly lost and stumbled onto a poachers camp - they were unhappy with the Mzungu disturbing them cleaning ruffles, AK's etc...... I explained in my broken Portuguese that I was looking for petrol - they were then happy to sell me diesel.....  :imaposer:
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"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

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Offline Dacquiri

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #128 on: September 06, 2019, 06:20:14 pm »
Magic RR Osadabwa!  What an adventure! You are lucky to have such a variety of off-road riding options right on your doorstep. Thanks for sharing it and looking forward to many more misadventures with the muppets!!
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Offline Osadabwa

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2019 09 - Magadi all day long
« Reply #129 on: September 18, 2019, 06:52:56 am »
Today was a great day.

I haven’t been on the XRR since Suguta Valley, and haven’t ridden with Panic for longer. After Suguta, I had the frame re-welded (extra beefy this time), changed chain and sprockets, dropped the oil and did a service. Sometimes after being off the bike awhile, I can feel like a giraffe on roller-skates, but this time it was like putting on my own skin. The bike felt invisible and I was in the mood to give her a proper thrashing. Normally day rides are short, often ending up at Olepolos for kuku choma and home by 2, but today I had in mind a bit longer one. We ended up doing 350km over 8 hours, riding from the Rift Valley Rim at 2050m to Lake Magadi at 600m and back. All but 40km were dirt, rocks, sand and salt-pan. With just the two of us, matched perfectly in terms of pace, we hauled ass. Every time I looked back, Panic was right there, egging me on. As a result, I basically decided to leave the camera in its pouch and enjoy the ride without the burden of endless documentation. Just got enough shots to remind me of the day.


Above: At one of very few rest stops, the bikes still squeaky clean. The start of the ride took us past the chaos of the new Chinese railroad and now what looks like a tarmac road going to Suswa from Ngong. That area has been irreparably changed for the worse. Met a nice Masai guy who knew a family I stayed with down there in ’98 and suggested I get back in touch so I can help them out. It was depressing… He says “You know so and so has 5 kids...”, to which I reply “That was their choice, not mine.”


Above: Down towards Butt Brothers’ Farm road, we found the first of what would be three groups of masai giraffe enjoying the day. The track here has such great flow. Fast the whole way, mostly sandy with a few rock outcroppings to cross.


Above: Past Butt Brother’s Farm on the back-way to Magadi via Sigiriani. The first half of this leg was beautiful, fast double track drifting. It didn’t last though and we were abused by the endless loose stones later. I was impatient and refused to follow a detour I’d found previously and we paid for it, trying to bee-line it through scrub brush over the top of the loose baby-heads.


Above: Panic gets wrecked by a dust-devil... in Zambia they say if one of these puppies crosses your path, something bad is going to happen to you or your family. Very prophetic this time around... later Panic eats it!


Above: After half an hour trying to ride directly over loose rocks without a trail, we gave up and hit the railroad tracks. The railroad here only serves the TATA factory at Magadi, so the chances of finding a train were very slim and we only had 5km to go. I got between the rails and blasted it, keeping a steady 80 – 90kph (faster than the train, I reasoned). In places, the sleepers had no stones in between them which was quite jarring, and it was nerve-wracking going around the one blind corner but we made it.


Above: Dropping down into the salt flats behind L. Magadi. This road was in great nick, so I’m sure there must be a link to it that could keep us out of the railway.


Above: At Magadi, we stopped at the sports club for a nice beef stew lunch and a couple of cold ones. The temperature was beautiful, only 30 C which is pretty rare, being at the bottom of the Valley.


Above: After lunch, we explored a new track that heads to Torosei without needing to skirt the Lake or climb through the volcano (both fun things to do, but new tracks are always fantastic, and this way we don’t get bothered by Masai insisting we pay “conservation fees”). The going was very fast and dusty as hell. Panic was up my tailpipe, so he was riding blind. Sometimes he would ride off the side of the track in order to avoid the dust plume, but this time he picked a bad spot for it. He hammered this massive tree trunk, doing a nice headplant on the other side. See, Panic, you need to watch out for those dust-devils! Happily, there was no harm done, and we ripped on.


Above: One very looong loop. The XRR is a time machine. We compressed what people often do in a weekend into one day out. To be fair, we were very quick partly because the two of us have ridden these tracks a million times, so sightseeing was minimal and the joy of braaaping was put to the forefront. I like it like that sometimes. Riding for riding’s sake.

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 07:22:06 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #130 on: September 18, 2019, 09:44:30 am »
You are spoilt rotten, thanks for posting :thumleft:
Did not know Kenya had a TATA factory.
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Offline Grunder

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #131 on: September 18, 2019, 09:53:18 am »
You are spoilt rotten, thanks for posting :thumleft:
Did not know Kenya had a TATA factory.

Agree!

Always nice reading about your expeditions   :thumleft:
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Offline Osadabwa

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Clarification...
« Reply #132 on: September 18, 2019, 12:13:54 pm »
Chris L - The TATA plant is not building trucks if that's what you're thinking, it's TATA chemicals producing soda ash. LINK

Next ride I do will again be down to Magadi, but this time for the Kenyan Distinguished Gentleman's ride on my XT. There will be several properly vintage bikes on the ride as well. It's quite different from my usual thing, which is maybe why I like it.

Cheers

 :snorting:
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Clarification...
« Reply #133 on: September 18, 2019, 12:16:14 pm »
Chris L - The TATA plant is not building trucks if that's what you're thinking, it's TATA chemicals producing soda ash. LINK

Next ride I do will again be down to Magadi, but this time for the Kenyan Distinguished Gentleman's ride on my XT. There will be several properly vintage bikes on the ride as well. It's quite different from my usual thing, which is maybe why I like it.

Cheers

 :snorting:
I looked it up and saw that. Also looked up Butt Brothers farm but could not find info.
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Offline Osadabwa

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Butt Brothers' Farm
« Reply #134 on: September 18, 2019, 05:21:52 pm »
ChrisL - I have to provide info on Butt Brothers' farm or else folks are going to talk...  ;D

Here are some pics from that place. Google Earth's last update was in 2018, but it already shows the irrigation system up and running etc. Here's a LINK to the areal photos. As farms go, it's probably not noteworthy, but as farms go in this part of the Rift Valley, it's immense. Clearly they haven't planted out completely yet, but they have already planted citrus trees in one area.

And as to the name: I didn't make it up, but it may not be the name of the farm either. Butt is a sir name in Kenya's Indian community (I found out, meeting someone in my son's class with that name), so it's not meant to be funny, but, well, I'm a juvenile at heart.


Above: In 2016, we discovered the farm before they'd done much. There was a farm house and a few pieces of machinery with the name on it... giggle giggle


Above: I'd like to know what kind of machine that is. The drawings indicate cotton, and if so that's interesting... Kenya doesn't grow much cotton.


Above: Just an idea of the area... flat, dusty... almost a flood plain but without much flooding. This was like my 2nd ride on the XRR and I felt like I needed to pay tribute...


Above: Sure is a fun place to test your bike's speed limit though!

 :snorting:
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #135 on: September 18, 2019, 06:03:53 pm »
Sure looks like fertile soil :thumleft:

Found this clip about wheat farming in Kenya.

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Offline RobLH

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #136 on: September 18, 2019, 06:21:23 pm »
Butt Farming in the Kamberg valley in the KZN midlands is a massive pig farming operation. Just a bit of useless info as I doubt they are related.

Thanks for the updates to your ongoing trip report Osadabwa, always appreciated with a twinge of jealousy.
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2019 Kenya DGR
« Reply #137 on: October 02, 2019, 11:18:25 am »
Now for something a bit different...

It was time again to don spiffy duds, fire up the vintage bikes and participate in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Of course, in Kenya, nothing works like it does in the rest of the world. It’s part of what makes it so maddening and magical. So, as per our tradition, rather than saddle up on Sunday like the rest of the planet’s DGR riders to putter carefully from café to café, we like to head out on Saturday, ride 100km into one of Kenya’s hottest places, stay the night and return the following day. It’s always a great weekend, and this year we had 13 bikes (in admittedly varying states of vintageness) plus three support cars. Quite the convoy.


Above: The crew on DGR day


Above: My favourite of the old bikes: the BSA Golden Flash. Plenty of real-world patina on this baby.


Above: The most pristine of the vintage bikes: a lovely old Yamaha XV750. She’s been pampered, showed off in bike shows for years, and now she’s back on the road getting some dust on those cooling fins.

 Leaving Nairobi is always a mess. Traffic is horrible, and with so many bikes all trying to lane split and overtake, somebody always gets confused. It’s also the best time to find out which bikes are giving issues. This time, it was the black Honda who decided to loose oil, but Famous Rick sorted it out in a trice. As for getting lost, we had five guys ride past the pre-determined checkpoints and only notice it about half way down the valley… It’s all par for the Nairobi DGR.


Above: My XT on Ngong Road, the five bikers who can’t follow instructions, Famous Rick sorting our first issue

Past Cona Baridi, we slid quickly down the shoulder of the Ngong Hills to have some refreshment at the Jordan Breeze. This gave us time to figure out where the others were and to check all was in order. One of the Enfields was acting up, and bad fuel was to blame… maybe so. We pressed on.


Above: Coming round Cona Baridi


Above: My ’81 XT500 Nairobi Special looking the business among the acacias


Above: Checkpoint Jordan Breeze

We set off for our perennial lunch spot under one of very few roadside trees large enough to offer a bit of shade. Lunches emerged from the vehicles and the five eager beavers returned from the valley to join us at last. The grub was excellent and there were special refreshments to quench our thirst in the steadily rising heat.


Above: Lunch spot and shade tree




Above: Obligatory "modern vintage" Triumph promotional photo… Triumph being a sponsor of the DGR


Above: Draining the Enfield’s fuel… it seemed to make things better, and better’s good enough. Ugy and I helping from afar via telepathy.

Off like a herd of turtles, we roared over the wavering sun-baked tarmac past Oltepesi and Olegorsaile toward Magadi, our oven-hot destination. I zipped ahead to set up a few photos while the line of bikes steadily disintegrated. First the big Harley Davidson’s battery connections rattled loose, then a new Enfield 500 lost her battery cover. I sat in the shade enjoying the quiet while the rest tinkered and fussed. Shortly though, everyone roared past down the road to Magadi.


Above: Leaving Oltepesi


Above: The Golden Flash climbs toward the GSU Camp, Olegorsaile in the background


Above: Me chilling in the shade, bikes being fixed, jokes being shared








Above: At the Magadi TATA Soda Factory gate

To be continued...
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2019 Kenya DGR continued
« Reply #138 on: October 02, 2019, 11:21:33 am »
We soon found ourselves beers in hand soaking in the nice pool at the Sports Club, but for some of us, the riding was not yet over. It’s become a side-tradition for some of us to set out into Magadi’s surreal landscape to get some dirt on our wheels. The first time I led the group, two of the guys were just starting high school. Now, nearly graduates, they handle their bikes with a lot more muscle and it was a blast to see them chewing up the dirt.


Above: An Enfield in the Magadi pans


Above: Hooliganism ensues


Above: The XR600 throwing roost


Above: Weird landscapes are what Magadi is best known for… and mid-day heat


Above: XT and a pair of Enfields


Above: Above the golden plains below


Above: Shiny new Enfield out on her first long voyage


Above: Enfields showing this scrabbly hill who’s boss




Above: Back on the lake shore, heading for the sundowner spot

At the sundown spot, we met up with one of the vehicles who happened to be carrying a refreshing pitcher of margaritas and a restaurant-sized bag of chips with salsa to boot. It was dark before we knew it and the boys led the way back to Magadi at a pretty decent clip, headlights bobbing down the road. I kept well back, running as I was on my XT’s weak excuse for a headlamp. Back at the club, dinner was served and we chowed contentedly this year before heading back for a night cap to close out a good day.
 

Offline Osadabwa

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2019 Kenya DGR
« Reply #139 on: October 02, 2019, 11:27:01 am »
Sunday is the actual start of the DGR, and for us it doesn’t officially start until half way back to Nairobi where in theory others could, but never do, join us. So, having broken the fast, we headed over to the petrol station to add go-juice to our steeds and get a group photo in our glad rags.


Above: Ugy and his Golden Flash looking flashy








Above: The whole crew, ready to roll

The morning was lovely. Cool and inviting. I again split ahead to snap pics of riders zipping past. At some point, riders stopped zipping past. I waited and waited, then finally checked our group chat. A Triumph had a puncture (and was now riding in the pickup) and one of our crew had come off going too hot around a bend. With that news in hand, I promptly started the bike and raced… ahead to grab a beer with the few who had gone before me. It sounded like all was well in hand behind.










Above: Wasn't easy getting that big girl in the pickup I bet...

At Oltepesi, the official Nairobi DGR starting point, we rested under the trees and had a cold one while we waited to see how bad the damage was to the fallen rider. Happily, everyone arrived in good spirits, and with a bit of bodge-wire work from Famous Rick, the injured bike was good as new. All together again, we set off for the city.


Above: The scene in Oltepesi


Above: Waiting for the laggards


Above: The local bar… relax everyone, Mnazi means coconut tree

Back in a group once again, we set off. Most of the crew aimed for home and some of us continued on to represent people who actually ride bikes at the annual Concourse de Elegance car and bike show at the racetrack. All in all, it was another successful Kenya DGR. Hope to see everyone again next year!




Above: We joined one Enfield Cafe Racer... all told, he put in 200km to be with us!


Above: Golden Flash hauls golden ass up the valley's steep hills... that old girl still has plenty of punch

 :snorting: