Adrift in the new year

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Osadabwa, Feb 3, 2021.

  1. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    2020 is officially over! Scream it from the rooftops, fellas!

    Ok, nobody really expects 2021 to be too much different, but even still it’s nice to turn the corner, make a change, have a colon cleanse from a whole year of really shitty stuff. And good things are already happening up here. We've been on our first of what I hope shall be many rides, so without further ado…

    In short order, we were riding. Panic and Jimbob took an afternoon toodle up to Mt. Suswa to camp out under the stars and drink beers in a fantastic spot. I wasn’t free, so I did the next best thing: got up early and did a solo braaaap up via Saikeri, Najile and Ewaso Kedong. Swallowed up 100km of non-stop rocky roads in the early light and arrived on the mountain in time for a cup of Nescafe. My version of a Starbucks Run.

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    Above: Not a bad start to 2021, cup O’ joe up on Mt Suswa

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    Above: The boys’ campsite… smoky fire and steamy crater

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    Above: panic showing off his Covid-19(kg)

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    Above: Kenya off-road bike of the year 6 years running… bring your KTMs, we’ll sacrifice them to the volcano.

    With caffeine in our veins and camp broken, we took off through the inner crater where a crazy, swirling flock of some exotic looking European storks pirouetted through the sky above. We paused to look at the steam pipe water collection apparatus the local Masai use to keep hydrated, and then we settled in to a steady blasting pace. Down the face, a minute on the new tar (RIP Mt. Suswa in another 2 years I predict), sliding the little short-cut to Najile for a Coke then one long fast blast down to Oltepesi and up to Olepolos for a leg of goat and a couple of White Caps.

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    Above: Water collection and swirling birds

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    Above: Leaving the volcano

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    Above: Jimbob, me and Panic at Olepolos, stuffed full of mbuzi choma and White Caps

    It was a modest start to the year, but there was more to come...

    To be continued...
    #1
    liv2day, B10Dave, bomose and 5 others like this.
  2. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    A whole two weeks dragged by before we could braaaaap again. Two weeks! This time it was going to be a proper gaggle of bikers, with 3 XRRs representing and three others to make it a proper mess of an adventure. Panic was sending out photos of his packed bike 5 days in advance and the WhatsApp banter was hopping.

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    Above: That's how we'd roll...

    Unfortunately, tragedy struck one of the riders just a day before departure, pulling two other guys out to help the family any way they could. A really sad situation that caught us all off guard. I thought hard about whether to cancel the ride, but Panic and I sort of agreed that accidents, illness, troubles of all kinds reaffirm our imperative not to cancel, not to back away from what many others view as a frivolous weekend out because, though arguably true to some degree, it is also a big part of what makes us feel like us. Bike clichés abound, but dammit they're all true... riding makes you appreciate being alive. So, we rode. With heavy hearts, for sure, thinking about our friends, yes, but also ripping around on this ball of dust in the Universe making memories until our time is up. And when the other guys recover, in time, I hope they'll say the word and we’ll go again.

    OK, enough of that. On with the ride.

    Panic and Jimbob took off for Suswa again to the same campsite again in the afternoon of a Friday AGAIN! And yet again I couldn’t join them, but this time I managed to get out of the house at 4pm for my solo journey, something I’ve become quite fond of. I planned to take the SGR rockyroller, zip over to Ewaso for petrol and rip up the crater face. In no time two things happened. First, was a bummer… my ROKStraps both gave up the ghost at the same time, sending my top bag thwacking into my ass and scaring me shitless thinking I was being attacked by a Masai mama. While sorting that out, the second thing happened and it was great: I clicked the clickers a bit more on compression and a bit less on rebound and that Pig was like riding a cloud over absolutely every stone after that. It was miraculous! I always think it’s great but this blew my mind. I threw myself down the valley, full tank, full camping kit and all. Got to camp around 6PM and the boys hadn’t even opened the beers yet, now that’s either serious biker solidarity, or they’d just arrived!

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    Above: Not 20 minutes in and already doing roadside repairs

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    Above: The road to the SGR in the evening.

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    Above: My destination in the distance

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    Above: This road is a ripper

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    Above: The evening light even makes Ewaso look kind of pleasant… kinda

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    Above: Plenty of banter and laughs around the campfire. Sausages to eat, a bunch of beers delivered from town… so eager was I to crack open my beer that I forgot to pin down half my tent and it blew over… toward the crater’s edge! I tell you it would have been tricky picking a backup option… I think I’d prefer to sleep al-fresco than snuggle either of those other smelly chaps.

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    Above: Nearly full moon rising over an escarpment dotted more and more with lights from homes, and an artistic fire shot.

    Crashed at midnight under the boiled-egg moon with a whisky head and a happy heart.

    To be continued...
    #2
  3. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Next day up with the dawn. Jimbob wasn’t eaten by hyenas much to his relief and our chagrin so we all slowly emerged from our tents to make various hot caffeinated drinks, and later, trips to the loo. The tents were put away by the time the sun got too high and we bid the rest of the campers (there were no fewer than 6 groups!) a hearty BRAAAAAAPY farewell as we pissed off over the other side of the crater rim.

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    Above: Morning at Suswa. Every single time it’s fantastic.

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    Above: Panic again posing at the rim… what’s with this guy’s trousers? Fashion icon, our Panic.

    The track would be some of the old mixed with a bit of the new. Since I found a way to cut off the rather tedious Mosiro part of the trip to Nguruman last year, I’ve been searching for more tracks. Just before this one, I sniffed out the potential for one to go directly to the top of Little Lake Magadi and had to give it a go. So, we took off in search of it.

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    Above: Both of the above muppets nearly launched into the riverbed by mistake… alas

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    Above: Panic in the riverbeds.

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    Above: Jimbob coming along through the dust

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    Above: Both of them making dust

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    Above: I firmly believe that the universe was created by a giant blue gorilla on a BRP blasting through stardust and sending it out over the vast expanse of nothingness. Here, Panic does a recreation. In fact, I’m considering starting a cult, er, religion about it… an African off-shoot of @Joe Motocross 's ADVFundamentalism. Differences are few, but significant…. While we also shun heavy luggage, we do require a bit more due to vagaries of the weather and the distances from civilization… we are XRR zealots - we worship no other bike, and though we hold council against the wheels of bikes around camp fires, Black Label is our rotgut, er, elixr of choice on rides and is considered sacred by the adherents (couldn't get Old Crow if we wanted it, you see…). I’d like my tax-free status please. Amen. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses.

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    Above: Panic on the dusty doubletracks having a gander at a stately Secretary Bird in the long grass.

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    Above: Behold, a sign from above! We must be on the right track.

    In fact, we were not on the right track. I took us on a short boondoggle in search of the new way to Little Lake Magadi, but was turned back by a convincing boda rider. Now, my time in Tanzania would have told me to ignore him completely and try our luck anyway, but here in Kenya they seem to be more knowledgeable about, well, just about everything, so I relented and went back. Turned out to be a great compromise… a bit of the track I found previously and with a bit of effort, I found the track was looking for. It started at some odd earthworks the Tata company must have erected in an effort to force the water from heavy downpours somewhere it doesn’t naturally want to go… (dickheads…) but we jumped their dyke and found a track that was fantastic.

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    Above: Back on last year’s find

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    Above: Having deviated, we were now on the hunt for the new track

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    Above: The going was rocky in spots, but that’s no surprise in the Rift Valley. Rocks and sand, if you don’t like ‘em, stay out of my valley!

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    Above: It was a mix of all kinds of odd stuff, from riverbeds to tree tunnels. In the lead I chased a mixed herd of giraffe, eland and zebra a bit before backing off to give them a chance to make a plan. Thumbless, quadrupedal muppets… wildlife is so duuuumb!

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    Above: We’d been riding parallel to what I assume is Little Lake Magadi’s natural inlet (the one Tata seems to want to drain elsewhere… dickheads…) so I lumbered over some stones to have a peek. A deep canyon sliced through the red clay and in the bottom of it downstream some Masai had dug small waterholes to water their cattle with. Surprise, fellas, this river’s gonna be dry from now on! But I guess the shipping container school block we saw with Tata written all over it will make up for it… (dickheads…)

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    Above: Pigs at the canyon’s edge

    We grunted along on the boda boda paths. The guys had moved bowling-ball sized rocks out of the way for their path, but it had some kind of built-in speed limit of about 40kph… it’s like following a cattle path, you have to go the speed of the cattle to make the turns. We went through the stones and through the riverbeds and under the trees until behold! Little Lake Magadi appeared in the distance. Not a minute too soon… it was hot and we were due for a bite and a rest in the shade.

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    Above: Panic down the stony track

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    Above: Jimbob flicks a booger with his thumb… or maybe he’s saying he’d like to carry more weight on his back? Instructions unclear.

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    Above: Me zipping up the trail… Jimbob, like a Kenyan version of Atlas teetering astride a 350 KTM, holds the Earth on his back… but not even a single pat of butter. I say… rather disappointing, old chap! Rather disappointing indeed!

    At last we spotted the lake in the distance and our bundu-bashing track linked up with something Panic and I had done earlier. Nothing for it but to open the throttles and aim for a shade-tree for a rest and to enjoy the view. While rocky, it was a bigger track, so quicker and driftier than hit had been for the past sweaty hour.

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    Above: Me, vindicated, with the mirror surface of Little Lake Magadi in the distance

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    Above: A nice lunch spot with a view

    After a half hour of nibbling on mixed nuts turned into cashew-and-macadamia-butter (a delicious combo, by the way, for any entrepreneurs out there looking to cash(ew) in… ta-dum-CHING!) we kitted up again for the last quick rip out of there. Jimbob hefted his rucksack and the Earth’s centre of gravity shifted slightly, almost knocking the bikes off their side-stands. Panic and I started the XRRs and the shaking sent waves across the lake. We are a subtle bunch, and soft-headed.

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    Above: Panic descending. Plan was to check out the lake from that little cliff top dead centre (kick-start only folks know where that is… Beemer guys, not so much… Katoomers will know, even though they have an e-start, cause it won’t be working by this point in the ride…)

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    Above: A crusty, helmeted shot above a lake that a year ago, none of us had even tried to visit

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    Above: Confusing perspective… am I levitating a land mass somehow?

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    Above: On the other side of the ridge we were riding is the salt/mud pan that heads to the larger Lake Magadi proper. I keep saying I’d love to rip around down there, but even from on high it is clear that place would be a death trap… rivulets of standing water not far down the way tell you everything you need to know: it’s the kind of place dinosaurs would have gone to become fossils if you catch my drift.

    Our post-prandial throttle joints were in the mood for more kerplaaaping, so we ripped on past the lake and aimed for Ngurumani for petrol and a beer. Unfortunately for me, I let my guard down and got stung for it. Glancing at my GPS with the visor up, I failed to notice I was approaching a tree at sub-orbital speeds and didn’t have the reflexes to duck the wait-a-bit bush dangling a ripping tentacle across the trail, catching my proboscis with a trident of hellish thorniness and jerking my neck sideways as I let out a “owshitforfucksakedammit!’ or some such similar ejaculation while blood immediately dribbled down my highway patrolman’s moustache onto my now pouting lower lip. Fekking things are lethal! Had to beg a bit of bog roll off the Panic to daub my throbbing schnoot dry before setting off again apace. The big road from Magadi to Ngurumani is a ripaaaa, feshy as you like with some stones for the lads and we made decent time up to the village for our barely-afternoon beers.

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    Above: It says it all… my schnooot was kapooot!

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    Above: The long straight(ish) blast to Ngurumani and the Sky-Breeze Bar/Deep C Pub in Ngurumani where we paused to quench our parched palates

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    Above: They even had beans and chapati! I can see Jimbob is okay with that… never clear what Panic thinks apart from: Die! Die! Die!, Burn! Burn! Burn! Wacken!

    After our second lunch, we had turned enough, planetarily speaking, to merit arrival at the riverside camp. If you go too early, you toast in the sun on the sand bank, but at this time, it was just right to organize things, divest from our fancy dress and hit the cool waters of the Ewaso Nyiro river. So, with little ceremony (and no muppetry like when Rawlance of a Labia tried to ride across the river, unexpectedly and unnecessarily a few years back… still by far the most popular of my highly unpopular YouTube vids) we kicked off our boots, hit the water and heaved a collective aaaaaaahhhhh as the cool, muddy water flowed around and the freaky catfish nibbled our toes.

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    Above: arrival at camp

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    Above: The two wazee, nutz-deep in the muddy river, jumping and squealing periodically like the citified sissies they are from the catfish and startling the locals and the wildlife alike with their outrageous swimwear… I mean honestly, those colours don’t belong in a modern art museum, let alone upon the person of a human being! My eyes! My eyes!... and then there’s me… Made in Gord’s image, just like our middle-eastern Jesus or one of those wankers who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6th… white as the driven snow… pure as Colombia’s finest… comments about me being so white as to be glow-in-the-dark, a solution to global warming, an armpit with teeth, etc aw shaddup! We were the freaking UN of riding, a veritable colour wheel of bikers! And, but, yet, let’s be clear, I’m all for diversity, but this KTM shit’s gotta go… Jimbob, convert now to the ways of the Piggy, or there may be consequences!

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    Above: Clearly a specimen of perfection, yours truly doing the BRP dance of joy in his culturally appropriated lower-extremity cover

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    Above: A lone Masaai kid wondering, like, literally WTF yo, LOL, LMFAO… I’m totally putting this on TikTok, look at those knob ends!

    Around the campfire, it was meagre rations compared to the night before and rides past. Our British military Rat Packs had run out or expired beyond what we’re comfortable with (4 years is kind of our limit) so we were slumming it with ramen noodles and cans of beans and tuna, FFS. But, BUT, we had snagged a couple of Tusker Ciders from the bar in Nguruman and we did have our Black, so about the time the KTM fanboy passed out, cashed in his chips, called for a taxi, hit the hay, Panic and I were riding the wave, laughing again over old stories and howling at the moon. All as it should be.

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    Above: Darkness at the campsite, 3 bike/chairs arranged in the sand around a fire.

    To be continued...
    #3
  4. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Wisely, I popped an ibuprofen or two as I was hitting the sack and consequently slept like Death’s grand-daddy. Not until the first crack of dawn did I reopen my peepers. First thing I did was check to see if any elephants had squashed Jimbob in his sleep as he had so ardently sworn would be the case. Alas… no such luck… so I greeted him hello as he scrambled up the feshy hill to find a spot to squat and I crawled out of the rack, scrawled my name in the sand with yesterday’s hooch and boiled water for coffee. The rest is a wash/rinse/repeat of every other morning: groggy tent deconstruction, sand everywhere, check for scorpions, forget what you’re doing, cuss a bit, somebody farts (probably me), note the rising sun and impending heat, don the gear, start the bikes and finally, at last, por fin, get on the road again!

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    Above: A serene morning. Who in their right mind would try to ride over to that peninsula? Rawlance? Is it deep? LETS CHECK...

    We ripped all morning, really. Ripped out of the riverbed. Fesh flying. Ripped out to Olkirimatian for water. Ripped (proper ripped) down to Oloika through sand and stones. I love ripping. Ripping is a joy. The Pig was meant for ripping, so we ripped! I’d like to get Dr. Seuss to make me a rhyme about ripping… Something like One Pig, Two Pig, Red Pig… uh, Red Pig… etc, you get the idea.

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    Above: Out of there

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    Above: Out of there!

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    Above: OUT OF THERE!

    A blink later, we were near Shompole and turning toward Oloika and the volcano dubbed Longomot (according to some old nguy we met once) the blown-out volcano standing between us and Torosei. It’s a funky spot… tall anthills, flat, wasted lava fields… goats eating gord-knows-what. Always an opportunity for a photo op before diving into the little, slower tracks of the volcano.

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    Above: Lava and anthills

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    Above: The insuperable XRR dwarfing Mt. Shompole with her beauty

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    Above: A nitwit and a pair of piggies in deepest Africa

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    Above: But that nitwit likes to riiiip! One Pig, Two Pig, aaaaw shaddup!

    The approach to Torosei is another gruelling one. It’s a great time to practice your rubbly-rock bike handling skills. I guess you can pay someone to show you how, or you can just go try it… up to you. Anyway, there we are, in the shadow of puny trees and stony gullies, dragging ourselves out of the deepest parts of the valley. I nearly see my ass in a horrible mess of stones practicing fast climbs on uneven surfaces. Jimbob decides he’d like to crash at speed and come away with not even a scratch (thanks Panic, for the loan of the armadillo, eh?) and we arrived in Torosei with only a messed up hand-guard (Jimbob) and low tyre pressures (me).

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    Above: Heading through Longomot

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    Above: In Torosei… couldn’t find beer, so we settled for Coke and a quick repair job on the XRR’s rear tyre. Again, I cut the tyre. Looks like a nail cut, but who knows. Short work thanks to the TuBliss system… I swear it’s every single tyre! Jimbob was shaken but not stirred, banged the handguard back in place and we blasted on.

    And as usual, there’s nothing left to say. The Torosei-to-Mi-46 track and the Mi-46 track to Olepolos are practically etched into the backs of my retinas. They’re fast, they’re tricky, and you can really screw it up, but this time nobody did. So we blasted. Past ostriches, over the railroad, below the ridge newly adorned with windmills and finally up the tar to Olepolos for, you guessed it, kuku choma and White Caps.

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    Above: I said there were ostriches

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    Above: Now Panic’s doing the XRR appreciation dance… loosen up those hips, bwana, relax the shoulders! Hii ni Kenya!

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    Above: Jimbob distorting the space-time continuum with his rucksack atop the underpowered KTM just before the RR tracks at Mi46

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    Above: The rucksack a.k.a. The Planet, the windmills… and the rucksack some more… the eyes are drawn to it, no? Much like the light to a supermassive black hole…

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    Above: Olepolos at last… my god how waiting for these guys can age a man… I hope I have a couple rides left in me.

    Here's a quick video of the ride for the kids who like movies:


    Boys, it was a great ride. Sad we couldn’t all come along, but we’ll make up for it soon.

    Until the next one,

    Braaaap!
    #4
  5. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,781
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Great shots of a fantastic location. A sight to behold from here in the dead of winter. :clap
    #5
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  6. Awful Knawful

    Awful Knawful Motorcycle Hoarder

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Oregon,Wi
    beautiful pictures and entertaining ride report. can't wait to see more . riding conditions look great, it warms me up a little . It's going to be around -20 Fahrenheit where I live so enjoy your riding.:-)
    #6
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  7. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    In two more weeks I'll be repeating a lot of that ride. I'm taking a friend's kid who is turning 18. Haven't ridden offroad with him before, but I know he's capable and he's a great kid and very keen to get dusty. My plan is to use this opportunity to explore a couple of potentially trickier-than-usual tracks that I usually avoid with Panic (you know, in case he starts giving me the cold stare of death). Also planning to spend a whole day in Nguruman exploring, which I've never done. And the kicker is his folks will be driving down, making camp and bringing a stocked bar and 4x4s full of goodies! I get to sleep on a proper mattress again and I don't have to carry it!
    #7
  8. mikerthebiker

    mikerthebiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    St. Albert, AB
    Pictures of the leg-o-goat, please.
    #8
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  9. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,688
    Location:
    Kingsmill Corner Ont.
    Waiting for the next one...:lurk:drink
    #9
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  10. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Sorry man, we only had kuku - chicken. Next time I have mbuzi - goat - I'll make sure to get a pic.
    #10
  11. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,592
    Location:
    Brea, CA
    GREAT SHIT RIGHT THERE, LOVED IT!
    #11
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  12. NAVIGATOR

    NAVIGATOR Wanderer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,953
    Location:
    SOUTH OF THE USA BORDER(friendlier Mexico)
    As always great report and thank you for showing those great places you have to explore
    #12
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  13. WHYNOWTHEN

    WHYNOWTHEN where are the pedals?

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    936
    Location:
    closer to Baja
    Riding that BRP around africa looks like it is aging you prematurely sir!
    #13
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  14. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,876
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Fantastic report @Osadabwa, very glad I stumbled across it.

    I always enjoy and appreciate your writing style and wit; and it's cool to see you recruited a new guy to the group, even if he rides a katoom (don't think Jimbob's been in any of your previous reports?). You need to help him a bit and point him where to purchase some luggage for that little orange bike, poor guy's going to slip a disc or worse with that monstrosity on his back.

    Such great terrain you guys rip on; and killer camp sites too. What's going to happen to Mt. Suswa - is it going to get fubard because they'll pave a road up to where you guys normally camp? And the Tata company - assume they're simply destroying the natural landscape for something not really needed? Always tough to take when progress really isn't progressing anything.

    Enjoyed the video you put together and laughed hard when I saw the apology about the KTM sounds...LOL.

    Look forward to seeing the report from the trip you take with the kid out into the bush. I bet that'll be a great time and I hope he enjoys it. Sorry to hear about your riding friend; that sounds really tough.

    Knobby side down man, good luck with forming the piggy religion - I'm sure Joe will approve.
    #14
  15. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    A couple of guys I know were skiving off work on Tuesday to ride up Mt. Suswa via some tracks I shared in the valley. I was busy with work and kids duties so couldn’t join for the ride, but about mid-day I started to think maybe I could rip up there solo and join them around the campfire. Once the idea was in my head, there was no turning back, but there were a few hiccups to deal with. My rack had broken a bolt off inside my subframe and I hadn’t yet fixed it! So I quickly removed the rack and whacked on my old Giant Loop. Very handy, the GL, but not really adequate for camping… not quite enough space, so I had to sacrifice something… I chose my bulky sleeping bag. I left Nairobi at 4:30 for the rocky railroad road.

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    Above: There was rain everywhere… got caught in several showers. Rule for me is if I can see through it, it’s not worth putting on a rain jacket… but I was aware that I would need to sleep in my kit, so getting soaked could be a problem…

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    Above: I may as well embrace the development… at least it offers some fun roads to ride.

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    Above: Stopped in Ewaso Kedong for matches. In the back of my mind I considered the possibility my friends wouldn’t actually be there, and I couldn’t find my lighter… rubbing sticks together’s not my forte.

    Turned out it was a good plan to buy matches. I shot the guys a message in Ewaso saying I was on my way up and only checked my message when I paused to take a pic of the rainbow on top of the mountain. Sure enough, they weren’t there! One of them forgot his tent! Undaunted, I just cruised on ahead to camp, actually quite happy to be having a solo night in one of my favourite places.

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    Above: Rain showers on top of the mountain. Riding directly into the setting sun, blinded basically, I remember thinking how cool the raindrops looked when they hit the dirt, shining briefly like diamonds before being soaked up.

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    Above: Solo camp established by dusk, greetings to Kiano who came to say high and collect fees and enquire about my injured friend(s). The wind was whipping up there and stoked my petrol-assisted fire to a roar in no time.

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    Above: Darkness found me nipping Black straight from the bottle and eating sausages off a stick, cowboy style (made me yearn for a gadget that could be handily packed on a bike and can serve many functions including skewering sausages... seems like I have seen one of those somewhere... @Joe Motocross ?). Once my phone was adequately charged, I started playing classic rock and before I knew it I was out there howling at the stars with the hyenas!

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    Above: Apparently, I thought this was a cool enough tree to photograph. It’s right on the crater’s edge. Glad I didn’t decide to climb it.

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    Above: Dawn from my tent. I’d turned in around 11PM which is pretty late considering it was just me, my beautiful bike and half a litre of Black Label (no, I didn’t finish half a litre… but I did make a purdy good dent). Sleeping sans sleeping bag was not great… my legs were tucked nicely into my riding pants which was fine, but my ass (clad only in lightweight off-bike trousers) was hanging out, so I tossed and turned a fair bit, but I made it through.

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    Above: The morning was beautiful, but I’d made a huge error and forgotten my coffee…

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    Above: Packed and ready to head out. Not being very perky and needing to get some work done, I bee-lined it for home.

    I’d like to say I’m going to ride somewhere besides the Valley and Suswa/Nguruman this year, but I’m not sure I’m going to swing it. Hope I’m wrong, but it’s still fantastic to live where I can get in a couple of excellent dirt hours in the afternoon with a campsite on a volcano on the other end. Staying solo was a nice change of pace too… I'll have to keep that in mind!
    #15
  16. Joe Motocross

    Joe Motocross Adjustafork.com - CEO

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,657
    So, I'm coming out of winter hiding and decide to check out Adventuretalker for the first time since fall. I note that my buddy @Osadabwa has mentioned me so I immediately go to check things out knowing this is just the kind of nonsense I seek here on this site. Yep. Perfect. I'd expect nothing less. This is just the fix I needed to get my season started. Dr Seuss poems about ripping. I don't even need to look at anything else here on this site. This covers it.

    Here are a few things I note.
    Do it. I'd welcome a tribe of off-shooters but there may be benefits of a stand-alone movement.
    Yeah, a few differences but significant? Jury is out. I'm going to pack some Black just to show you. I bet it's just fine in coffee.

    Caption unnecessary:
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    Funny how familiar the scene is in the photo below.
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    If only.........
    #16
    RedDogAlberta and Osadabwa like this.
  17. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Gaaah! It’s been ages since I’ve been out on the bike. Work, family and flaky friends bailing out on rides last minute… on the upside though, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of three new XR650Rs which finally arrived. One belongs to a new guy who test-rode one a few weeks back and didn’t hesitate to take the plunge. The other two are mine and Panic’s. That’ll make two XRRs in my stable and Panic bought his for spares (he’s already sold half of it to his mates, everything is for sale but the engine, sub-frame and wheels). Panic and I spent a long day prepping the new guy’s Pig which had been neglected a bit… all the wear items were worn. Brake pads down to the metal, a swingarm bearing that took us both literally hours to extricate, and a few other things. And then I tackled mine. Also had the swingarm nightmare scenario (see drunken educational video below), but in general she’s in good nick. Once the new guy’s bike was ready, he wanted to take her for a spin so we all went for a half day to the valley.

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    Above: New guy and new Piggy, chuffed to see her on her feet; Panic and I opining on the state of that swingarm bolt, bearings and brake pads.

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    Above: A few days later, my bike under construction. Came in boxes, so only engine and swingarm were attached to the frame. I went through the forks, added .47 springs and new oil to them, fixed the broken thermostat (by fixed, I mean I tossed it) and was well on my way to finishing until we got to the swingarm bolt:


    Above, our boozy swingarm bolt removal nguide

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    Above: Making some progress in Panic’s amazing garage. Need to have the swingarm repaired (chain had eaten through it) and the subframe fixed and reinforced (I have a way of breaking those) before I’m ready to ride.

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    Above: It was a long day… 12 hours of wrenching, banter and bullshit

    Finally we were ready to do a bit of braaping. I joined Panic, new guy and Lobomoto for a half day out. We intentionally took rocky, fast tracks so new guy could test his bike’s legs. He was blown away. The Pig never disappoints. After a particularly harsh section, Lobo asked to try Panic’s XRR and it was probably a mistake. His KTM 520, while nippier and quicker off the line, just can’t hold a candle to the XRRs suspension and is consequently left in the dust when the stones begin to fly.

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    Above: Lobo’s only 18… he’s tough enough to handle the beating of a KTM

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    Above: Three piggies and a 520 punkin

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    Above: Kickass chapati and chai at the Investment Hotel, perennial breakfast spot for short rides

    Ewaso was the half-way point. It had been very fast and rough in spots, but the second half would be quite a bit rougher. The SGR track is such fun. Stones everywhere, but open and fast. No goats to kill, no blind corners. If you can hold on to the handlebars, you can go as fast as you like, so we did, stopping only to give the SGR askaris a few Cokes so they stay friendly when we go zipping past.

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    Above: Panic ripping along, Suswa in the distance

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    Above: the new guy was loving it

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    Above: Lobo not so much! Poor kid kept trying to play with clickers as Panic just shook his head… nothing much to do on the trail. Back in the garage, they’ll try some lighter fork oil, which has had some success on other KTM jackhammers.

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    Above: the SGR with an actual train on it… first time I’ve seen that. I don’t think with 3 passenger cars a day they’re likely to pay off the Chinese debt any time soon though…

    Apparently I’d been enjoying the ride a lot because as Lobo fiddled with his clickers, I noticed my front tyre was flat and I’d broken two spokes! Added a bit of air an the OKO fixed whatever the problem was, zip-tied up the broken spokes and rode on like nothing happened.

    Braaaap!

    [​IMG]
    #17
    eaglescan, liv2day and Suncoaster like this.
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,876
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Love it @Osadabwa! Good on ya for bringing a new rider into the mix and helping him get his bike sorted. Something wonky must have happened with the notifications I get as your report and Joe's fell off my radar, damn technology...lol.

    Kick ass solo trip up to the edge, looks like a great ride and over-nighter. Wonder if Kenyan customs would allow an adjusta through? Given the camping you do, you need one. And then the profit @Joe Motocross can say he's in the international trade business too :lol2 :lol2 :lol2

    I feel ya on not getting out on the bike, haven't ridden since my March Death Valley trip and feel it...almost fuckin' June :(
    #18
  19. Joe Motocross

    Joe Motocross Adjustafork.com - CEO

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,657
    Thanks for the mention @liv2day, seems as if technology also failed to notify me about new info from @Osadabwa and his fleet of aging XRs. Pretty sharp looking tool crib there. Nothing but the finest for those state-of-the-art beasts. Now, don't get me wrong here. I am not at all capping on the XR. They have a special place in my heart. I truly appreciate the intimate understanding that these guys have of these machines. That's what it takes. Parts bikes are gold. A successful day in the shop is the next best thing to a solid ride.
    #19
    liv2day likes this.
  20. cedric

    cedric Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    344
    Location:
    Calgary
    Where do you guys have to source the XRRs from?
    #20