M other nature can wake up in a bad mood or a good mood. She really doesn't care what mood you are in. Our plan to ride to Samburu from Diani had been conjured up hastily but it had a lot of passion and gusto to it.
In the end, 4 riders managed to commit to it and we converged at the predetermined meeting point, amidst dismal weather forecasts from an app that claims to be Accurate...the developers could be forgiven in their enthusiasm as once again, mother nature proved to be a fickle mistress.
The ride from Diani to Kwale town was uneventful as we were served up into higher altitude and thinner air amidst thunderous aftermarket exhausts and a wildly smoky DT, breaking the serene and tranquil calm of Kwale town. After a brief stop at Uhuru gardens to gather our blood cells and take stock of the rides, take some pictures and bask in the adoring eyes of random onlookers, we decided to thunder past and into the even quieter Shimbahills forest onto the fastest section of compacted dirt any biker will want to play on.
This section of dirt would be mistaken for tarmac as every motorized mechanical contraption we came across was flying full throttle in the other direction, albeit the fact that the suspension system receives no significant challenges. Our boisterous riding came to an unceremonious end when we encountered "the men in blue"...well, the man in charge was the one adorned in that grotesque blue regalia someone in government came up with...he is the one who "fortunately" stopped us...here's why. After a few questions regarding the legality of our existence on a public road, we came up wanting and were pronounced criminals under arrest, following the confiscation of my keys.
After a brief exchange with the others, i was called to the side by the main man....as fortune would have it, he hails from a neighboring Ward back home and he was more than delighted to hear his native tongue being used eloquently and a few landmarks to the homeland being mentioned. We were let go with a warning, and allowed to bugger along. The ride through the forest was easy, but after crossing the age old narrow one way bridge, the road became so unforgiving that it quickly exposed an chink in the two wheeled armor of one Haojin Fabio, making the chain snap and cause the ride to come to a precipitous halt, a shudder measurable on the Richter Scale.
Our initial plan to use a rubber rope was a hazardous endeavor, quickly abandoned for a stout nylon rope from a passing rider who was more than willing to help, provided we hand him back the rope at that shopping center, because, as the gods of torque would have it, he was headed to the same place, to the same mechanic, to address his own minor issue on his cantankerous temperamental looking steed.
In no time, a Haojin was towing a Haojin. The dead weight of the Fabio proved to be more hippo than baby elephant. After nearly side swapping a probox and almost going into ditches, the Haojin piloted by the brave Simon Chei Chege managed to get the Fabio in line and in motion. I rocketed past them and left them in the capable hands of the DT to prepare the mechanic ahead for what was incoming, reducing the time of repair and other complications. As soon as they were in sight, be had all tools in hand and came to their aid efficiently.
The scenery was bare and expansive, with slight undulations here and there plus ever so slightly enticing twisties here and there, but more American straight and pedestrian. It was only exciting because we weren't particularly in a hurry and the long winding curves presented some spectacular sights; the thing you only see in HD movies as riders lean into turns, revealing the expansive horizon and endless road ahead, bobbing up and down, wind blowing on the water starved grasses and bushes, as herds of cattle and goat graze in the thickets, with kids running along the road, exuberantly waving at the riders.
As Samburu appeared and we rolled in calmly, parking by the roadside to rest and ponder, it became clear that the maiden ride for the newly formed DIANI-KWALE Bikers Group had become a reality. We took a selfie as it is tradition and hoped it would eventually become a bigger group selfie. Mother nature, being fickle and all, had decided to change her mind again and bring down a little precipitation. The gathering dark cloud needed to be escaped. We gathered our gear quickly and left the town in haste. Luckily, we beat the rain by being speed monkeys and causing a racing ruckus all along the road.
The journey back proved to be traumatic to the Fabio as the rough section between Kinango and Kwale's narrow bridge claimed the foot gear change lever when the pilot came in hot and hit a pothole. He was stuck in gear 4 until we got to the same mechanic who quickly got another lever and welded it in place. By the time we arrived in Diani, the bikes were covered in red dust from Mars and our gear sprinkled generously with the same, but, our hearts glad. Hopefully, more will join in, and more will have happier memories.