Ahhhhhh a day off. In the questionably named Buon Ma Thout no less. Lonely Planet has informed me that this is a boring dusty town. While I could venture through the city and find out for myself, I am quite content to be lazy and take their word for it today. This allows me more time to do the very essential things us riders need to do. This includes: skype, eat, drink coffee (we're in the 'caffeine capitol' of Vietnam after all), journal, buy cheese, and internet (obviously).
This day off is important. Cycling seems to be 60% a mental sport- being that its a lot easier to pedal up hills and through wind if you are thinking positive and REALLY believing that you are capable. The past few days of riding has been a bit o' mean winds and cold temperatures (cold meaning upper 50s-lower 60s F). There are also more trucks and buses on the highways now that we're in the south, and they truly have no regard for those of us sporting non-giant non-motorized vehicles. I've been glad to have awesome riders and a tiny mp3 player to keep my mind entertained and free of negative thoughts.
The other 40% of cycling is physical and I have been more aware of this bit recently. My knees have been less than happy. They've been more.....furious..... at what I've been putting them through. On the evil bitch day that took us through 20 km of 10% incline (described by others in previous blogs) my left knee essentially stopped functioning. That day after lunch I could feel that something wasn't quite right. I tried to pedal more with my right leg. At several points I even took advantage of the fact that I have clip-in pedals. I developed a system: I let my left leg rest on top of my water bottle while my right leg did all the work. It looked ridiculous and didn't help much. Frustrated with my body (or at least one essential joint in it) I begrudgingly got into the van and drove with Bach for the last 25 km of the day. I've spent several days taking it safe and easy- walking up scary hills and just generally going at a super mellow pace. I'm hoping this day off will magically heal all badness in my knee and I'll suddenly be Lance-ette Armstrong.
Here's an exciting example of the roads we've been on the past few days. There hasn't been too too much to take pictures of. Hilary and Katie are biking there if you look closely. Yay trucks and construction!
AND we've gone a full 1,580 kilometers (love me my bike computer) and spent 20 days on our bikes. Damn. Go team.