Hard Riding in the Hills
If you had one word to describe today, what would it be?
Too tough. â€“Rod
â€œI looked at my watch and wished I was in the office.â€ –Mark
The response that Iâ€™ve received thus far indicates that this was the most grueling riding day of the tour, both physically and mentally. What can I say? Weâ€™ve had our first taste of the hills/mountains of Ethiopia, the hard-packed dirt/gravel roads, and the HEAT. I think it was the hottest day weâ€™ve experienced, topping out at 42 degrees Celsius, which can be debilitating. Needless to say, yesterdayâ€™s amazing brothel showers are long gone, as we arrive into camp covered in sunscreen, salt (from sweat) and the fine dirt of the road. Personally, Iâ€™m wallowing in my dirtiness, happy to have met such a cycling challenge, and outrageously excited to be in the mountains. Iâ€™m sure three are a few other optimistic individuals as well.
If Iâ€™d written this at the lunch truck, I think the response would have differed, being more positive. The mountain bikers should be ecstatic, getting off the pavement and onto the excitement of a dirt road; the road racers, however, or at least those without a front shock, are definitely feeling the pain.
Despite all this, weâ€™re experiencing a certain reprieveâ€”the people that we passed today were friendly, no kids throwing rocks. Weâ€™ve got a spectacular campsite, here in the mountains, and mostly have the place to ourselves, as opposed to our future campsites in this country, whereby weâ€™ll have to put up a perimeter rope in order to keep the people out, and have to get used to the curious watching us do our business. Let the games begin!