The first climb of the day started only a few miles in and whilst I was looking forward to it yesterday, it would have been nice if the legs had had more of a chance to wake up from their slumber. The climb was tough, apart from a few sections of flat it was considerably steeper than yesterday and it was noticeable. In spite of the effort, with a bright red sunrise accompanying me at the bottom it was hard not to feel good.
Something I never expected was the amount of noise coming from the locusts as I moved up through the trees. There were a large number of people out catching them (presumably to eat) and had it been in Britain with all the health and safety rubbish about, they would have been made to wear ear-muffs it was so loud (or something to that effect).
Not long after a very good descent, I reached the second and harder climb. This one would have been hard on a lightweight bike, but carrying all my kit I no longer felt like I was in charge of my pace and it was a big struggle just to get up it. (About 14km with the second half averaging 8-9% by my reckoning in case anyone was wondering).
Going down the other side was fantastic and I couldn’t help a grin spreading across my face. My euphoria was somewhat interrupted by two passing cars though. (In my defence, it was a slightly flatter section). Just after overtaking me, the rear window of the first car rolled down and a slightly chubby kid poked his head out and was sick everywhere. I’ll admit I was a bit shocked at first, but after checking that myself and my bike were vomit-free, I took great pleasure in seeing that the following car wasn’t and laughed myself the rest of the way down.
Despite the early morning sun, the majority of the day was cloudy and a brief shower brought the pain in my feet back again. Other than that, not much happened once the climbs were out the way.
Upon arriving at a hotel I’ve discovered two slight inconveniences. The first is that I have a mosquito bite on both sides of my face; although at least I’m symmetrical I guess. The second is that at some point in the last couple of days I’ve managed to leave a pair of boxers behind – so I’m now down to one pair. Lucky there are only a few days to go!
Distance: 90 miles / 145 km
Riding Time: 7:09:44
Av. Speed: 12.6 mph / 20.3 kph