In my opinion, nobody is really born a cyclist or an engineer or part of any profession whatsoever. We all choose what we end up being, or if unlucky, it’s chosen for us. Personally I don’t think I was automatically born a cyclist. In my early days I had this dream of becoming a police man or joining the army. But then I was too short to imagine myself passing the then height test.Well, I grew up. Taller and brighter, I must add. And in high school when the flashy career names were being thrown around, who was I to miss out? Who did I want to be when I grew up? An aeronautical engineer, a pilot or a doctor. Sometimes I even said a poet (whether or not that would have paid my bills, I will never know).
So I never talked of being a cyclist or engaging in any cycling activities for a living either. Heck, I didn’t even know that cycling could pay! As a little boy, I had to learn how to cycle because it was necessary. I would be a faster messenger on the two wheels than on my two feet. I would be more aware of what I was sent to buy and not end up home with salt instead of flour.
I first learnt how to ride a bicycle when I was nine years old back in the rural areas of Kisumu. My father had a steel-framed single speed bicycle, commonly known as Black Mamba, and it was one of those items he highly cherished, so much so that nobody else could ride it. A few years after he died though, not only did it become a family property freely accessible by all of us but I was also just tall enough to attempt mounting it.
I would spend hours on the saddle (well, just the top tube which I could reach) making half revolutions but moving nonetheless. Picture this kid, just over 3ft tall with short legs straining to tame the black beast – Black Mamba. Sitting on the top tube for those long hours also had its way of tearing into my butt, but I couldn’t care less. I embraced the pain with the pleasure.
Flash forward, over 15 years later and I sit on a cushioned saddle, whistling to the winds and pedaling to my heart’s content. Where am I headed? Another random route I just cooked up. Sometimes it would be in some strange location with nothing but beaten tracks and the expansive countryside. Sometimes it would be in the depth of forests, whizzing my way between trees and bushes trying to figure out where this single track leads to.
But most times, I’m on the road to the next destination for Baiskeli Adventures. In which case, my bike would be loaded with camping gear and personal effects to last me a few nights away from “home”.
You see, I ended up a pilot yes. I “fly” my “plane” low everyday, you could say I’m down to earth. And any day I saddle up for another adventure; any day I point a place on the map and choose to go there. Every pedal stroke strikes a tune of joy in my adventurous heart because I don’t know what awaits ahead but I know the journey will be great. And I will sweat and curse… and sing and shout and wow…and wow a little longer at the beauty out there.
I don’t believe in sitting still. I won’t settle down in one spot. I have to shift my horizons and watch the sun rise from different directions of east. Maybe I was born a cyclist. Maybe I was born a wanderer, an adventurer, a thrill-seeker. Or maybe I just chose to be it. Whatever the case, Baiskeli Adventures now shape my life!