With H2H's start date rapidly approaching, I figured I'd take a moment to answer a few questions I'm sure every one of us that is participating has heard multiple times. Hopefully this post will serve as a useful primer for family and friends that are wondering what on earth it is that we're doing. Check out the previous post for a very helpful look at our route.
1) Where are you riding from? We are starting in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, and finishing in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's largest city. That is nearly 1,200km (2,000 miles).
2) How long will it take? We roll out of Hanoi on February 3, and arrive in HCMC on February 29.
3) Are you camping along the way, or what? Where will you sleep? No, we're not camping. We will stop in 24 towns and cities (all of their names are in the previous post) - we have rest days in Hue and Buon Ma Thuot, but in all of the others we will just spend one night. At hotels, to be specific. The majority of these places are very small - in fact only a handful are even in the Lonely Planet: Vietnam book, so suffice to say we will be well off the usual tourist path.
4) Are you insane? Yes.
5) How will you know where to go? One of the wonderful things about rural Vietnam (which we will be seeing a lot of) is that there aren't many roads. Therefore, it's hard to get lost. You often have only one road to choose from, so even a blind person shouldn't have too much trouble. If a road forks or there is an intersection, there will (probably) be a sign saying which town is which way.
6) Do you have to pay for your food and lodging? Yes we do, but that shouldn't be too expensive. That's one of the reasons we can say all of your donations will be going straight to the charities! (Don't forget to donate, links to the fundraising pages are on the right.)
7) Have you been training a lot for the ride? I'm only speaking for myself here but, ummm, no...
8) How many people are riding? As of right now there are 18 brave souls set to tackle the length of Vietnam.
9) What will you do with your stuff? Do you have to carry it on your bike? Nope! There will be two vans following us, so we can chuck all of our clothes and whatnot into the back of them. They will also have some bike-related equipment in them as well.
10) What if you really have to take a poo and you're nowhere near a town? Ok, I haven't actually gotten this question from anyone, but let's be honest...it's gonna happen. Fortunately, public defecation, particularly in the countryside, is totally kosher here. The rice farmers may even appreciate the fertilizer.
11) What if you get a flat tire? In theory we will all buy our own puncture repair kits, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. We had a helpful bike maintenance class a week ago, so we all sort of know how to change a flat once we actually get kits. How easy it will be to change a flat with honking trucks and buses roaring by may be another story...
12) How sexy will you look when you finish? Once we all take a shower, I assume all of us will be simply irresistible. As if we're not already.
Hope that helps, if you have any other questions, ask us!