LIFE ON THE ADVENTURE
It’s early. Drop the key with reception and put the bag on the van. The support team have been busy and there is a lovely spread. Scrambled eggs lift the spirits, oats reassure the stomach, juice and coffee revive the soul. Fresh fruit freshens the palate. Everyone is excited about what today will bring and the camaraderie grows as people chortle over the events of the previous day. Some last questions and the bike mechanic is collared by those who forgot to see him the night before. You stash away some snacks for the road and select today's route on the GPS.
You're are off! Within a few moments, the rhythm sets in. Your gears are much better after the mechanic adjusted them last night. The time and the kilometres fly by at this time in the morning when the heat of the day has not yet set in. Locals are dumbstruck as you pass, and you witness real life in an Asian country. You are surveying the world, the people, the land, the buildings, the smells. At one point, the support vehicle passes by, and you take on some water and some more snacks.
You see the banners announcing the checkpoint and the support team are watching for you. It's a lovely local restaurant where there's a delicious local noodle dish. You enjoy a rest and a drink. A few other cyclists are also there and you compare stories about what you have seen.
You spent a little longer over lunch than you intended but now you are away – it’s amazing how time flies when you are enjoying food, drink and good company. You are happy to be progressing once more and all manner of sights pass by. You are working harder for your distance now. Your GPS leads you through some lovely back roads - there are a couple of turns, but it is really easy to find the way.
Disaster strikes as your gears become mangled and you can't fix them on your own. No need to panic - you WhatsApp the support team and they arrive in a few minutes. George, the friendly mechanic fixes the problem and you're off again!
The support team are waiting for you at the hotel and you easily check in. You put your plastic cover over your bike in a jiffy and it goes with you up into your room. If feels great to have a shower and you have time for a wonder around, exploring the town. That massage shop next door was a little too tempting and provided a fantastic foot massage, although the leg muscles felt a little tender afterwards...
You had a quiet private night last night so you decide to join the team as they explore one of the local restaurants. It’s great to have so many dishes to try. You wonder whether it is really that sensible to have the beer that you have ordered, but others are drinking a bit so it won’t matter, right? Everyone is absolutely thrilled at what they have already done; some who doubted they could do this now find themselves contemplating what it would feel like to complete this thing, every last mile.
You head back to the hotel feeling excited at whatever tomorrow will bring. Some last banter with your roommate before you both turn out the lights at 9.30pm. You can’t believe you are going to bed so early but you are grateful for the early night.
While you were sleeping the team were preparing you a superb breakfast. Eggs, bacon butties, sliced fruit, pancakes, oatmeal, tea, coffee.... Occasionally the hotel might provide breakfast early enough for us.
The start of the challenge. Everyone is full of excitement and some are also a little apprehensive.
A Mad Dog gets into her stride!
The checkpoint provides a welcome opportunity to rest, sample the local delicacies, share stories and relax for a short while.
You call the mechanic when there is a problem with your bike.
Making your way through stunning karst scenery is a feature of HK to Hanoi, Macau to Guilin and Singapore to Krabi.
Joining the team for dinner is a great chance to share stories and taste the local delicacies!