Random Musings by the Random Biker Chic

I was just about to sleep and had inpiration to write! πŸ™ƒ

Hi there, miss me? ☺️

Today, I feel like revisiting the sage “leave things better than you found them, or at least exactly as you did!”

A day after I bought my current bike, I went to visit a friend who lived along Waiyaki Way. That road-under construction is a labyrinth to me, the diversions, I never know exactly where am at and where or how to make the turn! πŸ™„ I fishtailed enough times that I was inspired to better my life by getting tyres with 50/50 profile.

Another time, I give my bike to go for service. The guy servicing discovers that my oil filter was fixed into place with Silicon! He calls me and asks who did the previous service and why silicon was used. I rake my head, all I remember is that I bought the specific model branded oil filter from the dealer, went for service, sat there while it was being serviced, I dont recall seeing any silicon being poured into the engine. πŸ€” I ask my mech to remove and confirm that the filter is branded, which he confirms. Now am left wondering why silicon was used, and why the mech did not point this out to me, coz I was seated there the whole time they serviced it – a customer lost. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

First forward, we go for a very long ride and for some reason we get to this gruesome offroad stretch and the team has this awesome tip to deflate tyres – which we do, for better grip on the stony sandy roads, and ride for over 40kms no issues. When riding back, with the same deflated tyres, we get a flat. It is tubeless and the flat is such that the tyre pops from the rim. 🀣🀣🀣🀣

We examine the tyre it seems okay but we don’t have a compressor in the wilderness! So I get a tube from one of my buddies and we use that to hold the tyre to the rim until we get back to civilisation. 😎

Once in a town, we get a mech to fix the tyre and we hit the road. About 30kms from that town, the tyre pops out from the rim again! 😭😭 Now am furious, a professional worked on it, how can this happen.

My buddy has a look at the tyre and we discover soil was poured into the tyre! πŸ™†πŸΏβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜¨ Sand and some sticks!!! We clean the tyre with drinking water, repeat the tube drill and decide to ride back to the town to fix the tyre under supervision and sleep for the night.

When we get to the town, we go back to the same mech who had ‘fixed’ the tyre. He says “hivyo ndio sisi huweka dawa kwa tyre”.

My strength kwinished! Athe ke!

Musings by the Random Biker Chic

You know how when you are applying for a job they ask you if you have the ability to cope in a fast paced environment and adopt to changes without question? Well, that applies to riding. 🀣🀣

I know how you like to read with a critical mind, but before you argue against it, hear me out. 😌

I have been on some pretty long rides and short ones too. I have also been to places, I swore never to go back on two wheels, yes hardship once is adventure, twice _ni msiba wa kujitakia._ πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

In all these rides, I have interacted with different people. My riding buddies and also non riders – reminds me this time a cop pulled me over, I was on a solo ride over 350kms from home. Guy checks all my docs, they were in order, the next thing they could think to check was _”umeacha wapi mzee unaendesha pekee yako!”_ Boy, was I vexed and almost became theatrical like _hold my shit, I need to respond to this ignorant question_. 😀

Anyway, of all those kilometres and all those memories to boot, I have grown to appreciate a few things:

1. The plan will always change. So have a plan, think ahead but know that some people will come late, some bikes will be slower, some extra stops will need to be made, some issues to be fixed along the way, some accomodation places will forget your booking! πŸ™„ Something is bound to push you out of your glamorous plans. Be ready to adjust accordingly.

2. _Heh, don’t trust everything you read and watch._ Including this article! 😜 Allow me to introduce you to a *writer’s bias*! Some people are so used to certain conditions that they will not see the need to highlight them as potential flags when planning for that adventure. Others dont struggle with certain issues, because to them, those are non-issues, infact they enjoy the misery presented by them kinda like pleasure from pain. πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‹ Turudi hapa, sio what you were thinking aki. πŸ™ˆ So when you call your destination and they tell you the offroad stretch will be 15kms of a well laid out sand road at the tail end of a 350kms ride and on the D-day you realise you have to cover over 60kms of deep sand in addition to an earlier 30kms!! Maina let me tell you! Be ready to buckle up and do the whole stretch with a smile, _si ni wewe ulijipeleka ati kutafuta adventure!_🀣🀣

3. _Be ready to carry some people_. Not literally, but kama unawezaπŸ€” physically carry them, by all means go ahead! πŸ’ͺ🏿 I am learning that adults, just like babies need close monitoring. You will all agree, while sobber that morning, to commence the journey at 1pm, but at 1:30pm someone will be busy trying to find a bungee cord, while another is parking and the other taking a siesta! πŸ™†πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ Well, at times when it gets out of hand, stick to the schedule and hit the roads for your own peace of mind, they have the route plan, are aware of the destination and will catch up.πŸ™ƒ

4. _Always have some extra days left open after the trip planned days._ As the plans keep changing, you are bound to have a spill over of the trip. The same goes for your finances on trips, never travel with exact money, or with only one mode of payment. But _hiyo nitaacha iwe_ discussion with your financial advisor. You go plan for exact days, then the day before your return you get 4 punctures, someone falls ill and the pandora’s box opens up with a smile. When shit decides to go south, it really does.

Allow yourself room to think, act and respond rationally without the fear of things going out of the frying pan into the fire elsewhere if you are pushed out of the schedule.

Now, do you think you have it in you to accept changing circumstances? πŸ™ƒ

You either love going for bike rides, or you are wrong.By the Pink Power Ranger

I heed the call to wilderness when an off-road route was called out in the group. Major bucket list item in the route was Mt Suswa and we would cover 300+kms; what more was needed for this newbie and her bike Ikigai. Presented was a mini-dakar rally with stages to test one’s abilities against different terrains. Up early to fuel and check tyre pressure, chain already oiled a week before, armed with a hydration bag, 2 energy drinks, I set out on this conquest of the unknown known.
At the meeting point I was nervous as my guide/riding buddy informed me of the terrain, likelihood of falls, dust clouds the size of dessert storms and the hours of riding it would take. Stands up at 9.30am, quickly through Southern bypass, join Naivasha highway to Mai mahiu, I was checking my mirrors every second. Kenyan drivers be it small cars or buses, a gap is a gap, and they can always fit.

1942 Catholic Church
Bikers From Suswa

Photo op at the 1st Catholic Church that accommodates 10 persons, where we met some riders who had just come from Suswa. In the discussion, have you done off road before? No. How come you are doing the route backwards? Why not. Tell us about it when you are done and remember stay loose, do not fight the bike.

Back on the road, music in my ears. We reached the railway line and turned off to Suswa.
What was to come, I would not have guessed. Fine loose soil that was deep and stretches of tarmac here and there. Did I tell you my bike switched off in the deep soil and thought was I sinking? The result of feet down and heat made me feel like I was part of the Mummy Returns Cast.

Fine loose soil at Suswa approach
First tarmac break

Proceeding with the ride, the view going up Ngong was beautiful. Almost shed a tear as the last time I was at the same spot, I was a cager and the road was deserted and murram. We went off to Korner Baridi to start off the 2nd stage after taking a brunch break at Kiserian.
Korner Baridi to Isinya – Milima na Mabonde – loose soil once again that had my rear tyre swinging like a Hawaiian Dancer. I could only manage 40kph for what seemed like forever as it took over 2hrs to do the stretch and I was ecstatic that it was finally over. My guide was not even breaking a sweat as they were standing on their bike, swinging his head from side to side. Must have been nice.

The terrain
Panoramic View somewhere between Korner Baridi and Isinya

Kenya is a beautiful country as the stretch had rolling green hills, gazelles migrating from one acre to the next and I always assumed that this area must be dry. Checking my fuel gauge at Isinya, I had 2 bars and risked reaching Kitengela for a refill just so I could bond with Ikigai further.
Stage 3: Kitengela – Masaai Lodge – Rongai – Langata was uneven and rocky. By this time, my body was very opinionated asking my brain for a break, we have had enough, let us stick to the tarmac road. As they say, mind over body and being 4pm, I was determined to finish the final leg. Seated while on an uneven road is very uncomfortable due to every bump and lump on the road. I followed the action of my guide and decided to stand at the pegs. Thanks to my mentor, my throttle control had greatly improved and so I could manage the bike through the dips and hills.
The road narrowed to footpaths and we could see Nairobi in the background and the national park in the foreground. Bodaboda riders were quite frequent and we stopped at a hill to appreciate the scenery before riding off into the sunset, finishing off the leg to come out at Nazarene.

Thanks to my fellow riding buddy for being patient, Ikigai for holding it together.
To another weekend of rides and adventure!!

Random tales of a biker chic | Don’t test it!

If your friend offers you a test of their 180kg bike that is thrice the size of your engine capacity and tells you ‘if it starts falling, let it go’, do not accept it! Scratch that, do not accept any invitation to test anything you don’t own!

Except for ( wink wink ) you know what! πŸ˜‰ You must test/taste certain goods before buying! You come here for real stuff,😈 don’t give me that look. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

I have a potentially 1500kms ride coming up, with about 300kms of those in a very hot environment. I need to service the bike. I call my pal to come pick it, we look at our schedules, the only way it will work is if he picks mine and leaves his and returns mine after service. So we agree that he will pick it the following day from my office.

Day comes, we proceed as agreed. I stay all day – scared of falling or dropping his dinasour of a bike as I attempt to leave the basement parking! Butterflies all day (kinda like on an exam morning) meanwhile am hoping he finishes on time and returns mine, which will save me the embarrassment of falling. By end of day, he still has a few things he is checking, which means I need to ride his to him and pick mine.

Heh, now the security personel at my building will see me fall,😣😣 kwanza the way I ingia that building standing on my bike! πŸ˜‹ Alafu that ram leading off the basement was built at like 60Β°, yaani contractors did not have a biker in mind. Nikianguka hapo, I will slide down with the bike. Jeso! πŸ™†πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ Then am the only ka-lady who rides in the building, I can already imagine the rumours that will spread like bush fire!

So I gear up, hop on the bike and try to wakisha, inakataa! My fears are now coming true! πŸ˜” I call my pal, he tells me what to do, I try it and we are on! So now is to check that all roads are clear so I can leave my parking, panda that ram and be out of there before any incidents, somehow I manage.

I get to the barrier, bike goes off. 😭😭😭 Security guard is like, ‘madam ni sawa pita tu’. I tell him ‘imestall, ianakataa kuwaka’ almost crying, but he can’t hear me – my visor is down. I need to open the visor but this thing is too heavy, if it starts going down sijui kutaendaje.

I ngangana over there, weka neutral (clutches in, lifts leg mbio, taps the gear up, and leg down mbio, we are not risking a fall!)πŸ™†πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ Try starting it, revs kidogo and we are on, the road outside the gate seems clear, I say a quick prayer as I dash for the road and hope no car will show up before I get there.

The rest of the ride is smooth. Then I notice my right hand is hurting, that throttle is haaaarrrddd!! If I try to accelerate, it is hard but bike really moves – so I get scared and do max 60kph throughout. I get to my pal and tell him my right hand hurts, guy flexes his right hand tells me ‘angalia yangu, si unaona hadi nimekuwa na muscles, my throttle is usually hard’. These are the things one should lead with, am not trying to overwork certain muscles, yawa!

I get my bike and start heading home, first problem, I realise how tiny and weightless my bike is! But atleast am comfortable enough to stand while riding and confident when weaving through traffic!☺️

Until next time!

Tales of a Random Biker Chic

Heh, Riding on Limuru Rd at rush hour is an extreme sport!

So at Aga Khan a mat is trying to push me off the road all the way to that roundabout outside Total HQ – where I accelerate and lose it.

So I filter all the way to the Kenol at Gigiri Drive roundabout. Then I keep filtering, I see a cyclist approaching and slow down to let him pass. This crazy cager in a grey wish (I have a thing or two against that modelπŸ™ˆ) hoots and is speeding. Am shook! Cyclist looks senior, so he screams at the wish speeding into traffic _’enda pole pole ghasia’_ at which point I am in awe. We had a connection, don’t judge, I have a thing for people who are protective on the road. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

I struggle with headlights. Note to self, antiglare is on your spects for a reason! Wear them! πŸ€¦πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ

I get to Ruaka town, the confusion in that junction town! Jehova tuonekanie! Two bodas keep weaving into the lane and out to split on both sides of cars, while hooting. The menace!

So her royal highness said her house is on the cabro opposite Joyland. Nikiangalia opposite joyland, first hakuna exit second hakuna cabro! It is at night and even on full beam, in white LED I cant see off road! πŸ€¦πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ At this point am tempted to turn back, I mean, some struggles! 😣 So I see the structure she said I should look out for. I pita Joyland, find an exit then use the service rough road back to the structure then I finally see the cabro! Phew.

First thing, park check the pin for directions. It refuses to give me directions! I call her royal highness who is like _’woi, madam tuko nyuma yako but go…’_ I take the number of turns she tells me and eventually get to her place.

Just after parking I notice a blue 600 Suzuki! I ask her who owns it and where they stay. She says she knows him. (key word “him”) So we have agreed, asubuhi my bike has to develop a problem for us to go ask him to come _’help us’_. I really hope he is cute, coz we are all waiting to meet him.

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