Sunday, August 24, 2008
Mt. Biking at 100 jpm and 100 spm
Today I had my first opportunity to try out Eric's Mt. bike. I had brought my bike shoes and pedals from home and even though I am a good 6" taller than him ,his bike was a good fit for me. Bustani House is at about 4500' and you have to ride on a dirt road for about 2 km to the main road which is paved. When you hit the main road it is mostly down hill to the town of Sanya Juu at 3600' . So I'm flying downhill and feeling real strong when suddenly a man in his 30's and wearing a cowboy hat passes me. You can figure what happens next. The old [ and I mean real old] testosterone kicked in. No African cow poke on a heavy 3 speed push bike was going to put this 'merican hot shot to shame. There I was in my lycra, and on a light weight mt. bike with clipless pedals. I was not to be denied. I kicked into a higher gear and and soon I was gaining on him . He looked back and he could see he was in trouble. I blew by him so fast all he could feel was the surge of wind and a cloud of dust. Was I hot,you bet!
On the return trip I was going up hill but this gave me more time to wave and greet people. I figured I was getting about a 100 JPM[ jambos[hello] per mile] and SPM[ smiles per mile]. I am sure I amused them since there are very many mzungus [white people] in the district and none of them bike ride. In this rural area there are very few cars so people either walk or ride bikes. Tourist rarely go there and only rarely did I get the MMM [Mzungu means money]palms up from people. So I'm cruising along and you guessed it. A young man about 15 or 16 speeds by me. He's real thin. How thin? A sneeze would knock him over. How thin? When he turned sideways his shadow disappeared. So I say to myself " No bean pole whipper snapper is going to out race the "Mighty Mzungu". " Like before crank it up. At first I gained a little , then he gives me "the LOOK". You remember the LOOK, when Lance Armstrong turn back to see Jan Ullrich just before dropping him on Alpe du Huez in the Tour de France. It was steely eyed with daggers and flames shooting out. Then the kid switches to overdrive and as hard as I try he is putting more and more distance between us. Finally I hit the wall and I'm toast. The "Less than Mighty Mzungu" is humbled in defeat. But he better watch his tail, there is always a next time!