Over a year ago I had an idea: what if we cycled part of our way in Vietnam? Lots of people do it either with an organized tour or on their own. Tours are expensive, going on your own is not. So we did our research, found some helpful blogs and published tour itineraries, and the rest is history. We purchased bicycles in Hoi An and are making our way south to Na Trang via Highway 1. Over nine days we will cycle more than 500 kilometers, stopping in small towns, Couchsurfing, and relaxing between our most grueling days.
Hoi An to Tam Ky: Tired after the easiest ride!
Elevation gain: minimal
Weather: Hot, humid, high clouds, breezy
I think the last time I did a long-distance ride was in Fall 2014. It is January 2016. This is the most we've cycled, cumulatively, since we left Washington, DC (where we were avid riders). It felt great to be back in the saddle - I especially missed that peaceful, autopilot feeling when its just you and the road! My IT band, however, isn't quite as happy. What's the old saying, "slow and steady wins the race?" Well, I don't think there is a Tour de Vietnam but we do have to stay on track because of hotel reservations.
Today's ride was our warm-up. We did not venture down Highway 1, instead we ambled along a tiny coastal highway weaving in and out of villages and being cheered on by gaggles of children eagerly screaming, "HELLO" as we passed by. The landscape was mostly flat and lush as usual, and interspersed with sand dunes and rice paddys. Our bikes held up, as did the creative packing job! We arrived in Tam Ky in the early afternoon, rested, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Ban Xeo, a fried egg-pancake that you roll in rice paper and stuff with greens and herbs. Yum!
Lessons learned from Day 1:
You can carry anything on two wheels
High-fives from small children make your day
Pedal from the core, especially in the absence of pedal cages/clip-ins
FREQUENTLY REAPPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN!
Wish us luck on Day 2!