Saturday, 17 December 2011
Death by Mini Bus
It has been quite a week for me and the bike. Monday I left the banks of the Nile River, or where it's said to have its beginings for Mbarara, Uganda. By Wednesday, I had three bike dilemmas: I had yet another flat tire at the back, had dropped the bike twice, and was almost killed by a mini bus.
Back flats are the worst to fix: fitting bushings, brakes, the chain, and holding the wheel up while pushing the axel pin in place requires some serious focus... something I was running short of by the next day. The rain had started by then and I hadn't noticed that the locals were shuffling their feet along the road instead of picking them up to walk. My tires were like just waxed skies on ice! In first gear, the bike slid sideways leaving me behind to listen to the locals laugh as I lay in the mud! Ant there was the bike about 30 feet ahead of me.
The second time I dropped the bike, I had just forgotten about the whole kickstand thing for some reason.
The bus? Well, I was going about 60 mph on a dry, paved road, when an on-coming bus, going even faster than me, crossed the center line. Maybe I did, but it really wasn't a center line. We collided. The bus hit my pannier bag, bending the steal frames and ripped it off the bike, exploding its contents all over the highway. God was with me again and I stayed on the bike, but I have no clue how I stayed balanced. I am terrible at sports, and the hand /eye thing! Somehow I kept the bike up. (Probably from the experience of hitting a deer last year on the Harley.) Well the 20 or more on the bus decided that it was me trying to kill them by running my bike into their bus and that I needed to pay for damages to the bus. They called the police and the magistrate decided the matter. Mobs form fast in Africa and African justice is quick. It cost ME $270.00 for damages to the bus, and another $1.00 for the man and his 10 kids who collected my things from the road and stayed guard until I finished court with the bus driver and it riders.
I am not into facebook, but most of Africa is, so you have probably seen all the pictures, LOL. Also look for a used pannier bag on Ebay, I let the kids have it as my gift.