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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Into the real mountains

It was a day of reckoning. Andrew joined the team and Eleanor left us :(.

Andrew brought the Mo√ęt to celebrate the changeover which we drank in the resort after he had a good inspection of his Zoco Electric Bike. Andrew was intrigued by the gearing system and seems now fully familiarised with it... The bikes all got a bit of an Andrew touch to ensure the next leg was going to be as trouble free as the first.

We left Hoi An leaving a very sad Eleanor behind as well as my spare glasses... Andrew beamed ahead full of enthusiasm and energy.

Mark got his first flat tyre of the trip on his Mark-powered bicycle and fixed it in no time flat. After about 40kms we were back on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and heading into the mountains. We climbed to a final level of about 400m but had a lot of ups and downs before getting there. We have two manual bikes with us and Jim eventually relinquished his to Andrew who had mistakenly thought they were easy to pedal. Over the final rainy 5km of uphill he was convinced that Mark and Jim are bloody fit! Andrew will try them again tomorrow. Of course riding a battery assisted Zoco takes the pain out of even the biggest mountains. The 113km were covered with 2 batteries each and an average of 21.5kph. I know I personally could not average half that myself on a manual bike!

Kham Duc is a remote town at 400m altitude in front of a huge mountain. Tomorrow we have a 1200m pass!to climb in the first 40kms of a very long day.

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