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Guinness World Record

24

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day46

  • By Vin Cox

24th Mar. 124.3 miles cycled.

More about yesterday:  Met nice guy from Hindustan Times on way in to town.  Ended up having dinner with him and girlfriend, and also being in newspaper in the morning.  They took me to McDonalds!

Today: Very slow leaving room.  Back again. Also had left too much to do. Hotel needed to give me my washing, so woke staff at 5am to checkout – they insisted on getting me breakfast – so again slow [but good!].

Once riding, roads were bumpy and air bad, so slow riding too.  Played with trucks briefly after dawn.  No decent looking cafes, so decided to find restaurant and ATM in Varanasi.  Only found 4 punctures and arseholes!  Also discovered back wheel rim badly cracked.

Eventually got a meal after 90 miles!

Found half decent hotel (with mosquitoes and two geckos) at 199km for the day / 601kmm to Kolkata.

124.3mi @ 14.5mph

The lack of food was a big deal.  Endurance activity is basically the process of the human body turning calories into physical work. As I had used all my reserves, I needed a steady supply of food to be able to cycle on.  That is one reason why I ventured into Varanasi, but what a mistake that was…

I had started the day with toast and eggs at the hotel in Allahabad while they found my laundry.  The delay in starting made me anxious to ride, but being fed was calming since I viewed myself as a simple machine devoted to eating, sleeping and cycling for these months.  Allahabad is a holy and pleasant city where the sacred Ganges River meets the equally sacred Yamuna River and, they say, an invisible third sacred river.  I enjoyed a ride through an open parkland area and out over the Ganges on the Shastri Bridge, with a view to south of that holy point where the waters mix.

A farm in rural eastern Uttar Pradesh.

A farm in rural eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Eighty miles into the day, Varanasi was a mad house.  Packed with people just wondering around aimlessly (probably having finished a pilgrimage to get there) and looking for something to do.  It is one of the oldest cities on earth, and a most sacred place, but a westerner fixing a bicycle seemed to be what the filthy hordes wanted to see.  Literally hundreds circled me as I wrestled with my rear wheel in impossible heat and grime.  One fellow wanted to spice up the entertainment a bit so reached out to my stuff, and then prodded me, getting a good response from the crowed.  I felt like a monkey at a tea party in a bad zoo.  When he poked me again I got out my camera monopod (a stout metal pole), stood up, turned around and made it clear I’d brain anyone who touched me again.  To prove my point I grabbed the bicycle of the poking man, and beat it to pieces.  The crowed now viewed me as a tiger rather than a monkey, and I’d proven I wasn’t human.  I found no ATM, and left town acquiring two further punctures.  Karma had struck again.

The ‘half decent hotel’ had some air conditioned rooms, which I paid a hefty premium to enjoy in the hope of a good night’s sleep.  But soon after dark I woke bathed in sweat on the filthy sheets to find the power was off.  I couldn’t sleep in 30+C conditions, so visited reception to ask for a refund for the air-con I couldn’t use.  The staff quickly un-cut the power rather than return cash…

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

 

23

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day45

  • By Vin Cox

23rd Mar.  136 miles cycled. 1st hotel didn’t like bikes, so I rode on; 139.2 miles cycled.

I did 100 miles before noon!  Once sun was up and back looser I played with the truckers – most liked it, and it beats having them hooting to get me out of the way when I’m going slower… I’m also protected from people pulling out on me [from side roads] and from traffic coming at me head on (happens quite often even on duel carriageways!)

Generally it was faster and safer, but also hotter and harder – so I can’t do it all the time.

139.2mi @ 17.4mph

Early in the morning I had a reminder to not follow too close when I noticed how bald and thread-bare one truck’s tyres were.  I watched from behind for a mile or so wondering how they judged when to replace such a thing.  Then the hum of tyre on tarmac suddenly changed and I noticed a new pattern in the blur of spinning rubber… I eased off and was dropping back as the tyre exploded, very forcefully.

A poor village on the NH2 west of Allahabad, India.

A poor village on the NH2 west of Allahabad, India.

It wasn’t really the trucks which made this a fast day: My tummy problems had subsided (making me much stronger), I’d acclimatised to the heat, the roads were smooth and flat, I was used to getting up at 4am, I’d had a good meal and early night, and there was a steady tail wind.  It was all perfect for a long day, even if my back was still a bit stiff.  My cruise speed in such conditions was about 17mph, and then a truck would naturally sweep me into it’s slipstream going past 3 or 4 mph faster.  Looking at it from the Developed World, it’s hard to believe trucks genuinely settle at 20 to 30 mph on India’s highways – but I assure you it’s true.  Just as it is totally true that the rear light clusters are normally not lights, they get broken and then painted-on instead.

Ethically and morally, I was sure drafting trucks was not the way to get in the record books.  Guinness World Records’ rules didn’t specifically outlaw it, but they did say I had to obey all local traffic laws.  I didn’t want to undermine the effort and sacrifice I’d already made by letting anything else do my work for me.  As there were no back-road alternatives, I had to find a safe compromise to exist on the highway where some degree of slipstreaming was inevitable.  I just tried to find the safest way to cruise on east.

As I reached Allahabad a road sign told me I was now 800km (500miles) from Kolkata, which might be just 4 days cycling.  Two men on a motorcycle pulled alongside while I looked for a hotel.  They were from the Hindustan Times and they wanted to interview me.  First they helped find a luxury hotel, they then guided me across the city to a more welcoming hotel after the old problem with a “no cyclists” rule.  I was taken for dinner by a journalist and his girlfriend at McDonalds, which I knew had strict “no cyclists” rules, so this was my first visit in India.  It seemed amazing to me, but obvious at the same time, that there were no beef burgers available (sacred cow).  Being interviewed did take up some time, but it was also helpful and motivating.  Having a posh hotel and the journalist to communicate for me, I trusted most of my clothes to the overnight laundry service – and looked forward to properly clean clothes for 5am the next day!

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

22

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day44

  • By Vin Cox

22nd Mar.  81.5 miles cycled.

Bad back. Took 1hr stretching before attempting riding.  Need to not lift the bike up stairs for a few days.

Seeing a seriously grumpy lad running a restaurant reminded me what a good idea a smile and a wave is, and the next few miles flew by in friendliness.

The harvest is not quite ready here, everything is greener and damper.

Room comes with free geko and mosquitos to feed it.  In the past I had free mice with the A/C.  There was also the time I had free entertainment with a meal; I watched rats playing in the washing up. [Indian hotels give you so much for free!]

81.5mi @ 15.8mph

Vin Cox's room-mate.  Helping to keep the mosquitoes down a little.

Vin Cox’s room-mate. Helping to keep the mosquitoes down a little.

Getting my bike up the stairs into my hotel room the night before had done my back in really badly.  I was seized solid in the morning and in agony.  I guess I’d lost muscle through illness and riding, and then pulled whatever I’d got left.  It took a long time to be able to stand, and even then I was crooked.  Getting on the bike was torture, but it eased off as I warmed up.  Again I was in the situation of making the most out of bad times, just hoping the good times wouldn’t be long away…

Horns hooting, filthy engines, drivers pulling in before they finish overtaking, people sleeping under their vehicle on the hard shoulder, bricks scattered in the road, and “might is right” driving culture – these things were getting to me.  Sometimes I laughed; like when I saw a road where a lane had been added to widen an existing duel carriageway, but the lampposts hadn’t been moved back.  Sometimes I despaired.  Sometimes, when I felt endangered, I got annoyed.

What I always noticed was that once one bad thing happened to get me angry, other annoying things would quickly follow.  I’d been pondering this before I arrived at the trucker’s rest area for lunch.  Set back from the road by a dirt parking lot, the mud-walled, tin-roofed, open sided shack had a grubby thirty-something cook making chapatti and ladling out runny dhal, a friendly middle aged waiter, and a teenager handling the money.  The teenager and customers all lay or sat cross legged as I did on the bed-like structures under the shelter (without any upholstery, just strapping between rough wooden frames).  Ordering was easy, I wanted food and they only did one sort.  The waiter spoke some English with me before handing over a tin plate of food.  The teenager must have heard that being in charge means shouting at people; he barked orders or criticism at staff constantly, and scowled.  The atmosphere was terrible, and for some reason I just thought “I’m not going along with this”.  I beamed a stupid great grin at the teenager and said “Hello”.  He didn’t speak any English, and scowled all the more.  I resolved to be madly happy from that moment on, indefinitely.

I slipped the waiter a tip and thanked everyone after lunch, then headed out to grin and wave like a looney at every field labourer and passing truck.  Do you know what?  Everyone waved back and smiled, and drivers were more courteous around me.  The religions of this region would recognise what I had just discovered as Karma – I’m not an original thinker.

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

21

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day43

  • By Vin Cox

21st Mar.  121.2 miles cycled.

Almost got in a fight with three guys on a motorbike who hassled me in Friozabad – whole town was mad, but they were worse.  It’s Sunday and there was a fair near town. I think they were drunk and coming down from the excitement of the fair.  It was also 42C! [Cooked their brains maybe?]

Anyway, Agra was quiet and the fort looked lovely, bridge over the river was interesting (see video)!

Tail winds and heavy slow traffic on smooth roads made it a fast and productive day.

Met a nice lawyer running a restaurant and also met a bloke who’s ridden 90,000km so far in 4yr world tour.  We had dinner and swapped stories.

121.2mi @ 14mph

My health had returned!  With it came happiness, much improved progress, and a new phase of my journey through India.  I crossed the state border out of Rajasthan just before Agra and entered Uttar Pradesh.  Uttar Pradesh is massive:  If it were a separate country, it would be the fifth most populated country on Earth.  I turned right, and headed South East joining National Highway 2 for the next 800 miles to Calcutta/Kolkata.

Uttar Pradesh is very poor:  It has more than three times as many people than the UK, but an economy one fortieth of the size.  Average income in the state is less than £1 (UK Pound) a day.  I’d been warned that the lack of cash meant products such as soft drinks would be rare at roadside stores.  Almost every meal would be dhal (curry) and roti (bread) from here on washed down with dubious local water.

Meeting another cycle tourist was surprisingly comforting – I felt he was family although he was from Slovakia. The hotel told me his room number, so just knocked on his door.  We met up a short while later to have dinner together and compare notes.  Brilliantly, he was traveling west and I was going east, so we could tell each other what lay ahead.  His main warning to me was that the town of Varanasi ought to be avoided and known as “VeryNasty”.  I filled him in on what I knew of his route ahead, and he told me of his plans to head for South Africa over the next few months to see the 2010 Football World Cup.

It had been a massive challenge to persuade the hotel staff to let me take my bike to my room, but I had succeeded.  My new friend left the dinner table as soon as I told him this, to bring his bike in from the street.  It was a nice hotel, catering for domestic and international travellers on a budget.  They had en suit toilets built for sitting on or squatting on to suit all guest behaviours:

A special toilet ready for sitting or squatting on.

A special toilet ready for sitting or squatting on.

My new brother in cycle-touring was cruising through India slipstreaming behind trucks.  100 miles could be finished each day by lunch in their slipstreams, but I was worried for his safety, and personally couldn’t stand the noise, filth, and lack of adventure of doing that all the way.

The day was visually impressive and diverse, so as I had improving health and morale I filmed a lot.  The following edit gives another perspective and shows some moments I’ve not mentioned in text:

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

20

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day42

  • By Vin Cox

20th Mar.  63.4 miles cycled.

Did a lot of pooing today [really quite ill].  Good job there was a tail wind!

Wheat harvest being brought in – sickles and hands only! Amazing to see.

Nice hotels early in the day, then as I started to need one they all dried up. Eventually found okay place (including many free mosquitoes) at just over 100km. Forecast tomorrow is 42C – have to get going early no matter how I feel.

A kid threw a stone at me this afternoon – I almost throttled his mate and would have been in trouble if I’d have caught the lad himself.  Glad he got away. I just felt bad and snapped.

Hotel tonight –

Me: “Do you have rooms available?”

Reply: “Yes. A/C or non A/C?”

Me: “A/C please.  How much?”

Reply: “Sorry, no A/C.”

Me: “Ha ha ha…”

63.4mi @ 13.5mph

That conversation pretty much sums up the irony of India to me. “AC” is Air Conditioning by the way.  I’d been offered showers before, which eventually turned out to be broken in every room (so I got one anyway and fixed it because it was just lime scale).  I would also be offered A/C in places with no overnight power supply.  Indians often seemed to have by-the-book, jobsworth or comically literal behaviours which might well be a cultural hangover from the British administration of a hundred years before.  I kept facing issues of not being allowed near nice hotels or restaurants because some security guard had been told to keep cyclists away (cycling in India is a sign you can’t afford a motor bike or car, so some manager would really have meant to tell the guard to keep the riffraff away – hopefully not me!).

I also had an issue whereby educated English speakers (and most schools advertise that they work exclusively in “English Medium”) would try talking to me, but they’d use such strange/archaic English words, and have such a thick accent, I really couldn’t understand them.   Really, the English language in India has been heading in it’s own direction for a hundred years and if the average speaker doesn’t get more international media or travel it will form a new language in it’s own right.

The sun is painfully strong here and has burned me day after day despite my previous month of riding in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia.  An entertaining side effect is that it looks like I’ve been dipping my fingers in a Marmite jar thanks to tan lines from my fingerless gloves!

Vin Cox's hand with extreme tan lines from cycling in the Indian sun.

Vin Cox’s hand with extreme tan lines from cycling in the Indian sun.

You’ll see in this video that I’ve got some strange tan marks on my head too (from my helmet vents) while I explain about my trouble eating and making progress in the heat:

Moving through different climatic regions of India was a fascinating.  Obviously I knew there were deserts, forests, paddy fields etc. in different regions, but what I hadn’t reckoned on was catching up with harvest time as it moved across the country slower than me.  In a way, I was travelling back in growing time by a couple of days every hundred miles.  This must be a rare perspective; harvest in reverse – from stubbly fields one day, threshing for a day or two, then finally to fields of standing wheat and masses of hard manual labour to hack it down.  The manual labour of course was the main bit of time travel, it must be many centuries since UK agriculture was so inefficient; I think the Romans moved us from sickles to scythes!

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

19

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day41

  • By Vin Cox

19th Mar.  47.6 miles cycled.

Poo! Spent too long on the loo last night and this morning.  Shit myself while peeing in the night!

Very late on the road, but a tail wind helped weak old me manage an okay distance to a nice heritage palace hotel.

The hotel is called ‘Umaid Lake Palace’. I was invited to join the staff in meditation (actually equivalent of hymn and prayer) to the goddess wife of Shiva before dinner. A cupboard in their little shop unpacked to become a shrine. Candles were lit and incense burned, ‘ooooommmm’ music was played, and then there was an act of worship familiar to many faiths: Singing a hymn from the heart. At the end, the candle was passed around and it’s flame treated as a holy cleanser – the hands passed over it and then over the face as if splashing water.  From beginning to end one person rang a small bell; to wake the goddess and get her attention.

The meal then was great and I was in bed before 8pm, but my tummy was painfully churning and I didn’t sleep until about 1am when I pooed it all out.

47.6mi @ 12.9mph

I took the opportunity to ride through the city as I left, but I was glad to be out in the open country pretty quickly as I needed to be away from the crowds. This video shows a little of what the traffic and nature of the city was, but it doesn’t include the most impressive buildings:

It’s totally normal for people to defecate at the roadside in most of India.  Natives do it just once a day though, and they chose their spot to maintain some dignity.  I had no dignity at all and stopped a dozen or more times.  Labourers weeding farm fields would suddenly pop their heads up from the crops as I entered what I hoped would be an empty field to squat in – but I had to go anyway.  Dehydration terrified me in the heat with that amount of diarrhoea, and as progress was so interrupted anyway I opted for an early stop.

The hotel was another old palace.  Massive and stately, it seemed deserted, and indeed I was the only guest in a place which could take hundreds.  At sunset a friendly hotel worker

Sunset from a palace roof-top in India.

Sunset from a palace roof-top in India.

explained by showing me from the high roof terrace that the lake for which the palace was named had dried up.  Without a lake there was no wildlife or activities, so no guests.  He pointed to women working on crops growing in the old lake bed, and then ruined the mood by trying to pimp them out to me.

18

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day40

  • By Vin Cox

18th Mar.  133.6 miles cycled.

GARMIN RECHARGING FROM 80mi [useless device! – Thank goodness for backup systems.]

Slightly late start, very tired.  Got out of city fine and sun rose just after breakfast stop. NH8 [National Highway 8] became fast, smooth and flat – lorry speed was possible for me.

Then I went adventuring on very rough rural roads, took a wrong turn and made it a very big day.  Single track with very rough surface for about 75 miles. Only respite was old railway line turned into road, but it had no shops or restaurants so I had to leave it for a while.

Cooked myself (heat stroke) in the sun early afternoon – found shade and cold drink just in time.

Jaipur was a battle, but found Bissau Palace Hotel as planned and have nice room… Also have diarrhoea, and had tummy pain all day.

Chicken at dinner! First meat in days!

133.6mi

Dawn sun, truck and tree on the road to Jaipur, India.

Dawn sun, truck and tree on the road to Jaipur, India.

It was also a long hard effort on rough roads.  The day was far too hot and shade-less, I drank water from dubious sources, and some food was probably bad.  Not too surprisingly, I made myself ill.  When I wrote the diary above I was kidding myself that a good meal and sleeping in a luxury bed would fix-it.  Just a couple of hours later I had an experience which snapped me out of denial (skip to the next paragraph to avoid a poo story):  Needing a pee, I got up and strolled to my en suit facilities, naked.  I stood there relieving myself in the normal male confident pose…. And then realised I was also taking a dump on the floor behind me.  Such was my lack of control and awareness of my digestive system.

In the middle of the day it was nearly 40 degrees C and I was locked into dozens of miles on a remote rural road, when I approached a mud-walled tin-roofed shack which contained a man sat on a red plastic box.  I don’t know how he got there, or if I imagined him, but the red box was a Coca-Cola cooler packed with ice and soft drinks.  His prices were normal, but he could have charged me anything to sit in the shade and drink. I felt rescued.

The countryside was an amazingly interesting place.  There were proper mud-huts as houses in villages.  At one point I happened upon some sort of agricultural show, with all sort of bovines (cows, oxen, water-buffalo) and thousands of people in dusty fields and all over the road.  Here’s a glimpse of a village I passed through:

One year earlier, on holiday with my wife, we’d had a special treat of staying a night at this boutique former Maharajas Palace (and the Maharajas decedents still lived there).  Each room was unique in architecture and decoration, but all were decedent in British Raj style.  The reception, lounge and restaurant areas set the scene: Opulent and ornate gold leafed decorations, antique mahogany and ivory carvings, tapestries and highly crafted dining furniture were waited by white robed and turban wearing locals of exceptional decorum.  Their clear soft voices, butler-like attention, and almost infinite menu choice was such a relief from the hassle beyond the palace gates.  I’d looked at the prices while we holidayed there, and promised myself a stop-over at the palace as a modest reward and respite during my record chasing journey.  It was near one of the distinctive gates into the city, so I navigated to it easily enough despite it not being in a location which anyone would likely call ‘easy to find’.

17

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day39

  • By Vin Cox

17th Mar.  124.9 miles cycled.

Garmin only on for last 81 miles [cateye backup cycle computer to the rescue!].

I started the day locked in again!

Hilly and felt bad early, decided to only try and charge things as target for today – no places or distance target. 

Stopped at loads of places for food and drink.  Might be less humid, less sweaty.

Nice wise man and wife @ lunch stop:  He looked first, asked good questions about bike etc.  They ran a nice little ‘Hotel’ shed.

Found a bike shop and got puncture patches as I entered Ajmer where I am staying in okay hotel.  Dirt road around new flyover being built.

Hands sorer, bum possibly less so… despite 15 miles of resurfacing with scraped old surface to ride on (and busses to face down who wanted my side of the road).

One puncture today [hooray!].

124.9mi @ 13.1mph

To avoid carrying many power plugs and adapters with me, and to be more self-reliant, I charged everything from a dynamo in the hub of my front wheel.  My legs not only powered me along, but also powered my phones, cameras, and the Garmin GPS.  It was a great system, reliant on a device called a “e-werk” to stabilise the output of the dynamo.  Whatever I wanted to charge just had to be plugged in to cables in a ‘tri-bag’ behind my handlebars.  On this day, feeling a little down about dropping standards, I decided to distract myself and just ride until I’d topped-up the charge in every single device.

I should really have been thinking about getting to Jaipur, but I needed to relax and just ride without goals.  The ‘Pink City’ is a placed I had visited before and knew a nice hotel where I wanted to stay.  Inadvertently, I’d given myself a problem for the next day because I’d made Jaipur half a day away.  At bed-time I planned a very indirect route to make the next day work.

Charging up the Garmin was a waste of time really.  It was ironically utterly inappropriate for navigation around the world for several reasons: 1) Maps for every country on route were ruinously expensive, so I didn’t have them. 2) I’d made .gpx format route plans for the trip, which the Garmin failed to ever successfully read for even a single day. 3) The thing often randomly re-booted or had other glitches while riding. 4) It looked sufficiently like a smart-phone on my handlebars to give me security issues with strangers trying to pinch it.  Eventually it would break and I’d discover the company and customer services were much less use than the device, but for the time being in India, I soldiered on with it.

My main navigation device was actually my smart phone. GPS tracking and evidence was handled by a Spot Tracker and by writing down what my Cateye cycle computer read each day.

Vin Cox's Genesis bike leans against a helpful milepost in India.

Vin Cox’s Genesis bike leans against a helpful milepost in India.

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you.

16

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day38

  • By Vin Cox

16th Mar.  100 miles cycled.

Reasonably early start, amazingly hot even at 5am!  Soon did my routine of stopping at first place for coffee and crisps, then my next for coffee and more food at dawn.  Didn’t appreciate puncture at dawn stop, nor the hords who watched me fix it – and worse tried to help or commentate.

Beautiful rocky desert hills here – but that’s also hard work and hot.

GPS behaving better so far today, but tracker needs new batteries and I don’t have the recommended type.

I’m currently on breakfast stop no.3 after poo no.2 and puncture. 43 miles.  Might have a problem with sunburn again today…

Vin Cox and his Genesis Criox De Fer bicycle in Rajasthan, India.

Vin Cox and his Genesis Criox De Fer bicycle in Rajasthan, India.

[Later] Recorded ¼ more miles than written down, but circled the last town finding new sun cream – had lost my main supply and was panicking.

Hate this area where I’ve got hotel.  Last 15 miles have been endless marble dealers! Truck forced me off road and I punctured 1 miles before stopping – fuming and told crowed gathering to watch me repair it where to go.

Hotel cheap, cleanish, no shower. Hotel owner just got offended I took the dirty sheet blanket off the bed. I told him it was dirty and he said it was meant to be that colour! – Brown stains!

100mi @ 12.7mph

Vin Cox on a hot climb in Rajasthan, India.

Vin Cox on a hot climb in Rajasthan, India.

That was my diary from precisely four years ago.  I’m writing up each day on it’s fourth anniversary as a motivation to get this long overdue task done.  These days I’m to be found spending my working days at a brewery, my leisure time cycling, and my family time with my wife and baby daughter.  I hope this entertains, informs, or motivates you dear reader.

15

Mar

Diary of the World Record: Day37

  • By Vin Cox

15th Mar.  96.6 miles cycled.

Garmin unit only worked for ½ day.  Now can’t recharge while also recording!

Left main road at 10 miles and had great country ride again. In first 100 meters I saw woman making dung cakes, children fetching water, buffalo and cows being herded to new pasture, parquets flying by and peacocks in the hedgerow – and all shrouded in the misty smoke from cooking fires.

Land steadily got dryer and hillier until I was in desert of Rajasthan. Very hot and getting sunburn despite factor 60!

Stopped @ 96.6 for nice hotel.  Very bad night last night and had to be sure of a good one tonight.

96.6mi 

Rural traffic in India.

Rural traffic in India.

There were camels as well as oxen pulling carts on the roads!  I overtook a regular truck going uphill – they were that slow.  Also, have a look at all these people stuffed into a tiny 3 wheel tuk-tuk taxi:

The land is much harsher and brightly reflects the sun in the desert.  I was running very low on sun cream and worrying about what would happen if I ran out given that I was burning even with factor 60 on!