Sunday, January 11, 2015

Biking near Dol Dol

Peter biking down one of the granite slabs 
I had a day out before the work commenced with Peter and his brother on the bikes in an area I had not yet got to. I had always wondered what lies on the road beyond the army base which heads to the town of Dol Dol out on the Laikipian plateaux. We headed round there until the tarmac stopped and the red dirt roads began although it was more biking trails that I wanted rather than the now incredibly dusty B roads. 
Not far before Ol Jogi I spotted a large round granite dome in the distance with easy angled slabs all over it, looked perfect for some biking with nice looking single track paths winding through the bush to it. We headed off, immediately I had a puncture problem fixed and off we went, immediately Peter had a puncture this pattern repeated itself for most of the day. The acacia tree has a thorn on it like no other a ‘shock and awe’ thorn which will pierce your tyre, flip flop and trainer and I have had one through a wellie. The only thing safe seems to be a Land Cruiser tyre. Although there is one alternative of which I have a pair the Masai make their sandals from old car tyres which keep out the thorns good tip if you are a die hard flip flopper like me upgrade to Pirelli! 
Once we made the granite dome it had some great areas you could bike all over the dome which we met a local Masai man who took great curiosity in why my folks went up and down and proceeded to attempt to push all the air out before I stopped him. We carried on behind sweeping through nice single track through villages and over some great technical sections of granite ribs sticking out they where the only place free of the shock and awe thorn. Huge views of the bush spreading out makes it feel like a slice of the Africa people imagine at home. 
It was quiet in terms of people which was nice sometimes being the exhibit becomes a little wearing after time and its nice to have a spin without people jumping in the way to see what the Mzungu might offer. It was just me and a Kenyan colleague having some biking time which was nice. There where a few kids who came out but they where chirpy and just interested to see people in their neighbourhood and not to sure what it was we looking for or where trying to achieve. This is one of the big differences I have found, biking is perhaps the exception more than climbing, mountaineering, canyoning, or just going for a walk and camping out. These things are not really seen in the same way as home. I think perhaps to the everyday Kenyan trying to survive people cant really appreciate leisure pursuits as they are not part of the general survival of day to day living. Not being able to afford or swing a way of getting next years ski mountaineering set up is likely to cause me a panic attack at home, but sometimes sitting in the bush looking at raggedy kids with nothing to eat makes me think what that £1000 set up really is (excluding boots, skins, transceiver, probe shovel and the trip itself). A device to slide down hill on snow, not knocking it though its great and I would ski in the morning if it snowed although getting this years set up would be tricky here.

I have put together a few clips with Peter saying a few words on the biking and being an instructor with us. 

Instructor Peter from Dan Goodwin on Vimeo.