Today is going to be hard. I coughed a lot during the night and had to sleep with a scarf on. Guess we’re not out of the smog yet.
nepali victory ceremony, courtesy nepalsutra
That was fucking hard!
northcentral university/nepali tea trader’s rob burnett showcasing the day’s terrain.
It was hot and I ran out of water, meaning that I drank 100 ounces in 36k, which felt like 300k because every-friggin’ pedal stroke was like riding on one of the worst sections of cobbles in Paris-Roubaix. But not flat. The is NO flat terrain in Nepal that I can see. Anywhere.
ajay at the “sprint” finish, courtesy nepalsutra
We were warned that the first climb was brutal. It was nasty, steep, and bumpy for 10k on the topo (12 according to my roommate Tyler, who lives here), but the course profile mentioned nothing about the next 16k of climbing, I guess because it had a few downhill sections. But those were brutal, too, so you couldn’t rest. And the up hills were like riding the Koppenberg, except for 20 minutes instead of 2.
Race profiles are meaningless. They often look flat but there is no flat in this country. You’re either going up or down, and the surface is almost always bumpy. In fact, in Nepal when someone tells you something is flat they’re referring to the elevation between the beginning and the end. “Little bit up, little bit down,” is what passes for flat according to most trekking guides, something I learned a lot about today.
aayman, narayan, ajay, which might become a common sight on the podium, courtesy nepalsutra
Seems like many veterans suffered, too, mainly due to heat. Everyone I talked to ran out of water. Didn’t seem to bother the locals, who took us to the woodshed again. Wow, they are really flying!
Apparently Narayan got a new bike and has been beating last year’s winner, Ajay, ever since. He won again today but it’s close and looks like they’ll duke it out for first. Unfortunately Jeremy (3rd yesterday) took a wrong turn and lost a ton of time, finishing behind even me. He rode more than 10k extra, with another 1,000 meters of climbing. That might have killed me!
Now I’d better wash and tune my bike. The “400 mile” lube I’m using is generally gone after the first few water crossings (I’ve lost count of how many we’ve done) and then my bike sounds like it’s protesting more than my legs.
Oh, yeah, there was a “riot” today in the finishing village. I guess even peaceful and safe Nepal has its issues, though things didn’t seem too threatening. Apparently Michael Palin (ex-Monty Python turned travel writer) was kidnapped for political reasons while writing one of his books and said that he quite enjoyed the experience. Even the bad guys here are nice. What a country!