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.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Exploring Ruai

This ride was the first one trying out the camera and I had 'cleverly' mounted it on the handle bars for the shakiest footage ever....forgive a novice.

Hello MTBers,

Ride Brief
D-day: Labour Day 2015
Venue: Ruai
Gang: Ngugi, Kubai and later on Kavutha

Ride: 86.2km, 602m climbing, 5.5 hours

The ride that almost never was due to the weather but having regreted before when the weather changed Ngugi and I decided to go for it. From my place to near Ruai it was pouring and boy were we rained on. It was so cold that breathing was a problem but we soldiered on. The rain was okay but it was the water from trucks wheels on the bypass that was driving me insane.
Confirming if we were in the right compound

It was that freaking bad

Like really terrible

The breakfast wait was totally worthwhile

That was how we rode into Kavutha's compound and their jaws fell to the floor. The breakfast however was out of this world and we stuffed our faces a good one....after a feeble attempt at cleaning up. Chapo, Bread with honey and loads of hot tea....that breakfast was the boost for the Exploring Ruai part of the ride. And explore we explored....

The bridge we initially ignored...see video below

How normal people do it
We all have that one friend
The going did get tough

One Ngugi fell like a log....still hunting for the video.

We crossed a river but opted not to use the bridge even when it was a few metres down the road....happened twice, second time we had no bridge in sight though. With all the water action that day the bikes...or should I say my bike got really squeaky.

                                           This just had to be done!

                                            Really loved this part of the ride.

All in all, a remarkable ride.

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


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Maiden Machakos Ride

The ride with the most footage and that nasty fall.

Hello MTBers,

I am back....sorry for the silence and the inactive blog that is yet to start off. This will change.

D-day: 13th June 2015
Venue: Machakos
Gang: Peter Ngugi, Peter Nguhiu, Ingrid, Myself (Kubai)
Ride: 32.2km, 733m climbing, 5 hours (very slow)

Surprisingly we all kept time....unlike the Naivasha ride. This will be share in detail soon (The Hellish Ride). It was bound to be an epic ride after we drove into someone's compound parked and off loaded the bikes then went to ask for permission. This in the land of juju took guts! 

It was majorly an exploratory ride after all the rides Alex the great has done in the region and hence baptized it "Mountain Biking Heaven". We just had to go explore the area under the leadership of the very blind Ngugi who makes up the map as we go...but hey, it would not be an adventure if everything was cast in stone.

I took this opportunity to test my Polaroid x100i action camera extensively. The footage was sweet and captured the moment I got my 'Higher Diploma' in falling while at high speed. To imagine we only conquered one of the many Masaku Hills, you bet we shall be back.

The Machakos Ride on Strava is available HERE

The Machakos Ride on Youtube are available HERE

Here is the fall however, look out for the nasty laugh at the end of the ride.

Polaroid pics...really great perspective

This terrain was to die for. Machakos rocks!

The Bush Mechanic (Peter Ngugi) really sorted me out after the fall.

New Bike?!!

I recently let go of my first bike! A bike that never let me down despite being second hand. A bike I dearly cared for and treated like a ...