The TMS Cycling Challenge: Day Five

Saturday 9th November:

We left our hotel at 0930 instead of 0900 because John had overslept! It’s not surprising as he desperately needed a good nights sleep as he hasn’t had one during the past three nights. He needed to charge his DBS battery in his chest which takes about 40 mins so the start was delayed. We then had to find breakfast which we decided needed to be KFC or Macdonalds. We found a shopping centre and scoffed bad food with great coffee and then headed for the coast and the start of the cycle ride. As you can see from the images below its a bit of a process getting the bags and bikes on and off the Ford. The bikes have to have both their wheels removed each time we load them onto the vehicle and reattached when the boys start their rides. Practice makes perfect and we are now probably down to about 4 mins 59secs on a pit stop!

The boys repeat yesterday’s route of cycling along the coast road with paddy fields and small villages to cycle through. All idyllic and good for the heart and well being. This is a beautiful country with lovely people. No feeling of stress or intimidation. We pass religious services and saw a large wedding congregating in a mosque. About 30 miles was cycled before stopping for late lunch at a small cafe at the side of the road and then the boys consumed another 25 miles before finishing the cycling day and putting the bikes on the Ford to head for Georgetown.

The 2 kms bridge from mainland to the island does not allow cyclists as the cross-winds could be dangerous. The views as we enter the island are magnificent and the roads are getting crowded as we work our way towards our hotel on the south east corner of the island arriving at 6pm. The room costs about £30. It can just fit a double bed but is comfortable, has a shower and loo and therefore adequate.

We shower and change to go uptown to Chinatown for dinner and a walk around this vibrant and colourful area. The taxis are hailed via an app on the phone which we don’t have so we get the hotel to order us a cab saving us a 40 mins walk and costing about £2. After a chinese noodles meal in a restaurant where we are the only westerners we saunter through the streets and attempt to walk back to the hotel. Too much for us so we pop into the “New Hilton Hotel” (if only the Hilton Group knew, it was VERY tired) and ask them to hail a cab. Another example of how friendly these people are, they didn’t bat an eyelid. We got back at about 2300hrs and hoped for a full nights sleep. But of course this wouldn’t happen, would it. At 0300 hours the gods spoke to the devil by way of a massive thunder storm and lightning which entered our rooms, just out of fun to prove who is in charge of this challenge…

John has had a good day. He is feeling much stronger and the pain in his ribs is subsiding. It is probably caused by bruising. He will have the stitches taken out above his right eye and behind the right ear on Monday and will ask at the hospital for a comment on his status. The cuts and scars are healing but the left wrist sprain remains. This too should vanish once he gives the wrist a rest having finished the cycle challenge.

Johns next touring bike when he does south east Asia on his own. Fully kitted out!

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