Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Ride from Hell

I haven't been on a training ride for H2H in almost month, since I accepted a job offer that requires me to be in an office from 9 am to noon every weekday. I've missed these rides, so today I mustered up the initiative to go for an afternoon cycle on my own. The weather looked fine, traffic was fairly quiet, and I felt energetic.

Everything was going well until I got to the end of one of the first bridges on our usual route on the Nguyen Van Linh Parkway. I rode through a patch of gravel, and heard a disconcerting "pop". I was sure that my front tire had been punctured, but the tire looked OK after a couple hundred meters, so I decided to continue on.

I had a humorous interaction with a local who pulled up next to me on a motorbike, and then I noticed that it was becoming increasingly hard to pedal. It had been a while since I last rode, but I shouldn't have been THIS out of shape...

After another few kilometers I noticed that the front tire was, indeed flat, and I haven't bought any patching equipment or a pump. Fantastic. Way out in District 7 is possibly the worst place in the city to be stranded and in need of a taxi. I turned around at the next intersection and began laboring my way back towards the city, intending to hail a cab once I got back onto the road leading up to District 3.

I made it into District 4 completely exhausted, and stopped at a corner to grab a taxi. However, the first six or seven that drove past were occupied. A dark band of storm clouds was draped across the city, but I decided to screw the taxis, I'd just ride the rest of the way myself!

On Nguyen Van Cu, five minutes from my house, the skies opened in a torrential downpour. I've lived here long enough to know that the weather can change quickly, but I was surprised by how rapidly the huge storm had built up. I made it back to my house utterly drenched, thanks to some of the hardest rain I've seen here, and wiped out from pedaling my one-wheeled bike. Here's hoping my next ride will be less eventful...


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