Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Daman to Surat:
Distance cycled: 127.86km
Ride time: 7.52 hrs
Average Speed: 16.57 km/hr
Max: 31
Total cycled (odometer reading): 559 km

Today was a pretty good cycling day - weather very pleasant (mid-20's), flat, good road surface most of the way, traffic tolerable. I cycled roughly north north east for about 15km before hitting the main highway. What was striking so early in the morning was all the spit on the road - Indians do so like a good gob. The road today was mostly a 2-lane divided highway (NH8), but roadworks were happening along most of it, and traffic kept being diverted along one side or other. This was good for me on the bike as I could usually continue cycling on the blocked-off section of road for quite some distance. The curious thing was the total lack of road signs or mileposts along the way, pretty much until I hit the turnoff to Surat. Still, no real problem here, as I was basically heading north all day, up the highway. The other curious thing was how friendly other motorists were - truckies, and others, smiling, waving, giving me the thumbs up sign. Very cheering.

I'm staying a night at the Hotel Central Excellency - a nightmare to find, as Surat is actually a rather big place - and a somewhat shabby and overpriced place (900 Rp a night - quite a lot more than the LP guide suggests), but I was too tired after cycling so far to even think about finding anything else. My buttocks really let me down today, otherwise the average speed above would've been a little faster. They were really sore, and I'm contemplating putting a big squirt of the marvellous Enac gel in my trousers for tomorrow's ride. Still, I can count myself lucky that I don't suffer from a numb or painful todger,as I know some cyclists do. I also have a bit of soreness developing in my right knee (is this getting too boring, dear reader...?). My friend Sue, who is in to these sorts of things, tells me that someone called Louise Hay reckons that a sore knee means an excess of pride. I reckon I'd be prouder if I didn't have the bloody pain. Well, a rather uneventful day on which to have a birthday and the nearby restaurants don't seem all that conducive to having much of a celebration. Tomorrow,as well as being Australia Day, is also Republic Day in India. I'm not sure how people celebrate this, or what it will be like on the roads. For me, I'll try & cycle to Bharuch (also known as Broach), a modest 86 km away.

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