Did you know that according to a recent psychological study, cyclists have a ‘unique blend‘ of ‘intelligent generosity’ and the ‘cool’ factor? I only learned of this fact yesterday.
If only I had known about it sooner, maybe then I wouldn’t have been so quick to give up on cycling.
Well, at least I got in some good cycling adventures before I completely moved on from the sport. One of those adventures took place in the Aberdare National Park; home to the great African elephant, massive wilder beast, and the occasional hyena, leopard, baboons, and bushbucks.
Cycling on Grass in the National Park
The first thing you realize before you attempt to cycle through the Aberdares is that you will be cycling through the wilderness, on grass, and amongst various wild animals. Have you ever cycled on grass? It’s kind of like cycling on a blanket. It’s soft and effortless. Your bike just glides over the grass without so much as a hitch on the way. Now try cycling on grass and going downhill. It’s pure euphoria.
The scenery is amazing. There are so many different types of forests and at one point there is even a desert-like area where you get to ride on a dusty road. The pine forest allows you to enjoy a nice cool ride and the native forests (the ones with native trees and vegetation) allow you to enjoy the feel of riding through the African wilderness. The main roads seldom have 4-5 cars every 5 minutes, giving you the freedom to ride on the smooth roads of Ndaragwa.
The Halfway Point Waterfall
25 Km into the ride, we all made a pit stop at a waterfall. Leaving our bikes behind, we made our way down to the waterfall. 10 minutes later I find myself in front a cute little waterfall; untouched by man.
Although I did not see any wildlife, I did see a lot of livestock. Mainly sheep. Fluffy, white sheep everywhere. There were some grazing in the forest, some on the dirt roads and even some on the main roads outside the park. The sheep didn’t seem to care that they were grazing in wildlife territory. They didn’t even seem to be fazed by all the cyclists and people that passed by them. In fact, I almost knocked one of them with my bike because it refused to move out of the way.
It had been sunny since 7 AM that morning. But I guess the Aberdares has its own weather pattern. I was able to experience 3 different types of weather throughout my 5-hour ride through the park; I experienced a sunny and cool type of weather followed by a desert-like weather where the sun was scorching, and right after that, without notice, it began to hail and rain all at the same time.
Hail and 50 km
After 40 Km of cycling through the forest, my legs felt like they were about to turn to goo. And just when I thought that the situation couldn’t get any worse, it began to hail. I felt like I was being hit with rocks by a thousand spectators above me. Like I was being punished for doing this to my legs. Needless to say by the time I finished the last 10 Km of my journey, I was soaking wet and I was starving.
What an Experience
All in all, it was an amazing, bittersweet experience. It left me feeling like I had accomplished something, but at the same time like it had taken something from me; probably the strength in my legs…
Stay tuned for more articles on my cycling adventures and free to comment your thoughts below or hit me up on any of my social media accounts. Also, check out my other article on my hike through the Aberdares, if cycling is your cup of tea.