Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Day 2: the worst road in the world.

Day two of the H2H ride began with a noticeable improvement in weather, which led to many of us actually taking our jackets off and sporting some of the new purchases we'd made in Hoa Binh. As "the most difficult day before Hue" (a direct quote from H2H veteran Chris Rolls), we set out with some trepidation. Within a few minutes riding, we arrived at The Big Hill, and very quickly discovered how successful our training had been. A relative minnow compared to the hills we will tackle later on, but at 5km in length, it was still our biggest challenge so far. But we all dug deep and powered on up the hill, and the trepidation was soon replaced with one of triumph.

We made this hill our bitch.

Phong and Zara discover a great energy food: sticks of sugar cane.

From that point on, it seemed like a fairly straightforward ride. It was relatively flat with smooth roads and scenery like this.

It was all going pretty smoothly, until about 10km from the end, when we were faced with the worst road known to man, and we all suddenly got insanely jealous of Corey and Hanneke with their mountain bikes and suspension. The rest of us were slowed to a crawl as we dodged jagged rocks and puddles of mud, all the time watching out for the huge trucks and loose buffalo. And we nearly managed to get all the way through it without any punctures until Sandra's tyre blew up. We finally made it to Vi Ban, which presumably translates as mud town, and settled down in a hotel that would've made Norman Bates proud.

So that was it. The hardest day before Hue, apparently.

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