So I have a story to tell

Yesterday I convinced myself that it is possible to ride the 486km to Mombasa from Nairobi and I almost did. Before you get tired thinking about how massive that distance is, hear me out.

To prepare, I bought 6 lunch bars on Friday. Had my bike serviced the week before, talked my friend into lending me his small safari pump, bought patch kit and then checked the elevation on komoot. Everything was set. I had enough cash in the wallet, 2 water bottles and no phone. Still don’t have a phone.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early, 5:20 to be precise to get ready for this massive attempt. I parked everything I needed, warmed some left over food for breakfast and set off at 6. 7km later, it occurs to me I am not sure I got my wallet in the bag and without it I am effed, completely fucked. So I check the bag in a hurry and don’t see it. Bugger rides back home only to arrive and find the wallet in the bag. That was the moment to not proceed with the ride.

Now that wallet has been located, I set off again. Goal is to maintain a pace of 30kph for as long as it is possible. That I discovered was easier said than done. To cut a long story short, I maintained that pass for 280km.

To ensure that I didn’t bonk during the ride, my goal was to stop every 100km for tea and a snack, refill my water bottles and eat a lunch bar. I did this for the first 100. My next stop was after 70km. Then I did a stop at 50km. And I think the next was after 80km.

I had a puncture while cycling through Tsavo national park. Luckily I had a pump. It didn’t occur to me that inflating a tire to 90psi using a small handheld pump is harder than cholo punda manyuol. I gave up at 55psi which was good enough to support my weight.

The hardest part of the ride was between 170-180km. I almost gave up and then the last 90km were hard, 36km of this was in the dark.

The terrain is good. Flats, gentle climbs and more flats. No drops except at km 90 then it is all flat and boring with only you and your bicycle.

I woke up today to go and get the train back to Nairobi. Fully backed. So I hitched a ride with a driver who was bringing a car to Nairobi from Mombasa.

Next plan, to concur the remaining 150 or so km to Mombasa in one day.

Now you can get tired 😪

Random things

Yesterday I went to have my bike checked at my usual garage. As a side note, I think bike maintenance is just as expensive as maintaining a car since I do a major service every 1000km and that can be 2 weeks. Well, maybe half the costs. But that is a by the way. So while at the garage there was this young Dutch male I think in his late 20s or early 30s who has been riding since March last year.

Someone asked why Africans are not doing such long tours. And it got me thinking.

First there is the big issue of money. How do you finance the trip? The good fellow told me he had worked for 3.5 years & saved enough for the trip. The average Joe in Nairobi would need to work maybe 2x as long, live with his mother and save 0.67 of his salary.

The next hoop is visa requirements among African nations. One has to show proof that he loves his grandmother enough to return home, has enough money in the bank and other such loops before you can get a visa. Now, who wants to deal with all that stress.

Say you have saved enough to marry Leah or is it laboured to marry Rebecca and have visas taken care of, you need to convince your employer that it is a good idea to give you a vacation for 1year to go biking adventures. Good luck with that.

Having said that, I think if I were 20 and I had bills taken care, I would do something this fun. See the world while on a bicycle. I think the only thing that would beat this is seeing the world on foot, but this takes much longer & I don’t want to have blisters.

What, if you could, stopped you from doing a world tour say on a boat or a glider?