19/03/29, stage 50, Mzuzu to Soccer Field Camp

I remember riding in Egypt. Comfortable temperatures, tailwinds, flat roads. We made 150k days and averaged 35k an hour. We rode the first 1500k like it was nothing. Things seemed easy back then… Today however, we had our 50th actual riding day. I’m at 5750k, well over twice the distance I rode to Rome. There’s no rider left who thinks that what we are doing is easy. It’s actually pretty hard.

Today we rode 124k and climbed some 2200 meters through an undulating landscape (my favorite). It’s easy to talk about how tough the ride was, because it was. It’s also easy to talk about how tired we are, because we are. And so, everybody does. The thing is that I find myself to be more and more apathetic when people talk about how tough the ride is and how tired they are. Pete told me he felt like a floppy snook and the only response I was able to bring about was an indifferent “tough luck”. Because the ride is tough for everybody, including me. And everybody is tired, including me 🙂 And having everybody around me continuously talk about toughness and fatigue just confronts me with the toughness and fatigue, while I’m really trying to make it through every day with as much fun as possible 🙂
I know this all sounds pretty hypocritical, because I use this medium to evaluate and process every single day, including levels of toughness and the way I feel. And I’ve discussed the level of toughness of rides with other riders as well, so I partake in the habit. So I’m not sure where I’m going with this whole thing 🙂 Maybe I’m just tired 🙂 Maybe I’d like for other riders to understand that they are not the only ones who feel tired and have tough days. Maybe I’m looking for acknowledgment of my own feelings… Maybe I should just shut up and ride my bike 🙂

Anywayzzz, tough but great day today. Landscapes I didn’t expect in Malawi which made for great scenery! I stopped at 110k to drink a coke that I brought in my trunk bag. I sat quietly on the side of the road, drinking the coke, and at some point a local forest ranger showed up. We talked a bit and I asked him if there was any wildlife living in the forest. He told me that only two species lived in the forest: big monkeys and small monkeys 🙂 That put a smile on my face 🙂 I actually saw monkeys today, although I’m not quite sure whether they were big or small. I thought they were rather medium sized….

Made it to camp around 2, which was pretty good. I had a feast on the bag of doritos that I had left after yesterday’s visit to the supermarket and after that I had a great nap. After the nap it was already time for diner, which was pretty good as well! To top off today’s greatness, our chef Errol had made chocolate cake for desert!

So yes, tough day indeed 😉

Nothing flat about this landscape…

It’s spectacular though…

#no filter

#roads like these

It just went on and on…

… and on and on and on

Luckily there was an abundance of chocolate cake, doritos and pasta to refuel 🙂

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