From Heaven to Fire of Insanity

Today Dad and I suffered.  Our bikes are simply not up to the task, but we are.  Chronic gear failure is letting us both down and whenever you fix the problem , it recurs after cycling on rough roads.

Nevertheless we cycled 105km today.  For the first time I cycled on my own without Dad for the entire day.  It worked for me but it didn´t help Dad.  The problem is that it gets dark here around 17:00pm and you have to be at the accommodation  around this time.  It is my job to make sure Dad gets through the day and finishes the full distance.  Therefore after reaching the hotel I cycled back to the bridge before town to wait and help him find the hotel.

Look.  Today was a monster.  Dirt road all the way from 48km to the finish.  Tomorrow could be worse with 125km of cycling, a border crossing into Honduras, 6 river crossings and 2300m of climbing.  We have to leave breakfast early tomorrow and set forth with gusto.  The problem is that from 77kn tomorrow the dirt roads start and there is a massive climb of 15km, albeit on tarmac, to reach the borderand another big climb just before the finish.  We have 10 hours to do the ride but we will have to go through the border post, have lunch around 77km and take coke stops.  We have only had 1 puncture so far to my bicycle which took 15 minutes to fix.  No punctures tomorrow please.

You see when you only get 1 or a few gears at the back of the bike , you lose speed because you either can´t climb hills or sprint on the flat sections but the downhill is not too bad.  We started in cold rain and near the end it was hot.  Generally you see a lot of cattle, even ox-drawn carts; horseriding; a lot of pigs tied with a rope to an object; dogs; and scavenger birds like crows.  The countryside is green but the vegetation is not as lush and the rivers are not nearly as large as in Costa Rica.  The heat can be a factor but we take lots of coke stops.  But the worst thing is that the place is covered with hills which we have to navigate through to reach our destination amd cycling on dirt roads is a slow business.

We must be positive and try and cycle at around 13km/h on average to reach Yuscaran, our destination in Honduras tomorrow.  The problem will be the hills.

All things weary, all things go-go and a lot of riding.  Will hopefully blog tomorrow.

About wggreig

age 72 cyclist and runner
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One Response to From Heaven to Fire of Insanity

  1. Margaret says:

    Hello Gavin and William

    I’ve been following your blog avidly, William and have become quite addicted. Every entry is a wonderful read and so exciting. You write extremely well and have a natural talent.

    What an amazing experience the two of you are having, but oh my! it does sound tough!! To be cycling the equivalent of an Argus day in and day out but over much tougher terrain is no joke! How you must look forward to your rest days . . . . I can only say, I’m in huge admiration of you both (and a little jealous at the wonderful adventure you’re having). The sights and sounds, the camaraderie and all the exciting new experiences will however, I’m sure, be making up for all the pain and sweat.

    How awful that your bikes are giving so much trouble – that must be so debilitating. Good on you both for battling on the way you are. I’m hoping that the mechanic, Luke, will be able to do something about the gears pretty soon.

    Here at home, life goes on as usual. Had a lovely morning with your Mum on Tuesday. She’s coping very well but missing you both lots I’m sure. Heinrich and I are at the moment the only two stalwarts “keeping the flag flying” at the Monday hack. These days the ‘team’ never seems to appear and Buddy is away flying his helicopter at Mossel Bay. We have almost eliminated that little forest (where you were working last William) and now only a few big pj’s await Buddy’s mighty saw. Poor Ruth has not been at all well and will be going in for a double heart by-pass and valve replacement next week. However her spirits are high and she is positive that in the new year not only will she have fully recovered but that her energy levels will be such that hacking will no longer be tiring.

    Good luck both of you with the ride tomorrow. By the sounds of it, it seems that it will be another tough day. But just think – every day done brings you another day closer to that Doomsday! 

    Keep posting those entries William – we’re all really enjoying them.
    Margaret

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