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The long way home

Jincheng JC200
10 September 2020
The Makueni Twist
24 September 2020
By Abdi Zeila, posted on AMD fb

Marathon run, from the western rainforest to the northern deserts

Kakamega – Garissa

in one day (920 kilometers)

Route: Kakamega-Webuye-Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet-Marigat-Nakuru-Nyahururu-Nyeri-Sagana-Kutus-Embu-Mwingi-Garissa

Solo ride
Refueling stops: Kabarnet, Embu
Fuel consumption (average): 21.5 kilometers per litre

About the route: Took me from 1,800 m above the sea level (ASL) upwards to 2,700 m ASL and then all the way down to 30 m ASL.

The Kakamega-Webuye section is in very good condition.

Very beautiful highway for riding – if you avoid hitting the harambee bumps, that is. A final layer is asphalt is being added by the contractor. When finished and marked, with its wide sweeping curves, this will be a great highway for fast riders.

Webuye-Eldoret road as usual was full of trucks.

You can only manage an average speed of about 60 kph. In my early morning ride, I had to avoid jaywalkers and drunk fellas zigzagging their way across the road. I arrived to a rousing welcome in Eldoret, organized by that band of brigands also known as “team boda boda”. Their chairman appropriated my bike and asked his flock to take a gazillion photos of him on a beast. I took the cue – and took a photo too. He is in one of the photos below.

Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet-Marigat highway (the so-called C51) was the star of the course.

Extraordinary switchbacks. Very little traffic. A pitstop in Kabarnet for fuel. Fuel consumption was an extraordinary 22.9 km/L. I galloped on ahead, with a one-hour lunch stop at that small legendary village, Koriema, where the local goat meat delicacy tastes heavenly. There is a great, beautiful place called Koriema Resort. I had lunch of ugali with nyama choma and chilled juice. I gorged myself. Fortified, I took off, on the winding road towards Marigat.

Uneventful lonely ride to Nakuru

and then branched off the highway to Nyahururu. It started rainy, heavily. The GS somehow has a face of protecting the rider from the elements, and I coped well. This stretch of the road (Nakuru-Nyahururu) was the hardest to ride, courtesy of the huge potholes and uneven surfaces. The highway to Nyeri is in good condition, but I easily counted over 30 major potholes coming up dangerously. The drivers on this stretch were the most reckless I have met so far – overtaking on the blind corners without a single pang of conscience. Breathtaking uninhabited land all the way to Mweiga, where human habitation takes over. I could see signs of high-end accommodation, going by the phalanx of signboards.

Another stop in Nyeri for coffee at a total petrol station

I was approached by a middle-aged in cap, who introduced himself as Ismael. The first thing he said was [looking at my bike]: “hii kitu ni kubwa kuniliko mimi”. I answered back: “hapana, ndugu. Kama mimi, mwembamba hivi, nimeiweza, sembuse wewe.” We chitchatted for a while. He drives a 40-year-old (my estimate) Peugeot 504 sedan – albeit well kept. I congratulated him for his obvious TLC of his machine.

I took off and headed on the scenic route out of Nyeri.

I encountered the usual madness in Karatina, but I put on my hazards and lane split until I flushed past the flustered motorists. Took a left turn at Sagana and stopped in Embu for fuel – the fuel warning light had come on, 400 kilometers after the first refueling stop (Kabarnet). I hit the road after ablutions and prayers. It was now heading past 6 pm and I scrammed out of town and zoomed all the way on the winding B5 highway, past the giant hydroelectric power dams. At Kanyonyo, I turned left on the A3 and pushed the machine, keeping a constant 110 kph.

Part of the A3 is under reconstruction and is unmarked

and, potentially, a death trap for riders who do not know the contours and the peculiarities of this artery. Past Mwingi, I opened up the throttle and rode the long way home. Plenty of wildlife on the highway at night – elands, antelopes, hyenas, etc. I arrived in Garissa at 10.00 pm, the body having taken a beating, but safe and sound.

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