Sunday, 18 August 2013

Riding with Ross Methven: day 8

Ross Methven is riding a bicycle from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently cycling through Tanzania and I am accompanying him on part of the Tanzanian leg. My Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, Yahoo, says cycling is one of the best training options for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Monday 5 August 2013
I was awake before 0500hrs, dozed off and was startled at 0635hrs and just barely made it out for our agreed departure time. Finding a place that had chapatis and tea ready at that time proved impossible. Hungumalwa does not rise up early.

We had a much stronger headwind throughout the day.

When we reached a point to ask for directions and road conditions on the dirt road from Bubigi to Shinyanga through Old Shinyanga, the first person discouraged us, saying it was a "rough road." He advised us to take the longer 60+ kilometre route on the main new highway to Shinyanga. I translated the advice to Ross and suggested we should seek a second opinion. "And even a third opinion," Ross added. We were on the same wavelength; going the long way was not an option.

On further inquiry, when the same cyclist we had sought advice from said the distance on the shorter route was only 25 kilometres, the 'debate' was closed; we decided we would cycle through the old shorter route. When cycling, the difference between 25 and 60 kilometres is monumental.

One thing about Shinyanga region - which I knew about - was its extraordinary cyclists. I witnessed, first hand, how women, men, girls, and boys routinely swiftly passed us as if we were at a standstill. They may be carrying less baggage but they do possess an edge over us.
If you want to donate to Ross' cause please follow this link:
At the outskirts of Old Shinyanga we were relieved to resume cycling on tarmac after more than four hours on the dirt road.
After a bumpy four hours on the dirt road, we were both relieved to resume cycling on tarmac.
Today, we had cycled the farthest distance yet, 62.5 kilometres.

Next: Shinyanga to Tinde

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