Where the Rubber Met the Hot Hard Tarmac

Half Way Cycle 2018: Day 1 CITAM Woodley to Aloe Park, Naivasha Distance Cycled: 100 KM

This is a continuation of How My Maiden Cycling Adventure Unfolded. For the next one week I will be sharing what happened during my maiden 500 KM bike ride to raise funds for my work with boys in juvenile prison.

half way cycle day 1
Rev Jesse Mwai poses with the Half Way Cycle Team before our flag off from CITAM Woodley Photo: Tony Mejja

Wednesday 12th, 2018

Earnest, Craig, Kevin, Cynthia and I woke up at 5 am. We called Elisha and begun preparing out. Exactly at 6 am, Sam Kibiko called and asked where we were. I immediately knew he had arrived at CITAM Woodley.

This being so, I didn’t have time to take breakfast. Elisha and I strapped the spare bikes on the bike carrier and left for church. 15 minutes later, we arrived in church where we found Sam waiting. When Nyawira joined later on, we knew our cycling team was complete. All we had to do was find Rev Jesse Mwai.

By the time we found him, a small crowd of the people who support Lifesong Kenya had gathered. They had come to witness and support our flag off. I saw Mary Kariuki, Hillary Mugadia, Jeff Owino, Wilter Kerubo and many other people who had not supported us in the past.

Seeing them gave me a huge life.

Where the Rubber Met the Hot Hard Tarmac

Lifesong Kenya programs
Seeing Mary Kariuki and Hillary Mugadia come to see us off lifted my spirits

After the prayers were over and Rev Jesse Mwai flagged us off, I took a deep breath and started pedaling. We were off for our maiden 500 KM cycling. 3 KM into the cycling, we made a brief stopover at our shop.

During our stopover, we chatted with our neighbours who now believed we had been serious about cycling to Kisumu. After the brief stopover, we cycled towards Kikuyu Town via the Southern Bypass.

Jeff and Wilter drove ahead of us while Cynthia and Craig followed behind. We had a cushion and enjoyed it while it lasted because Jeff would only drive to Kikuyu Town then leave us.

Knowing my fitness levels were not up to par, I knew I was going to struggle. A lot. However, I didn’t think much about the 500 KM lying ahead of us. All I knew was that I was grateful to be leaving each kilometre behind as we kept cycling.t

Brief break at the Rift Valley View Point

when the rubber met the hot and hard tarmac
Driving down the Mai Mahiu Road isn’t for the fainthearted and now I was whistling down into the valley Photo: Craig Oloo

The hot blazing sun beamed on us. Judging from the heat, you would think there were two suns shining down on us! Luckily, the drop on Mai Mahiu Road provided relief from the brief brutality we had gone through Thogoto Hills.

I had driven down the Mai Mahiu Road several times and had never imagined cycling down the same drop. Now I was flying down the hills and taking sharp corners while overtaking lorries and petrol tankers.

My teeth rattled while my wobbly knees knocked against my bike’s frame. It was a minor miracle that I managed to stay balanced on the bike. To say I was scared would be a blatant lie.

Lunching and rushing to the toilet

half way cycle lunch
Our first Half Way Cycle lunch was the beginning of record that I maintained for the next 6 days/ Selfie Photo: Cynthia Wendo

Our first lunch resulted into a mini disaster that sent me rushing into the toilet. It was something that I did after every meal for the next six days. The moment food hit the walls of my stomach I would feel a sudden splitting stomach pain.

It soon became a joke, a guarantee that I would rush to the toilet the moment I swallowed my first bite. Luckily, none of the team thought of turning my predicament into a betting spree. I kid you not, none of them would have lost!

One day – a month before the cycling – I was diagnosed with h pylori. According to the WebMD website, about two-thirds of the world’s population has H. pylori in their bodies. The H. pylori doesn’t cause ulcers or any other symptoms in most people.

I had never about this infection and didn’t know that its medication would prevent me from training and preparing for our Half Way Cycle event. The medication was meant to last a whole month. I had taken the medication for two weeks when I decided to flush the rest of the medicine down the toilet.

The decision to quit taking the medication and trust God for a miraculous healing happened when my wife and I were attending Travis Greene’s concert in Nairobi. Though I was rushing to the toilet after every meal, I kept trusting God for my complete healing.

Arriving in Naivasha Town

Naivasha GK Prison
Naivasha GK Prison at last

Our team finally arrived at the Naivasha GK Prison at 5 PM. It was going to be the first prison where we were going to conduct our first activities. It was also going to be the first time that we were going to do so outside Nairobi.

After meeting the prison officials, we went in search of the Aloe Park where we were going to have dinner and sleep. It was evident that God had prepared a splendid table before us. We felt right at home. It was also a huge sign of good things to come during and after our maiden 500 KM cycling event.

This is how my maiden cycling adventure unfolded continues tomorrow

Naivasha Town
Sam Kibiko introduced us to his wife’s family and it turns out the dad had worked in prison

Talking to people about the Half Way Cycle
Talking to a mother and her children about the Half Way Cycle fundraiser during our break
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