Good lord. I’m writing this at hour 11 of the flight. And there are nearly 3 more hours to go! I swear these seats have a little less leg room than other flights I’ve been on, too. I was really cramped when I started out, but thankfully the flight attendant took it upon herself to move me to a slightly more spacious seat. Slightly. I guess it makes sense—95% of the flight is Asian, probably Chinese, and they all seem to have plenty of legroom.
Why I’m Going
So before I left I ended up in this discussion with Ruiz about why I was going. The funny thing was, I didn’t have a very clear answer for him. I think partly this is because that’s one of the goals of the trip—to experience something unexpected and unpredictable. I’m not really sure what to expect. The few expectations I do have are the obvious ones: I’m going to be really sore and hating riding in parts, I’m going to be loving the view and enjoying riding in parts, and in general things are going to be more awesome than not.
In the end I think I did a decent job of training up. The longest day on the tour is a little over 70 miles, which is quite a bit more than I’ve done in one day, but it’ll also be spread out over an entire day’s worth of sunlight. Aerobically I should be fine. I ended up doing a ton of training on the recumbent bike in front of movies (p.s.: movies in general—not the kind that come with crazy recommendations that you have to see, but the average kind you would watch if you rented one every weekend—are pretty much terrible). The big barrier is going to be saddle soreness. I’ll report how that goes as the tour unfolds!
Important Space-Staring Business
Well, I guess it’s time to space out for a bit. The lights are still on after the breakfast service, and I’ve already half-slept for 9 hours, so I doubt I’ll be able to sleep anymore. It’s still dark, too—this night is going on 16+ hours for me. Flying west is odd like that.
One more random observation: I’ve only seen the flight attendants talk to passengers in English. They do announcements in Mandarin, and talk to each other in Mandarin, but only in English when they’re asking if you want coffee or tea. Every interaction around me needs to be repeated several times as a result. Eventually somebody points, an understanding is reached, and coffee or tea is served. I wonder what’s up with that.