My name is Ogochukwu Abuah
The BIN Convention was my first out-of-Lagos ride. It was both tasking physically and mentally. There was a tiny part of me that was not sure if I could make it - I get tired easily. I hadn't been exercising and doubted my ability to endure. I knew the adrenaline in me would keep me going - but how far, I was not entirely sure. Friends who knew about the ride had pleaded with me not to go through with it as they were not sure I had the stamina and were genuinely concerned. They really could not get the need to ride all the way when there was no award or money concerned. Haha! Some even told me not to be ashamed to truck my bike if I got tired. Biodun warned me over and over again that "no one will go back to Asaba or Benin to get my bike o", yimu!!!. One thing was certain, I was not going as a pillion or in a mugu way, no way! Messages were sent in from people who had plied the Lagos-Asaba road recently and I made sure to digest it all.
Three nights to the ride, I could not sleep and it only got worse. What was happening to me? I needed my sleep and I could not get it. On Wednesday, I made sure I did not stress myself as I was setting out on Thursday. Made sure my bike was good to go, stayed away from my phone as much as possible, tried to sleep during the day (such pretense), and forced myself to eat. I needed to be in the best form. The moment came and we were ready to roll. I rode with one person (Biodun) so as not to slow the GFMC crew down, also, group riding is not something I am quite used to just yet. The smaller the number the better. Bearing in mind that road users on the highway are on a different level, we set out at 6:10am. I had my frozen drinks in my bag and I was good to go. It was at that moment I remembered and sang all the gospel songs I knew in my head.
The ride to Ijebu-Ode via Epe road seemed unending and I was getting tired because I was in pain. My helmet never felt so tight and my head was on fire. Like that wasn't enough, for some reason, I realized how loud my bike was, damn! My ears couldn't take it and in my head I kept saying "who sent me"? Getting to Ijebu-Ode was such a relief. We met some bikers at the petrol station and I wondered how they got there so fast. (mumu wondering). I had a sip of my "heavenly" drink and I felt refreshed. No pain from my helmet and my ears were fine, whew. There was traffic from Ijebu-Ode to Ore at intervals and in some twisted way, I liked it - no cars competing with me on that bad road, whoop! However, I have to give it to the truck drivers, they were exceptionally nice. They gave me room to maneuver, what joy! These people are not so mean after all... There was this Hearse transporting a casket that decided to chase us and I was a bit concerned.Someone joked that the driver had sold the cadaver that was meant to be in it, thus, needed a replacement. Thank God it wasn't any of us.
Next stop was Ore. We filled up our tanks, hydrated and moved on. It was smooth sailing from there. I opened up and made sure not to get carried away. By that time my palm had started to ache, blisters had formed, sigh. Got to Benin and stopped just before the bypass where some ERMC guys were chilling ( same ERMC guys had sped past us and I asked myself when I'd reach that level of expertise). Not knowing how to connect Agbor road via the bypass, Biodun and I contemplated waiting for the GFMC crew or roll with the ERMC guys. Luckily for us, Reginald Nwosu (Reggie) decided to ride with us as he knew the way. I was glad we didn't have to wait cause I didn't want fatigue setting in.
Last stop was on the outskirts of Asaba. David Brown bought biscuit for us to share and the guys pretty much cheered me on. Finally we got to Asaba. Got to the hotel thanks to Dr Prescott where we met the early birds. After which it was meet and greet all the way.
The following day (Friday) was the ride to Abraka. Biodun had advised me against riding as I needed all the energy for the ride back. Thank God I did not as the rain that day was something else.
Biodun & Ogo (Picture by Jay)
On the return ride to Lagos, I was much more confident and aware of my immediate surroundings so the ride was not as demanding as the first leg of the trip. I rode with Chris, Biodun and Reggie(from the Benin By Pass). Jay met us on the Epe exit from the Ijebu Ode express and covered my rear all through to Ajah. I know how difficult it must be to ride slower than your average speed and for this I am eternally grateful to these guys. I experienced first hand the love bikers talk about all the time. This is to many more rides.
A big shout out to all the bikers that taught me, rode with me,supported me. Special mention to Chris, Reggie, Jay.
By: Ogochukwu Abuah