- By Vin Cox
5th April. 150.8 miles cycled.
Hills and headwind.
Snooze on beach hammock at lunch…. And late finish: 10:15pm.
150.8mi @ 12.8mph
I had no time or energy to write a fuller diary than the above. But I had had an enjoyable tough day. The bike needed maintenance, finding food had become slower on the road, and I still needed to clean myself and my clothes, ready for another long hard day into Singapore in the morning.
There’s only 12 hours of cycling accounted for in the distance at that speed – so where did the rest of the time go? The answer is eating, cleaning, sleeping and mistakes. Eating takes time; buying food, waiting for food, and eating too slowly it when you feel rubbish. It takes at least five times the amount of food an average person eats to fuel such long days cycling, so it’s a big deal. Cleaning myself and my clothes was important to stay healthy, so each evening I’d spend an hour in the shower doing my laundry as well as myself ready for the next day. Sleep and mistakes are more self-explanatory.
That lunch stop will always have a special place in my memory: For the first time in a hundred miles of following the coast, I could finally see the sea rather than the back of a developed coastal strip or a palm oil plantation. No sooner could I see the sea than a Chinese restaurant presented itself, so I went in for an early lunch. Relaxing with a drink and some nibbles under a thatched picnic table beneath a row of coconut palms on the beach edge was heaven. As my main meal arrived I asked about the hammocks and was told I could sleep off lunch there! I probably only had 30 minutes, but it made a great deal of difference to me.
My little sister had tried to play some motivational games by telling me that I need to make it to Melaka in order to have an easy day into Singapore. I didn’t check up on that until I’d finished. Turns out I had to make it to Melaka to have any hope of reaching Singapore the next day. Singapore was still over 160 miles away!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.