With over six months in Kitale, we have a better understanding of the town, community and why it is the perfect place to launch Baisikeli Ugunduzi.
The size of Kitale is perfect for launching a new business and sales of a revolutionary new product. A relatively small town, it is easy to connect with our customers and I believe nearly all of them in the community know about us and our mission. This has created a great sense of pride and excitement among local cyclists.
Location is prime. Kitale lies on a cross roads to South Sudan and Uganda and is in the heart of Western Kenya.
There is a large, well-connected bicycle community. Having visited numerous other towns/cities in Kenya, Kitale proves to have a very high bicycle to population ratio with many of the bicycle organizations being very supportive of members and fellow cyclists.
Kitale is a melting pot of sorts. As a very productive agricultural area, Kitale draws people from all tribes and from all regions of the country. This results in a diverse culture with networks branching to all corners of Kenya. The diversity has also led to stability in times of turmoil such as the post-election violence of 2007-08. People are very proud of the safety and stability associated with Kitale.
Kitale lies in the beautiful north rift valley region. The climate in Kitale was a major draw for British farmers in the colonial days and continues to be an attraction for expats living in the Western region. The north rift also has some great activites including hiking with majestic views, less-visited game parks with prolific wildlife, good trout fishing and of course thousands of back roads (and trails) for running and biking. It is also less touristy than many places in Kenya making it easy to connect with people and get a true feel for Kenyan culture.
Kitale is a great place and we are very happy to have landed here!