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.
I have noticed that Singida region has far fewer cyclists than Dodoma region. For Singida it is understandable. It has extremely strong winds and is the site of the proposed wind-to-eletricity generation project.
At Bahi I told Ross I felt it necessary to supplement the chicken soup I had in the morning with tea and two chapatis.
Along the way Idd Maalim of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) called me several times to find out our progress. He informed me members of Dodoma's cycling club would ride and meet us at the outskirts of Dodoma.
When I stopped next to a huge Baobab tree at the top of a long descent Ross, who had cycled ahead as usual, called me to say he was having lunch with the mayor of Dodoma. That was a pleasant surprise. Dodoma was still 35 kilometres away.
When I reached Cigongwe Ross was seated at the compound of the mayor of the city of Dodoma, Emmanual Mwiliko. Earlier, the mayor saw Ross across the road and approached to find out whether he needed some help. Ross responded he was looking for a place to buy lunch. The mayor then invited Ross to have lunch at his house.
While waiting for lunch cooked by the mayor's wife four cyclisys led by Joshua Malanda (53) from the Dodoma cycling club whizzed past on the road ahead trailing behind a truck.
Later Idd Maalim interviewed us at the mayor's residence for the evening's television news. we reached Dodoma in the early hours of the evening and lodged at Ulanga Guest House.
My trip was over, for the moment. In 18 days of cycling I had covered an unprecedented 853.2 kilometres. Prior to this trip I had not cycled more than 10 kilometres.