Elevation gain: 180 meters
Headwind: Not too bad, except in the late afternoon
Weather: Mostly cloudy in the morning, the HOT AND SUNNY
We made it! We're completely shattered, but we made it to Na Trang - a seaside playground with soft white sand, green and blue waves, and beach bars a plenty. I'd say this is an ok place to wrap up.
Today's ride was 84 miles, and began very similarly to yesterday's. We woke up quite early and hit the road before sunrise, trying to log as many miles as possible before the sun came up. We were, however, treated to lots of cloud cover, and a passing shower here and there, which kept the temperature in check. We also began our ride with a grueling 180 meter ascent, over approximately one mile. That was rough, and our bikes are not meant to handle such demanding roads. The good news was that that was our only major hill for the day, and riding down felt victorious.
We were diligent as usual about reapplying sunscreen, staying hydrated, and eating salty snacks and we took several breaks along the way - including a stop for more banana fritters, and an hour-long shade break accompanied by electrolyte drinks and green tea. No matter how many times you stop, how many 90s songs you sing, or how many capital cities (of foreign countries) you list in alphabetical order, 84 miles makes for an exhausting ride. We were more than ready to roll up to the hotel and tumble into bed.
And there you have it: 259 miles cycled down Vietnam's Highway 1, completed in seven days (five days riding, two for a break in the middle)! Now, time to rest and recover in glamorous Na Trang before heading to the mountain retreat of Da Lat.
Lessons learned from day 7:
1. Never again will we do such a ride without drop handlebars, jelly-butt shorts and clip-ins/pedal cages
2. Or, drop handlebars, jelly-butt shorts and clip-ins/pedal cages are for the weak
3. As I said before, Vietnam is gorgeous - and has lovely, kind and thoughtful people! We're very lucky.
4. Highway 1 is perfectly accommodating for cyclists, but is not for the faint of heart