Fifth of July / by Walter Kitundu

It's a lovely day in Northern California. The sun is shining and for once I haven't even considered the temperature. The KLX is awesome and the commute to and from work today was great. The trail wings are great on the Pacific Coast Highway's freshly paved surface and even the holiday traffic wasn't a bother once I realized the bike likes to live in its upper register. Overtakes were simple and direct. This bike is what I'm pinning my Africa hopes on. It may be 5-7 years from now but everyday it becomes a sliver more real and I can picture the reality of what is now just a dream, an inkling. I can smell the dirt and feel the uncertainty of police checkpoints and the silence of roadside stops, helmet off in the heat, birds and distant traffic, footfalls and Maasai kids staring me down. And that is just one moment in a litany of moments in one country on one continent.

I still have to learn how to fix my bike and learn Kiswahili and get to Alaska and Panama and Tierra del Fuego. But for now the dream is enough. I have some badass overalls coming to me from Mondo Enduro's own Austin Vince in the colors of the Tanzanian flag (courtesy my sweetheart) and I can picture myself riding the dunes in the Namib desert in them... that really is enough for now. More messing with the bike, more riding, more obsessing. I may be married with kids by the time I go but I know it will make me a better man. A stronger man. A more generous and considered man. And it will put my "home" in context. It will allow me to take the quotes off the word home and feel connected like I ought to. I am Tanzanian after all. Mimi ni mwafrica. Kabisa.