Archive for September 2011
The past 3 weeks have been about not being on the bike. Letting the body recover from what was a huge undertaking. The body is feeling better so after 3 weeks off I went for a small ride on my road bike. The feel was different as you would expect from a MTB. Turning the pedals over this time was in a kind of relaxing way. I did not have to cover 160km today. No extra weight to carry. It felt good but strange too.
My mind needs more time to recover. After months on the bike doing nothing else but waking up, biking and finishing the day off with a meal and sleep to do it again the next day… Now the biking is not there and of course you can fill in the time by other things like work however a part of me is finding it hard to settle in. I am not looking at the next adventure yet, even though it is next year. This time I am allowing myself more time to recover both mentally and physically. I will be on the bike and back in the kayak keeping fit soon. I have no pressure about getting ready for a race and am doing the fitness thing without worry about racing. Thats new for me and at the moment I am enjoying the feeling.
After a bee sting had left my left hand all swollen and sore I decided that I would then fall of my bike and fracture my wrist 800 km out from Beijing.I think the bee mistook me as another bee and decided to hide out in the back of my yellow fluoro cycling shirt pocket,stinging me on my palm as I took the shirt off in the hotel room.The wrist then doubled to twice its size even after taking some anti inflammatories making my hand more of a claw than anything else.After going to a dodgy medical outpost to get some more anti inflammatories in a small Chinese town we were off again with me felling a little worse for wear.
I was following Nic at the time and took a wrong line over a judder bar with me crashing heavily with my left handlebar taking the brunt of the force and hence my wrist with the bee sting.”Nothing broken” I stated as I dragged myself off the tarmac just my pride and my speedo was not working.Damn I love using that speedo.
So after two weeks of thinking that I had done a bad sprain to my wrist I headed off to my doctor back in New Zealand to be informed that I had a small fracture where I had chipped the bone and also for good measure I had torn the tendon off the bone.Off to see the surgeon later today to show him the x rays of the break.I don’t know if he was mortified or impressed when I told him I continued to ride on it for 800km.
Grab your tweezers and your face mask and join us on a trip through the heart of a dragon.After horrendous road conditions in Kazakhstan where some of their secondary roads resembled bad forestry roads,we were salivating at the sight of smooth tarmac roads at the start of China.The roads did not disappoint with smooth tarmac highways crossing most of China.But what I was not encountering on was the huge amount of truck traffic we would see.On some of the secondary roads we would encounter up to 85-90 percent heavy trucks compared to light traffic making some of these highways the busiest in the world for heavy traffic.It shows what great road builders the Chinese people have become with very little potholes to be seen.What we were not expecting was the huge amount of punctures we would both get in China.Now what happens is that because of the huge amount of truck traffic on the roads we were getting a huge amount of punctures from blown out truck tyres.Quite often we would see tyres worn down to the extent that wire would be visible to the eye.Now when a truck tyre explodes it sends out hundreds if not thousands of tiny filament like wires which are barely visible to the eye but which a cycle tyre is very vulnerable to.In Western China we started to see the odd lorry truck passing us totally fill with tomatoes.One lorry truck turned into 3-4 which then turned into queues of trucks of 2-3km long all waiting to get into the processing plants.With China 2nd only to Italy as the worlds largest tomato paste exporter it begs the question why New Zealand is importing in there produce.With their trucks and factories belching out toxic fumes and no cover at all over the tomatoes I for one will keeping a lookout on where my tomato sauce comes from in future
Andrew and I are now back in New Zealand.
We have posted the pics from China as we can access our account to post them all.
If you check out Planning then Scedule you will see we have listed the complete trip.
We biked from Bucharest to Beijing in 99 days. Of which 18 days were not on the bike. No rest days in China but thats what we needed to do for a 99 days completion.
Bike speedo info:
Total time 516h 23m Total distance 11015km Total average km 21.33kmph
Over the coming weeeks we will post a few more updates giving an overview of the trip.
Thanks for all your messages and following our adventure.
Adventure completed. We are in Beijing:) 99 days. Will post our thoughts soon. Wow a trip of a lifetime… Whats next?