Finally I am on my bike and rolling south.. we started off with a 16 km convoy out of Addis, a great warmup for me. I’m sure the early morning commuters loved us, blocking traffic and stopping people on the sidewalks to stare. It was exhilerating for me.. after all the preparation and travel and was finally doing what was once just an idea a few years ago.
I pretty quickly became known as the girl with the big tires : ) .. my tires were much fatter than anyone else on the tour. I thought the bigger the better to avoid flats and for a softer ride, but I guess my Big Apples were a bit of an overkill. Thank you to Scott for lending me some skinnier, lighter tires that I put on tonight which are much more appropriate for the pavement.
Still, the riding was beautiful and it felt good to stretch my legs after so many hours on planes the last few weeks. It was tough, I can feel I still need to get into shape, but I’m looking forward to 10 more weeks of checking out Africa from the seat of my bike. A perfect pace to see it all go by, you can notice changes in landscape and people and interact with kids as you whiz by (or, when climbing, as you crawl on your bike and they run beside you). I can see getting used to the rituals of camp will take a few days to get used to, but so far so good with gear, clothes etc. And everyone on TDA is very welcoming, helpful and all have a story to tell. Here’s to the first day on the road and many more to come…. – Kari