Congo to Namibia on a 125 Chinese Shineray

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by wearenomadbikers, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. wearenomadbikers

    wearenomadbikers Adventurer

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    I have been working in Congo in different parts of the country, in search of the pygmies living deep in the jungle. I was familiar with the frequent stops every few kilometers and the dangers that lurked everywhere.
    This time I was in Lubumbashi, Southern DRC (Congo), stuck for transport to return to Namibia ( I drove a van up to here and sold it due to heavy taxing by the so called Congolese customs (they change laws every day to suit their corruption).
    I bought (again out of necessity) a 125 Shineray bike from a Lubumbashi dealer for 800 US dollars and packed my little backpack and 2 empty bottles of Coke (for petrol) and headed towards the border to Zambia. It was May, beginning of the winter in southern Hemisphere. I was dressed in a hoodie, a pair of jeans and for a helmet I had a crappy half helmet, so thin that a pebble would have cracked my skull through it.
    After several "police" stops, two of which I had to endure an AK47 stuck in my chest and after 200 US dollars bribes to let me pass, I finally cleared the terrible Congo border and entered Zambia. It was getting late in the afternoon but I decided to ride until I found something suitable to retire for the night in Kitwe. Although the bike was new, after only 100 km the speedometer needle flew off from vibration and I had no way of telling my speed (not that it made any difference, the bike could not do more than 90 km per hour anyway). After 300 km, the vibration was so annoying, I could not feel anything in my arms anymore. As I approached Kitwe, I wanted to pass a truck (it was dark already). Half way through the passing, I suddenly see in front of me a pick up truck without lights heading straight for me on the opposing lane. I pushed both brakes hard, the back wheel locked and I started to skid all over the place. I came within touching distance of the truck on my left and I waited for the impact. The idiot in the pick up truck used his lights to flash me and then shut them down again (I think they still believe in Zambia that lights are used just for flashing). In the last few meters, for some reason, the trucker saw the disaster happening and went left into the gravel strip and saved my life.
    I stopped in Kitwe and appreciated life better than anytime before.
    As I rode more towards Namibia, the cold of the winter was killing me slowly. I took my socks off and put them on my hands so I can handle the bike. The seat was so crappy, that I couldn't feel my ass anymore so I stole a pillow from a lodge (unnamed) and put it under my buttocks. I wrapped my face in my towel. When the police in Zambia would stop me, they would look at me like to a crazy person. they could not believe it that I have done so long on this crappy bike (by now, no screen for the instruments, the front brake wire was gone, the right mirror cut off from vibration, etc). Yet, after 5 days, I reached Namibia, having ridden 2800 km through some crazy conditions and on a bike that was not supposed to tackle such distances.
    #1
  2. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer

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    I'm not really sure why, but I'm laughing at the picture of you putting along, sitting on a purloined pillow, socks on your hands, towel-a-clava in place, with the bike falling to pieces underneath you.

    Great story!
    #2
  3. wearenomadbikers

    wearenomadbikers Adventurer

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    You got it right, garfey, now you understand why the police thought I was a madman. Even when I stopped in villages along the way to buy bread and water, I had a hard time convincing people that I am not an alien.
    Thanks for the reply
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  4. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    That's some crazy adventure!!! Sorry, but had to laugh at your misfortune! :lol3 Got any pics to share?
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  5. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Nice story. Had to laugh at your distress but am glad you made it home safely. Well done and a great adventure.
    #5
  6. wearenomadbikers

    wearenomadbikers Adventurer

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    I am on my way to Zambia, crossing the Kalahari in Botswana on my Super Tenere. I will share some stories when I come back in a month and some photos (although I have no clue how to load photos on this forum!!:evil)
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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