15 March 2016

Monduli Peak ride

It was going to be a routine ride. A road beckoned that turned into a trail, that joined another trail that went to the top of Monduli Mountain. No small feat as the top of the peaks is thick with bamboo

14 March 2016

Update 2

Despite a dislocated finger i could grip enough and figured i would be recovered enough in 3 weeks.  So I went out on the next weekend.  Saturday I rode with the hotshots who were going a long around monduli mtn.  I did Lengijave plains and back.  i just took it easy in rough sections.

Next day i Joined two seniors and a bunch of novice teenagers.  great riding on the Mkulat hills.  Mostly bald steep hills.  A few have forests where they catch the mist in the trees and then buckets.

In a fast down hill i was almost the last person, taking it easy.  I slowed to ask why someone stopped and a kid came behind and locked his front brake and endoed over and smashed into my back.  I went sprawling, breaking a spoke and the screen on my phone.  I seemed shaken but okay.

A week later my ribs hurt more and more, and after treating pneumonia, then they also found two broken ribs.

So the 10 to 4 was scratched and i laid off weekend biking but continue commuting.

23 February 2016


My last post I started recording times on a set ride.

Friends helped me get a loaner full suspension bike.

On a Thursday in mid January I went on the set ride.  At the turn around I went to stop to record my record time.  as I came to a stop i couldn't get my foot out of the clips.  They had caked mud and were too tight.  I stopped and fell over in slow motion on the down hill side and tried to stop the fall with my middle finger.

For the first time in my life I dislocated a bone and it came out through the skin on my left middle finger.  I tried to relocate the finger and came close.  Then I was  freaked so I gave up.

I thought of making a phone call to the office for a car, but i figured that would take hours on these rough roads.  I tried to ride and it was possible by resting my hand on the handle bars.  There wasn't extreme pain, only when i jarred it.  so i coasted home, forgetting what my record time was.  I slowed way down on ditches.

It took over an hour to see a doctor and then things went fast.  A young doctor got advice from an older doctor.  It was a big relief to get it reset.

That is not the end of the story.  I needed to keep in shape, so on saturday went out with the fast boys.  Only ditches and rough parts were hard.  So I felt ok to keep training.

On Sunday I went with my senior aged buddies and a group of kids, figuring I could keep up.  will post tomorrow what happened.

05 January 2016

Sambasha loop times.

As I get ready for 10 to 4 race I am checking my times on a set ride.  I hope to use a full suspension bike as  I find I am not able to keep pedaling smoothly frequently as i am bouncing too much on my hardtail bike.  After last years race I vowed to return but only on a full suspension bike.

From home to tree line on Sambasha hill

26 dec 2015  63 min   ( did some intervals in the beginning)
3 Jan 2016  57min
21 Jan 2016  55min (one full suspension bike)  (then fell over and dislocated finger.)

04 January 2016

Amani vacation (with bike of course)

The day before our trip I made a rack bicycle mount.  

 Our house in Amani!  New lawn by the guy who lives there.

Looking towards our place on ride on day two.

 Fellow biker took my picture.
 One morning
 Too much tea plantations.
 Past Ndola I passed through a swamp and then rode along these bare hills
 After narrow foot path joined this road
 View looking down to Korogwe 800m below
 Looking at Usambara Mtns, Bumbuli area.
 wide trail.  I think a vehicle could pass


Trust me those are zebras.

The person standing out there is Diana Ulrich a professional photographer that joined a Saturday ride.  Her pictures a stark contrast to anything i take

We ride 20km to turn off the road here and ride on short grass plains.

Those are all roads!

We were close to these zebra, and i almost rode by them.

01 November 2015

A change of scenery ( or searching for Kidawasi)

Most weekend bicycle rides involve mountains.  Mike had a plan of checking out a friends farm near Olokii and then continuing south to Komolo on small tracks.  the middle half was flat as you see in the picture.

We met at 530am and rode through town and out through Njiro.  Mike showed me a new route to the packers road.    Down throuigh Njiro and take next big road after container go left , Faraja Duka

We failed to find the farm after crossing the Themi river at Olokii, instead we started having flat problems, compounded by me giving mike tubes that failed.

We found a straight track and found out that the swamp is called Kidawasi.

we spent maybe two hours dealing with flats.  and had lunch in the middle of nowhere.

When we came to the first house we asked where Losinyai was.  the woman laughed and said we were in Losinyai.  Turns out Losinyai is the Kata ( an administrative area encompassing several villages) and we should of asked for Custom.

I was plenty hot so when we made it to Custom we bought 4.5 litres of water and two cokes.  that was enough to get home by going up the main road to save time.

26 October 2015

Unexpected new route, Tarosero Mountain

Tarosero mountain.

It is challenging to find a new route from your house without travelling big distances to the start .  So either you spend hours riding there, or use a gas guzzler to get there.  (I have an issue with that on a routine basis.)  It is okay to ride 2 hours to the start of the "ride".

After yesterday's experience I wonder if it is because of blindness over there being no routes.

During the work week riders start thinking about the weekend rides and routes.  Mostly it is established rides that have been done many times.  Mike suggested Tarosero and that was an exciting idea as it is a blank space on my map of places visited.  It is a 2,400 meter peak sitting on the edge of the Monduli Juu plateau.  the base about 40km from home.

There are purists among us who would not consider riding for hours on a highway to get tot the start of a mtn bike route.  Didn't seem to bother Mike or I.  We publicised the ride but only got a nibble from Sammy.  Sammy tried to drive and meet us  but his phone had an issue .  Maybe the lack of takers was because we are on the slow side of the pack, or maybe it was the 530am meet up,  or maybe is was an unknown route.

We arrange to meet on the west side of town at 530 am  after we had both ridden for 30 minutes in the dark to the meet up.  Daylight is a few minutes before 6am.  We both had lights and an excited mood.

As the soon rose we were treated to a red sunrise and hazy views back to mnt Meru.

On a road bike drafting behind strong riders it is one hour to monduli town, but it took us closer to two hours.  We chatted the whole way.  We have black spice tea and a few chapatis in Monduli.  In a sense the ride begins in monduli town, as we immediately climb through a forest on a good gravel road to the Monduli Juu plateau.

 Immediately after reaching the top and passing the village we ask and take a track leading to Tarosero. Sometimes we are on vehicle tracks and sometimes trails as we head for those meadows up on the mountain.

I should mention that Mike had heart surgery a year ago.

The cattle trail is steep and sometimes rocky.

Great tracks that lead us to the top and through Montaigne forests.  We note the Loliondo trees.

 Before we admire the view we eat our breakfast and take a breather.  about 50 km from home.  that is Lepurko mtn below, on my mental map but not climbed with a bicycle,only by foot.

Looking the other direction.

 We go down the same trail half way and then try a new one.  I worried about my brakes wearing out as it was ten minutes with the brakes on fully. this is the less steep section.
We had considered heading west o the plateau but finding a route took some asking, backtracking, and energy.  We got to the edge of the plateau caldera and decided to head back as it was now noon and we have 40km into the wind.

I left home at 5 AM and got home about 4pm.  the last 5km were very hard.  I struggled and shifted to low gears on hills.  mike said about 1200m elevation gain.

Great ride, a real classic with incredible views.