After spending almost a week in the hospital with Becky I passed her care over to her parents and got on a flight to meet up the rest of the team in Hue.
I'd missed five riding days and rejoined the team just in time for the mountains. I was so excited to be back in the saddle and relieved to be back with everyone else but I was also terrified that I was not in good enough shape after Becky and I binged on cheeseburgers, all imaginable comfort food and movies every day while we dealt with life in the hospital.
After a lovely relaxing rest day for the whole team energy levels were restored for day one out of Hue. We had 73km to ride to get to A'Luoi, this was our first official 'Evil Bitch Day' but, as H2H 2014 is all about making new traditions, we've renamed these days 'Beautiful Challenge Day' courtesy of Annabel!
We rode out of the city as a group sandwiched between our two support vans and we rode like that for a bit through slow, steady up and downs. The scenery was gorgeous and the ever infatuated children waved their million hellos as we rode passed.
As the sun beat down on us we hit our first climb. My legs got tired but the scenery was stunning, the more my thighs burned the better the view became. Alex and I struggled together and soon enough we'd reached the peak, the descent was a wonderful welcome relief and rolled us into lunch where everyone was waiting alongside a reservoir, a quick dip cooled us off and got us ready for climb number two.
As we suited up to leave lunch we heard thunder rolling in the distance and the sky went overcast which was exactly what we needed to get through the second climb. With less sweat pouring out of every pore, the road smoother, the bends easier and the climb steadier I found the second climb more enjoyable and the scenery easier to appreciate Natasha, Colette and I started out at the same pace and they slowly glided past me up the climb. Needless to say flying down the backside of it brought a great sense of accomplishment and rolling into the hotel at A'Luoi having successfully completed my first day back in the saddle was a wonderful feeling. The entire team was waiting outside the hotel full of smiles, shouts of encouragement and high fives of congratulations for getting through my first day back.