I did some extra work the day before to set myself up for an “easy” 117 mile final ride into Hanoi. It would be the first day for a while that I wouldn’t be climbing some massive mountain, so I thought it would go pretty smoothly, but I was wrong. Just about everything else got in my way.
I got up at 5:30AM and got on the road after eating some Oreos. Although I was in the mountains, I wasn’t at the top. There was a long, gradual climb, then some down, then more up. When I finally got on the descent, there was a thick fog all the way down. I could hardly see with the rain and fog on my glasses. When I got to the bottom, I had to start climbing another mountain all over again. On an empty stomach, it was a tough grind. On the descent of the second mountain, I passed a long line of stopped cars. There had been a rock slide, but luckily, the police let me ride through the road block. Boulders sat in the middle of the muddy road, but motorbikes and my bike were able to squeeze through.
It was a relief when I got out of the mountains and out of the fog. But as soon as I got on the flat, I had to fight the wind. Although I was pushing hard, I was crawling. Wind is probably the most frustrating thing when you’re cycling. With mountains, the agony is finite; you climb one side, and then you’re rewarded with the descent. But fighting the wind is endless.
In Hanoi, I arrived at the hotel where I had started the trip two month before. My ride was over, and no one was there recognize it, or celebrate it. It was a lonely, quiet victory. It felt good to be done."-Eoin
See more of Eoin's trip here