Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

85 KMs
“Breaking out of the city”

Last night I was given a sobering talking to from a local guy – Danny – who runs motorbike tours into the areas I’m travelling to. He showed me photos of muddied roads, hellish climbs and treacherous descents. His strong advice: don’t do it. Danny was acutally a really good [...]

80Kms
“Reality check”
Had visions of making it over the next pass today – another 50kms – but was absolutely shattered. Hunger flat, dehydrated and exhausted at various points of the day. Started the day with an 8km climb that felt similar to Kinglake but didn’t get the reward of a similar length descent. About 55kms in [...]

130kms
“Gorillas in the mist”
I’ve never had a ride with as many scenery changes as today. The climb out of Mai Chau was absolutely brutal and the first 30kms took me three hours. On the climb (up to around 1600m) it was incredibly foggy, with visibility down to 100m tops. The climb was one of the [...]

90kms
“Empty”

Another tough day where I just couldn’t get going. Wasn’t helped when 5kms in I realised that I’d left my gloves behind – given what’s ahead I had to go back for them – and that fact that the first climb of the day was over 7kms in baking heat. The climb was the steepest [...]

 120kms
“The Climb”

Probably one of the most satisfying days I’ve had on a bike – on a par with finishing the Melbourne-Warrnambool. The day started horribly with a wrong turn out of town. I didn’t discover the error until I’d ridden 15kms, meaning that by the time I had completed 30kms I was back where I [...]

90kms
“Shaken but not stirred”

Another gruelling day made so more by the road condition and headwind than the terrain. That said, there was hardly a flat stretch all day and a monster 8km climb at the halfway mark. Set off at 7.30am and had a near catastrophe – one of the fasteners that attaches to my [...]

110kms“Back in the zone”

I am now officially fit. Today was one of those rare days that looked bad on paper but actually felt like I hardly touched the pedals. Except for the two climbs of 4kms and 15kms respectively… Beautiful valley scenery as I followed the river, followed by remote mountain villages with amazing traditional [...]

115kms
“The Mirco Express”

Met Mirco (pictured) in the morning as promised, and set off about 7.30am. He’s quite a sight – white hair, tiny and ungainly on his racing bike. The pattern for the day was set early on; I would press ahead on the hills and wait for him at the top. Tried to do [...]

85kms
“Gorilla in the mist”

One of the epic days in all my travels. The short version of the day was supposed to be this: 10km climb to start, descend down to 600m and then climb the big one to Tran Tom Pass (pictured) before a 9km descent down to Sapa. The detail, however, is more revealing.
The [...]