Monday, 14 March 2016

Comeback Ride

Ride Brief
Distance: 34.5km
Elevation: 335m
Duration: 2:27:33
Venue: Karura
Crew: Moses, Peter, Kubai

The Comeback Ride

I knew it was a bad idea as I rode by Safari Park...after a 6 month break my next ride should not be too long and 30km felt like a Gran Fondo ride. I was however determined to get back on the saddle and I soldiered on. The weather was friendly but the many climbs to get to Karura were off-putting.

Well Karura has quite a number of gates and I believed I have used almost all of them but Gate C on Kiambu Road remains my favourite. Immediately you get in, you are welcome by 3 choices of trails to take:

  1. Down the middle on a gentle incline with lots of human traffic
  2. To the right, either through the forest or round it: Promises some exhilarating speeds but do watch out for walkers/joggers and random roots
  3. To the left, great downhill followed by some amazing single trails
Due to my long hiatus and thrill for speed, I chose to go to the right. Never throw caution to the wind especially mid-morning as families are going for walks and the occasional idiot is trying to break imaginary speed limits using the Karura bikes. Not a wise move and not someone you want hot on ur tail, so I slowed down and let them pass. I had missed the forest and had every intention to enjoy it in peace.

The crew on a short break...allowing me to catch up!
Some footage from the ride...I have been out so long that my neck became week. Apologies for the shaky footage

Find the more videos HERE
The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Bike Service

Same way guys have the one barber that if you do not go to, you feel like you have cheated, I believe it is the same with one's bike mechanic. Mine, is called Osman and his workmanship fascinates me. Osman has gotten me back on the saddle today, after 6 months, with an impeccable job. Situated in Highridge, there are times when traffic at his garage is unbearable and so it always helps to be there bright and early.

What I like about Osman:

  • Pocket friendly
  • Comes highly recommended
  • Has loads of goodies on sale
  • Can fix every bike related problem and will get any spare
  • He is a trustworthy fellow
  • Excellent location and easy to find
My baby getting all the attention it needs
Fixes even really baby bikes
Some of the bikes on sale....the good ones are under lock and key!
So, if you ever need your bike serviced or to replace a part or two....look for Osman. Get in touch in the comment section if you need to get in touch with Osman.

The ride back home from Osman's was truly baptism by fire but after 6 months, I did not expect any less.

The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Hellish Ride

Ride Brief
Distance: 53.9km
Elevation: 1,105m
Duration: 4 and a half hours
Venue: Hell's Gate - Naivasha
Crew: P. Ngugi, P. Nguhiu, Elias,Ingrid, Dan aka KDF 

The Hellish Ride

The only ride that I ever did without my bike...used Peter's Giant and Motachie. Both great bikes. As usual, the early birds were early and the late ones were considerably early as well. One of the main surprises of the day was the Honda Fit's ability to carry so many many. The plan was to ride round Hell's Gate then enjoy a dip in the geothermal hot spa. Epic plan!

The ride started minutes to 10 a.m. before the sun was out and ready to kill! It was either the sun that would kill us....or our guts that would kill us. Everyone can attest to a certain descent that had a descent within it, that brought us back to our senses!
The crew during the break after the major detour to the obsidian cave

Goofing around before it became really hard
While it lasted
That was the final ride map
This truly was the Hellish Ride
Not all terrain was bike friendly, especially after we decided not to use the agreed upon route

The crew....when we all had fresh thighs

The sand! We all ate humble pie and pushed our bikes.

One of the gentler descents in rocky terrain...just as exhilarating
It was at this point we put our heads together, or almost, and made a foolish decision.
At the shop that solved our dehydration problems. The relief was evident in our eyes
If you are ever riding in Hell's Gate, carry enough water and a little extra!

The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Karatina - Nyeri

"This ride was in progress at this time in 2014! How about that?"

Ride Brief
Distance: 67.2km
Elevation: 1,166m
Duration: 4 and a half hours
Venue: Karatina - Nyeri

Last Ride 2014

This was a nostalgic ride as I took the route i had taken to primary and secondary school. I made it to the gate of my primary school but my target of going as far up Nyeri Hill as I could became an invalid dream - they do exist.

This was a fairly balanced ride that allowed me to stop at a place that I had been curious about for ages, Nyeri (kiganjo) War Cemetery. Very well manicured loans and tombstones of World War 2 soldiers with very interesting epitaphs. Kiganjo to Game Rock was easier than I had expected. The corners notwithstanding, the climbing was very easy, I was skeptical about the descents though. The road at some points really narrowed out but hey, pretty amazing ride. Heading back, I bumped into a beast on his way to Nyeri from Nanyuki and heading back to Nanyuki.....when I grow up.

The ride was cut short to avoid being on the road at the same time with the famous miraa (khat) pick-ups, notorious for knocking pedestrians over repeatedly.

Views from the winding Kiganjo - Nyeri road
View from the Karatina - Nanyuki road
This sign had been enticing for very many years
The dominant feature at the cemetery

Very beautifully manicured lawns
The tombstones

Unknown soldier, only "Known Unto God"
Just off the Nyeri - Nairobi highway heading home and to closing the ride calendar for 2014

The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Karatina - Othaya - Nyeri

"Better late than never!"

Ride Brief
Distance: 81.5km
Elevation: 1,506m
Duration: 6 hours
Venue: Karatina - Othaya - Nyeri

Boxing Day 2014

With 3 category 4 climbs and lots of up and down, I confess that I did get off the saddle and push my bike at one point. "Why not just turn back and head back?" one would ask. Well, the first 10 or so kilometres were mostly downhill so turning back would translate to 10km climbing. I took my chances and simply put, VERY DUMB DECISION.

The descents were many (Top speed: 61.6 km/h) but the ascents were extremely brutal and it was nowhere near being easy. The roads were however quite clear and very enjoyable and the occasional cheer kept me pushing. Had a brief stop over in Nyeri town to catch up with holidaying Nairobi residents before the final stretch to Karatina.
Roadside views before things got brutally thick

Still going descending

The view before things got thick!
As expected....fewer stops to take pics when ascending. One of the many climbs.
Lunch pit stop

The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Karatina - Sagana

"The nerve of this blogger wannabe, posting about rides done a whole year ago!"

Ride Brief
Distance: 75.4km
Elevation: 1,366m
Duration: 5 hours
Venue: Karatina - Sagana

This was the first time I was riding at home in just over 14 years and so I was eager to explore and explore thoroughly.

22nd December 2014

This was when I did my first big ride while at my Mum's. Really really big ride that took me to a camp site I went to after my KCPE in 2000. The first 46 km were a breeze and I knew I would regret starting with the descent despite a million warnings that I should save the easy part for last. The descent to Sagana was beautiful paved and off-road sections with minimal traffic and some good high speeds (Max speed of 63.7 km/h). The temperatures were insane at an average of  29℃ and hitting a maximum of 41℃ and too imagine the last stretch was in pouring rain.

The last 29 km so me climb from 1200m to 1833m and most of it in pouring rain! Kangocho is not to be taken lightly....that climb ends in Karatina town

Would love to do this ride in reverse...anyone interested?
Off-road section was an unfinished road but mostly up hill
That was the temperature at 2:12 p.m....the point at which you start regretting your decisions
My faithful servant
Still a great camp site this many years later. Great sleep over spot for cyclists if ever the need arose.
Stopped at a friend's curio shop for lunch before the ascent and the pouring rain

The ride on Strava is available HERE
Join our club on strava HERE
From a life behind bars.....handle bars,


Karura Forest

I could write a post about this forest daily. I have over 1000km in it alone, if my estimation is anything to go buy. This is where I honed my skills, visiting the forest almost daily and always having fun. I blame it for failing IFoA exams since I spent most of my study leave in the forest (the secret is out)

This is where I plan to restart my cycling after a long hiatus due to work and school. Come January 2016, I will build my fitness and endurance. Feel Free to join me.

Entry Fee:
  • Citizen: Adult - Ksh. 100 Child - Ksh. 40
  • Resident: Adult - Ksh. 200 Child - Ksh. 100
  • Non-resident: Adult - Ksh. 600 Child - Ksh. 300

For cyclists, with your own bike, all you pay for is entry. Bikes are available for hire at Ksh 500/hour (Subject to confirmation since they have had a running offer of Ksh 500 for 2 hours)

There are a few other services on offer...but I have digressed!

The Ride(s)
This romance did not start smooth. When I announced my intentions to venture a bit far from Ruaka into Karura, everyone was key to point out Karura's nasty past...but I decided, tener cojones, and off to the forest.

The thrills were many, my first single track, river crossing minus the bridge, sharing a birthday with part of the forest, wildlife and the thrill of going out of my comfort zone. This is the place to be.

The many trails....only on one side of the forest. I am yet to take pictures of the Sigiria side.
Quite the terrain when wet
Video showing a few sections of the trail

A few from the heavily wooded and much more exhilarating Sigiria side. Need to be on high alert for joggers, horses and fellow cyclists on the single trails. 
The best part of Karura for me on during the dry and rainy season....they cemented it so riding over through the water these days is easier and the water hardly overflows unless it has really rained.
Oh the joys of riding through this.
Why would anyone not want to do this?

The river in previous pictures lead to this amazing sight. Impossible to access on bike but something I would advise anyone to enjoy and grab a pic or two

The Waterfall Stretch

My ride at the section of the forest that I share a birthday with

A few grazes are expected trying to get KOMs
And Sigiria can do this to your bike if you push it hard enough.

Trying my hand at photography...taking a break
Karura is known to host a few MTB races         Photo creds: Kamwere
David Kinja getting interviewed after a race his team dominated as well! Cycling legend!
KEFET Grounds hosting Oktoberfest
Always great being able to take someone round Karura

A few videos from Karura done on a Polaroid XS100i Action Cam
This is from the gate on Kiambu Road

A few descents here and there in Karura

Thank you for sticking to the end. I promise shorter and regular posts in 2016.