Another day, another few dozen kilometers to ride on our bikes. Today’s segment wasn’t as much of test of our muscle strength or ability to hill climb without falling over or crashing into other people, but a test of whether or not our endurance could hold over long distances. We had to ride a total of 96 kilometers – the longest distance we rode in one day so far – from our hotel at Hualien to the outskirts of Taitung.
Thankfully, Lady Luck smiled upon us today and gave us good weather; it was not too hot, which would make us half-dead men with sweat gushing out of our pores, nor too cold, which would make us shiver for all of the 96 kilometers from the chill in the air. Last year, our seniors had to go through unbearable heat for the entire journey.
Today’s terrain was a mix of flat roads, slight inclines, and going up and down bridges. It was quite literally going from this sequence: flat ground, climb, descend, and repeat. This was the perfect combination for putting people to sleep. The roads, littered with potholes, gravel, and construction work, were not kind to us either. Let go of your attention for one moment, and you’ll probably end up flat on the pavement with your bike on top.
However, for all the woes we faced today, one thing stood out as excellent: the view. Today we could see the towering mountains mixed with the endless green fields of the Taiwanese countryside. It was truly a breathtaking sight to behold, being one of the few things keeping us from falling asleep and ramming into the person in front.By the end of the day, everyone got to the hotel in one piece. Well, most of us; one person smashed themselves right onto the pavement, but he eventually ended up fine and was good to go for biking as everyone else. There’s still a few hundred kilometers in the next few days to look forward (or dread for). Here’s hope that everyone can make it.
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