2012 Dar es Salaam Sunday Rides Collection

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Osadabwa, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
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    Hello ADV. It’s a new year, time for a new Dar Bikers Sunday Rides thread. Last year I was largely unable to get other Dar riders to upload reports and photos or add comments (apart from the odd disparaging remark from Faceplant), but maybe this year it’ll be different. Anyway, here’s hoping.

    Link to the July 1st Sunday Ride Fail.

    Karibuni
    #1
  2. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    This day trip is mostly documented via helmet cam. I’ve cobbled together two, 5 minute clips… one before and one after the day’s major drama in which a certain member of our team keeled over from exhaustion in the middle of the bush... I think I’ll plop the first vid here:

    <iframe width="919" height="497" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CA8biez3NdI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Above: 5 minutes of trial and tribulation in the near 100 degree heat

    The day definitely started out on an inauspicious note. Finnito&#8217;s CRF 450 only made it 500 meters before mysteriously conking out. We spent an hour trying to fix it, but it was no use. So that just left me, Ajax and Heatstroke to make a day of it&#8230; and what a day it was. We&#8217;re only 20 minutes into the ride, skipping through the exurbs of Dar es Salaam to reach the fun stuff, when Heatstroke has his first puncture&#8230; followed immediately by his second puncture (seems there was a sharp edge to the tyre lever I let him borrow, oops&#8230; serves him right for not bringing one of his own!) and the spare tube I offered was little use as well, having been snacked on by mice sometime before the ride. So, after a long hot hour we rolled on with Ajax&#8217;s patch job the only thing between Heatstroke and a very long walk.

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    Above: Bikes behaving badly and bikers making a right mess of things

    We had our GPS tracks loaded, but couldn&#8217;t remember which tracks were big dirt, double track, cattle track or foot path, so we ended up stitching something together that contained a bit of everything. There was one good hill scramble which cost me my kickstand, plenty of exploring villages and fields, and then came the Big Green Heat

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    Above: Ajax with a sheep on his shoulder and Heatstroke &#8216;neath the palms

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    Above: XR sans kickstand, Ajax looking on, Heatstroke glug-glugging away

    It always takes awhile to get out of Dar, but once you do, you can end up in places that seem very far from humanity, even if they&#8217;re really not. So was the case with the rolling hills of the Big Green Heat. Long grass made following an otherwise excellent little singletrack very slow and hellish. It was noon, all the big shade trees had long since been poached for charcoal, and there was little to no breeze. The humidity was at 100% and the mercury had easily crossed into the high 90&#8217;s. The KTMs were steaming, the XR farting smoke, and then Heatstroke had his eponymous moment&#8230;

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    Above: The Big Green Heat and the Orange bikes that steamed and spluttered thru it

    The heat was too much. Ol&#8217; Heatstroke found what little shade there was under a shrub and laid flat in the grass for an hour recovering his wits. I think the technical term for what he had was &#8220;heat exhaustion&#8221;, characterized by dizziness, flushed skin, profuse sweating, stupid joke telling and refusal to get ones ass off the ground and ride. Genuine &#8220;Heat Stroke&#8221; would have required flight for life or a mercy shot to the frontal lobe. So Ajax and I killed an hour cajoling our patient into forced convalescence. I was getting hungry for lunch for Pete&#8217;s sakes, and none of us had any water left.

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    Above: Heatstroke in the shade, Ajax takes a load off, &#8220;would you help me on with my jacket dear?&#8221;

    All kidding aside, it was bloody hot. After Heatstroke finally got back on his bike, it was my turn to start feeling woozy. My XR had been lounging at a rakish angle against that small tree in the photo above, due to the lack of side stand on which to support it, and when I tried to kick her back to life, she gave me hell. So there I was, loaded down with Heatstroke&#8217;s rucksack, plus my own, gasping for breath and sweating like a sow inside my helmet&#8230; and cursing like a truckdriver too. By the time I got the bike going, I was so giddy with the heat the world looked like a Van Gogh landscape. When we finally got to our lunch spot, it took two Cokes, a litre of water and a cold beer to feel better again.

    By the time we left lunch, it was going on 3:00. The afternoon ride was far more fun and far more interesting. The video below is all I have to show for it because we were getting behind on time. Then, after the helmet cam died and evening set in, Heatstroke&#8217;s luck ran out when Ajax&#8217;s patch job called it quits. We were 25 km from Dar with a lot of heavy city traffic to look forward to. Heatstroke rode on his flat slowly to the tarmac and found a repair shop where Ajax, no longer smiling, helped repair the tube once more. This time, the job didn&#8217;t take. The bead on the tire was shot, and so were Heatstroke&#8217;s chances of rolling home on his own two wheels. So, as night fell, Ajax and I watched while Heatstroke negotiated a pickup ride home before licking through traffic back to Dar in the dark.

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    Above: Ajax cooling off at lunch and smiling, Ajax helping Heatstroke with his second flat and not smiling, and a Daladala with a seriously dubious title&#8230; WTF Tanzania?

    <iframe width="919" height="497" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/On1QXzXLf84" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Above: Better light, better riding, and some thorny bush tunnels to boot

    All in all, it was more of a struggle than usual, but any ride is better than no ride at all.
    #2
  3. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sand Hollow, Idaho
    That was a pretty cool ride. I bet riding through the tunnel was fun.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #3
  4. KLM 3

    KLM 3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
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    122
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    Dude named his bus "Adolph Hitler"?

    I can't decide if that's hilarious or just wierd.
    #4
  5. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Well, losing my side-stand on that ride has been a headache in more ways than one. First of all, I've been trying to find somebody competent to weld the thing back on for weeks (not an easy task in Dar es Salaam), which has meant needing to find a tree or something to lean the bike on everywhere I go. Then yesterday, the bike fell over in the parking lot and punctured the left side crankcase cover with the gearshift lever. Sumnabitx.

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    Above: A gust of wind and WHAAM-O!
    #5
  6. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Very happy to hear my friend Six-Twenty would be back in town, I rushed over to Ajax's house to see if we could borrow his XR 400, and to see if it was working. Yes to the first, no to the second. A run of worse-than-usual fuel in Dar last month had clogged the carb and we couldn't get her to fire up no matter what. Removing the offending piece of equipment, it was clear that the float valve was stuck in place. It took a Leatherman to get it loose and some mild abrasives to make it look right again. Satisfied, I replaced the carb and believed I had secured a bike for Six-Twenty to ride come Sunday.

    Sunday cameth, and we set off from my place like the Marx brothers. It was pathetic. Together, we must have made half a dozen trips up and down the four flights of stairs to retrieve forgotten bits of kit (in full riding attire). First it was the pump, then it was the super glue (we didn't have faith in Six-Twenty's boot soles)... it wasn't a good start. By the time we left, we were already bathed in sweat and exhausted.

    But the plan was inspiring. Many moons ago, I missed a Sunday ride that was hailed to be one of the most enjoyable in Dar. Then, when I finally get a chance to ride it, we end up passed out in the bush waiting for Heatstroke to wake up from his coma (see first ride in this thread...). But today would be different! Or not.

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    Above: The red track is the one we want to take, going clockwise from the East. The blue track shows the Heatstroke ride (including the exact coordinates of Harry's famous tree).

    We navigated through traffic, following the GPS to the turn into the peri-urban jungle. The track follows the electric lines to get out of town, and we were busy struggling up a steep incline when I noticed fuel pouring out the breather of Six-Twenty's bike. We banged on the carb, we cussed the carb, we tried riding with the fuel tap closed... all to no avail. In a pinch, we could have made it work, but to make a long story short, cause really, there is no story... we decided to abandon ship... gutted.

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    Above: The makings of a fun ride... leaving the peri-urban jungle and following the powerlines out of the city

    Dejected, we rode back home through the now insane Dar traffic only to find that my wife had gone to the beach (on an island no less) with the house keys... And to add insult to injury, the fuel leak had sorted itself out.

    Total and complete Sunday Ride FAIL!
    #6
  7. Faceplant

    Faceplant Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Swahilistan
    Somehow you always manage to live up to my expectations!
    #7