2022 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya - Season 7... The Re-Oinkening

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Heimer

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Nice video. Who farted there between 2.54 - 2.59?
 

Osadabwa

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Gents, thanks for the comments. @Chrisl and @Heimer I have a whole folder of bespoke flatulence that I dub into videos when my mates are farting around on the bikes. There was a whole section involved in a previous video where the lads couldn't climb a little hill without paddling along. I'm trying to shame everyone into keeping feet on pegs and asses off seats, but alas!

Here's that vid with me first at :30 and the others farting it up thereafter:


As for the air filters... I was always in front so I guess I'm okay. My old friend @Faceplant used to say a little dust made for better filter performance. Panic said his filter was completely clogged though, so I may have to have a look!
 

Chrisl

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I've seen so much of Kenya via this thread and would love to tour the country, but just not after the presidential election!!! These people get very unhappy about the outcome of an election!!! :poop:
:oops:
 

Osadabwa

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I've seen so much of Kenya via this thread and would love to tour the country, but just not after the presidential election!!! These people get very unhappy about the outcome of an election!!! :poop:
:oops:
In the past there have been problems for sure, but so far I haven't seen it. Just took a 2000km overland journey with the family through Amboseli and Tsavo to the coast for a week... only good vibes everywhere. Just a reminder that you gotta get out of Nairobi every chance you can!
 

Osadabwa

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To the top of Mt Olorgesailie!

Seven years of solo day trips later and still discovering new tracks!

Having just returned from a road trip with my family, it was time to get back on the bike! Panic was supposed to come, but bailed in the morning not feeling well. This is no problem for me because I love solo rides. When I ride alone, I revisit old, tricky tracks and almost always push myself to find something new. If I’m with somebody, the pressure to have everything go according to plan is higher. Alone, if the track dead-ends it’s no problem. Plus, exploring solo gives it an added risk factor I like… nobody there to help you make decisions, lift the bike, get out of trouble etc. Don’t tell my wife.

So I whacked some tracks up Mt. Olorgesailie in my GPS. It’s one of the many eroded volcanos sticking out of the Rift Valley between home and Magadi. We often ride around it, but I’ve always suspected there were tracks leading up the slopes and possibly over the other side. After all, there are people EVERYWHERE and the mountain has trees on it, so charcoal burners must have made tracks up there. I had to go see. But first, I warmed up with a drop in to Kisimit Valley, a beautiful valley mostly unspoiled (though guys were making a shamba in the middle of it this time) that helps build your rolling-rock riding skills.

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Above: The Pig in Kisimit

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Above: It’s like this all the way… rolling baby heads going down down down. Good practice for Turkana and the like. The Valley is a great training ground. Actually, it’s tougher than much of the north.

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Above: Out the other side in no time on the Oltepesi Rd. My destination, Mt. Olorgesailie in the hazy distance.

The Oltepesi Rd. is a total ripper! I love going from fast tracks to slow rock rollers to fast tracks again. Oltepesi adds a whole other level with heaps of deep feshfesh, but shockingly this time there was none! I’d noticed puddles higher up so I suspected the place got hammered by rain, but it rained hard enough to totally tame the fesh. There was very little dust all day long. Which was a blessing for me and a relief for the land no doubt… it’s still bone dry out there.

I roared into Oltepesi without stopping, hopped the Magadi road and blasted to my new track. I bee-lined for the mountain and started climbing a very nice little 4x4 track over the stones. Seemed to me somebody spent some time keeping it roughly on gradient too. I rattled up the ridges easily, enjoying wide views of the valley below. I passed the biggest “Giant’s Juicy Fruit” plants I’ve ever seen up there. I don’t know what they’re really called, but that’s what it looks like to me… like a giant spit out his gum on the hillside. You only find them in these areas.

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Above: Blob of “Giant’s Juicy Fruit”

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Above: Moto Muppet for scale. This one had berries growing out of it. Truly a bizarre plant. Maybe the cure for cancer is in those grapes.

It was getting hotter, but I doubt it was even 10AM yet. Climbing the mountain didn’t do anything to drop the temps, but heat is part of the Valley. Much sooner than I imagined, I was at the top. Well, at least the highest point in the road, and it was obvious that the track was used primarily by charcoal burners who had cut and burned every tree with a trunk over 8 inches in diameter. Looking at this landscape, I can only assume it takes literally decades for those trees to get that big too. It’s an endless frustration. These guys out here slaving away in the hot sun for peanuts, decimating the flora for school fees. Knowing Kenya, there’s a fat cat behind it that is making far more than peanuts off this… ugh.

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Above: A few trees that weren’t yet big enough to chop and burn

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Above: The mountain top in the distance, bike parked on a charcoal burning spot. Looks like gravel, but it’s just the bits of charcoal and dust that they couldn’t scoop up. These burn spots were everywhere.

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Above: Nice views from up there and no pesky trees getting in the way

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Above: Looks relatively fresh, these cuts

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Above: Big Red Pig for scale

I saw one charcoal burner. He was guiltily slinking away into the bush (it is illegal after all), but I greeted him and asked if the road continued. He said no, it’s impassable by bike. Cows only. Of course I ignored him and went for a look. Indeed it was narrow, indeed it was overgrown… but I may go back to see if that means it can’t be traversed by bike. Then I rode back up to where the last few trees were still casting shade for a break. A Masai guy came up eventually and chatted nicely. I told him I’d come back to climb the rest of the mountain and he said sawa.

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Above: End of the line… for now. I could see the trail in the distance and it didn’t look too bad. Enduro boys would happily do it I reckon, if they ever ventured farther from Karen than the Ngong Hills

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Above: My resting spot

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Above: It’s sparse out there, but I might come back to camp. Bring a bribe for the Masai and exploding cigars for the charcoal burners…

To be continued...
 

Osadabwa

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Coming down is always faster than climbing up. Leaving it in 2nd and rolling over the stones, the cool breeze was welcomed. I planned to retrace my steps, but then another track jutting off to the left caught my eye. Taking it was brilliant. It was less used than the first track and took me on a totally different ridge to the valley floor, through the white scar of compressed ash where the hundreds of stone-age tools were found at the Olorgesailie archaeological site.

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Above: Acacias might know something we don’t about the seasons… they’re in bloom

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Above: Another Giant Juicy Fruit and mercifully flat stones

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Above: I spied a single, large giraffe out there and tried to snap a pic. He was uncharacteristically black, instead of the tan and brown spots you usually see. But, like the pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, that’s all you’ll get because he ran away.

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Above: Down in the ashfield

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Above: I like this kind of riding

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Above: I was staying out of the gorge, but it was clear I could have gone straight down it instead

Reaching the Magadi road, I was elated. So cool to find a few new tracks after all this time. And in keeping with the spirit of adventure, I decided to take a lesser-known path up to Najile which was a complex mix between ripper and crawler and I loved every single minute. By 1PM I was in Ewaso Kedong at a roadside dump for a celebratory beer. The plan was to rest a minute then hit the SGR for home. I had been riding non-stop since 8AM, which is another benefit of solo riding. You get in the zone and stay there. It was a 300km day done and dusted with plenty of time to pick kids from school.

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Above: Alt Najile track. Secluded and fun

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Above: White Cap stop in Ewaso

After my short rest, I was back on the bike aiming for the SGR, a notoriously rocky track where the Pig loves to leave KTM riders questioning their life decisions. I’ve ridden it many times, but this year she has claimed more than one tire and broken more than one spoke, so I was actually planning to take it easyish. In fact, I’d left the house with one broken spoke, so I was already tempting fate. All this to say, I was quick but not stupid when I dropped into an unusually washed-out gully and caught my right boot/footpeg on the side. It happened fast, but I think the toe cup bent my foot over the peg while the peg lifted up, then my foot got pushed off the back where it smashed into the swingarm or maybe even rear tyre. It felt like a bear grabbed my leg and yanked and I was screaming in my helmet. It was all over in a second, and I didn’t go down. And since I was all alone, I just wiggled my toes and tested to see if anything was broken and kept riding. I had 20 minutes of rocks to go before I could bail out to the tar and get some Panadol. Then I went straight home and put it on ice. This is the second injury to my right foot in two months, but both were mild thanks to my Sidi Crossfires. Don’t cheap out on boots!

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Above: My daughter the future punk rocker helping ice my stinky foot. Sidi Crossfires to the rescue again! For the love of everything that loves you, get some good boots people! If I had been wearing some compromise ADV boot, that bloody scrape might have been accompanied by a broken tibia.

So I guess I’m off the bike for a bit. Day 2 now and it is fat and swollen, but I’m pretty sure nothing broke. Still, that soft-tissue damage can take ages to feel right again, and that’s my kick-starting foot. Still, all-in-all, that was an excellent day on two wheels!

Cheers
 

ClimbingTurtle

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Another awesome read - cheers!
And the boots - I cannot agree more - I have had a few different sets, currently using GS Rallye, they have saved my ankles more than once - heal up quick!!
 

Osadabwa

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Bloody hell, it took a month for my foot to feel good enough to risk riding on! It’s still sore and swollen, but I forced it into the boot this morning anyway. The sun has been shining and it’s a sin to waste it. So, I just donned the kit and scampered down into the rift for a quick solo braaap. No destination in mind, I ended up back on the SGR track to see if I could spot where I smashed the foot in the first place. Pretty sure I spotted it… let’s just say, the whole thing could have been avoided if I wasn’t a dickhead. At least I was wearing good boots.


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Above: Blue skies and rocky Rift Valley await


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Above: My second BRP out for this ride… wanted to play with clickers a bit to see if I can match the plushness of my other bike. I think she’s dialed in now.

It was obvious that I’d been off the bike for a month… the pace was subdued. I wasn’t really in the zone, but I was solo on my XR in Africa, so I didn’t care. I bimbled down to Ewaso Kedong with no issues, had a cup of sweet tea and a fairly awful mandazi, then busted out to Najile and the Oltepesi Rd. Once there, I got side-tracked by a little path which turned into a pretty decent detour. And once I was off the main track, I didn’t fancy getting back on again so I pulled into the Kisimit valley to see if I could raise my heartrate a bit and work up a sweat on the rocks.

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Above: Beginning the Kisimit track

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Above A bit of water in the stream, but otherwise bone dry

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Above: The rocky bits are a 1st and 2nd gear affair climbing up… just right for the mood I was in

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Above: Once at the top, a view down valley

Popped out at the main road, blitzed it for Saikeri and past the old windmill to the new tar road. I wanted a lunchtime beer, and stopped at one of the new roadside bars that has opened up with the tar road. Home before anybody missed me, it was another lovely half day in the Rift Valley.

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Above: Bike at the Vitis bar and restaurant. I didn’t see any food on offer, but the White Cap was suitably cold and the place has a view of the Ngongs… so it does the trick!

I’d really like to get out for more than a day ride soon… I’m itching to cover some territory.

Cheers
 

the ruffian

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Grand outing, ‘bru.

Love the way you don’t let the lust for the ole braap cool too much, injury notwithstanding...

Quick query: what tire are you running up front on the pig?
 

Osadabwa

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Grand outing, ‘bru.

Love the way you don’t let the lust for the ole braap cool too much, injury notwithstanding...

Quick query: what tire are you running up front on the pig?
Yeah, you gotta ride to live! If you wait to long you'll be in your deathbed asking where it all went wrong.

That front tyre is a good one... or a new one is anyway! The one on the bike right now is dangerously worn now that I look at it! Hard compound so resists (mostly) cuts on all those stones, the lugs never break off, and it's tall so it resists pinches very well. It's a Mitas E27 Eagle Stone 90/100 - 21. Sadly, my guy here says he's not getting any more in stock, so I'll have to branch out. He's started bringing in MotoZ so maybe I can find something there.
 

Osadabwa

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Two weekends ago, Panic and I were going to hit the trails for an overnight ride. He’d been talking about being free for months, and I finally confirmed I could steal a couple of nights away. But between one thing and another, suddenly we were down to only going for one night (shrug) and then it dropped straight to zero when Panic catches a gut bug at the eleventh hour… hmm. So essentially, that ride stunk of bad juju and it’s probably best it didn’t happen.

But the long and short of it: I’m overdue for some braaaping. The bike was packed for an overnighter, but I didn’t care. I grabbed my shiny new helmet (red, white and black… me likey) and vanished into the bush solo. When I go alone I often don’t have a plan but at least I’m sure I’m going, so off I went. Oddly though, my head wasn’t in it and my body could tell. I bumbled along without stopping for 2 hours before sitting under a tree and saying: screw it, I’m hitting the tar. I’m not in the mood.

Not in the mood. Not in the mood? Not in the MOOOD?? As the Aussies might say: "Yeah, nah, mate fuck that!" You gotta get back in the mood. After my little grump in the shade, and a chat about the sorry state of the rains with a masai mama carrying a bundle of grass she harvested from whoknowswhere, I saddled up for the slide to Oltepesi and on the way saw a tower of giraffe that perked me right up. Time for some real talk. What would I rather be doing today? Look at this place where I am! Check out this bike that keeps reliably kicking ass! Feel that hot African sun! No, my friends, let’s keep riding. You can rest when you’re dead.

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Above: Kit for an overnighter out on a day ride, but any ride is better than moping at home

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Above: Forcing a smile early on... not really in the braaaaping spirit, but get there in the end.

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Above: Nice little tower of giraffe with Mt Esekut behind near Oltepesi

The day was salvaged. I did hop the tar for a bit, but just so I could connect to the Mi46 track and do a few hellishly rocky loops over there that eventually kicked me out at Cona Baridi. Now I was sufferin' from a powerful thirst, and pulled into the Jordan Breeze to whet my whistle, but those muppets couldn’t find the key to the fridge (which in any case wasn’t plugged in), so I bailed on them and ripped over to Viti’s Bar on the new road to Suswa. The first beer went down like a homesick mole and inspired me to order another along with some mbuzi choma and chips. 500g of roasted goat and a plate of chips later and I was still keen to ride. So from there, I ripped Saikeri, Ewaso Kedong and the SGR back home. A tidy little detour that rounded out the day’s 250km of dirt, sand and rocks.... my holy trinity.

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Above: First the half kilo of goat went on the braai, then Mr Choma Man wrapped it in what looked like aluminium foil-lined paper bags and roasted it in the charcoal oven. They looked like concrete sacks to me, but what do I know?

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Above: My mid-ride feast. You gotta fight to get the meat off them bones, but it's worth it. Any vegetarians out there worried about the poor goat never met a goddam goat.

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Above: Feeling more like a biker now

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Above: After lunch, it was well-trodden tracks past Saikeri and this windmill that has been slowly collapsing for a decade… maintenance isn’t Africa’s strong point. The shameful state of that thing I swear...

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Above: And the nice looking trees on the Ewaso track… soon to be either fenced (and saved) or turned to charcoal I suspect. I kind of hate to see either, but there is no third way.

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Above: Past the town to the beginning of the SGR. The wheels didn't stop crushing stones all afternoon. Only took 35 minutes to ride the length of it up to the quarry.

I arrived home knackered and happy I didn’t let the day go to waste… we never know how many we have left.

Ride.

Ride.

Ride!
 

Heimer

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Brilliant. Best your farting mate stayed behind on his bug day.
 

Osadabwa

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Mau Escarpment Solo - In Deep

Another sunny day in Kenya! Plan this time was to rip down the tar to Mt. Longonot, climb it, and ride back on the rocks of the Kedong. A bit of cross-training to improve my fitness. Try to firm up this Dad Bod I've been cultivating lately. I set off after the school drop-off and was in Longonot in an hour flat. At the gate there was a lot of hubbub and I later found out it was because there was a bush fire in the crater which made some think Mt. Longonot, a long dormant volcano, was erupting… muppets. Anyway, I was getting dressed and realized I’d brought two t-shirts and no shorts to climb in (another muppet) which just meant I’d have to ride my bike all day! Braaaapy accident I guess!

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Above: First thing I did was hit the tar again for a bit before sneaking across the bush to the Naivasha S. Lake Road. I bee-lined it to the Ranch House for a big breakfast to power my day.

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Above: Eggs Florentine and a cappuccino anyone? I guess BMW riders would call it a day at this point...?

My plan was to wing it. I didn’t have my GPS because I wasn’t planning to ride new stuff, so I set out to climb as high as I could into the Mau Escarpment between Naivasha and Narok. I took the usual track out of Kongoni and got myself onto a nice path pointing up. A kid herding some heavily loaded donkeys coming down said: “No way in Hell, Mzungu” or something to that effect. As they passed, the donkeys nearly knocked me and the bike off the trail. Dismounting, I hiked ahead a bit and sure enough… very steep, very narrow. I had to lay the bike on her side to turn around (my inner Jarvis was overruled by my actual skill level… there was a precipitous slope to one side with a soft shoulder) and backtracked out of there.

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Above: Leaving Lake Naivasha behind

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Above: The start of the promising but ill-fated track

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Above: My turn-around spot. I’m glad I met the donkey guys here. It was wide enough for my graceless retreat

Unbeknownst to me, there were folks down below watching my travails. They waved me down as I passed by and directed me to the track I sought. A lovely, decent road that switchbacked up the face of the escarpment and popped out by a duka with a large, grassy viewpoint. I stopped to take a pic and the lady of the duka told me her place is a perennial launching point for paragliders who come to take advantage of the updrafts. She's looking for a Western sponsor if anyone is interested. I, sadly, had to decline.

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Above: The paragliding spot high about Lake Naivasha

I was bimbling along enjoying the sunshine and cool air (nearly 3000M up there in places). My plan was to descend to the Narok Road, hopefully on interesting new tracks. The one I was on had a lot to say for itself. There was nobody around and the views were huge. Of course the reason the views were so large is that the area, now a huge grassy meadow, used to be dense indigenous forest. Sometime, somebody came through and clear cut it down to the stumps. Oddly, nobody seems to do much with the land now either. It’s a shame and a waste, and an environmental disaster. The watershed that the trees once held on this escarpment has been badly affected and now rivers in Masai Mara dry up for parts of the year as a result. We can blame climate change for the real affects its having here and everywhere else, but local mismanagement is the primary cause of coming suffering in Kenya.

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Above: The Mau Escarpment forest… RIP

Farther down the hill, I had my eye on a parallel ridge I wanted to climb to. I thought I could see a decent road over there and started asking boda riders how I could get there. They wanted money to take me, but I just wanted them to point and I’d go have a look. Eventually somebody pointed straight down into the valley between the ridges and I blindly went for it. It would be an interesting experience.
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Above: Hmmm… pretty steep going. Can’t quite see what I’m getting into down there either. A man herding cattle came by and told me it would be fine, but he was one of those meek rural folks who would probably agree that you could ride up a tree. I was skeptical, but also committed, so I pressed on.

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Above: Farther down, the path is still descending. I can see the road I want on the other hillside but I have to get there first.

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Above: The cattle path descends to the river. Some guys on the other side of the river were telling me it’s fine, but was starting to think I’m being punked.

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Above: I’d have to ride down there and then go around the corner to the left. Too far to walk it, so I went for it. I reasoned there are enough guys here to lift me and the bike out if need be. Just a matter of how much to pay ‘em.

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Above: The river was a trickle but there were logs in it that made it more tricky. Then there was the matter of climbing out the other side. It was steep my friends! But the soil had grip for days and the Pig has low end grunt to match, so I made it no problem. It's sections like this that make not having an e-start exciting. You've got to clear it! Makes you a better rider no doubt.

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Above: Triumphant Piggy

That was about enough excitement for the day, so I began to pick larger tracks to take me back down to the Valley floor. They’re all good choices. The main tracks are more beat up, so eventually I ditched down a secondary option that wound past villages and fields to the Narok Road.

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Above: Stopped to let a pickup go ahead of me… he couldn’t hear me behind him and the cloud of dust was impenetrable. Nice shady spot for a break. Notice the maize fields going straight up the hill in the back. When it rains hard, all that soil goes into the rivers, then into the lakes… and we wonder why the lake levels have risen...

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Above: Farther down and closer to Narok the agriculture is fodder and grain focused. Larger tracts and commercially prepared. This is a wheat and barley area, and apparently some sort of grass fodder as well.

I kicked out on the tar between Seyebei and Ntulele, ripped into Ntulele for a quick White Cap Lunch and then zipped down to the SGR to take me home. By now I was made of jelly. The SGR which is rough at the best of times was trying to kill me today. I only paused to have a look at the place that messed up my foot a few weeks back.

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Above: Quick road soda at the SideView Bar in Ntulele

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Above: Just a couple of cocks

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Above: Site of my foot injury. I misjudged the depth of this rut. As I came in with speed, the suspension would have compressed, slamming my foot and footpeg into this concrete-hard dirt, twisting it back and smashing it into the swingarm. Again, thank goodness I was wearing proper boots: Sidi Crossfires to the rescue.

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Above: Home at 4pm. It was 300km and 7hrs of riding.

You just can’t beat it!
 
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