Charley Boorman in Africa, day 11

Posted on 31 August 2010

More haste, less speed

Someone said that they felt that the days were beginning to blur a little at the edges as one seamlessly fades into the other with similar distances and similar scenery. Certainly that was the case today, but in a bid to try something a little different I thought I’d try out a new technique Ross had guided me through last evening. Counter steering.

Should you be attacking a right hand bend, in most circumstances you roll with the curve. In counter steering you go against your instincts and turn the handlebars into the corner rather than with it. “˜Just give it a little bang’ Ross said. So I did. I wouldn’t say it was a “˜light bulb’ moment as it was on loose gravel, but certainly it makes cornering more positive. Raises the pulse rate a bit too!

That, in a nutshell, is one of the highlights of having a down to earth celebrity along. One who enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who have an interest and a question. In my case it was how to corner more positively on the loose stuff, but others too have been lining up for the Noble touch (and diagram)!

Today’s tough of drama was that nearly all the bikes (except the Adventures with a longer range) had fuel issues, and in some cases ran out. If that was the case, the only way is the African way. Wait in the shade of a tree for the support vehicle while local children came to investigate these strange spacemen.

A day then, of donkeys and carts, of small children edging closer to investigate then running off squealing with laughter. A day of slower speeds, of giant baobab trees and of small rustic villages clustered along the route. Lastly it was a day of sand traps and of finally reaching the Kavango River bordering Angola. Here local dancers enchanted, then gentle waters lulled.

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