Distance: 70 miles
The penultimate day of the challenge had arrived; 110 k/70 miles, with temperatures expected to reach 36 degrees by lunchtime.
We gathered just before dawn at the front of the hotel waiting for the sun to rise before mounting up and setting off for Kampong Thon.
To help combat the heat & dust, the crew had organised water & ice stops every 10k at the roadside, with a rest/water/snack/toilet stop at Buddhist temples every 20k and lunch would be at 72k.
So myself & Clare, my new found cycling buddy, broke the mileage down into stops. Before we got to the hotel there would be 9 stops so we just had to cycle the 10k and then move to the next.
Once we had cleared the town of Kampong Cham, it was one hot, dusty, tarmac road that seemed to stretch into infinity.
The scenery was parched, occasionally we passed through busy villages otherwise the road was lined with stilt houses, yellow grasslands dotted with cattle, rubber plantations and the most interesting a street full of stone masons. The air was filled with the sound chiselling & grinding as huge blocks of stone were transformed into enormous Buddhas, Gods and every kind of statuary.
My bike did not cooperate today, had to have an unscheduled pit stop with one of the bike mechanics from the crew, as there was squeaking & grinding. A fix was made but it lasted a short while, and I lost several gears early on, then in the last 10k, gear changes were fraught with problems.
But despite my bike not playing ball, I am happy to say I smashed it!
Tomorrow there is a 2 hour transfer to our next start point, please God, let it not be a long, straight tarmac road!
Sorry no photos, internet can’t take the strain!