Cycling and the locals. 1st day riding in the
We knew that we would learn a little by doing a training ride and hoped that our legs would get used to the hills. How naive we were; our learning curve was far steeper than the mountains we were climbing and our bodies had more to deal with than just carrying the load on our bikes.
Unfortunately our time contemplating at the stupa came at a cost. Lesson #1, it is particularly hot after 10am. Within an hour or two we had finished four litres of water between the three of us. The climbing didn’t seem so hard, it was the heat we were battling with.
When we stopped at a little town to replenish the locals were surprised to see us. A wise little kid was quickly pointing out to his mates the difference between my old fashioned gears and Eri and Gavin’s snazzy hub gears. He even had the courtesy to change my gears for me, making my first few metres riding out of town entertaining as my chain quickly came off. When I eventually rode off all I could hear was the roaring laughter of ten little kids.
Our climb up the hill took us away from the bustling outskirts of Kathmandu into the world of rice paddies, extreme hill climbing goats, sleeping cows and lots more little kids. In one town, a pack of 15 or so kids welcomed us with ‘bye-bye’ and then as we passed, raced to chase us down the hill. Poor Eri didn’t get away in time and she soon had a couple of passengers holding onto the back of her bike. We all laughed thinking it wouldn’t last long, but it seems we had found world’s most persistent kids and we eventually had to sternly tell them to let go. I think all of us were imagining one of them being taken out by a passing car or going over the mountain edge.
The 500 m climb over 25 kms while sharing the road with speeding trucks, buses, motorbikes and the world’s most persistent chasing kids not only slowed our speed but took a whole lot of concerntration.
Each km up the hill seemed to take a little longer, but we were happy to be making progress.
Although, that was only part way through our day, we still had the descent to conquer.
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