Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Well-Earned Rest

Thursday's ride from Ea Drang to Buon Ma Thuot, where we would have our second rest day, was hateful. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was extremely hot, but that wasn't the biggest problem. No, the biggest problem was the road. It looked smooth, and we were able to ride pretty fast on it, but it was laced with shallow potholes that made for simply brutal riding.
That road doesn't look so bad, right? Wrong.
With our arms acting as shock absorbers we bounced through the first half of the 80km ride, dealing with the same moronic truck and bus drivers we've been encountering for the past several days, before stopping for a drink break.

I've been using Dana's GoPro helmet camera off and on recently, and I managed to capture on film a prime example of how dangerous the road can be. I was cruising down a bone-jarring, narrow descent when a motorbike cut me off right as a truck going in the other direction came around a blind corner in our lane. The moto slammed on its brakes, as did I, but things went badly wrong after that:
Luckily I crashed in an area where grass, not gravel, lined the road, and I carried on with nothing more than a bruised right shin. Still, that was scary, and goes to show how quickly a situation can become dangerous on the roads here.

We arrived in Buon Ma Thuot around noon under a blistering sun, and immediately ate KFC. Our rest day had begun.
A bunch of riders decided to simply relax all through Thursday and Friday, but a few of us went to a hotel discotheque on our first night here, and then went to karaoke last night. As a result I didn't actually get that much sleep.
 Relaxing by the hotel pool was nice though.
We're now roughly 400km from Saigon, and the end of the ride is rapidly approaching, with just five days of riding (including today) remaining. Many of us have wounds from the road, and the blazing heat of southern Vietnam makes riding harder than it should be, but everyone is still in one piece, and all of the bikes are running, if not necessarily well. Time to tackle the last stretch of the ride.



  1. Yikes! Safe pedalin' to ALL of you!

  2. Nice dismount Mike! The lengths you go to for a good video clip is quite impressive. Enjoy the ride in.