Thursday, 5 November 2009

Make haste while the roads are flat

Jacinta and James getting comfortable, Quan Lao, Day 3

'Fast' would be the right word to describe day 4's events. Largely, this was due to our fairly early arrival to our destination, but other aspects of the ride require much of a similar description.

Firstly, the morning regularities like warm-ups and bike preparation were highly efficient. Similarly, there were no bike problems to slow us down as we began our journey. The roads were smooth, and there were no hills to slow us down. The landscape was rice and corn fields chased by small mountains in the far distance behind us. As we headed further East toward Thanh Hoa, the mountains slipped away completely.
At Thanh Hoa, we turned right, heading South along Highway 1. As you'd expect, this road does exactly what it says on the tin. We made haste. Averaging 28km/h and arriving at our destination before noon. We did 73km in 3 hours.

Not long before we arrived however, a sudden, dramtatic, but not-to-worry-about event occured. I managed to do lateral sumasault (spelling?) over an unsuspecting Vietnamese man and his Honda as he was crossing the road. Travelling towards him at 30km/h, he clearly hadn't seen or heard me due to my lack of a bell, and I was travelling too fast to make the necessary corrections. I didn't brace myself. Instead, I 'let loose' the bicycle and I hit the rear portion of his bike. He was knocked over, unhurt. I ended up on the floor, also unhurt, a metre past him, with my bike lying on the floor with him. Ronnie, riding behind me, saw the calamity and pulled up seconds later. All was well though. Bikes were checked, laughs were made and hands were shook. We rode on!
Now we're on a beach, 2km East of H1 and the 'likely' town of Tinh Gia. The hotel we're staying at is large, dusty and seemingly unmanned (almost like the place in 'the shining'), but functional nevertheless. Our early arrival and the sight of the sea prompted all to get naked (almost) and go swimming. We had crab for lunch...softball for afters.

Tomorrow: 100km down H1 to 'Vinh' (or somewhere thereabouts).

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