Half Way Cycle 2018: Day 3, Gees Inn, Nakuru to Kericho
Distance Cycled: 310.6 KM
Here’s a brief recap of Day 2.
The previous evening our team checked into the Gees Hotel in Nakuru in silence.
Going to see Bryan Awuonda’s project up in the hills had taxed and sapped our energy. Once we reached the hotel, the silence did not last long. We discovered the hotel was not able to serve us dinner. This being so, we had to walk through Nakuru Town to find something to eat before it got late.
At around midnight, Mike, Pastor Kimacia and Elvis, who have been supportive of our work since 2013, came to check on us. The rest of our cycling team had retired for the night. I had promised to wait for them and it was good to see them. Of course, the three of them burst out in praises and prayers as Pastor Kimacia raised his arms in the air.
“Oh Jehovah who has never been defeated,” he said, breaking into a celebratory jig. “We praise and give You thanks! We commit Hawi and the whole team into Your Capable Hands…”
Just like Liz Matilda, Mary Njoki, Rhoda Meli and Victoria Chebet the three of them were from a funeral. The fact that they took their precious time to check on us was reassuring. It was the perfect end to a long, tiring, disappointing and yet fulfilling day.
Rainwashed Tears and Roaring Through the Hills
Of course, we had accepted the explanation behind CITAM Nakuru not being able to host and give us meals. But their failure to ask men in the church to contribute towards our fundraiser hurt. And so did leaving the church empty handed.
Before leaving CITAM Nakuru, our team was advised to use the Elburgon route. I am still not so sure whether we avoided climbing longer hills or not. But I know that the hills we cycled were long, winding and the road was in a very bad state.
As we arrived in Elburgon the heavens opened up and rain began pouring on us. Much as the rain was intense, we had no option but to continue cycling. Everyone was in good shape and high spirits. Apart from Nyawira’s multiple tire bursts and punctures, she also ran into a Boda Boda rider.
Luckily, she was okay and we continued with our ride.
The rains kept pouring. The rain was a huge blessing to me, especially. It reduced my intake of water and the series of stops I had to make in order to drink up. It also came with something else. The friction between my seat and my cycling shorts was less.
The only problem I had came from my bike. It was a problem I thought Elite Bike Shop had fixed when we took our bikes for servicing and repairs. Each time it rained, my rear wheel refused to move freely. As a result, I had to pedal really hard for it to move. The gears were also clogged and I was really having a hard time.
Having to dig deep
If I was shedding tears, I was thankful for the rains. I was grateful to shed rainwashed tears and roaring through the hills. At this time, Earnest, Nyawira, Craig and Elisha were way ahead of me. Elisha kept asking whether I was okay and I shook my head.
I watched as a jet of rain water splashed from my helmet. No one understood the predicament I was in. I licked my salt infused tears and frustration and continued pedaling. When my chain fell off, not for the first time, I knew I needed a brief break. I had to get off my bike, even if it was for 3 seconds.
I can be stubborn – most times – and also know when to ask for help. At the time my bike chain was falling off, I was ahead of the pack. But the more it kept falling off, the more I got frustrated. I tried all I could to maintain the rhythm. At this point, Cynthia and Kevin were in the car. Up to this day, we can’t explain how Kevin was always the lucky one.
Since Craig and Kevin were sharing a bike, it seemed that Kevin was the lucky one. I had watched how he had ‘ordered’ Craig to continue cycling when Craig asked to trade places with him! I am saying this as a joke because we have laughed every time we have brought up this subject.
Getting bottles of water and Safaricom credit
So, Kevin and Cynthia were in the car, out of rain’s harm. The rest of us were getting soaked properly. Then… another chain drop. I got off my bike, set the chain and got on the saddle. I had hardly I pedaled one stroke when the chain fell off. The video clip below sums up how I was feeling. Do not be fooled. I was not going to throw in the towel without a fight.
With my chain falling troubles behind, we reached the Elburgon Assistant Commissioner’s office. It was the first government office we decided to visit. The assistant commissioner had just arrived at his office and was kind enough to listen to us.
He said we were doing a good thing and wondered why were had to cycle over 500 KM to raise funds. That’s all we got from him. He also gave each of us a 500 ML bottle of water and handed Cynthia 100 shillings.
“You can buy Safaricom credit and make calls,” he said. “That’s all I can give in support of your great and noble initiative.”
“Thank you,” we replied.
More climbs and hours later, we stopped for lunch. My stomach was still acting up. Immediately I finished lunch, I ran to the toilet. It was something that was to continue for the rest of the cycling event.
This is how my maiden cycling adventure unfolded continues…