Starting point – the town of Mangaon: After a breakfast consisting of biscuits (as nowhere was open), I set off around 7.00am and was pleasantly surprised to find it below 20 degrees. The day was due to be just under 100 miles but with a fair bit of climbing, so I was hoping to be done around 5 o’clock. However, by accident, I actually passed the town I had planned to stop in and only realised the mistake after about 5km…and cycling back was not really an option. After a call home I set the finishing point for the next opportunity, so either way I have done about 25 kilometres more than planned.
The first few hours were great: my speed was good; the scenery was interesting and I was eating and drinking better than yesterday. Only a handful of roads were in need of maintenance, so thankfully no punctures today either.
The day only got hard around 2 o’clock when the heat really got to me. I was heading up what I thought was the final big climb of the day (the extra miles added one more) when the temperature rose over 40 degrees. With no breeze, I really started to feel it. At the top, I had to take a half hour break to recover. I probably got a bit dehydrated at this point as an hour later I had to stop to recover again. Feeling very light-headed I sat on the roadside to drink as much as I could. Slowly I improved and for the last half hour of the ride I started feeling good again.
Unfortunately, by missing my stop, it added another hour of riding. My legs felt good and I decided to push the pace – which worked out well until the final uphill stretch. Regardless I found a hotel (though not one to be recommended) and finished the day very tired. Finish point is Hathkhamba about 8 miles before Ratnagiri.
My body in general feels good. The most painful things at the moment are my hands. I have been wearing thick gloves for the last month so the reduction in padding has made them a bit sore, and the numerous bumps in the road don’t help either. With regard to my knee, it is still a bit stiff when I wake up but I think the heat is helping. Towards the end of Europe, it took about an hour of riding for the pain to ease – I guess until the muscles/tendons loosen up – but here it has gone within 10 minutes.
As for the temperature, I have experienced a range of nearly 50 degrees in 10 days, so it will probably take a few more days before my body is used to it.
Despite a few struggles, today has been a good day and India has kept me interested. I am yet to start reciting lines from films in order to distract myself…
Distance: 112.47 miles / 181.0 km
Riding Time: 8:15:41
Av. Speed: 13.6mph / 21.9kph
Max Temperature: at least 41.6 degrees (around 107 Fahrenheit for any Americans amongst you)