The Long Day: Complete!

March 19th, 2008

Today had two distinct characteristics. It was long. And it was hot. In fact, it was the longest day of the tour (100km), and it was definitely the hottest (we’re moving south, so things are getting warmer).

Ride, Ride, Ride

I spent 6 hours and 15 minutes pedaling today. Total time, including the short breaks and lunch, was 10 hours. The riding was nice, with some great scenery and mild traffic for much of the day. I took some more photos to give you an idea of how the terrain is changing. By the way, nearly all of the photos are actually taken while riding. It’s gorgeous out here!

Saddle soreness was a big issue for me today, especially before lunch. I stood up and pedaled, played music, and shifted my weight as best I could, but old man gravity just wouldn’t let up. This probably comes as no surprise, but unicycling vast distances is very, very uncomfortable. You may think you can imagine it, but believe me: You can’t. It’s something you need to experience firsthand.

The Heat

It seems like the heat was the major problem for many of the other riders. I made out alright, thanks to my acclimation to Phoenix, but it was still a lot of time in the sun. I’m developing a delightful tan line of my riding shorts/shirt. Most of the time we had a breeze of some kind—even a headwind was welcome—but there were stretches without wind that were just brutal. All told, I think I drank 6L of water today. Everyone has salt cravings come lunch time.

One More Day!

The beach is right across the street from our hotel, so everyone jumped in for a swim to cool down. Next we’re off to our group dinner, before cashing in for an early night. Tomorrow is the last day of riding! Our daily distances have changed from the initial plan, but I think tomorrow is still a measly 60km. It’s not a hard distance, and combined with the light at the end of the tunnel it should be a fantastic day.

We spend the night in Nah Trong tomorrow, and then head to Saigon the following day. Initially we were supposed to take a fancy 12-hour train to get there, but unfortunately the train schedule changed to overnight. There’s not much point in staring at blackness for hours on end, so now we’re flying instead. There’s a night in Saigon included on the tour, and then it’s officially over on Friday morning. I’m hanging around two extra nights to wander the city, and then I return! It’s been a wonderful trip, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting ack to my life too…

3 responses

  1. Mom comments:

    Phew- my sympathies on the saddle sore. One more day of it!
    Do you have someone to hang out with on your extra days there?
    Your descriptions are wonderful!
    Love, Mom

  2. Matthew comments:

    A lot of people are staying extra days in Saigon, so I’m sure I’ll be able to tour the city with them for some stuff. I plan to strike out and wander around on my own, too.

    We actually finished riding today–we were in a small, non-tourist town last night so I wasn’t able to post this until just now. The 300 miles of riding is over! I’ll write up today later…

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