Day 49 – Cuttack to Balasore

This morning was not a fun experience.  I woke up numerous times in the night thinking I was about to be sick, so when my alarm went off I wasn’t exactly rested.  I also wasn’t feeling any better and I could hardly move without feeling ill.  It was an hour after I had woken up before I finally managed to get myself together.  I still could not eat anything though, so I set out on an empty stomach.

The only real difference to the morning a couple of days ago was the fact that I now had a headwind.  The first two hours were probably the hardest I have had in India, so I was extremely relieved when I managed to stomach a bit of food at my first stop.  Throughout India, eating on the road hasn’t offered much variety and there have been a lot of crisps and biscuits – all of which have been past their sell-by date.  Today was no different and I think the crisps I ate were dated last October, which could be the oldest yet.

After the stop I felt slightly better but the wind hadn’t died down and I also ended up getting a slow puncture.  I don’t know when or how it happened but when I first noticed it, I just pumped the tyre back.  This lasted for about 20 minutes before I had to stop again.  At this point I realised there was no use in kidding myself and I may as well change the inner tube.  To be honest, it wasn’t so bad – I am more annoyed because it would have been great to be able to say that I only had one puncture in India.  I had quite an audience stop to watch me as well, despite being stopped on the side of a dual carriageway!

After fixing it, I inflated the tyres more than normal as I didn’t want to take any chances.  The ride comfort did worsen but the difference to the speed was also noticeable – and necessary.  This delay, along with the headwind, meant that today was a fairly late finish.  All my thoughts were of tomorrow and that really helped get me through what was a pretty tough day.   I am looking forward to finishing.  I think my body may need the rest and I know that my mind does.

At this point – I just want to say a big thanks to all the guys at Condor for the support – especially to Matt, Mindy, Jaz and Angel.   The bike is still gorgeous albeit rather dusty…

Penultimate day in India:

Distance: 107.5 miles / 173 km

Riding Time: 7:38:18

Av. Speed: 14.13 mph / 22.74 kph

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