Wainaina, also fondly called Shakie is not your ordinary motorcycle rider. A father to two lovely daughters, he is a mechanic by profession and loves putting a smile on his clients’ faces. When he is not busy running his garage, he is on his motorcycle exploring the country. To him, riding is not just a hobby, but an avenue to be an intrepid traveller.
What drives you to hop onto your bike and explore Kenya?
I love the feeling one gets when on the bike and the freedom one experiences whilst riding. I am a big fan of nature; from viewing sunsets to planting myself beside water bodies. Kenya is a burst of natural beauty, just waiting to be discovered, and I realised it’s so easy and much faster to access these different landscapes on two wheels.
How do you strike the balance between work and travel and your advice to people aspiring to achieve that…
We often plan too much for travel, and we tend to think it costs a lot to travel. Consequently, we end up putting off our travel plans. However, I believe you don’t need much to get out there and explore. I set aside my Saturday afternoons for tours. I will therefore work all week while looking forward to a weekend ride.
Nevertheless, there are days when I would just saddle up and ride off without prior plans. Over the years , spontaneity has led me to the most amazing destinations. The satisfaction that comes with finding yourself in the most splendid and unimaginable locations is unmatched.
Best destination travelled?
It sure is hard to point out one! Kenya’s Central region is definitely among my best so far; there’s a lot of great places to see and amazing features to explore. You only need to be prepared to go off-road. I have a mantra: “the fun always begins where the road ends”.
Other beautiful notable mentions on this list are the Aberdares, Kericho, Nguruman, Masinga, Elementaita, Baringo . The list is however longer!
Most memorable travel moment…
There is a time when my family had travelled and I would only get to communicate with them via phone calls. One morning I decided to ride to where they were and surprise them. I was glad to have had the chance to see and spend the weekend with them. It was most special because at the time my daughter was only three months old.
How would you compare travel between two wheels and four wheels?
Being on the motorcycle (two wheels) gives you a feeling you can’t exactly express in words. It’s difficult to articulate the feeling one gets. There is a thrill that comes with experiencing and interacting with elements of nature such as the wind, rain, the sounds, the scents, as well as the sun when it shines directly on you. And we can all agree it is much faster to get to your destination when riding than it is when using a car (four wheels).
What do you wish to achieve with your travels?
As I turn 40 in a few years, my wish is to take up travel photography as I ride around the globe, starting with our beautiful continent, Africa. I am also excited to be riding to Malawi-Nkhata bay in September 2019 for the Lake of Stars festival. The two-week adventure will definitely be a huge highlight for me.