I have now lived in Dar Es Salaam for nine months. Dar is lovely but it is flat. It is also at sea level. When you ride here regularly you have no hills in your legs. In the UK I live in East Surrey on the North Downs. You can’t cycle for a mile without going up or down a hill. You get lots of hills in your legs. When I was in the UK for a few days in May I cycled over to Box Hill, which is on the route for the Olympic Road race next month. I did a few circuits up zig zag road and discovered much to my chagrin that, while I had no trouble getting up the hills, my speed had disappeared. So when I got back to Dar we started to look for rides with some hills. First, a group of eight of us we went up to Bagamoyo and back. My legs certainly felt the hills like they wouldn’t have a year earlier. And on a detour on the way back we found some dirt and sand so got in some off road Tanzanian riding as well. Yesterday we went in the opposite direction. We went into town and then headed outside and around the estuary that feeds the port. Then we headed back down to South Beach and followed the coast back into town. There were a few sharpish hills, nothing long, but I could feel my legs responding better. I road with Mark and Georgina, the two friends here who have done sections of the tour in the past. They did nothing but gossip about all the people on the tour (they did sections the same year and know lots of people in common). Good fun. Now all we have to do is find some altitude.