Surat to Bharuch (Broach):
Distance cycled: 81.06km
Average Speed: 17.16 km/hr
Ride time: 4:48
Maximum speed: 27.1 km/hr
Total Odometer reading: 640 km
As I pedalled off this morning I noticed that the bike was in a different gear to the one I left it in last night. This minor hazard tends to occur when you're not able to leave your bike in your room - Indians love to fiddle with things (a cycling log I read the other day nicely described them as "twiddlers"). I also belatedly discovered that my ex-wife Bhanu's family actually came from two neighbouring towns to Surat, but it would've been too awkward a detour at this stage to have had a look around. Would've been interesting though.
This stretch of road was dustier, smokier, smellier and rougher than yesterday's. I also had the wind against me for much of the time. But the road was flat, and a dual-laned divided highway all the way, so on the whole it was a fairly straightforward ride. Not especially interesting though - mostly chemical plants, brick works and the occasional village lined the road. Perhaps the most entertaining sight was the effort to remove a truck from a ditch by means of a crane and a big tow truck. I stood there and gawked at proceedings for a while, along with a crowd of other onlookers. 80 kilometers is a much happier distance to cycle than a 100 km one.
The buttocks seemed a lot better today - was it the Enac gel or perhaps habituation to the task? I did wonder about doing a controlled study - just applying Enac to one buttock, and seeing how it goes. A double-blind experiment would be harder to arrange, but possible (this, by the way, is just one example of the sorts of things the mind ponders as one cycles along for hours at a time ....). A potential road hazard here I'm beginning to notice is mobile-phone use - by motorcyclists!
The day started off well, with a 'complimentary' breakfast at the Hotel Central Excellency. While the place itself was pretty drab, breakast was great - idlis, bhaji, cornflakes & milk and coffee. I also, unusually for me as I like to just keep on going, stopped and had lunch at a roadhouse. I'd stopped for a drink (and typically I'd consume several litres a day on the road) but was enticed into having masala papad (chopped-up tomato, onion and other bits and pieces, on a papadam), chai and some "Chinese" vegetable fried rice. Delicious!
I'm developing a great, if not unusual, suntan - face, legs from the knees down (with sandal markings on my feet) and lower forearms.