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:
    744
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    At last, it was time to take the new Piggy out for her first Rift Valley braaaap. I’d been commuting on her for a couple of weeks, roaring around Nairobi and up to Tigoni to see how the motor runs, play with the jetting, keeping an eye on oil consumption etc. Verdict: she’s in great shape and goes like the clappers. When Panic and I finally got a mutually free morning, we decided to take her out and see how she handles the Rift Valley. Still with the laughably small OEM tank (I think it holds 7L or something… giving me just over 120km range), we picked the usual route to Ewaso for chai and mandazi and back along the SGR line.

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    Above: My new-to-me 2003 XRR. I’ve been calling her “Nimble Pig” since she’s cruising around with that tiny tank on, but it is clear I’ll have to get Panic to do the valves and change the shims on the forks at least, and probably the shock too. Clicking the clickers, I got to a very happy place on quick, moderately rough terrain but as soon as we hit the lava flows, which is like riding over a series of curbs for several kilometers, the Nimble Pig was battering me silly. Panic was up my tailpipe which is not where I like Panic to be. Still, because she’s an XRR and not a KTM, she never once deflected, never bucked, never misbehaved. Love it.

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    Above: Panic probably laughing at me for shaking out my hands after a particularly brutal section. His Piggy and my Desert Pig are so dialled in we hardly feel stones any more. Nimble Piggy has a ways to go before she’s a Magic Carpet, but in the meantime she gives me a good workout! Coming up the SGR line, Panic overtook me as I negotiated my way through a cattle traffic jam (one of a dozen today… must have been Take you Cattle on a Walk Day or something) and I had to hang on for dear life to keep up, gorilla gripping the bars far more than I ordinarily need to. Rough, but it was a blast.

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    Above: Nothing better than riding the BRP in Kenya!

    It’s been sparse riding this year, so even this half day rip was desperately needed and greatly appreciated. Fortunately, there’s a 5-day ride in the works for early August which will surely merit it’s own RR (at the moment, we’ve got 4-6 XRR riders in various states of commitment), and I hope to squeeze in a few more short outings before that as well.

    In the meantime.

    Oink.

    By the way to answer @cedric the bikes either come from the US or South Africa. Nimble Pig is from South Africa, and the Desert Pig is from the US.[​IMG]
    #21
    Suncoaster, Joe Motocross and cedric like this.
  2. Osadabwa

    Osadabwa Don't be Surprised

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    744
    Location:
    Nairobi, Kenya
    Finally a free day and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. Lobomoto and I planned to see if we could find a track we looked for a month ago and Panic and Jimbob were keen to come along. So, we met at the petrol station, then dropped into the valley via what has become a full-on dump truck extravaganza leading to and from a quarry. Our timing was horrible since we arrived just minutes after the water truck sprayed the road down, leaving it slick as ice, but before too long we were on the SGR blasting for Ewaso Kedong and a morning chai and mandazi at the Investment Hotel.

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    Above: Panic and Lobo getting started

    After breakfast, we hammered over the lava flows. Panic and I enjoyed it on the Pigs, the KTM riders… not so much. We waited for them with smug little grins at the turn-off. And up we went, on a little track Lobo and I explored not long ago. We wanted to see if we could get to the top. The going is tricky enough to be very interesting with a couple of steep, loose stone climbs in the tight Leleshwa bushes. Before long, we reached our previous highest point and panyapanya’ed around until we connected with a cow path to what turned out to be a false summit. In the distance we could see our goal, but there was thick bush and a lot of volcanic rock shelves to navigate. At last we made it. Properly chuffed with how pristine the place is, I plan to come back to camp as soon as possible. We chatted with the herder whose camp is there, he seemed cool enough and said we could come back no problem.

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    Above: Jimbob coming up the top of the rocky stuff

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    Above: Working through the leleshwa

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    Above: Our destination.

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    Above: Panic on the edge. Says the place looks like we’ve stepped back in time. Beautiful view.

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    Above: My XRR posing for a photo

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    Above: While chatting with the local guy, Jimbob’s bike decided to take a nap… with Jimbob on it!

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    Above: Heading back down

    It was time for a fast rip to Oltepesi for some grub and a victory beer, so we screwed it on and flew. The road was in good nick and the speeds were clicking. Toward Oltepesi, the feshfesh gets interesting, but deviating off toward the grumpy man’s house, we enjoyed the drifty, slidey, flowy hard pack instead.

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    Above: Lobo ripping through the fesh

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    After a nice lunch of nyama, chapati, rice and White Caps at the Friend’s Hoteli in Oltepesi we fueled up out of plastic bottles (my Nimble Pig only holds 8 litres or so and burns Go-Juice at the rate of 13 km/litre, so I was close to dry).

    Now it was time to let Panic lead a bit. A while back he and another nguy managed to stumble upon a track that climbs over Olegorsaile mountain, or so he claims. I’ve wanted to see it, so we set off in search of the mythical track. After a few false-starts, we eventually committed to one that looked promising at first, but finally fizzled out in a pile of old charcoal dust.

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    Above: Panic tries and fails to roost me… sorry muppet, you gotta try harder than that! It may be revenge because I got the three of them earlier in a nice, sweeping 180-degree roost!

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    Above: The track was pretty clear for a while

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    Above: Then it got skinnier and skinnier and then crapped out totally

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    Above: Young lad doing a bit of enduro for the fun of it… we older bucks weren’t going to expend unnecessary energy on that kind of nonsense!

    Back down off the mountain, the afternoon was getting long in the tooth so we blitzed it up through familiar, quick tracks. A crew of what looked like surveyors were in the plains being eyed by a small group of local gazelle. I suspect next time I come through there it’ll be fenced. That’s development for you. Progress.

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    Above: Objectively beautiful. And the scenery is nice too.

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    Above: Panic coming through the plains.

    At the tar, Lobo went left and the rest of us went right… to the bar. We grabbed a kilo of goat meat, a plate of chips each and another White Cap while a guy washed my bike for $0.90 by hand. It was damn good, all of it. And I’m eager to get out there and do it all over again soon!

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    Above: Second lunch at Drips Point near Dagoretti

    Next ride is to the far north in early August… can’t wait!
    #22
    NoelJ and Suncoaster like this.