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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

HoChiMinh Trail

The Zoco Electric Bikes are awesome! Doing great despite tough and demanding conditions here in Vietnam. Every night brings torrential rains and the roads are covered with mud and potholes, ponds and streams with heavy traffic speeding along it. Even two of our batteries lasted for yesterday's entire 104km ride (I swapped mine at 95!). Today was a shorter distance, 72kms, but a few more hills - though we still averaged over 21kph. We are also aware we need to curb our enthusiasm till our muscles and buns and other body parts adjust to new demands placed on them. Eventually we will build up to 100-150km days.

Highlight for me today was watching Marks demise in my mirror. Riding past the edge of one 100m 'pond' covering our half of the road an oncoming and speeding bus overtook a truck, hence heading for us on our side of the road. We were riding about 50m appart and all headed straight into the ginormous puddle for our lives. The bus ploughed through the water and got Mark on his push bike covering him with a virtual tidal wave. It's ok, the water is warm! Amazingly the electrics are staying dry. We do our best to avoid these incidents, but when you are squeezed between a speeding bus and a pond...

In any case, after lunch we left AH1 on 48B and headed for the HoChiMinh Trail, which according to the US National Security Agency's official history of the war is "one of the great achievements of military engineering of the 20th century".48B was a pleasant 30km road through rural areas with water buffaloes crossing the road.

Mark and Jim, our two superhero veterans riding manual bikes are riding along comfortably. I must say none of us would keep up with them on normal bikes. Mark admits to riding 300kms per week for the past decade or so, and it shows. We still need to find out what exactly Jim's excuse is for being as fit as he is. The roads we are on are not suitable for road bikes in my humble opinion.

Tomorrow we hit the 'HoChiMinh trail': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh_trail, exciting stuff!

1 comment:

Ree Trebilco-Loane said...

Excellent, tell Mark, to keep his mouth shut on roadside tidal waves, & that was your highlight Walt, lol. I think you're doing too much too fast, listen to your bodies. Great snap Eleanor. Nice chicken in sun & flies, yum, yum. :)

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