- By Vin Cox
8th April. 108.7 miles cycled.
Nice first day. Went a bit mad and altered route to come over to this lake/caldera. Probably made this whole leg harder now.
Some shocking driving in the towns.
Puncture just before the finish.
From breakfast onwards locals enquired about my route and if I was going to “Lake Toba”. I didn’t know, but answered yes because they all were encouraging it. Before lunch I looked it up…
A 100km long 30km wide lake in the crater of a supervolcano which erupted 70,000 years ago killing everything for thousands of miles around and probably altering the course of human evolution. My kind of place! It was west of my main planned route on back roads, which also attracted me because the traffic was scary.
So after lunch I left the main road and headed up the side of one of the biggest volcanos on the planet.
The climb was unrelenting, steepening in fact as I got higher up the 4000ft ascent. My Garmin had it’s true inaccurate nature revealed by the unusual nature of the mountain – telling me I’d started the day at sea level, had climbed 1600 metres, and was now at 2000 metres!
The best bit of the day was the 1000ft descent down from the crater rim to the lake. As a tourist attraction I knew there’d be a choice of hotels by the water, so I hurried down in the evening twilight. It was a cyclists dream down-hill; twisty, spectacular, fast, with just the occasional vehicle to overtake for satisfaction.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.