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ken4ord

[TR] Rwanda-Mt Kabuye MTB ride - Muzungu Express

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Trip: Rwanda-Mt Kabuye MTB ride - Muzungu Express

 

Date: 5/20/2007

 

Trip Report:

 

Mt Kabuye

 

Rwanda_009.jpg

 

 

 

So I have been eyeing this mountain for mountain biking or over a year, every time I pass by it. Mt. Kabuye is on the way from Kigali to Rhuengeri, in Rwanda. The mountain has an elevation of 2643m with a drop of 1000m, (3000 foot descent).

 

 

 

Most people around here are pretty content on riding the dirt road and call that mountain biking. The only other person around who really enjoys riding like myself was too busy, but luckily I had some friends visiting and when they saw the mountain it peaked their interest. By the end of there stay here they were stoked to give it a try, though a little apprehensive.

 

 

 

Now in order to make it more enjoyable I need to rope some drivers into going. This way they could shuttle us up the first 500m of elevation gain. Nienke and Mory volunteered, which Mike, Heather and myself were very happy about only having to pedal half of the ascent. They dropped us off on the road and were going to go to the base and do the hike up the mountain. The plan was to meet up on the summit.

 

 

 

Gearing up, Neinke and Mory looking on thinking we are nuts.

 

Rwanda_001.jpg

 

 

 

 

The ride up the additional 500m and across three other peaks proved to be easier than I suspected. I had always seen the single tracks across the front side of the hills, but it turned out there was a dirt road behind the hills and wrapped around to Mt. Kabuye. We find this out until we crossed the first peak on one of the single tracks that I had seen. Even that turned out not so back with a dozen or so hike a bike sections.

 

 

 

On the back side climbing away.

 

Rwanda_002.jpg

 

 

 

 

We eventually made it to the summit of Mt. Kabuye with in 2 hours, not too bad. We had figured it would take Mory and Neinke about 3 hours to make the ascent. So we kicked back ate and attempted to nap.

 

 

 

Kicking with our crew.

 

Rwanda_015.jpg

 

 

 

 

After 45 minutes waiting and not seeing Mory or Neinke, we figured we would make our way down. We figured worst comes to worst we would have more time to put back some beers down below. So we took off, on the initial part of the descent we decided that it would be better to stay off the trail, because it was so greasy. Hell, I already fell off of a 7 foot high terrace, bike and all, and that was going up hill.

 

 

 

The initial descent through the upper forest.

 

Rwanda_016.jpg

 

 

 

The initial part of the descent was followed by mainly 950m of single track descent except for a short section at the end of ride upon reaching the village. The trail was really greasy in sections, so I couldn't really open it up, but we still managed to put on a good show to the locals who definitely had never seen people riding bikes over that type of terrain. Eventually we came around to the frontside of the mountain and realized we didn't make the summit, but after looking at the maps I relize the mountain is actually three summits. In reality we were shy of the summit by 13m. Oh well next time.

 

 

 

Mike loving the single track, but wishing he had his bike here.

 

Rwanda_003.jpg

 

 

 

Mike getting chased by a local, with Heather in the background hot on his heels.

 

Rwanda_004.jpg

 

 

 

 

Heather and Mike loving the ride.

 

Rwanda_006.jpg

 

 

 

Mike making his way down a slick straight shot section.

 

Rwanda_008.jpg

 

 

Heather in the lead blazing by some locals

 

Rwanda_010.jpg

 

 

The descent took us about 45 minutes. There was fun tech sections, good jumps and few very small wheelie drops. I did manage one hip jump that was spectactular. We had kept it pretty mellow but we were at time hitting speeds at 35-45 especially on the straight aways. Well all that there was left to do was kick back and wait for Neinke and Mory to return.

 

 

 

Mutzig time while we waited to Neinke and Mory to return.

 

Rwanda_011.jpg

 

 

 

This ride by far was my favorite ride in Rwanda so far, nice people, beautiful views and great riding. The exposure on the mountain was intense, the picture never seem to capture how steep the hills are around here. All in all, just good times, can't wait to get back on the mountain again.

 

 

:brew: :brew: :brew:

 

 

 

A parting shot, the route we took went down the backside of the mountain and around the right side of the picture. We then traversed across the face below the forest and took the ridge down that is to the left of the major drainage on the face.

Rwanda_012.jpg

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Bikes, water, food, and the water of life :brew: apres da ride...

 

Approach Notes:

Up paved road to the NW of Mt. Kabuye as high as you can go and then cut right and continue climbing on dirt road along the backside of the mountain. Then single track most of the way down.

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ken4ord - I love how in all your TRs there is always a group of kids chasing or watching you. What an experience to be able to live where you are - keep posting stuff like this; it's awesome!

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ken4ord - I love how in all your TRs there is always a group of kids chasing or watching you.

i love how my twisted brain never fails to insert machetes in their hands either! :) christ, worse nightmare shit than any zombie-flick...

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not trying to be downer - i dig on his rwandan tr's too - i'm just saying that all i seem to know about that small nation stems from it's genocide of the last decade and that it creeps into anything i see from there

 

nice ride

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See any wildlife on these rides? I mean what would go faster, you on downhill at 35-45 mph or a cheetah?

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Nice TR and Pics, Ken. Looks like fun riding! How was the trail "slippery"? Just curious.

 

:brew:E

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Ivan- yeah the genocide is all people seem to know about Rwanda, it is sad, but that was 13 years ago. To be honest though it is a small just trying to get by. I don't think there is much history making material here. With that said there are a ton of countries similar in that regard.

 

Alpinfox- yeah those are banana trees. It is one of the main crops in Rwanda.

 

wfinely- It sometimes very tiring having people around you all the time. I have gotten to a place where I just except being surrounded as part of the experience, though sometimes it is annoying. One thing I have notice thoughjust the smallest amount of kinyarwanda goes a long way in creating an atmosphere where there is some mutual respect, especially with teenagers.

 

G-spotter- Hell there is way too many people to allow any other creature to live in those areas. As for a cheetah on a downhill descent, we might be about the same speed, but on the flats I would be dinner.

 

MisterE- The soil around here is clay in most areas, we had rain the night before so in places it was like riding on ice. Just a smallest bump could send your wheels sliding out from underneath you. Hence how I tumbled off of a 7 foot high terrace.

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