In Dar Es Salaam we have two rainy seasons: a short rainy season in November and December called the small rains and a longer rainy season in March, April and May called the big rains. When I went out for a ride mid-morning yesterday it was bright and sunny but soon started to cloud over and then grow dark. I was riding along the coast road when the rain hit. It was preceded by an onshore wind that almost blew me off my bike. Hard on the heels of the wind came the rain, a tropical thunderstorm wall of water that reduced visibility to a matter of meters and dropped the temperature from 38C to 26C (according to my Garmin) in minutes. A brilliant way to cool down. I cut inland to get away from the wind and turned downhill into a small hollow. By this time it had been raining for less than ten minutes and there was already four inches of water at the bottom of the hollow. The roads simply could not drain the water quickly enough. Fantastic stuff.
When I went through London on my way back to Dar last week I picked up a couple of sets of marathon plus tires that I had ordered – a set of 28s and a set of 42s. I already had 35s on the bike. Before my ride yesterday I tested them on the bike. My rims are 18s but can take larger tires. It was fiddly though. I discovered that you have to be really careful with the 42s. I exploded a tube on the first one I put on. I had put the tire in and just pumped away. Bang! The tire escaped the rim, the tube did a hemroid and popped. You have to pump slowly, make sure the tire fills evenly and stays inside the rim. No problem. I put the 28s on for my ride and was very pleased with the grip in the rain.
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.