My story is going to be a little different from the many ladies here as hiking is not my number one activity. I am a biker and am mostly on my motorbike riding to anywhere and everywhere.
I was born and brought up in Nyeri central Kenya. Grew up with my 3 sisters in the country side. Growing up, I had one dream, to have 5 kids and be a home maker, sounds funny right? I was not the career woman. Then life handed me a different package. I got divorced 14 years ago and I had to reorganize my life again. Two kids, no career and not much to show for my life at the time.
As a little girl, I once saw a motorbike with a cousin’s friend when I was visiting them over the school holidays. I thought that was so cool and I loved the thought of riding such a machine but that thought was short lived. I was only 10 years and the thought left my mind almost as soon as the bike left. However, later in life I got to see bikes and cars and everything came back. I began my moto love with Safari Rally. I was mentored by Azar Anwar but I never got in to competitive rally.
When I turned 40, the kids were now big, I had managed to reorganize my life and was making a descent income. I had more time and some money for me. I searched online using Facebook on where to train as a motorbike rider. I got connected to a good instructor and started my lessons. On lesson one, I informed my instructor I wanted to buy a motorbike immediately. He helped me source for a secondhand bike. I settled on one on my second lesson and paid for it. It’s been two years of riding and now looking forward to our world tour.
I ride almost daily to work, shopping, meet friends, visit family, adventure or travel for that matter. I have been to Kisumu, Nyeri, Nyahururu, Naivasha, Nakuru, Magadi on my bike locally. I took a longer trip in July, 2017 to Tanzania crossing border to border from Namanga to Kingoma (Lake Tanganyika). I returned to Kenya via Mwanza through Isebania border.
I met my husband on a motorbike and this is the best place the motorbike has taken me – riding to each other’s’ heart.
We are now planning a world tour on our bikes from 2nd July, 2018 which will take us 3 years and passing through all the 7 continents and more than 50 countries.
I am not good with outdoor exercise but I have had my share of hiking and although I don’t do it often, every experience has been amazing.
I remember two of my best hikes.
One is when I did Mt. Longonot with my family. The highlight of the hike was that my son was 4 years at the time but climbed all the way up to the crater. We were however, denied permission to go round the crater because he was too young for it but that was a mommy’s moment of pride.
The second one is recent and I did it in Tanzania at the smallest National park called Gombe. Gombe National Park is Tanzania’s smallest national park, but its famous primate inhabitants and its connection to Jane Goodall has given it worldwide renown. Many of Gombe’s 100-plus chimps are well habituated, and though it can be difficult, sweaty work traversing steep hills and valleys, if you head out early in the morning sightings are nearly guaranteed.
As well as chimp tracking, you can take walks along the lake shore, and go and see Jane’s old chimp-feeding station, the viewpoint on Jane’s Peak and Kakombe Waterfall.
And I just did it. The best part of this is that the only way to the National Park is through taking a boat ride on Lake Tanganyika for about 2.5 hours.
Hiking always reminds me of how I should get to do more. However, riding a motorbike has been more impactful to me. There is nothing that compares to the feeling I get when riding. I have my world, freedom and control.
To my fellow Women…
It is beautiful to be a lady, a mom, a sister, an untie a care giver for everyone. I would never want to be anyone else other than a woman. However, it is absolutely fulfilling to be able to be the above and be you. Whatever you love to do, do it and do it well. Be it Sports, arts, music. Do it and do it well.
I would love to see myself hike more and now that I am going to be out there in the world, it will be either my bike or my two feet and so I look forward to doing some more hiking.
I look forward to seeing many more women join in. Hiking gives you much more in terms of fitness, engaging with nature, fresh air, space to reconnect with you, meeting and making new friends. It’s a wonderful networking opportunity as well without business cards and boardrooms. There are a million reasons why we ladies should get out together more often and take up such activities. Long gone are the days of chamas where we ate more and more.