Friday, 3 February 2012

Day One of the almighty H2H Charity Ride 2012!!

Today, we left Hanoi full of anticipation and nerves.  Actually that might have been just me.  I was bouncing around like an idiot and it seemed to take forever to actually get going.  The general feeling from the group was - "I'm cold".  Most of us live in tropical Ho Chi Minh City and we couldn't conceive temperatures of 13 degrees and a constant light drizzle when packing for this trip.  I have no trousers with me, two light jumpers and a bikini and I'm not the only one.  At least we're going south!!

As I said, everybody was feeling the cold a little.

Before setting off it was clear that bike assembly wasn't anyone's strong point.  One wheel fell off as the bike was being lifted off the kerb and there was a lot of pausing and tightening of screws and straightening of seats.     There was further mishap as the well meaning van drivers chose to wait for us in a less than appropriate spot and caused an incident...

All was smoothed over thanks to the excellent diplomacy skills of Phong Pham.

We were soon on the road again cycling some uneventful highway out of the city.  From then on it was fairly smooth sailing, I felt like I was getting into a rhythm of changing music, counting kilometers and trying not to think about how mud was creeping into every orifice (I found mud in my ears at the end of the day).  About 3 hours and 40 kilometers later we were suddenly in some really beautiful countryside.

Zara is actually smiling. Epic.

Hunger took over and Zara and myself met the speedy cyclists for some road side hot pot soon after.  Lunch was long enough for our muscles to get really tight which made the fairly innocuous hill that followed difficult.  Everyone enjoyed the downhills though and despite two punctures and two pedals dropping off (!!) all riders made it through the first day unscathed.  I were as muddy as I could be and exhausted and happy to have finished DAY 1.  Bring on DAY 2!!! Yeay!!

Jonny in Hoa Binh. All finished!!

PS. My poor dreadlocks were completely caked in mud by the time I got to the hotel and I had to wash them TWICE!! My poor hair hasn't seen this much shampoo in 5 years.


  1. Nice work riders. It only gets better from here on out.

  2. Fantastic blog. Sounds like a tough and character building start but hopefully warmer and sunnier days to come! Good luck team and bring on the tan lines! Chris