Friday, December 15, 2017

Ride with Jet - Nigeria Chapter 1


I know people will say "it’s been a while" lol... yeah that’s right, there is so much to be achieved in our country to survive but we were called out by a fantastic experience of our own "JET", the Honda (CBR 1000 RR) rider.

JET

 15 working days annual leave was all I got from work after years of working. (One of the adversity of working in a Hospitality Industry.) Plan was to enjoy my passion in another country (Nigeria), visit riding mates & friends whom I have known on social media and whatsapp platforms for years, love ones, tour Nigeria if necessary as it was the first and finally attend the BT race in Benin City(Capital town of Edo State-Nigeria).It was the first ever Nigerian superbike race on track)-Didn't want to be left out.
Had and planned for only a week stay in Nigeria from 19th to 26th Nov with BT on 25th Nov.
Saddled up with basic tools...first aid kits...rain gear and ready to hit the road 6am on Sunday the 19th already gave me goose bumps. Sure the excitement of travelling on two wheels didn't make me sleep as I was awake all through the night passing through the hour hands and seconds tick of time. Soon it was morning and time was 5am, alarm sounded alright but was I even asleep?.... lol (Bikers can relate).

Had a quick shower and started wearing protective gears from leather pants....Spine protector...leather jacket, Boots, gloves all from Dainese my favourite brand and a Shark Absolute RSR helmet with clear visor for higher visibility.As planned and at exactly 6am. I had moved from home (Accra - Ayimensah) on my 2010 Honda CBR 1000rr fireblade sports bike aka *Black Angel 2*.(Fully serviced and ready for The trip).


The morning breeze while wheezing through the air with air dashing through perforated holes into cooling the body was the mark of a sweet morning ride. Happy and gliding along the Tema motorway, heard a sharp cracking sound and engine went off. What could this possibly be? Mind started rolling; knocked bearings, torn engine chain, broken or chipped off sprockets, bend valves.....well let's stop and see what it is. Pulled off on the side of the Tema Motorway.


Started diagnostic checks and all initial thoughts were intact. Started engine again and it responded but unable to idle. Tried again and battery gave up on me. I knew the Black Angel 2 could no longer continue the trip. Placed helmet behind the bike on the floor (code of showing sign of a biker in distress - need assistance) My abled mechanic Sixtus Deffoe wouldn't pick up. So I resorted to my confidant Fiifi Hayden, call him @ midnight and he will be there for you. While waiting for him, FitzGerald rolled in with Derry also heading Lagos same morning. This was around 7am. Initially I was already getting worried but rather gave thanks to God like they always say.


With Jumbo Jet at home. I knew I was sorted.
Wondering who is Jumbo Jet?..... read on.


Had to allow Fritz to proceed so I can join later because I couldn't waste their time as they had plans to hit Lagos same day and continue with other activities. Shortly the venomous flashy cobra-look eyes drew nearer...it was Fiifi aboard the 2014 kawasaki Z1000 announcing his presence with his SC project motoGP exhaust  🙈. The sound gave me hope of rescue. Truly he towed me home through East legon, Madina, Adenta to Oyarifa down to Ayimensah.


Was that the end of the trip?....No.


JumboJet (2015 Honda CBR 1000rr REPSOL EDITION) took up the mantle and said Jet *"hit me up"*. Preparation and Documentation for JumboJet pushed clock to 1pm. While leaving Accra township it was almost 1:30pm. Naija here we come still. Swift JumboJet got me to Aflao at 2:45pm. Wowwwwwwwwww!!!


Border formalities with my border guru name sake Thomas crossed me over to the Togo side by 3pm. Waiting for my brother from another mother; Humble George's of AMT showed up around 3:30pm
Youki cocktail drink was the order of the wait. Just about setting off from Lome...the family grew bigger with Dodo another sweet brother Captaining Eddy Dia & Nengimote (Both Nigerians) who had been on the streets for almost 5 days...touring West Africa adventurously heading to Ghana (Their final destination). It was a family reunion.. took few pictures and wished each other well. Less than one hour, Georges had gotten me to Togo / Benin border (Hillaconji). Border formalities smoothly executed for both sides by Humble Georges without paying a dime. Sweet Benin Road was not stressful....Google maps.... Asking direction....and Following directional road signs was an act of staying on track.

Then Said Olaochebikan  😍 showed up after about 1hour ride into Benin heading towards Cotonou......Merhn bikers are just awesome. Gave me senior escort....bought fuel....helped me exchanged money into Naira & Dollars and finally took me to Owode border(Benin/Nigeria border). Wow....we were in Nigeria at about 7:30pm after 15mins of border formalities. (Quick).

This is where the real adventure started. The road linking Owode border to Badagry was extremely bad that one could only do 40km max. Fingers and foot on brake through the dark night road. If I am not exaggerating we passed about 20 combined military...Navy...Police...Customs...you name it check points.

Fear gripped me as it wasn't really clear as to whether some of these check points were real.
Most of them in "mofty" & slippers with an AK 47 assault riffle. The demeanor of these check points and the guns were purely of a hostile nature that you won't want to even smile when stopped. Once stopped it was with the guns extremely exposed and held at different angles up and ready for action. Merhn it was like the engine of the bikes were going off by itself once stopped. (Obedience at high level)

*Question time*


Where from....?. Question doesn't end but answer is ready. From Ghana Sir. 😂
Where are you......?
Sir...I am going for a program in Benin City Sir.
What do you have in ......?. Sir just my clothes and personal belongings Sir.
We are going to conduct a search ok!?
Then fear brought out my Nigerian accent.... No wahala Sir.
All these while your helmet and balaclava must be off. And military flashing their bright torch lights in your face...
At that point .... in my mind ... I was like....who sent me?
Search was complete and we were allowed to go. One military man became a friend and gave me his number. (Good to develop contacts )


Next check point.
Hey hey hey...
stop....stop...stop!!!
What did you bring for us?


Instantly an Okada rider pulled over with a pillion behind. The pillion was an elderly man who came down and question the check point officials why they stopped us. ...asked them "Is everything okay?."

Why are they stopping us when we have been cleared from the borders.... Allow them to go. The man came near me and said he is a brother of *Mo Ducati*...wow that was a relief. I said oh yes I know him...he is my man. He asked me to say hi to Mo Ducati for him when I meet him in Lagos.


*Bikers rock* *Power pass power*

One of the officers asked who are you Sir?.

He says I am the Chief Inspector of the Sector commandment something something. Did I even hear him well with the fear around me. "Bros no be beans". Oya make a leave military matter for the Army people. I am a biker...lol We decided we ain't stopping no more at any check point. Plan formulated (Na to revv loud and pass.) Funny I had a stock exhaust. Even if I revv, it won't scare an insect. But Saïd had a power exhaust on his Honda CBR 600rr. Badagry bound...at 9pm + Waiting for Blow now...Blow finally showed up around 10:30pm after several attempts to reach him. Miscommunication was the matter. Told Blow I will use Seme but later changed my mind and used Owode. Though communicated to him, it also took him time to readjust.

Now let's talk about Ikhide aka Blow. Left wife and kids at home that late heading towards Badagry from Lagos .... what did I do to merit this or deserve this love from the Biking fraternity. Blow you are too much. Respect once again.


11pm we were leaving Badagry and my good and abled biker Said had already left back to Republic of Benin after seeing me off. Badagry had the oldest cabs in the world and had their cabs back shocks changed to raise the back of the car for picking heavy loads. Funny but drivers in Badagry was on a survival of the fittest run. They will knock you down or hit you without assistance. Lol. Lagos here we come...Blow took off...and I followed up. Senior escort, senior ride. If you have ever heard of Blow or ridden with him....you will understand what I meant.

The road from Owode border to Badagry which I said was in a bad state earlier was actually first (1st) class better than Badagry to Lagos  😂 😂 😂  For 2hours we were to ride on a manhole road... uneven... patched... muddy terrain into Lagos township. When we finally entered Lagos...Blow had forgotten he was my eyes. ...he was just enjoying the emptiness and quietness of the roads in the night and leaving me behind. Tired as I was and wanting to get to my hotel room, I had no option than to keep up with Blow. Many know him as a speed King.


Finally we got to BEST WESTERN hotel, where I had planned to stay because I saw their website beautifully and actively running. But it was a different situation on the grounds  😳 😳 😳 Hotel had been closed down with construction debris in front of the main gate. Funny. Naija for you.
Blow on his way to another location. Now I was already getting weaker....time was ticking..it was past 1am already. Body pains all over.

Second Hotel (DE RENAISSANCE HOTEL) fully booked. Oh God why?.....I want to get all these bags off me as I wasn't travelling light. (Tank bag.... pillion bag.... and back pack. Finally at 2am we got a budget hotel (THE GRAND SUITES HOTEL.) N12,000 a night. No internet but I needed to sleep. So we checked inn. Blow pushed to me his AIRTEL line fully loaded with data for my internet. This biker made my stay a smooth and comfortable one. Good pal he is. He left me to catch some sleep.

As for hospitality service standards...I won't talk about it as there was nothing to write about. Poor service standard. May be i was expecting more as I am in the same field bur what i got in terms of service was simply... *take it or leave it. Who cares* Plan was to continue to Port Harcourt the following morning. Another hard ride of about 600km distance.(Lagos to Portharcourt)..... Slept for about 4hours and it was morning already. Window nearer to the road side.... ( CMD road) tells you how busy Lagos is.... Sounds of car horns hooting and rush hour on the CMD Magodo road speaks for itself....


Slight changes so I couldn't proceed to Portharcourt same day as Derry was to leave to Portharcourt the following day Tuesday. So why not wait and join him since I didn't know road.  🙈 🙈 🙈 Lunch was promised as Christopher Odigie called and sent for me. He asked do you want continental or local?  I said Bros....I am in Nigeria I have to taste Nigeria.... let's go local. Heard of Amala (like Ghanaian "Kokonte") since but never tried it and then the opportunity brought itself. Amala it was with mix soups.... meat...fish..."kpormor" aka "wele". And a bottle of Coke. Oh Lord...this food made sense.  Chris took me to his house to meet the Almighty Kawasaki H2 just to say hello. This is real beauty. Don't know how a beast could be so beautiful......hmmmm 😍 😍 😍 I was tripping but still #Team Honda...lol Friendly chats for few minutes .... We left together to hang around in his car sale shop. B9 was there to visit and Blow had come in a "mugu-way" (driving) to get me home. Nice day....wish it never ended.

It was a battle among bikers to give me a treat. Afrolion was waiting in the hotel to meet me. I couldnt meet him. SORRY Afolayan but thanks so much for your time. MoDucati had hijacked the night for dinner. T Black was waiting to give me a cocktail treat since I dont drink alcohol. B9 had come to visit in the hotel but i already had a date at the Eko Hotels and the Radison Hotel. Oh what a night?. 🎷 🎼 🎹 🎤..hope you remember that song. I had mad fun.  😍 😍 😍 Even in tjis top notch hotels....service had issues. Sat for over 20mins without a waiteror waitress attending to us. Eventually we have to forcefully call a waitress to attend to us. But well.... In terms of pricing....cheap compared to that of Ghana....food was cheap as well. Will talk about fuel in the next chapter. Now the night was over.

Following day was my 600km to Portharcourt where my main crew Hardridaz were. Oh you didnt know?. I have longed to be a "diasporean" member of the Hardridaz MC for years. I respect the club and I admire their hard rolling. Their motto: RIDE HARD OR GO HOME.... 😂 😂 😂 No wonder I ride hard too...... Plan was to meet Derry at Ijebu Ode so we moved together to Portharcourt 6am..... What happened????.... Read on

CHAPTER 2 following.........

*Appreciation:*

Hotwheels Ghana MC
John Wilson ( Senior encourager and spirit boost & my motivation)
Fiifi Hayden (confidant)
Murray-bruce Fritzgerald (Confidant)
Derry (Confidant)
Humble Georges (Senior escort and confidant)
Dam'si Etsi aka Wheelie King (Follow ups to make sure i was fine)
Saïd Olaochebikan ( Senior escort and Confidant)
Ikhide aka Blow (Senior escort and confidant and brotherly love)
Kelly Jumbo Kelzmama 😍 (Making sure i was safe through out the trip)
Utibe-Abasi Nkanga aka Queen (making sure i was safe through out the trip)
Christopher Odigie (Brotherly love)
Babs Ladipo B ( Brotherly love)
Afolayan Adekunle Michael (Brotherly love)
T Black (Brotherly love)
Crank Tolulope Peter (Brotherly love)
MoDucati (Brotherly love)
All lagos bikers (You rock)
My fans and followers (keeping the fire burning in me)
Jet says mere words can’t explain how much grateful I am. Thanks to all

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